Coconut oil is one of the most popular oils for hair along with olive oil but can you use coconut oil for hair growth?
Coconut oil has many benefits for hair and can help hair recover from various issues in the long term. There are miles of studies on the benefits of coconut oil.
If you have ever been to the coastal parts of India, you would have noticed a lot of the men and women have thick jet black hair even those in their 70s.
This is due mostly to the pure coconut oil they use on their hair. Thick and luscious hair with coconut oil? Sounds good to me.
What is Coconut Oil?
Coconut oil is extracted from the kernel of matured coconuts, which are harvested from the coconut palm aka Cocos nucifera.
Virgin coconut oil has a delightful and tropical smell while refined coconut oil has no coconut taste or smell.
Coconut oil has over 90% saturated fat content, which makes it sound unhealthy, but in reality, the fat in coconut oil possesses many wonderful properties.
Coconut Oil Health Benefits
Coconut oil contains abundant amounts of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) or Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA) – lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.
Though over 90% of coconut oil is saturated fat, it can help lower bad cholesterol levels in the body. The trick here is consuming it in limited amounts.
Additionally, the MCTs found in coconut oil can be converted into an energy source quickly going through fewer processes in the body than other fats.
That’s one of the reasons I use coconut oil in my after workout smoothies.
Is consuming coconut oil good for you? Absolutely. It’s one of the cooking oils recommended for the keto diet.
For more on using coconut oil in the keto diet, read Guide to the 10 Best Cooking Oils for the Ketogenic Diet.
Coconut oil can also be used as a substitute for butter in baking and as one of the oils in the oil pulling method.
Benefits of Coconut Oil on Skin
The benefits of coconut oil when it comes to skincare have been covered in several articles on the website.
Read Are Coconut Oil Capsules Good For You? and Can You Use Coconut Oil for Acne?
Coconut Oil Benefits for Hair
I love, love, love coconut oil for my hair and skin. It was one of the first oils I used on my hair back in the day.
The smell makes me happy and lifts my spirits in addition to the awesome things it does to my hair!
1. Prevents Protein Loss From Hair
Its fatty acid content and penetration abilities help prevent the loss of protein from hair.
If you have high porosity hair, coconut oil should be included in your regimen and can help immensely as a pre-poo (recipe below).
If you have normal porosity hair, regular use of protein will reduce the frequency of high-grade protein treatments.
2. Seals in Moisture
Coconut oil contains a lot of vitamin E. Regular use makes hair soft and easy to manage and helps seal in moisture effectively keeping strands moisturized for longer.
3. Penetrates Hair Shaft & Prevents Breakage
Coconut oil is one of the 3 oils that have been proven to penetrate the hair shaft and fortify the hair strands.
By fortifying the hair strands, hair breakage is eliminated and further breakage prevented. The other two oils with this benefit are olive oil and sweet almond oil.
4. Contains Potent Antimicrobial Properties
The lauric acid contained in coconut oil is similar to a property found in human breast milk.
Breastfeeding builds babies’ immune systems and protects them from infections.
On the scalp, coconut oil can help treat dandruff, itchiness, and flakiness.
5. Long Shelf Life
Coconut oil has a long shelf life due to its high antioxidant content. It lasts for over 2 years in some cases.
You can use it as stabilizing oil in your DIY recipes. You can also safely bar several jars while on sale without fear that they will go rancid quickly.
Ready to treat yourself to the wonderful goodness of coconut oil? Then try one, two, or all of the recipes below.
4 Coconut Oil Recipes for Curly Hair
Coconut Oil Pre-Poo Recipe
- Mix 1 cup of aloe vera juice with 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a spray bottle.
- Shake and place the spray bottle in hot water. Heat up the mixture and shake again.
- Section your hair and spray the mix in generously.
- Work the mix through your hair, removing any tangled hair.
- Twist-up each section as you finish up.
- Cover your head with a disposable cap or cling film and leave it on for an hour.
- Say hello to soft and easy to detangle hair. Shampoo and deep condition as usual.
Related Content: DIY Aloe Vera Juice and Coconut Oil Recipe for Dry Hair
Coconut Oil Hair Mask Recipe
- For a deep conditioning treatment, mix a few tablespoons of coconut oil with your favorite deep conditioner.
- Apply to hair after shampooing, then sit under a hair steamer for 30 – 45 minutes. You can also leave in overnight if you desire but this might make your scalp itchy.
- Rinse out and style your hair.
- Additional natural oils you can mix into this recipe include castor oil, calendula oil, and cranberry seed oil. The oils should complement the deep conditioner and shouldn’t be more than the deep conditioner.
Coconut Oil Daily Moisturizer
- As a daily moisturizer, apply a few drops of coconut oil to damp hair before styling. Use just enough for the oil to do its job without leaving an oily residue behind. Focus on the ends of your hair.
Related Content: Darcy’s Botanicals Organic Coconut Oil & Hibiscus Conditioning Oil Review
Coconut Oil Dandruff Treatment
- As a dandruff treatment, mix coconut oil with 10 drops of peppermint essential oil, tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil, or eucalyptus essential oil.
- Apply to scalp and massage thoroughly until absorbed. Leave in overnight.
- Shampoo and deep condition the next morning.
- Some people find that coconut oil clogs their pores or just doesn’t agree with their scalps. In this case, have a look at the natural oils for scalp issues archives to choose a suitable replacement.
Note: Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature. However, this doesn’t mean it’s no longer effective. Just warm up between the palms of your hands and it’ll melt.
Can Coconut Oil Stimulate Hair Growth?
Coconut oil cannot on its own stimulate hair growth without the assistance of other oils like castor oil, burdock root oil, pumpkin seed oil, etc.
It can, however, make your hair much stronger thus eliminating dry hair and hair breakage.
If you use ayurvedic herbs on your hair as well, combining them with coconut oil is a good hair treatment.
You can have a look at the hair loss archives for more inspiration.
Can You Keep Coconut Oil in Your Hair Overnight?
Yes, you can. However, you will likely wake up with oily residue all over your pillow.
Apply in moderation and wrap up with a disposable cap or cling film and a scarf before going to bed.
There are no side effects to leaving coconut oil in your hair overnight and your hair will thank you for it in the long run.
Best Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (EVCO) for Hair
The best coconut oil is pure coconut oil which hasn’t undergone any chemical process.
The coconut oil displayed in the hair section in some supermarkets usually has cheap fillers.
The cheap fillers include mineral oil and liquid paraffin. Check the food-grade oils section instead for pure coconut oil.
Artisana Organics Raw Coconut Oil
Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
Viva Labs Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
For more extra virgin coconut oil recommendations, read 7 Best Organic Coconut Oils for Healthy Hair.
Coconut Oil Hair Products
- Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Shampoo
- Madam C.J. Walker Coconut & Moringa Oils Flyaway Curl Control Serum
- Hask Monoi Coconut Oil Nourishing Conditioner
- AG Hair Smooth Sulfate-Free Argan & Coconut Shampoo
- Kiehl’s Amino Acid Conditioner
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Interested in learning more about natural oils and how to use them for specific purposes to achieve optimal length and health?
Have a look at How to Grow Your Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils, a comprehensive guide about natural oils.
Abi is a curly hair expert who delved into the world of natural oils after severe hair loss issues. Through her research, study, and testing, she was able to regrow her bald spots & a healthy head of hair. She is the founder of Healthy Natural Hair Products & Ade Ori Hair Care, and the author of the highly-rated Healthy Hair Care Series. She continues to study hair science, Ayurveda, and natural and healthy solutions for hair and skin. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines…
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