Coconut Oil For Hair

Does coconut oil works for hair, or is it merely a new international trend?

Coconut oil is a world-famous taste-enhancing vegan cooking oil. Due to its elevated nutritional value, it is frequently used in many recipes, including vegan baking, raw salads and Buddha bowls. But coconut oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural treatment for hair, and dry skin in Southern Asian countries like Sri Lanka and India, even though many people assume it is a new trend. Dull and damaged hair, dry scalp and itching scalp are common modern-day problems.

Coconut oil is extracted from the divine coconut and retains its natural goodness and beneficial properties. It is also a prevalent ingredient in many commercial hair care products. Many peer-reviewed studies have shown the benefits of extra virgin coconut oil as a nourishing oil for hair growth that fights fungal infection, calms irritation, treats split ends, prevents dryness and thickens hair follicles.


Why use coconut oil more than other oils for a healthy hair care routine? 

You may have known coconut oil as a plant-based cooking oil and wondered, is coconut oil good for hair? Or why incorporate coconut oil into their hair care routine?

As mentioned earlier, massaging your scalp area with coconut oil has been carried out for ages from the traditional days stemming from Ayurveda and 4500 years old science of conventional Sri Lankan medicine. There are various types of oils for hair, such as mineral oil, sunflower oil and tea tree oil, on the world market. But coconut oil penetrates hair follicles or the base in depths that other oils cannot, which is why people notice excellent results relatively quickly when using coconut oil for hair. It also helps moisturise hair from the base and last part of the hair shaft and provides extra care.

Furthermore, coconut oil is the richest natural source of oil with organic chemistry like saturated fatty acids like lauric acid, one of the medium-chain acids essential for healthy hair growth. This beneficial property, along with coconut oil's chemical structure, is one of the reasons it can help prevent protein loss in hair as the acid is easily absorbed into the hair strand. Both undamaged and damaged hair growth requires proteins stimulated and provided in a good way possible by coconut oil, reducing the protein loss. As a natural oil, coconut oil is also suitable for infants and children. Even though you may not like greasy hair a little coconut oil helps protect your hair.

All the Possible Benefits of Coconut Oil for Human Hair

Healthy human hair is 97% protein and 3% moisture (water). The protein supplies the structural strength, and the moisture gives flexibility and shine. Due to various hair product advertisements, people get confused and overload their hair with protein and forget about the moisture. 

Hair often dehydrates with heat styling, colouring, and siliconised hair products, and you end up losing the 3% moisture of fresh root hair, and then what is left of the thin hair towards the ends is 100% protein and too absorbent to hold water. Dry and damaged hair has little lustre or flexibility, so many women use more silicone to fill the cracks and give it a shine. The damage is masked but continues to turn the excellent root hair into breakable end hair. This brittle hair cannot stand the pressures of everyday styling, so breakage increases and is prone to splitting. With frequent use of coconut oil, hair doesn't break down as quickly, so it maintains its thickness, flexibility, volume and lustre through to the ends. 

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Moisturises Hair and scalp

Coconut oil helps hair and scalp regain the moisture it often loses in dry and cold seasons. While there are various hair oils for different hair types, a coconut oil hair mask can be used to tame frizz and prevent moisture loss from strands in all hair types. This is because coconut oil is 100% fat. Coconut oil, therefore, keeps the hair strands hydrated and moisturised for a long time, even while you are out in the sun for a long time. It will work wonders for the rough and dry scalp and conditions your hair nicely during cold and dry times. Applying oil on damp hair after showering keeps it hydrated and moisturised throughout the day.  

Prevents hair breakage and treats split ends.


There are several reasons for hair damage and breakage. Heat, regular use of chlorinated water and harsh chemicals can damage the hair strands significantly. The electrical heat styling products, such as straightening irons or curling irons, and the UV rays, can also cause hair loss. Vigorous hair brushing while wet also causes damage to hair strands. Applying coconut oil delivers protection against all this by forming a layer of defence to strengthen hair.

There have been a few studies to show that coconut oil treats split ends. One study reveals that regular use of coconut oil is absorbed better in hair strands. Those who regularly used coconut oil as a hair mask or conditioner had fewer issues of split ends than those who did not.

Some market research has revealed that frequent use of coconut oil may help to reduce the loss of protein in hair. Hair strands are constructed of a special kind of structural protein named Keratin. A coconut oil haircare routine prevents Keratin's loss, causing hair follicles to be healthy and robust. Coconut oil is a natural and reliable source of Vitamin E, which also aids in protecting hair damage. Using a little coconut oil on wet hair is recommended to protect hair shafts and strands from sun damage.

Protects hair against greying and adds lustre

Hair can begin to turn grey for various reasons such as stress, hormones, external damage to the hair, or absence of nutrients which results in the follicle going grey. This can be a concern for many females. Massaging hair with coconut oil can help share the goodness of the oil with your hair and improve blood circulation to the hair. Because of this, more nutrients are carried to the hair through the blood. This can make your hair much more glossy, shiny, bouncy, and healthy-looking. 

Support hair growth

However, a little healthy fat is essential for our hair growth. Those who lack healthy fats in their diet tend to have dry and brittle hair likely to damage. Therefore, the use of coconut oil for hair is essential. Also, include coconut oil in your diet, making your hair stronger, healthier, and shinier.

