Looking for natural ingredients to add to your haircare routine? You’d be nuts to bypass coconut oil! As a hair mask, hair oil or even an anti-lice treatment, there are a bunch of simple ways to use coconut oil for hair that’s healthy, happy and oh-so shiny. But do you know exactly how to apply this amazing oil and, for that matter, why you should bother oiling up in the first place?
If not, don’t stress. We’ve created this super simple (coco)nuts-and-bolts guide to using coconut oil in the hair. As well as providing some goofproof application tips, we’ll explain all the benefits for your follicles, scalp and cuticles – plus debunk some common coconut oil myths so you’ll be confident next time you grab your trusty jar. Read on!
Benefits of Coconut Oil on Hair
Not just a star in the kitchen, coconut oil has countless benefits for the hair. For starters, it can help reduce breakage, smooth frizz, seal moisture in your cuticles and strengthen overall hair structure. Because of the oil’s rich concentration of hyaluronic acid, using coconut oil in your hair can also help maintain the balance of lipids, proteins and humectants that are essential for luscious, healthy locks.
Coconut oil has also been shown to protect the hair from protein loss and, potentially, shield strands from UV damage caused by long days in the sun. While it won’t help you grow longer hair (that’s a myth, sorry!), using coconut oil before or after you shampoo can give your tresses a natural-looking shine.
However, there’s another thing worth noting. While coconut oil is beneficial for all hair types, you may want to avoid directly putting it on your scalp if you have dandruff or especially dry skin. In dandruff caused by seborrheic dermatitis, coconut oil can actually cause a worsening of flaking and irritation.
How? Well, coconut oil increases protein concentration in your hair, which is great as it helps with follicle structure. However, on the flip side, this can also make hair stiff and cause a build-up of oils on your scalp – triggering an increase in dandruff.
If you have dandruff, it’s therefore smart to stick with a medicated shampoo and conditioner and keep coconut oil usage on your scalp to a minimum. A little won’t hurt, but too much can make your dandruff worse and clog your scalp’s pores. So, go easy, tiger.
Two Unique Ways to Apply Coconut Oil
Today we’re going to cover two main ways to use coconut oil for hair that looks and feels ah-mane-zing – as a mask and as a hair oil. Remember that a hair mask probably won’t be the best option if you’re prone to dandruff. They’re super-intensive and therefore left on strands longer than a quick application of coconut oil for spot-treating damaged ends, for example.
If you really want to do a coconut oil hair mask and have some dandruff, just make sure you go light on your scalp and use a hydrating conditioner after.
And, no matter your scalp situation, always test coconut oil on a small patch of skin before use to ensure no allergic reactions or irritation occur.
How to Apply a Coconut Oil Hair Mask
For a hair mask, you’ll want to apply coconut oil on hair before washing, being sure to shampoo, condition and thoroughly rinse out all oil after masking. (And yes, it will likely take an extra shampoo to get it all out!)
To begin, warm up one to two teaspoons of coconut oil if it isn’t already in a liquid state. You can melt it in a small bowl in the microwave or over the stove in a little pot. It doesn’t need to be hot, just warm enough so there are no lumps and the consistency is smooth. Note that you won’t necessarily need all the oil you warmed up — use just enough for an even coating.
Apply! Comb the coconut oil through dry hair using your fingers and a wide-toothed comb. You’ll want to begin around your roots and go all the way to the ends of your hair. Since coconut oil is so potent (and greasy), you don’t need to go overboard. More oil doesn’t mean more benefits. A thin, consistent and even coating will do the trick! If pure coconut oil seems a little too greasy try our coconut and fig hair masque for a lighter coat and similar results!
Keep the coconut oil hair mask in for up to 30 minutes. Then, as mentioned above, you simply rinse, shampoo, condition and rinse again for silky and nourished hair! If you’re in a hurry, you can skip the wait and go straight to the rinsing. But for best results, we recommend leaving it in for the full 30 minutes.
How to Use Coconut Oil as a Hair Oil
Putting coconut oil in hair is pretty simple, once you know a few tricks. Below are three steps for using it as a hair oil for frizz-free, glossy results.
As with the hair mask above, warm one to two teaspoons of coconut oil if it’s not already in a liquid state. Again, you can melt it in the microwave or over the stove. The oil should be just warm enough so that it has a smooth consistency. Note that you might not need all the oil you prepared — just use enough for an even, thin coating.
Apply! Unlike the coconut oil hair mask, you’ll want to do this while your hair is still damp (not dripping) after washing your hair. Work a small amount through your hair using your fingers or a comb, applying the oil to the lower third of your hair all the way to the ends. (This works great for tidying up any split ends!) If you have any tangled or frizz-prone patches, you can target those areas, too. And again, go easy on the oil. Too much will make you look greasy! Avoid getting any oil on your scalp or the roots or you’ll weigh down your strands.
Ensure the coconut oil has been evenly applied and blow dry, styling as you usually do. Towel drying also works in a pinch but will rub out some of the oil. We recommend using coconut oil on hair later in the day, as your strands can look a little greasy immediately after use.
We hope these steps have helped you learn some new techniques for strengthening your strands, fighting frizz and giving your hair a healthy boost. If pure coconut oil is just too greasy, or you’re looking for additional benefits and a little more hydration, check out Coco & Eve’s Miracle Hair Elixir hair oil. It’s made with virgin coconut oil, mangosteen, papaya and prickly pear. Use it as a pre-styling oil to revitalise, protect and supercharge shine.
Edited by: Vidhya