Coconut oil has become so popular over the past several years that it’s hard to imagine a time when we didn’t use it every day. Since then, people have come out with tons of different ways to use it. For example, you can cook with it, eat it raw, apply it topically or use it in skin care products. Because it contains so many healing properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial and antimicrobial, there is virtually to wrong way to use coconut oil on your body.
If you’ve never tried using coconut oil on your hair, then you’re in for a treat. Studies show that it helps promote hair growth, fights dandruff, and gives your hair a healthy, shiny appearance. There are many different ways to use coconut oil on your hair, so before you give it a try, make sure you give this article a read.
We’ll show you how to use coconut oil for hair health, including what not to do and how to make your own coconut oil hair products at home.
Coconut oil definitely has superfood qualities complete with potent medicinal properties. And thanks to its oil consistency, it’s perfect to use on your hair and skin. Coconut oil contains a unique type of fatty acids called medium-chain fatty acids or MCTs. Research shows that MCTs are shorter than other chains of fatty acids, which makes them easier to digest. These types of fatty acids go straight to the liver where they enhance the production of ketones. This makes coconut oil popular among people who follow the ketogenic diet. But you don’t have to be keto to appreciate the health benefits of coconut oil.
One study found that populations that eat lots of coconut oil tend to be healthier than those who don’t. Specifically, people who eat coconut oil have lower rates of heart disease. Another study found that eating coconut oil can help you lose weight because it increases fat burning. In fact, one study found that consuming 15 to 30 grams of MCTs per day helped people burn about 120 calories and increase their 24-hour energy expenditure by 5 percent. Not bad for some oil, huh?
Here’s where coconut oil comes in handy for hair and skin health. Research shows that coconut oil contains a compound known as the lauric acid that makes up about half of the fatty acid content. Once digested, lauric acid forms a substance known as monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin contain antibacterial and antiviral properties that kill harmful bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Research shows that these compounds can even help kill a dangerous type of bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus and the more commonly known Candida albicans, which causes yeast infections. You can use these same antiviral and antibacterial properties to cleanse your hair, especially if you’re sensitive to products that contain a lot of chemicals and need something natural. Many people also use coconut oil to kill the bacteria in their mouth and keep their gums healthy in a process called oil pulling.
Here are some more reasons to use coconut oil on your hair. Several studies have shown that coconut oil helps moisturize dry skin by improving its moisture content when applied topically. It can even be used to treat eczema. When you apply coconut oil to your hair and scalp, it can help these areas retain moisture and prevent dry, flaky skin and hair. Other research shows that coconut oil can be used to protect against hair damage by acting as a weak sunscreen. Specifically, it has been shown to block about 20 percent of the sun’s rays, which can make your hair appear dry and dull.
Finally, coconut oil has an antioxidant-like effect on the body that reduces inflammation. According to one study, coconut oil helps the body absorb carotenoids, which is a type of antioxidant that helps give foods its color. You can use this anti-inflammatory action to reduce hair breakage, scalp irritation, and other skin disorders that may occur on your scalp and affect the appearance of your hair. It can even reduce pain, according to one study. This comes in handy if you have a painful infection or even lice! Because of its ability to help you absorb antioxidants, it helps to use coconut oil in addition to other natural products that contain them, such as essential oils and herbs.
How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Health
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and natural moisturizing properties, there are tons of ways you can use coconut oil to improve the health of your hair. Some people use it once a week as a deep conditioner while others use it daily to help heal scalp conditions. We’ve put together an extensive list of how to use coconut oil for hair health and tips for applying it correctly.
1. Use It As A Deep Conditioner
One of the best reasons to use coconut oil as a deep conditioner is because it’s completely natural and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals. It also provides natural moisturizing properties that make it tremendously nourishing for your hair. If you blow dry your hair every day, it can leave your hair dry and damaged. Over-brushing your hair also causes damage to it.
Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids that penetrate your hair deeply and quickly, so you get instant hydrating results. According to one study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Science, coconut oil is better to use than sunflower oil and mineral oil to condition your hair.
