Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Hair?

When asking others is coconut oil good for your hair you are likely to receive substantially different answers.

This article aims to clear up the myths and confusion surrounding coconut oil for hair, so make sure you read on to discover the facts.

Coconut oil has several benefits for your hair and scalp. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help the scalp biome, and add moisture. However, if your hair is fine, you are prone to dandruff, or are looking for a product to aid growth, then coconut oil may not be the choice for you.

Coconut oil is a fabulous moisturizer for your hair and can help your scalp health under the right conditions.

Read on to find out how else coconut oil can help your hair.

Is Coconut Oil Good For Your Hair?

Coconut oil, just as it sounds, is taken from the coconut palm fruit.

Up to 85% is saturated fats and it is well known for its beneficial moisturizing properties.

Coconut oil also has anti-fungal ingredients that can help your scalp health.

If you often use heat to style your hair, and your hair is porous, then coconut oil will help to protect your hair from damage.

The oil will penetrate deep into the hair shaft when you have porous hair, and with a high smoke point, coconut oil will help protect your hair against split ends, and the softening of keratin.

Keratin influences the elasticity, curl, and shine of your hair amongst other things.

Softening the keratin can affect all of these and can change the texture of your hair.

Coating your hair in coconut oil can help protect the shaft from the heat of the styling implements.

If your hair is already damaged (by heat or otherwise) then coconut oil can help to bring it back to tip-top condition.

Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient used before washing or styling or as a one-off mask (source 1).

Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair

There are many benefits of coconut oil for hair. Its ability to moisturize is just one of them.

Read on to find out more about why coconut oil is best for hair:

Lice Prevention

Whilst using coconut oil will not prevent you or your child from getting head lice it will certainly make it more difficult for the lice to transfer to your hair.

This is because the oil coats the hair so that lice find it difficult to grip.

If you already have lice, then using coconut oil may help to smother them which will stop them in their tracks.


Coconut oil is a great scalp moisturizer.

Applied directly to the scalp, it can help the dry skin and itchiness that occurs whenever dandruff is a problem.

Sun Protection

Coconut oil has a natural Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 7.5!

However, before you rush out to buy your coconut oil, please keep in mind that SPF 7.5 protection is very low.

Most sun creams you will want to use are SPF30 or above.

Therefore, although you will get some protection, coconut oil should not be relied upon just on its own.

Hair Loss Prevention

Coconut oil is good for hair loss.

Coconut oil can improve the condition of your scalp and nourish your hair.

In that respect, it can help prevent hair loss in some people, if the reason for the hair loss was primarily due to poor scalp and hair health.

Natural Detangler

As coconut oil can coat your hair it is often used after washing to make it easier to detangle your strands.

It can also help protect your hair against breakage when using your hair brush.

Prevents Protein Loss

Using coconut oil can lessen protein loss and keep your hair strong and healthy.

Encourages Growth

Coconut oil is best for hair growth.

Through its moisturizing and strengthening properties, using coconut oil can help your hair to grow as it helps to give the best scalp environment for hair growth.

Winter Protection

Coconut oil is good for hair in winter as it can act as a barrier against environmental damage.

For example, against rain, the drying effect of central heating, and tangles caused by windy conditions (source 1,2,3).

How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair

Coconut oil is incredibly versatile when used on your hair.

Whatever your hair aim is, you will find that coconut oil is a great staple for your regime.

Below is a list of just some of the different ways:

1. Pre-Wash

You can use coconut oil before you wash your hair to reduce the chances of hygral fatigue (when the continued uptake and loss of moisture in your hair leads to increased breakage rates).

2. Conditioner

Used after a hair wash, coconut oil can replace moisture and protect your hair from heat styling and drying.

3. Conditioning Mask

As a conditioning mask using coconut oil can nourish your hair and help you gain soft and shiny locks.

4. Styling Aid

A little goes a long way to combat frizz and help curls stay in shape.

Simply smooth a small amount of coconut oil through your damp hair after washing and conditioning.

This will act as a barrier and stop environmental moisture from penetrating into the hair shaft (the leading cause of frizz).

5. Swimming Barrier

If you swim regularly, either in a pool or in the ocean, then coconut oil could become your best friend.

Just a little smoothed over your tresses an hour before swimming will help to stop any water (salt or chlorine) from being taken up by your hair.

By stopping the water from penetrating the hair, you will be able to save yourself from all of the hair problems that swimming can bring.

How Long Should I Leave Coconut Oil In My Hair?

Depending on what you are trying to achieve, the length of time to leave coconut oil in your hair will vary.

You almost can’t leave coconut oil on your hair for too long!

In fact, for some pre-treatments, 24 hours is recommended.

