Coconut oil is the It ingredient for a healthy bod, both inside and out. People are adding it to foods and coffee like crazy, and we know it is so good for skin too. Now, find out why coconut oil for your hair can seriously up your strand game.
It’s no accident that coconut oil has been used on hair for many years. Polynesian cultures have long used the oil to moisturize hair and scalp. But is coconut oil for hair as good as it sounds? And does it hold long term advantages?
Why You Should Use Coconut Oil for Hair
Yes, the short answer is definitely YES, coconut oil is totally safe for use on hair. Even for those with delicate hair and sensitive scalps, it is effective in providing soothing moisture to hair with lasting results.
So, maybe you’ve tried many an oil only to be left with straw-like hair a day or two later? That’s because many hair oils cannot penetrate the hair shaft, but rather just coat strands and make them feel softer and smoother. Until they are rinsed out or wear off, that is.
Coconut oil happens to be different than other oils when it comes to hair retention. Studies show that coconut oil is the best oil at penetrating the hair follicle. This means it gets down into the hair cuticle and repairs damage, creating longer lasting results.
And that’s not all. A 1999 study by the Journal of Cosmetic Science found that coconut oil is effective in reducing damage and breakage when applied to hair.
As Marissa Waller, founder of BeauTeaBar.com, says…“Coconut oil is fantastic for the hair because it’s ultra hydrating and nourishing. If you have dry, damaged or color-treated hair then coconut oil is an inexpensive and simple way to repair damaged hair quickly.”
Super long history and science-backed benefits aside, coconut oil for hair has other bonuses too. The oil is easy to use and store, convenient to purchase, and rather wallet friendly. What’s not to love?
The Many Benefits of Using Coconut Oil for Hair
Take a look at the many ways coconut oil can make your mane happy.
Completely nontoxic and safe for hair and scalp.
Moisturizes without feeling heavy or greasy.
Improves scalp health.
Wards off fungus and infection.
Boosts hair growth.
Adds volume and shine to hair.
Helps to prevent hair loss.
Repairs hair damage due to dryness or coloring.
Helps hair to hold color when used before coloring.
May help to prevent graying.
Soothes irritated scalp.
How to Use Coconut Oil On Your Hair and Scalp
Possibly the most common way to use coconut oil on your hair is as a conditioning treatment. While the oil makes an effective de-frizzer and detangler when used as a styling treatment, deep conditioning is the best way to get all of the healthy hair advantages of coconut oil.
As we’ve shown above, coconut oil is good at penetrating the hair shaft and this works even better if the coconut oil is heated. Follow these simple instructions for using coconut oil as a deep conditioner:
1. Warm two tablespoons of coconut oil in a glass dish in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. Be sure the oil is not too hot before applying.
2. Massage the heated oil into dry hair and scalp, working through to ends of hair.
3. Don a towel or shower cap and allow to soak in for at least 20 minutes.
4. Shampoo and condition as usual.
Coconut oil also makes a useful nighttime hair treatment. Marissa is fan of this approach.“I drench the lengths of my hair with coconut oil until it is fully coated and then pin it up in a loose bun before I go to bed. In the morning, I shampoo and condition as usual and when it’s dry it is so shiny and full. I love it!”
Wishing for a soothing hair treatment that smells great too? Britanie King, of Beauty by Britanie, mixes two drops of organic lavender with her favorite coconut oil by Skinny & Co. and massages into hair and scalp. Leave overnight and wash as usual the following morning. “My hair feels like silk after this treatment,” says Britanie.
The Best Coconut Oil for Your Hair
Can’t wait to get started using coconut oil on your hair? We don’t blame you!
This oil is one of the best nontoxic, effective, and affordable hair care ingredients you can buy. There are several types of coconut oil and it is important to use the highest quality. Always opt for organic virgin coconut oil (VCO) and steer clear of refined coconut oil (RCO) and fractionated coconut oil, which are highly processed and not as beneficial.
Think only those who enjoy a super minimalist beauty routine are into coconut oil hair treatments? This beauty is for anyone looking for shiny, healthy, nourished locks. Even beauty experts and TV stars get in on the coconut oil action.
Kristen Arnett, green beauty makeup artist and Green Beauty Team expert, advises “anyone with dry ends or kinky curls” to apply a coconut oil hair treatment and sleep on it to tame hair. And Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively swears by her mother’s tradition of coating tips of strands in coconut oil pre-shampoo to keep ends from drying out.
There are several safe brands of coconut oil that work their magic on hair. Here’s a snapshot to help you shop.
3 Coconut Oil Hair Masks to Try
Not feeling the DIY thing? No problem! These are the best organic coconut oil hair masks, and you’ll love them.
1. St. Tropica Organic Coconut Oil Hair Mask: This hair treatment totally checks all the boxes. Super pure, easy to use, and works wonders on hair. The main ingredient is, of course, organic virgin coconut oil, but this brand also adds other organic good-for-hair ingredients. Simply warm the packet in your microwave and apply. My hair feels bouncy and looks shiny after using this hair mask. An ideal weekly solution for all hair types.
2. Yarok Feed Your Moisture Masque: If you have wavy or curly hair, you know it can get dry and frizzy looking. This is the antidote. Coconut crème is the main ingredient, and Yarok has added seaweed extract to further restore moisture to sapped strands. Also perfect for color damaged hair. A little goes a long way with this ultra rich hair mask, and it smells great too.
3. Josh Rosebrook Enrich Mask: Coconut oil is one of many nourishing oils in this hair treatment. Makes hair soft, shiny, and more manageable. More like a lotion, this formula won’t weigh hair down and is super easy to use. Can be applied to wet or dry hair. A go-to for those experiencing dry locks who are looking for extra hydration that could be used daily.
Can’t decide? You can try Thrive Market’s Coconut Oil for free ($17 value).
Have you used coconut oil for hair? What are your favorite tricks or tips?
Image of woman with blonde hair via Shutterstock