It’s also the only oil that reduces protein loss without any harsh chemicals, which makes it a safe home remedy to condition your hair or even a child’s hair. Protein loss is what leads to dry and damaged hair.
In addition to the deep penetration of MCTs, coconut oil also contains lauric acid, which has a low molecular weight and is also able to deeply penetrate the hair to nourish it with fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. You can use it directly on your hair or scalp to promote the growth of new, healthy hair.
How to use it:
If you plan on using coconut oil as a deep conditioner, make sure you leave yourself a lot of time. The longer you leave the oil in, the more nourished your hair will become! Try planning for a two-hour treatment window at first. Then, as you start to use coconut oil regularly, you can reduce the time it takes for a deep conditioning treatment.
Start by washing your hair and letting it air dry as you get ready for the next steps. Gather everything you need, including a brush, comb or pick, a shower cap or a towel, two bowls that are different sizes (it helps if one bowl can fit in the other), and your jar of coconut oil. If you have short or thin hair, then you’ll only need about a teaspoon of coconut oil. Use two teaspoons if you have longer or thicker hair. Place your desired amount of coconut oil in the smaller of the two bowls and fill the larger bowl with hot water. Submerge the small bowl into the large bowl. The idea behind this is that you want your coconut oil to be in liquid form and the hot water will help melt it. You can even add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give the coconut oil a nice scent and enhance its nourishing abilities.
Once the coconut oil cools, use your fingers to apply it to your hair and scalp. Then, work it through the rest of your hair using a brush or comb. After you’ve applied an even coat of coconut oil to your entire head, wrap your hair in a towel and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Remember, the longer it sits, the better. Some people even put their hair in a shower cap and sleep on it overnight. The next morning (or 30 minutes later), shampoo your hair as you usually would and make sure to get all the coconut oil out and style it as you normally would. You could also use a small amount of coconut oil during styling to give it extra shine, but this is optional. Repeat once a week or as needed.
2. Use It To Promote Hair Growth
Some of the tips on this list seem like they have only women in mind, but this one is definitely gender neutral. Some men may experience balding as early as their 20’s, and women tend to lose hair during hormonal changes, such as after having a baby. You can also lose your hair as a result of medications or an autoimmune condition. Lack of proper nutrition is also a cause of hair loss. Luckily, coconut oil is a safe and natural way to promote hair growth without spending a fortune on harsh chemical laden products or prescription drugs. We recommend that you try using coconut oil before you try other treatments. It can also help you grow thicker hair if thinning hair is a problem.
How to use it:
We recommend using this treatment at the end of the day when you have more time and can relax a bit. Start by washing your hair with an all natural shampoo that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Grab a brush, comb or pick, a shower cap or a towel, and two bowls to melt your coconut oil in (like the last tip called for). Scoop out your desired amount of coconut oil and add it to the small bowl. Fill the large bowl with warm water and submerge the small bowl into the large one until the coconut oil melts. The idea behind this is that you want the coconut oil to be in liquid form, but you don’t want to expose it to high temperatures as it might kill off some of the healthy nutrients.
Before applying the coconut oil to your hair, run a brush through it so that it’s tangle-free. Use your fingers to massage the coconut oil into your scalp and your entire hair. Remember that you want a good amount on your scalp to promote the growth of new hair. Coconut oil antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will help clear up any scalp conditions that are preventing your hair from growing. It also helps support the health of your hair follicles. Try flipping your hair over so that you can get the coconut oil all over your hair and scalp. Run a brush through your hair so that the coconut oil coats all of your hair. This will help thicken the existing hair that you have. Wrap your hair in a towel or shower cap and sleep with the coconut oil in your hair overnight for the best results.
The next day, wash your hair and style as you normally would. Make sure you get all the coconut oil out. If you’re crunched for time, you can apply the coconut oil for ten minutes or so before washing out. Coconut oil is high in vitamins K and E. It also helps prevent dandruff, which may be hindering your hair from growing as best as it could. Research shows that adding a few drops of rosemary essential oil to your liquid coconut oil could help promote hair growth by as much as 20 percent.
