Coconut Oil for Hair- what it does, how to use, African American, before and after Results & Reviews

What does coconut oil do for your hair? How effective or good is for hair growth, dandruff, hair thickening amongst other hair treatments? How do use it hair including African American hair types. What do user reviews say about the oil? Read to find out more in addition to before and after results pictures, how to mix with other oils and how to select the best brands.

What does Coconut Oil do for your Hair?

Coconut has been hair’s best ally from time immemorial, edible and extracted from the kernel of mature coconuts. The coconut palm botanical name is Cocos nucifera. Before getting down to how coconut oil works for your hair. Find out the ingredients and how it is made at home

How is the oil made?

Coconut Oil is obtained by expression from the dried inner flesh of the Cocos nucifera. It can be at home. Here are steps to make your own organic (100% pure) coconut oil at home.

  • How to make coconut oil at home
  • Cut the nut and scoop the meat that is usually white in color
  • Cut the scooped meat into small pieces into a bowl.
  • Depending on the amount you have add hot water- the water should be 50% more than the meat.
  • Add the mixture into a blender and blend until there is a  fine creamy consistency
  • Pour the mixture into a cheesecloth and wring out all of the milk
  • Heat the milk and separate the oil into small container
  • Chill the container of the oil in a refrigerator for some time till it solidifies. Here is a video with more details.

Coconut Oil Ingredients

Coconut Oil is a source of lower chain length fatty acids.

The fatty acid composition

  • Saturated Fats
  • Mono Unsaturated Fat
  • Poly Unsaturated Fat

Fatty Acid Profile

  • Myristic Acid
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Oleic Acid
  • Caprilic Acid
  • Capric Acid

However, the ingredients may vary depending on the brand.

what does coconut oil do for your hair-uses reviews results
Coconut oil

How Coconut Oil works for your Hair? What does it exactly do?

Coconut occurs as the best oil for hair treatment and this fact is backed up by a study done in India that compared mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil. The results showed that there was a strong impact by coconut oil than the other two oils. In terms of reducing protein loss for both damaged and undamaged hair in pre-wash and post-wash, it emerged the best. The question of difference could be answered by the difference in composition of these oils.

Coconut is a triglyceride of lauric acid which is the principal fatty acid. Due to this, the oil has a high affinity for proteins in hair. Again, due to the low molecular weight and straight linear chain, it can easily penetrate the shaft of hair follicles. Unlike minerals, which are hydrocarbons and hence less like for proteins and low penetrability. With regard to oils which are triglycerides of linoleic acid instead, such as sunflower oil, the structure is bulky and hence low penetrability[1].

Coconut oil that has been kept at room temperature for a year has been tested for rancidity, and showed no evidence of it. Since you would expect the small percentage of unsaturated oils naturally contained in coconut oil to become rancid, it seems that the other (saturated) oils have a powerful antioxidant effect.

How is Coconut Oil good for your Hair?-Benefits

Following are benefits of coconut oil that will help explain how the oil is good for hair.

Fights lice and microbes

According to Burgess IF, Brunton ER and Burgess NA, (2010), coconut was found to have a higher efficacy against head lice as compared to permethrin lotion. The study showed that a mixture of coconut oil and anise had significant impact on treatment[2]. The lauric acid in coconut oil gets converted to monolaurin which is effective against antibiotic-resistant staphylococcus and streptococcus[3].

It acts as moisturizer

Fights dandruff

The oil moisturizes the scalp and reduces flakiness and itching[4]. While dandruff can also be caused by a common yeast-like fungal (Malassezia) infections[5], coconut has lauric and capric acids that have antimicrobial properties. You will have avoided parabens, propylene glycol, polyethylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate in common hair products.

Acts as a sealant

Coconut oil is a natural sunscreen, with an SPF of 8[6] hence prevents the damaging effect of UV rays.

Stimulation of hair growth

Modify your diet with coconut oil and use it for hair conditioning to deliver beneficial nutrients such as lauric acid into the scalp for proper growth of hair. Growth preparations prescribed have been shown to work for only 50% of individuals[7].