Calms irritation

The scalp dryness leads to itching, scratching, and significantly damaging hair follicles. Coconut oil is a valuable scalp treatment that helps scalp health by calming and soothing irritation. Gently nourishing and moisturising the scalp stops itchiness.

Combats scalp conditions and diseases

Scalp diseases and fungal health conditions are foul and can cause immense harm to hair and the scalp. Healthy hair starts at the scalp. Therefore, a healthy scalp can help in strand growth, making hair stronger and thicker. Scalp diseases are also ministered by active components added to many hair shampoos' formulations.

A recent study has uncovered that coconut oil prevents and combats fungal infections and scalp diseases. Frequent use of coconut oil significantly impacts dandruff and fungi on the scalp, making it clean and healthy.

Prevents dandruff formation

The scalp can get so dry that a white, flaky layer forms called dandruff. Dandruff can provoke itchiness along with the awful sight of a dandruff-ridden scalp. Coconut oil can help combat dandruff and create healthier hair as it contains fatty acids and vitamins E and K, which are promising for the scalp. It aids in nourishing back to a condition where the dryness and dandruff vanishes.

Does it do wonders for every hair type? 

Coconut oil is considered a part of age-old traditions for hair care. Coconut oil usually works well for all hair types with its rich vitamin content, minerals & carbohydrates. The oil has authenticated that it works pleasingly for soft, delicate, or medium to thick hair. Most importantly, it replenishes and conditions dry hair and scalp. However, various hair types react to oils differently, and you may be one of the few, and coconut oil may not work for your hair type.

Coconut oil products

How to apply coconut oil to your hair

Coconut oil has proven to boost hair growth faster, detangle unmanageable hair, and furnish a moisturising base for hair colours and shades with its natural true coconut scent.

Overnight treatment: 

Virgin coconut oil can be used as a scalp mask. Using coconut oil treatment overnight can prevent hair protein loss. Gently massage scalp with a bit of warm coconut oil, comb through and leave in treatment overnight. Wrap a shower cap or a dry towel to cover your hair for oil to penetrate the scalp. Wash the oil out the following morning. This will aid in nourishing dry hair strands and keep hair moisturised.

Before washing: 

Use oil for a few hours before washing hair. If you don't like to sleep with greasy hair, you can apply coconut oil before washing your hair. Warm up a small amount of coconut oil (see how to warm up oil for hair) and gently massage it to your scalp. Then wash off as you would typically do. Using coconut oil as a pre-wash can reduce the amount of water absorbed by the hair shaft and help keep your hair hydrated.

After wash treatment: 

You can rub coconut oil as a hydrating ointment on hair after shampooing and washing. Using a few drops of coconut oil on wet hair safeguards hair strands from damage and keeps hair moisturised.

Here's how to warm up coconut oil before applying it to hair.

Boil some water in a pot. Get a small amount of coconut oil in a bowl and place the bowl in hot water. Heat the oil. You could use coconut oil, soft and not completely liquid. But it's better if all the oil is heated to the same temperature. The temperature of the coconut oil should be warm, not hot. (You can also heat the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds, but the microwaves harm the human body).

Use the fingertips to massage the coconut oil into the scalp gently. Apply it to the hair from roots to tips. Gently brush your hair. Tie up or put your hair in a bun and cover with a warm towel. (You can use the water you used to warm the oil or the water from your tap's hot water side.) Leave in for about 30 minutes to a few hours. Wash out the coconut oil carefully using a natural plant-based shampoo. Ensure your vegan cruelty-free shampoo is also free from sulfate, paraben, silicon and other hidden nasties.

King Coconut Oil

King coconut oil is extracted from the orange king coconuts and has a silkier texture, making it very absorbent when applied to the scalp.  

Perhaps the most favoured way of using king coconut oil is to use them for your hair. Like regular coconut oil, king coconut oil retains the ability to strengthen the hair and make it more radiant and healthy. However, the remarkable thing about king coconut oil is that it is very light and has a very subtle aroma than regular coconut oil.

Other useful tips

Hair oiling should be started with the proper Ayurvedic scalp massage by patting around your head. Then apply coconut oil and gently massage your scalp with your fingertips in a circular motion beginning from the crown and working down to the ends of the strands. 

Hot oil treatments promote healthier hair by increasing blood flow to the scalp.

Coconut oil does wonders for itchy and irritated scalp.

Ensure you shampoo your hair before you go to wash the oil out. You cannot wash the oil off just with water.

Ayurveda recommends some excellent herbs for the hair, such as Amla, Bhringaraj and Brahmi. They are available in powder form and can be dissolved in coconut oil. 

Coconut oil can also be used with aloe vera, and warming up fenugreek with coconut oil has proven to deliver good results.

You can mix coconut oil with argan oil or almond oil or add a capsule of vitamin E to your coconut oil. 

coconut tree


Coconut oil could be used on its own, herbal medicated or blended with other ingredients to create your preferred hair mask. However, unrefined or extra virgin coconut oil has a higher content of antioxidants, like phytonutrients, so it's naturally considered more effective for hair.

Hair loss can be a complex condition related to several factors, such as genetics, illness, medication, diet, sleeping habits and lifestyle. If you have heavy hair loss problems or severe scalp issues, you should seek professional advice from a dermatologist or trichologist. A professional plant-based dietitian should be consulted if it is related to your diet.


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