3. Use It To Treat Dandruff
Dandruff is a condition that occurs when flakes of skin appear on your scalp and fall off. Most people find that dandruff is itchy and embarrassing as it leaves white, flaky skin on your shoulders and clothes. Research shows that dandruff is a fairly common condition, but it can be hard to treat. Contrary to popular belief, it is not due to poor hygiene but washing and brushing your hair can help (so can using coconut oil on it!). Risk factors for dandruff include having certain medical conditions, using the wrong hair products, and skin conditions or yeast infections.
Thanks to coconut oil’s lauric acid and medium chain fatty acid profile, which have powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties, coconut oil is a great all natural treatment for dandruff. It targets the fungus or yeast that is causing dandruff and kills it. It also clears out other bacteria or viruses that might be lingering on your scalp so that your hair can grow longer. Keep in mind that many over the counter medications or prescriptions can make your dandruff worse and don’t fix the underlying problem. For example, the condition might be due to a fungal problem. It could also be due to dry skin. In both cases, coconut oil can help.
Additionally, many shampoos and conditioners that are aimed at healing dandruff contain dangerous chemicals, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, propylene glycol, and polyethylene glycol. Other harmful chemicals that can worsen your dandruff include ammonium laureth sulfate, selenium sulfide, and magnesium aluminum silicate. The worst part is that many of these chemicals are found in dandruff shampoos! This means that not only are you NOT treating the problem. You’re probably making it worse by irritating your scalp. Coconut oil won’t make your dandruff disappear instantly, but if you use it continuously, it will help heal the root cause of your problem.
How to use it:
You can use similar methods as the ones we described above to treat your dandruff. Apply liquid coconut oil to your scalp after you wash your hair with a chemical-free shampoo. Flip your hair over so that you cover your entire scalp. You don’t have to brush the coconut oil through the rest of your hair, but you can if you want to cash in on the additional benefits of coconut oil. And since you’re already setting time aside to treat your dandruff, you might as well treat the rest of your hair as well!
After you apply the coconut oil to your scalp, wrap your hair in a shower cap or a towel and let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes. If you can, wear the coconut oil to bed but be sure that your hair is wrapped so that you don’t ruin your sheets or get them all oily. When your time is up, wash your hair as you normally would. Essential oils are great for treating fungal and bacterial infections, so you might want to add a few drops of tea tree, thyme, wintergreen or lavender oil to your liquid oil before applying it to your hair. You can use this treatment daily or at least a few times a week until you see improvements.
After your dandruff disappears, make sure you keep the coconut oil regimen up at least once a week for maintenance. This will help heal dry skin or treat fungal infections so that they don’t come back.
4. Use It To Detangle Hair
Everyone knows someone who always has tangled hair. It could be due to your natural hair type or because you’re always active. But whatever the case is, tangled hair can be a pain (literally). Long and curly hair seems to tangle if you wear it down on a windy day. Instead of pulling your hair back all the time, try using coconut oil as a detangler. Because of its natural oil consistency, coconut oil can help prevent your hair from sticking together and getting caught up. Before styling your hair, try using these steps so that you leave the house without worrying about tangles.
How to use it:
First, bring your coconut oil to room temperature so that it’s in liquid form. Keep in mind that you can buy liquid coconut oil, but these types of coconut oil tend to contain fewer ingredients. So you want to make sure you’re buying 100 percent virgin coconut oil. It will come in a solid form, which means you need to turn it into a liquid before using it. But it’s worth the investment to make sure you’re getting all the good stuff that coconut oil has to offer!
After your coconut oil is melted, apply a small amount (about half of a teaspoon) to your hair in the areas where it gets tangled and brushes through. Make sure you don’t use enough so that your hair becomes oily. You just want enough so that it keeps your hair strands separated. Work out any tangles you currently have with a brush or comb. Then, style as you normally would. The coconut oil should stay in your hair all day and help keep your hair in place. Make sure you wash the coconut oil out at the end of the day.
