Coconut Oil For Hair: 10 Benefits & Uses

Using coconut oil for hair is easy, but how exactly does it benefit you? Here are 10 benefits and uses (including 3 DIY recipes) that’ll leave your hair nourished and soft.

Coconut Oil For Hair: 10 Benefits & Uses

Coconut oil is pretty amazing, as I’ve talked about it many times. But coconut oil is pretty special when it comes to hair. Most of us have bought into this healthy trend and tried an overnight soak or a basic coconut oil hair treatment.

Coconut oil is one of the few substances that can actually penetrate the hair follicle. It gets right inside your hair itself and helps address lots of concerns directly. It’s pretty special!

Here’s how coconut oil can help your hair:

7 Benefits of Using Coconut Oil For Hair

1. Coconut oil for hair means direct strength.

It’s all about diving deep! Because coconut oil goes directly into the strands of your hair itself, it can strengthen your hair from the inside out. It can help replace the proteins themselves within your hair. This makes it much stronger than it would be if you used a conditioner that just sits on top of your hair.

2. Coconut oil helps prevent dandruff.

Coconut oil is a great hair conditioner, but that doesn’t quite explain how it helps prevent dandruff. This has to do with the particular fatty acids that coconut oil contains. The combination is just so that it helps to balance out your hair and prevent dandruff from happening.

3. Coconut oil mimics natural hair substances.

Have you ever put coconut oil in your hair just to see it all get “sucked up”? Your hair was probably thirsty!

Part of the reason why coconut oil is so effective at repairing hair is because it mimics sebum. This is a natural substance that your hair produces to replenish itself and balance everything out. This makes it a much more natural aid for hair health than most conditioners.Coconut Oil For Hair: 10 Benefits & Uses

4. Coconut oil can help prevent split ends.

Again, blame the deep-diving benefits. Coconut oil (especially in combination with almond oil) can be applied topically to help heal split ends. Definitely helps save a trip to the stylist!

5. Coconut oil is a natural hair detangler.

How much did we all pay for that hair detangler for kids back in the day? Ten dollars? Fifteen?

Coconut oil is a great alternative for store-bought detangler, and is much cheaper to boot. You just have to be careful not to apply it so close to the roots that your hair looks greasy.

6. Coconut oil helps prevent hair loss.

There are some situations where baldness is hereditary and can’t be avoided. But when hair loss is temporary, there’s nothing like coconut oil to help prevent it. It’s all about diving deep and replenishing the vitamins at the source.

7. Coconut oil can encourage your hair to grow faster.

All these factors lead up to the fact that coconut oil is the speedy hair growth treatment we all wanted back in sixth grade. For real!

Now, having everything in moderation is important for healthy hair and a healthy body. But applying coconut oil as a hair mask,  as a daily protecting agent or in your shampoo regularly is a good way to make sure your hair’s healthy enough to grow long and strong. Just keep at it and aim for hair health.

3 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For Hair

1. Coconut Oil Hair Mask

I apply coconut oil to my hair dry just like the woman in the video below (starts at 4:00). I also use the shampoo she mentions (SheaMoisture) when I wash the coconut oil hair mask out of my hair.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask Recipe

This hair mask is a perfect place to start if you’re looking to use coconut oil for hair.


  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil (use more or less, depending on the length of your hair)
  • 2-3 Drops of Essential Oils*


  1. Mix the coconut oil and essential oils together in a small bowl.
  2. Apply the coconut oil hair mask to your hair while it’s dry.
  3. Leave the hair mask on your hair for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours.
  4. Wash your hair with a natural shampoo.
  5. You may need to wash your hair twice to remove all the coconut oil from your hair.

* Which essential oils should you use? I use patchouli, Myrrh and lavender when my hair is dry, lavender and clary sage for normal hair and rosemary, ylang ylang and tea tree for oily hair. If you’re goal is to encourage hair growth, peppermint and rosemary are two essential oils that may help stimulate hair growth.

Remember, a little goes a long way. I only add 1-2 drops of essential oils to my coconut oil hair mask.

2. Coconut Oil Frizz Tamer

Coconut oil can be used to tame undated frizz! I use this on my hair and on my curly-haired daughters hair. Make sure to only use a very small amount of coconut oil when applying to your hair. If you apply too much your hair will look greasy.

I dab my finger into my coconut oil, rub my hands together and wipe down my frizz.

3. Coconut Milk Shampoo

Coconut milk contains all the benefits of coconut oil and can be used in your homemade shampoo! I alternate between this homemade shampoo and Shea Moisture shampoo.

4.9 from 7 reviews
Coconut Milk Shampoo
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Milk
  • ⅓ Cup Liquid Castile Soap
  • 1Teaspoon Vitamin E Oil
  • 10 to 20 Drops Essential Oils
  1. Combine all the ingredients into a container ( I used an empty shampoo bottle). Use like you would regular shampoo.

How has coconut oil helped your hair? Share your story!

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About the author: Hi! I’m Tiffany – aka Coconut Mama. I’m a real food mama of three coconut babies. I’m passionate about traditional and healing foods. As a true believer in the health benefits of coconut, I use coconut products in all my recipes. You can download my free Coconut Flour Recipes E-book here. Thanks for stopping by!
21 comments… add one
  • Amber D Cash October 13, 2017, 8:02 am

    Do you use carton or canned coconut milk in the shampoo recipe?
    And do you use a conditioner along with this shampoo?

    • The Coconut Mama October 13, 2017, 1:00 pm

      I use canned coconut milk and coconut oil for conditioner.