Add luster, softness and shine to hair

Frizz that occurs in humid climates can be combated by applying coconut oil. In such conditions, the oil repels water and prevents frizz. It prevents thermal damage to the hair follicles by penetrating into the shafts.

Prevents breakage of hair and slows down hair loss

By moisturizing and acting as a sealant, hair strands stand strong as they are more flexible. If you rinse the oil off, moisture is restored and retained in your hair.

How to use Coconut Oil for Hair Growth, Loss & Thickness

Coconut oil can be used in so many ways. You eat or drink the oil, use it externally or you can mix it with other hair products.

Eating & Drinking Coconut oil for Hair

Consuming the coconut provides the maximum benefits. It is in fact the best way to use the oil. Eating or drinking means taking the oil internally as opposed to externally. You are guaranteed all the beneficial properties of the oil.

Some individuals including supermodels drink the oil.

I personally take four tablespoons of coconut oil per day, either on my salads, in my cooking or in my cups of green tea. I will not go a day without coconut oil.” Miranda May Kerr

Owing to the fact that hair is jut but dead cells, it would be sound to nourish it from inside. As Wellnessmama puts it, when consumed internally, as its high Medium Chain Fatty Acid content and antioxidants can help improve the rate of hair growth from the inside out.

Hair health and growth begins internally, so the long-term solution to healthier, stronger and shinier hair includes addressing internal factors like diet, supplements and sleep.

Using Coconut oil for various hair treatments

Hair Conditioning

For conditioning try this;

  1. Add a quarter cup of coconut oil to 1 tablespoon of vitamin E oil and jojoba oil of equal part
  2. You could add some essential oil of the same quantity such as sandalwood essential oil
  3. Mix the oils
  4. Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture, onto your palms and rub into your scalp.
  5. Leave to stand for 30 minutes then wash off.

For the treatment of dandruff;

  1. Wash your hair with some shampoo to wet the scalp
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of coconut oil to 5 – 7 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, rosemary or tea tree oil with antimicrobial properties.
  3. Mix the oils properly
  4. Scoop some on the palm and use your fingertips to spread the oil into your scalp. Do this with enough pressure.
  5. Cover with a shower cap then choose to sit in the sun for half an hour to heat up the scalp or a hair dryer if you can access one.

Coconut Oil with Lemon Juice to prevent dandruff

  1. Mix coconut oil and lemon juice in 2:1 ratio.
  2. Apply and massage into the scalp mixture for 10 minutes.
  3. Comb mixture through hair, cover with shower cap, and leave on overnight.
  4. Wash with shampoo and rinse
  5. Repeat every night.

To deal with frizz try this;

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of coconut oil to a container
  2. Scoop some and apply onto your hair depending on how much hair you have
  3. Brush and comb to spread the oil to all areas
  4. Blow-dry your hair then style as you desire.

For treatment of lice;

  1. Mix 3 tablespoons of coconut oil with 1 teaspoon of anise or tea tree oil
  2. Now take 1 tablespoon of the mixture or more depending on amount of hair
  3. Disperse with a brush and massage onto your scalp, rubbing in and pulling the ends afterwards.
  4. Cover your hair with a shower cap and leave for about 2 hours
  5. Once 2 hours have elapsed, comb the hair again, then wash and rinse thoroughly.
  6. Then without drying your hair, spray 120 mL or half of a full cup of apple cider vinegar then the whole amount onto your hair as a pour.
  7. Repeat every 5 – 10 days until you have seen significant improvement.

Ways to use for Hair Growth:-

Hair growth on head,

To grow hair on the head, try this recipe;

  1. Melt coconut oil and coconut milk together at low heat
  2. After heating for about 5 minutes, add some castile soap and shake
  3. Add 50 – 60 drops of an essential oil of your choice then shake to mix well. You could add lavender, peppermint or rosemary oil.
  4. Now that you have your shampoo, squeeze from your bottle then wash your hair.