5. Use It To Protect Against Sun Damage
Did you know that your hair can get damaged from the sun just like your skin can? It’s a true story.
Luckily, research shows that coconut oil has natural sunscreen protection abilities. It’s a good idea to use coconut oil on your hair before heading out for the day if you know that you will be exposed to the sun, such as when you go to the beach or a baseball game. Keep in mind that your hair can even get damaged from the sun in the winter if you’re not wearing a hat and it’s sunny out. Sun damage doesn’t just occur in hot weather!
How to use it:
Apply an even coat of coconut oil to your entire hair (scalp included) before heading out for the day. It doesn’t need to be a lot of coconut oil. Remember that a little bit goes a long way. Try applying it to wet hair after you get out of the shower to make sure you’re applying it to clean hair. Then, work the coconut oil through with a brush and make sure you get the tips of your hair, too. Style as you normally would without washing the oil off.
You can also use coconut oil on dry hair by applying a thin coat evenly to your scalp and hair if you’re in a hurry. With an SPF of 8, you can also use coconut oil on your skin to help keep it moisturized and free from sun damage. Because it’s all natural and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients, you can use coconut oil on kids, too. The coconut oil will nourish your hair and skin while protecting it from the sun. It’s a win-win!
6. Use It As A Base For Hair Coloring
If you’re trying to improve the health of your hair, then it’s probably a good idea NOT to color your hair. This is because most color dyes contain harsh chemicals that could damage or dry out your hair. If you do plan on coloring your hair, then try to make it up to your hair in other ways, such as using anti-inflammatory coconut oil as a base. Also, make sure you use an all natural hair dye to limit the amount of chemicals you’re applying to your hair and scalp. The good thing about using coconut oil as a dye-base is that it penetrates into your hair deeper than other oils, so your color will last longer without fading as quickly.
How to use it:
Start by gathering together everything you need, such as a brush or comb, coloring herbs, a container for your mixing color, and a towel or shower cap. Scoop out a few handfuls of coconut oil into the small jar and fill the larger bowl with hot water. Submerge the small bowl into the large bowl until your coconut oil melts entirely.
After your coconut oil cools down to room temperature, add the coloring herbs or natural coloring dye and mix thoroughly. Apply the mixture to your hair as you normally would when you color it. When the color has set, wash out the mixture with warm water and wrap your hair in a towel. Let it sit for as long as possible (overnight is ideal) to let the color continue to set. The next day, wash it and style it as you normally would.
7. Use It For Shinier Hair
One of the benefits of nourishing your hair with coconut oil is that it becomes noticeably shinier, and who doesn’t want that?! Coconut oil contains lots of nourishing ingredients that help improve the strength of your hair by increasing its vitamin and mineral content. The result is shiny hair that appears much healthier. We recommend using coconut oil on your hair to make it shiny especially if you blow dry everyday or are overly exposed to chemicals. (Hint: this would be great for swimmers who are in a chlorinated pool often!) You can also
How to use it:
You don’t need to treat your hair every day with coconut oil to get it to shine, but you can if you want (it certainly won’t hurt!). Aim for at least once a week to give it a deep conditioning treatment that allows moisture to be restored to the hair. Think of it as giving your hair a vitamin and mineral boost.
Wash your hair as you normally would. Then, apply about a teaspoon or so of coconut oil to your hair and distribute it evenly using a brush or comb. It helps if you can let it sit for at least 20 to 30 minutes. You don’t need to treat it overnight, but doing so might give you even more shine. After your time’s up, wash your hair thoroughly and condition or style as you normally would.