Of course, most people will not leave coconut oil on their hair for that long, but you should not worry if you do.

30 minutes will give your hair many benefits.

This is the same for many products you can apply to your hair, so it should slot nicely into your hair care program (source 1).

Can I Use Coconut Oil On My Hair Everyday?

If you are wondering how often should I use coconut oil on my hair, then try to stick to once per week at the outset.

A weekly treatment should provide your hair with all the benefits the coconut oil can provide.

Be careful not to use it too often though, as with all things, you can have too much of a good thing.

Using coconut oil too regularly can lead to your follicles being over-coated which will stifle hair growth.

Too much coconut oil can also lead to your hair feeling and looking greasy.

Some people do suggest that using coconut oil more frequently has benefited their hair, even daily use.

However, as everyone’s hair is different, using it more cautiously at first would be advisable, just so that the negative side of coconut oil usage does not interfere with the benefits (source 1).

How To Wash Hair After Apply Coconut Oil

If you have allowed the coconut to sit on your hair for some time, you may find that you need to wash your hair several times to remove enough of the oil so your hair does not look greasy.

Some people use a clarifying shampoo after coconut oil, but the choice is yours.

It is also dependent upon how much of the oil has soaked into your hair.

One of the most recommended actions is to use a specially formulated dry shampoo.

Dry shampoos are developed to remove oil without water, so they are effectively actually designed to remove coconut oil from your hair.

Applying your wash to dry hair may also help to remove excess oil from your hair and scalp.

What To Mix With Coconut Oil For Hair

Coconut oil on its own will impart its own benefits, but using it in conjunction with another product can harness the positives of both and keep your hair in tip-top condition.

There is almost nothing that you cannot add to coconut oil for hair health.

Keep reading to find out the most popular additions:

Tea Tree Oil

Using a combination of coconut oil and tea tree oil can improve your scalp health and is often used to combat dandruff and scalp irritations.


If you combine coconut oil and lemon juice, it has been said that you can improve your hair growth.


Added to coconut oil, honey can give dry hair a great boost, and moisturize your hair like nothing else.


For hair masks, mixing coconut oil and avocado is a great idea.

Both are nourishing and moisturizing and add vitamins and protein to your hair.

Essential Oils

Coconut oil can be a fantastic carrier for essential oils.

So whichever essential oil you think will improve your hair, add it to coconut oil and reap the benefits of both.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

You can make a very simple mask using just coconut oil and olive oil, warmed and mixed, and applied to hair and scalp.

If you want to try a more involved coconut oil hair mask at home then try this recipe to see how your hair improves:

You Will Need

  • Coconut Oil (2tbsp)
  • Honey (1tbsp)
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (1tbsp)
  • Essential Oil of your choice (2 drops)


  1. Melt coconut oil and honey together
  2. Stir until mixed
  3. Add ACV and a few drops of essential oils
  4. Allow to cool slightly, but not enough so that the coconut oil solidifies
  5. Apply through damp hair
  6. Leave for up to 30 minutes
  7. Rinse out with cool water
  8. Shampoo and condition as normal
  9. Allow hair to air dry

This recipe will nourish your hair, adding vitamins and protein, and will add shine.

Using a couple of drops of essential oil too can add even more benefits (source 1).

Why Is Coconut Oil Bad For Your Hair?

There are so many benefits of using coconut oil for your hair that you may be thinking it can do no harm.

Do not be fooled!

As with anything else, the key is moderation. Using coconut oil too much can actually be bad for your hair.

Coconut oil can smother your scalp if used too regularly.

This can affect the natural scalp biome and lead to scalp problems and infections.

If the scalp has been smothered it is likely that your hair follicles have also been covered so much that they are unable to grow the hair effectively. This can lead to thinning hair.

Coconut oil is just that, oil.

Using too much coconut oil, or too regularly, can leave your hair looking greasy and dull.

Too much coconut oil can weigh down your hair and leave it looking like it has no volume.

The oil can also attract dirt and debris that will not improve the health of your hair.

It is wise to remember that a little coconut oil can be of great benefit to your hair and scalp, but too much will leave it in a worse place than when you started the treatment.


There are many positives of using coconut oil on your hair and scalp.

So if you are wondering is coconut oil good for your hair, then the answer is definitely yes!

However, the benefits are shown when used on a weekly basis.

Too much coconut oil on your hair and scalp can cause damage, just like using any product too much can.

Related Questions

Does Coconut Oil Weaken Hair?

Coconut oil adds protein to your hair. If you use too much your hair can become weaker and brittle which will lead to hair loss through breakage.

Why Does Coconut Oil Make My Hair Fall Out?

Using coconut oil too regularly can lead to build-up and the smothering of hair follicles. This can lead to hair falling out.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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