What Does Coconut Oil Do For Your Hair

Coconut oil has been around for more than 4000 years. 

Humans from the Earth’s tropical regions first used coconut oil, and it eventually became known worldwide because of its effectiveness and versatility. 

Today, we use it for cooking, cleaning, hygiene, and medicine. 

However, in this article, we will specifically talk about the effects of using coconut oil on your hair.

By the end of this article, you are going to:

  • know what does coconut oil do for your hair
  • apply different ways of using coconut oil on your hair/learn different ways to use coconut oil on your hair properly
  • learn when NOT to use coconut oil on hair

What Coconut Oil Does For Your Hair

Young woman applying coconut oil onto hair at home

Over the years, we have proven that coconut oil is a cheap yet effective beauty staple. Since it is a natural oil, expect it to have a lot of advantages with very few side effects.

Protein is the building block of our hair. However, our everyday activities such as shampooing, hair-drying, and hairstyling damages proteins in our hair. 

Fortunately, coconut oil can help protect our hair against protein loss.

It has the unique ability to penetrate the hair shaft, which then limits the amount of water absorbed by the hair. This penetration ability results in lesser hair damage. 

Although coconut oil is more beneficial when used without other artificial moisturizers, it can still serve as an occlusive to seal the moisture from previously applied moisturizing products.

Coconut oil has fatty acids that help prevent breakage, repair damage, improve texture, and add shine to your hair. 

So, if you want healthy and lustrous hair, coconut oil may be your newfound best friend!


Different Ways to Properly Use Coconut Oil on Your Hair

We can take advantage of coconut oil’s natural benefits by simply applying it to our hair. However, there are specific situations and processes in which we can maximize the magic of coconut oil.

Here are the different ways to use coconut oil on your hair:

Pre-Wash Damage Shield

You can use coconut oil to protect your hair from the damage brought by washing and shampooing

Simply apply coconut oil to your hair and scalp before going into the shower. The amount should be just enough to lightly coat the scalp and hair strands, from roots to tips.

As a Conditioner

Coconut oil can be a great alternative for your store-bought chemical conditioner. 

You can simply use it in the same way that you use your regular conditioner. 

If you still want the fragrance of your regular conditioner to stay, you can mix a few drops of coconut oil on your conditioner and apply as usual.

As a Hair Mask

Massage an ample amount of coconut oil on your hair and leave it for more than four hours, or you can also let it stay overnight. 

If you opt to let it stay overnight, you can wrap your hair using a shower cap for less mess.

READ: Coconut Oil Hair Mask Recipes To Try

As a Detangler

When we force our comb through our tangled hair, we can observe more hair fall as we pull out the comb. 

Sometimes, we think that weak hair roots cause our falling hair, but the truth is, breakage often causes hair fall. 

If this happens to you, you can avoid it by applying a few drops of coconut oil to the tangled parts of your hair before combing.

CHECK OUT: How To Make Your Own DIY Coconut Oil Hair Detangler

To Temporarily Hide Split Ends

Although coconut oil cannot glue your split ends together, it can help to reduce the obviousness of split ends temporarily. You can use it to literally 'Photoshop' your split ends. 

Simply put a few drops of coconut oil on your palms and then casually rub them on the ends of your hair.

To Add Shine

You only need to evenly spread a very tiny amount of coconut oil on the top of your hair for that additional shine

Remember, you don’t need much because you don’t want your hair to look greasy. A little comes a long way.

You can pour some coconut oil on a spray bottle so you can spritz some on your hair whenever you are on the go.

Coconut oil and tropical leaves. Hair care spa concept.

As a Natural Sunscreen for Your Hair

Coconut oil has a natural SPF that helps protect your hair from the harmful rays of the sun. You can apply coconut oil on top of your hair whenever you go hiking or swimming.

To Remove Lice

Chemical lice medications tend to dry the hair. For a more natural lice treatment, simply rub coconut oil on your scalp and from the roots to the tips of your hair. 

You can mix this with tea tree oil for better results. Then, rinse your hair with Apple Cider Vinegar. Repeat every day for five consecutive days.

To Remove Dandruff

Coconut oil is proven to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. 

These properties help treat dandruff and relieve dry, itchy scalp. Simply apply a light coat of coconut oil and carefully massage it on your scalp.

Do not put too much coconut oil as this may result in clogging the pores on your scalp. Make sure to rinse your hair afterward properly.


Tips on Using Coconut Oil on Your Hair

Here are a few helpful hacks to help you make the most out of your new hair care routine:

Young woman applying coconut oil onto scalp

Warm the oil first. 