8. Use It As A Styling Agent
Instead of using chemical-laden styling products, why not use all-natural coconut oil? It’s safe for your hair and won’t cause long-term damage as most products that contain chemicals do. Better yet, using coconut oil will protect your hair from long-term damage thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidant-like effect, and healthy fats. If you use flat irons, hot rollers or curling irons often, it zaps the moisture and protein from your hair, which causes it to become brittle and dry. It also becomes more likely to tangle. All of these things mean that you need a styling product to help manage your hair over time.
You can use coconut oil to tame frizz, fight flyaways, and even help hold your curls intact. Got curly hair that is prone to going crazy when the weather is humid? Use coconut oil sparingly or every day- it’s your choice!
How to use it:
Applying a tiny amount of coconut oil to your hair before curling or styling can help keep your do in place all day long. The key is to remember not to use too much, or your hair will appear oily. To use, shampoo and condition your hair as you normally would. To tame frizzy hair, apply about a teaspoon of coconut oil to the middle and ends of your hair and distribute evenly by using a comb or brush. If your hair becomes oily quick, then avoid adding coconut oil to your roots or scalp while styling it. Next, blow dry and style your hair as you normally would.
You can also use a small amount of coconut oil on dry hair before taking the curling or flat iron to it to get your desired look. This is a great trick if you’re short on time or if you’ve already washed your hair for the day and need a touch-up. If your hair has been in a ponytail all day and you want to wear it down for a date tonight, then you can use coconut oil to help straighten out some of the kinks from your hair tie. Just apply some coconut oil to the areas where your hair is kinked and then gently heat the area and brush it out using a comb and a hairdryer. Keep the hair dryer on low as you don’t need to blast your hair. You want to use the heat to dry the coconut oil so that it straightens out your hair. Then, style it and go!
9. Use It To Prevent or Treat Lice
No one likes to think about lice, but it happens to the best of us. School-age children are especially at risk. Instead of using harsh treatments that contain lots of chemicals and can be aggravating for sensitive scalps, try using coconut oil. It’s extremely effective! In fact, research shows that the combination of anise spray and coconut oil is more effective at treating lice than the commonly used prescription lice treatment permethrin. The study indicated that the coconut oil combination was 82 percent more successful while the permethrin was only 42 percent successful at treating lice. Additionally, 33 of the 50 subjects who used the permethrin instead of the coconut oil experienced scalp irritation.
Another study found that adding ylang-ylang essential oil to the anise spray and coconut oil combination was even more effective. It successful treated 92.3 percent of children with lice and did not produce any harmful side effects, which is more than we can say about prescription treatments! So how does it work? Coconut oil penetrates the scalp and hair shaft with its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties to protect against lice and prevent them from laying their eggs in your hair. When you add ylang ylang essential oil and anise spray, it kills lice almost immediately.
How to use it:
To prevent lice, you can use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner by washing your hair, applying coconut oil all over your hair and scalp, putting a shower cap on, and sleeping on it overnight. If you already have a lice infestation, then mix together three tablespoons of coconut oil and one teaspoon of anise, ylang ylang and tea tree oil each and apply this mixture to your hair and scalp. Brush through wet, washed hair with a comb and leave it on overnight. The next morning, wash and style hair as you normally would. Repeat this treatment every night until the lice go away.
Keep in mind that it might take a few weeks to treat the lice completely, but this is common with most lice treatments and not just coconut oil. You might need to double the recipe if you have longer hair. If you want to enhance your results further, rinse your hair with apple cider vinegar before washing out the coconut oil mixture. These are great options for children who have sensitive hair and skin and need a treatment that’s safe and gentle.
10. Use It For Shaving
Many people have bad reactions to shaving their skin. This could be because of the products they are using. Instead of using store-bought shave gel or soap, try using some coconut oil to shave. It’s rich and creamy, acts as a great protectant against cuts and razor blade burn, and leaves your skin feeling moisturized and healthy.