  • caroline ondhowe September 15, 2017, 12:09 am

    hi Tiffany,

    thanks for the good information about coconut. i love coconut on my hair. it is truely a good product when it comes to hair. i will continue to use it. i also love coconut buns. they are yummy especially when hot or warm. i love taking coconut buns with a cup of tea. thanks.

    Nairobi Kenya.

  • Deeah July 31, 2017, 8:21 pm

    I hope im on right forum, still kinda new to this lol, but i was wanting to post in hopes of possibly helping ladirs(or young ladies),, or gentleman lol, but i just wanted to mention a product i buy for my bi racial child which has been a Blessing. Its called dream kids olive miracle detangling moisturizer,its in pink jar, i get at wal mart for about 2.44 i think. I know everyone hair reacts different but i use it for conditioning mask an before i bleach my hair an it keeps our healthy an soft. Also another product is mega growth daily strenthghner in a orange jar also in the ethic section. Hope this helps someone. God Bless 🙂

    • Deeah July 31, 2017, 8:23 pm

      Also forgot to mention it Also has many natural ingredients including coconut oil. God Bless 🙂

  • Erika - The Coconut Queendom July 17, 2017, 11:00 am

    Great overview of the different coconut oil uses for hair! I started using coconut oil for my hair only years after I was using it for different skin treatments. My hair is naturally fine and thin and at first I thought it didn’t do it well, like it made it very oily. Luckily I gave it another shot and understood then that it was because I hadn’t washed it out properly,so it stayed oily.
    Now I try to do a coconut oil hair mask once a week and leave it on overnight. It makes my hair soft and shiny.

  • Cathy May 4, 2017, 7:12 pm

    I have a concern about using the coconut oil hair mask because we live rurally and are on a septic system. It is not recommended that oils be washed down drains as they can negatively affect the way these systems work.

  • Karen March 28, 2017, 1:58 am

    Loved this article, thank you! How often do you use the hair mask?

  • Corinna March 17, 2017, 7:19 am


    I really enjoy reading your blog and recipes and I LOVE coconut. I live in Florida and just yesterday my daughter found 3 coconuts while roaming the neighborhood. I think it is time to get a machete! lol I think I will try to make the coconut shampoo this week but I don’t have Vit E oil and would like to substitute it with something else. Can I use fresh Aloe Vera instead? I have a bunch of plants growing outside and would like to make use out of them. I have long hair and don’t get it trimmed often, in fact it has been almost a year and the ends are pretty dry, don’t look split but tangled up and thinner on the bottom part. I have been told by a friend that cuts hair that dry hair is “dead” and needs to be cut of. I don’t want to believe that and you said split ends can heal. I guess I will find out following the coconut regime.

  • Abby December 16, 2016, 3:18 am

    Hi Coconut Mama! I just want to thank you for your informative and extremely well-written advice about the wonders of coconut oil. I love the way you explained how it works and why. Applying coconut oil to my hair and scalp transformed my color-treated overprocesed tresses into this smooth, rich, and healthy-looking thing that I haven’t seen in a long time. In just one application! What have I been doing all my life without it? Simple, beautiful, affordable coconut oil, amen. Anyway thanks again and blessings to you and your coconut babies!! ?

  • Krislena Weston October 5, 2016, 11:52 pm

    I have only recently started using Coconut Oil. My sister in law turned me on to it as a moisturizer and I have been loving it. Now I use it in cooking as well. These recipes look great and I can’t wait to try them.

  • Sangeetha Menon September 22, 2016, 10:57 pm

    What an interesting read. Right from my childhood days I have been using coconut oil, but never thought much about it’s benefits. I have never tried coconut oil along with essential oils. I guess it’s never too late to try! Thanks for the amazing tips!

  • Lisa September 21, 2016, 7:14 am

    I am also wondering about the coconut milk shampoo. It would seem that it would have to be refrigerated unless the castile soap and/or the vit. E act as preservatives. Would appreciate knowing!

    • Grace Vanderdeen November 22, 2016, 9:18 pm

      I use this shampoo all the time , and it is fine left in the shower.

  • Vanessa Davis September 6, 2016, 4:17 am

    Thank you for being so informative about the use coconut in the food as well as the hair product.
    I will be definitely be trying this method on my gran-daughters hair. she has very coarse hair.
    Please advise whether I could replace the essential oil with Bergamon essence.

  • Vivien Gibson August 21, 2016, 6:41 am

    Wow this made such a difference, I have dry thick frizzy hair and now it is glossy and curly — love it!
    Thank you for posting.

  • Tally August 19, 2016, 3:44 am

    Hi I was wondering how you keep the Coconut Milk Shampoo. Does it stay well in the shower like any bottle of shampoo or do you have to refrigerate it because it can go bad?

  • Joseph Dercole August 19, 2016, 1:32 am

    How long will this last? will the coconut milk go bad.

  • Colleen Dow August 18, 2016, 8:48 pm

    Hi. I love trying out homemade products; however, I have tried Castile soap in shampoo recipes, but it leaves my hair oily/greasy. Is this because I have used too much or because of the type of water or my hair type??? I am in Calgary AB Canada and our water is hard.
    I use Castile for face and body washes & other DIY household uses, but I am apprehensive to try it again on my hair. I use ACV for rinsing usually once a week, but not daily, I think that would be too harsh. I love the sound of the shampoo noted above. I guess I can only try and see how it goes.

  • S reha August 18, 2016, 4:47 pm

    Keep up the good work. Valuable info!


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