Warm coconut oil helps open the hair cuticles and allows the molecules to penetrate the hair further.

 Avoid microwaving your coconut oil. Instead, try putting your coconut oil on a small cup and then place the cup into a bowl filled with hot water. The oil will quickly warm up and liquefy.

Avoid clogging your scalp. 

For some people, coconut oil is effective in alleviating dry and itchy scalp and treating dandruff. 

But for others, it can cause irritation and clogged pores. If it is your first time using coconut oil on your scalp, start by applying a very small amount to feel how your scalp will react.

Don’t put too much. 

As mentioned earlier, too much coconut oil can lead to clogged pores for some people. Also, excessive amounts of coconut oil may make your hair look dull and greasy. 

Always start by applying a small amount of oil and gradually adding more until you achieve your desired outcome.

Rinse properly. 

Another way to prevent clogged pores caused by coconut oils is to rinse the scalp and hair properly. To do this, you can shampoo twice or use a clarifying shampoo instead. 

Dry shampoos also work well in absorbing the oil.

Mix with other essential oils. 

As a versatile and all-natural oil, coconut oil can easily blend with other essential oils such as lavender, peppermint, or tea tree oil. 

These can counter the distinct smell of coconut oil and can also add more beauty and health benefits.

Apply at night. 

It is better to apply coconut oil at night to give it enough time to soak up in your hair.

Choose unrefined coconut oils.

Unrefined oils are also known as virgin coconut oil or extra virgin coconut oil. These oils do not have chemicals and are heatlessly extracted from the coconut. 

On the other hand, refined coconut oils are bleached and deodorized, and stripped of the oil’s nutrients.


Does Coconut Oil Help With Hair Growth?

Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil cannot aid in hair growth. There is no enough scientific evidence to prove such claims. 

It is only proven to help nourish and strengthen the hair. As a result, the hair becomes less prone to breakage and hair fall.

The hair appears to be healthier, but it doesn’t necessarily speed up hair growth.


How Long Should I Leave Coconut Oil In My Hair?

It depends on your purpose.

If you used coconut oil as a hair mask, you should leave it for more than four hours or overnight. 

If you use it as a treatment for dandruff or lice, leave it for 5-10 minutes before washing. If you intend to use it as a leave-in conditioner, you can leave it for 20-30 minutes.

It also depends on your hair type. 

If you have an oily scalp or coarse and brittle hair, you should not leave coconut oil on your scalp for too long. 

If coconut oil causes adverse effects to your scalp or hair, then avoid using it on sensitive areas of the scalp, or better yet, stop using it altogether.


How Often Should I Put Coconut Oil in My Hair?

Hair-care experts advise us to apply coconut oil on our hair about two to three times a week to get the best results.

However, when treating lice, you should apply it for five consecutive days. Doing such will not harm you for as long as you properly rinse your hair after every application.


Why Coconut Oil is Bad for Your Hair

Despite being natural and versatile, the magic of coconut oil also has its limits.

Generally, it is safe to apply small amounts of coconut oil to all hair types. However, those with oily scalp and those with coarse hair need to be more cautious in using coconut oil.

As mentioned earlier, coconut oil can lead to clogged pores. If you already have an oily scalp, it is best to use coconut oil sparingly. 

READ: Coconut Oil ruined my hair: When NOT to use Coconut Oil

You may opt to apply it only on the mid-lengths to the tips of your hair to avoid clogging the pores on the scalp.

It can also cause breakouts around the hairline area when your facial skin does not respond well to natural oils. 

To avoid this, you can wear a cloth headband while applying oil on your hair so that excess oil will not reach your facial skin.

Most importantly, remember to rinse coconut oil from your scalp after every application properly.

According to a hairstylist, coconut oil works well for fine, medium, and thick hair textures. 

These hair textures can retain protein. This retained protein adds volume and nourishment to such hair types, avoiding breakage and minimizing damage even when washing or styling.

However, those with dry, stiff, brittle, or coarse hair textures should be cautious in using coconut oil on their hair and scalp. 

Coconut oil may cause protein build-up on these hair types, which will make your hair stiff, hard, less elastic, and prone to breakage. 

Again, it is still safe to apply small amounts of coconut oil on the hair, even if you have the mentioned hair types. 

Just be careful about the amount of coconut oil you put in and how often you put it in your hair.


Great hair days ahead!

Now that you have gotten this far into the article, I am confident that you are equipped with everything you need to know about the effects of coconut oil on your hair. 

Make sure to remember all our tips and reminders to get the most out of the benefits of coconut oil on your hair.

Be glad! Great hair days await you.

Last Updated: August 26, 2021

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