How to use it:
Use coconut oil in place of your current shaving gel. Apply about a tablespoon of coconut oil to each leg and rub it all over. Shave as you normally would then rinse your legs for an incredibly smooth skin. Men can use coconut oil in place of shave gel on their faces by doing the same. Apply about a tablespoon to your next, chin, and face, and shave as you normally would. Make sure to rinse or wipe your face with a warm washcloth. You might want to wash your hands after using coconut oil to shave as the oil might make your hands slippery. You shouldn’t need to wash your face or legs after washing, but you can if you want. The coconut oil will moisturize your skin the same way it does your hair, so it’s not a bad idea to leave it on!
11. Use It For Longer Lashes and Thicker Eyebrows
No one says you have to limit your coconut use to the hair on top of your head! You can use coconut oil to get longer eyelashes or increase the thickness of your eyebrows. This is because coconut oil is extremely nourishing and it has been shown to promote hair growth, as we noted above. Just be careful not to get it in your eyes!
How to use it:
For healthier and longer eyelashes, fill a roller bottle with liquid coconut oil and apply to your eyelashes at night using a mascara wand (make sure there is no mascara on your wand when you use the coconut oil!). You will also want to make sure you removed your makeup before applying the coconut oil. Sleep with the coconut oil on your eyelids and wash off the next morning. If the coconut oil is too oily, use a Q-tip or clean cloth to wipe away any excess clumps. You can do this treatment every night if you want, but some people only do it three times a week and still see results.
You can use the same method to get fuller eyebrows, only this time you don’t need a mascara wand. Apply a few drops of melted coconut oil to your finger and massage into your eyebrows. You can do this several times a day if you want, but remember that it might make your brows appear oily so only use a small amount. For best results, do this at night after taking off your makeup and let the coconut oil sit on your brows all night before washing off the next morning.
12. Use It To Treat Split Ends
Split ends are an unsightly thing to see on your own head of hair, especially when trying to find the perfect hairstyle. If you use harsh products in your hair, blow dry it often, or take a curling iron to it, then you might notice that your split ends come back a lot quicker than normal. Sure, you can get the ends of your hair snipped every few weeks to keep things fresh, but it also helps to find a product that helps reduce hair breakage before it occurs.
Coconut oil is just the thing! It’s incredibly nourishing and helps heal and restore hair it back to a healthy state. Plus, as we mentioned before, coconut oil helps protect against sun damage, which can also contribute to split ends.
How to use it:
A little bit of coconut oil goes a long way when it comes to treating your ends. We recommend washing and conditioning your hair as you normally would and then applying a bit of coconut oil to the tips of your hair while it’s still wet. Then you can blow dry and style as you normally would. If your split ends are really bad, then you might want to consider using coconut oil in your hair (especially the tips of your hair) as a leave-in treatment overnight. Apply it to clean hair before you go to bed, place a shower cap over your head, and sleep on it. The next day, wash it out and apply more to your ends if needed. You should start to see results quickly if you use it every day.
How To Shop For Coconut Oil
Shopping for coconut oil can be tricky because there are so many different types and brands to choose from. How can you be sure you’re getting the right one? Here is a list of the different types of coconut oil and how to pick the best one with the most benefits.
1. Unrefined coconut oil
Unrefined coconut oil refers to pure or virgin coconut oil that has been made using fresh coconut as opposed to dried coconut meat. Unrefined oil is extracted by using either a quick-dry method or a wet-mill process. As the name suggests, quick-drying dries the coconut meat quickly and the oil is pressed out through a machine. The wet milling method requires the coconut meat to first be processed into coconut milk. Then, the coconut milk is strained, fermented or boiled and enzymes are added to it (or it’s put through a centrifuge), and the milk is separated from the oil.
Both processes are relatively quick and do not require the oil to be heated to high temperatures. This means that the oil keeps most of its nutrients and original coconut flavor. Also, unrefined oil is often purer than refined oil because it does not require additives or bleaching. This is the best type of oil you can buy, but it should also be virgin and organic. We’ll get to those soon!
2. Refined coconut oil
As a general rule of thumb, you want to stay away from any product with the word “refined” on it. This means that the product has gone through some sort of method or processing that extract or kills off some of its nutrients. So what you’re left with is a cheaper version of what you set out to buy. Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut meat. This is also known as copra (15). The process of making dried coconut meat involves bleaching the meat and treating it to reduce the bacteria in the product, but it also kills off a lot of its nutrients.
The reason why coconut oil made from dried coconut meat needs to be bleached is that the drying process often produces contaminants in the meat. This is another reason why you want to avoid refined coconut oil. The oil is then treated to high temperatures to extract the small and flavor from the oil, and many food manufacturers use chemicals to help keep refined oil shelf stable for as long as possible. Here’s another rule to go by never trust anything that takes a long time to expire! One of the most common additives to refined coconut oil is sodium hydroxide. Other times, food manufacturers use partially hydrogenated oils to preserve the oil and this increases the trans fat (bad fat) content.
3. Fractionated coconut oil
Fractionated coconut oil is a fancy term for liquid coconut oil. It’s a type of refined coconut oil that has undergone steam distillation and hydrolysis to remove the long-chain fatty acids in the oil. This makes it liquid at room temperature and extends its shelf life, but it’s also less nutritious than virgin coconut oil. You might be tempted to buy fractionated coconut oil because liquid form is easier to use, but don’t be fooled. You’re getting a cheaper product that will last you a long time but it doesn’t possess as many of the health benefits that you’re buying it for.
4. Virgin coconut oil
As stated above, virgin coconut oil is another term for unrefined. This is the most nutritious type of oil you can buy, but because it’s solid at room temperature, many people choose fractionated oil instead to use in their beauty products. When it comes to nourishing your hair and skin, we recommend using virgin coconut oil over anything that has been processed. Sure, you may have to work around the fact that it’s solid at room temperature, but this is an easy fix. We’ll discuss that below.
Which Is Best?
Organic, unrefined virgin coconut oil is the best to use because it never contains chemicals. It also ensures that the product you’re buying hasn’t treated to high temperatures or undergone processes that kill off its nutritional value. Unrefined oil tends to come in solid form, which isn’t ideal for cooking or beauty recipes, but it’s easy to work around this. For example, as we mentioned above, you can use hot water to gently heat the organic, virgin oil until it becomes liquid.
You’ll find that unrefined oil, although it’s solid at room temperature, is very easy to break down. If you’ve ever tried oil pulling, then you know that chomping down on it with your teeth a few times quickly turns it to a liquid and it stays that way for several minutes, which is long enough to apply to your hair. Fractionated oil might seem like a better way to nourish your hair, but it won’t give you that great coconut smell or as many nutrients as its unrefined counterpart. When heating your unrefined oil, avoid using the microwave or any method that exposes it to heat for a long time. You can even scoop out a tablespoon or so and work it with a fork or spoon until it becomes mushy enough to apply to your hair.
Natural Coconut Oil Recipes For Hair
Coconut oil is great to use when paired with other ingredients, especially essential oils because it acts as a carrier oil. Thanks to its healthy fat composition, coconut oil helps deliver the nutrients of the essential oil into your hair where it can be absorbed quickly. Here are some ways to incorporate coconut oil into a homemade shampoo or conditioner:
1. Basic coconut oil shampoo
If you have a sensitive scalp or hair, then you may want to switch over to a coconut oil based shampoo and get rid of any products with harsh chemicals. Because of its antibacterial ability, coconut oil makes a great shampoo. It cleans your hair and leaves it smelling great, too. Plus, it’s easy to make at home and can be used on the kids, too. Follow this recipe:
● Two tablespoons of coconut oil
● One-half cup of canned coconut milk (canned is creamier!)
● One-half cup of castile soap
● Two tablespoons of jojoba oil
● 20 drops of your favorite essential oil
● Ten drops of tea tree oil essential oil
The castile soap, tea tree oil and coconut oil all act as natural cleansing agents in this recipe, so you can be sure that your hair will get clean when you use this recipe! Putting it together is pretty easy. You’ll want to heat the coconut oil slightly just so it blends into the rest of the ingredients, but again, don’t heat it in the microwave. Use a dish of hot water and submerge a smaller dish that contains the coconut oil in it. Combine all ingredients into a container and give it a good shake or stir it using a long wooden spoon. You can use virtually any essential oil to give it a nice fragrance. Some people even use coconut essential oil for more coconut scent!
2. Deep conditioning coconut oil treatment
Coconut oil is pretty easy to use as a conditioner. You can apply it, leave it in for a few minutes, and rinse it out. We recommend using the following recipe to enhance its conditioning abilities further:
● One cup of coconut oil
● One tablespoon of vitamin E liquid extract
● One tablespoon avocado oil
● Ten drops of your favorite essential oil
The coconut oil in this recipe acts as an excellent base carrier for the rest of the oils. We like using vitamin E because it serves as an antioxidant to nourish your hair and give it a great shine. Plus, the coconut oil deeply penetrates your hair shaft and anything else that’s mixed in with it, so your hair is guaranteed to get a good amount of nutrients when you use a coconut oil based conditioner. Avocado oil is also great for your hair as it provides more healthy fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins.
To make, you might have to gently heat the coconut oil until it mixes well with the other ingredients. Mix together with a wooden spoon and pour into a container. Use this recipe right after you wash your hair with a coconut oil shampoo for more coconut oil power. One of the benefits of using coconut oil in your shampoo and conditioner is that it can help you prevent lice from occurring! Some people also find that it makes their hair easier to style after use.
3. Coconut oil lice treatment
We mentioned before that you can use coconut oil to treat lice just as effectively as some prescription treatments, minus the scalp irritation and side effects. Here is the official recipe to prevent lice from occurring and to kill an infestation that has already developed:
● Three tablespoons of coconut oil
● One teaspoon of anise spray
● One teaspoon of tea tree essential oil
● One teaspoon of ylang-ylang essential oil
You may have to gently heat the coconut oil to get it to mix with the other ingredients in this recipe, but make sure you don’t overheat it. You want the coconut oil to retain all of its nutrients to fight and kill and lice infestation. If you can’t find anise spray, you can always use anise essential oil. All of these ingredients can be found at your local health store. Mix all of the ingredients together and apply all over the scalp and head. For best results, apply this mixture at night after washing the hair and then sleep on it overnight. Wash as you normally would the next morning and repeat every night as needed.
Final Thoughts And Recommendations
Most people rave about the health benefits of coconut oil for hair health. Heck, we just dedicated an entire article to it. But the truth is that some people find that it doesn’t work for them based on their hair type. We should note that MOST people can use coconut oil successfully at least every once and a while as a deep treatment for their hair, but if you have an oily scalp or hair, then you may want to avoid putting more oil on your head.
You may also want to avoid using coconut oil depending on what other types of treatment or products you use in your hair. Coconut oil hasn’t been known to cause side effects when used alone, but it could interact with some medications or treatments that you’re already taking. The best thing to do is start slow and gradually increase the amount and frequency you use it if you have any concerns at all. Or talk to your dermatologist if you have scalp problems and want to try coconut oil on your hair. It’s always best to get a professional opinion if you’re unsure!
If you really want to get the most out of your coconut oil and hair health, we recommend eating the coconut oil to treat hair from the inside out. The truth is that you can put as much coconut oil on your hair as you want, but if you have a poor diet that is high in refined sugars and carbs, then your hair will probably reflect this and won’t respond well to topical treatments. Healthy skin and hair is one of the best side effects of eating a nutrient-rich diet.
To get the healthiest hair possible, try getting as many fruits and vegetables into your diet as possible. Limit the amount of processed food you eat, and replace vegetable oils with coconut oil in your diet. Coconut oil helps deliver nutrients to your body the same way it does your hair- by delivering antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to your tissue where hair growth begins. So, by all means, keep using the coconut oil on your hair, but don’t skip out on eating your green vegetables either!