Curly Hair Growth,

Curly hair strands may make the hair under-moisturized while the scalp becomes too oily. It is upon the recipes you use to strike a balance between the two competing demands.

While straight hair allows the sebum to wick easily keeping the follicles sealed from loss of moisture, curly hair hamper this process due to the bumps.

To keep curly hair moisturized for easier management try this;

  1. To make shower cubes make a frozen mixture of coconut milk, coconut oil and aloe vera juice
  2. Rub the frozen cube on your scalp then scrub with your fingers
  3. Rinse off with white vinegar and water mixed in the ratio of 1:1
  4. Then add some argan oil for good curls.

Facial hair Growth-eyelashes/eyebrows etc.

 For your eyebrows and eyelashes combine the coconut oil with raw honey

Following are the steps to follow

  1. Add organic coconut oil to raw honey in equal parts
  2. Heat gently for 1 minute to warm
  3. Then apply to the eyelids massaging for 1 minute
  4. Leave on for 30 minutes then rinse with warm water.
  5. Repeat two time a week.

How to use coconut oil to prevent hair Loss

Coconut Oil with Shana Seeds

  1. With already powdered shana seeds, add them to coconut oil and an essential oil of your choice to make a paste
  2. Apply the mixture onto the palms and rub onto the scalp for 10 minutes
  3. Leave on for 30 minutes
  4. Wash with shampoo and pat dry.

Coconut Oil with Olive Oil

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil into coconut oil of equal part
  2. Mix, scoop and apply onto the scalp rubbing for 10 minutes
  3. Leave on for 30 minutes then wash off with shampoo and rinse
  4. Do this daily for the best results.

Hair Thickness

Try these following recipes to increase the thickness of your hair;

Castile Soap

  1. Mix liquid castile soap with one can of coconut milk.
  2. Add a tablespoon of castor oil and shake to mix
  3. Warm the mixture in a water bath
  4. Apply and massage into the scalp

with Almond Oil

  1. To enough coconut oil, add 3 – 4 drops of almond oil
  2. Mix and scoop to massage into the scalp for 10 minutes
  3. Disperse with a comb and leave on for 1 hour
  4. Then wash off and rise then pat dry
  5. Repeat twice a week and observe

Coconut Oil with Avocado

  1. Warm enough coconut oil and apply on the scalp and hair.
  2. Massage for 5 minutes.
  3. Make a paste from ½ ripe avocado
  4. Use fingertips to massage mixture on the scalp and tips.
  5. Leave for 15 minutes and rinse with shampoo and water.
  6. Repeat 3 times a week.

Other uses of coconut oil for healthy and natural hair

Growth of hair in babies

  1. Warm 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil then add a drop to your inner wrist to make sure it is comfortable to touch. You could add castor oil or an essential oil with a nice fragrance.
  2. Massage the oil into your baby’s scalp, rubbing gently for 5 minutes.
  3. Cover with a cap and leave on overnight.
  4. In the morning, rinse it off with lukewarm water and towel dry.
  5. You can mix castor oil and coconut oil and apply on the baby scalp

Blonde Hair

  1. Add half a cup of strong chamomile tea to a quarter cup of lemon juice and an equal part of coconut oil
  2. Mix to blend until emulsification (droplets in the mixture)
  3. Apply to your hair and scalp
  4. Then sit in the sun or use a hair dryer to warm for 30 minutes
  5. Wash then rinse

What to Mix with Coconut Oil

Aloe Vera and coconut oil for hair growth

  1. Starting with cut pieces of aloe vera leaf and three tablespoons of coconut oil, then mix as it is without extracting the gel off the leaf. This is due to the anti-bacterial property of the outer part of the leaf for acne and dandruff.
  2. Mix well by shaking
  3. Divide your hair into sections and coat each strand of hair while massaging the scalp.
  4. Leave on for 1.5 to 2 hours
  5. Then wash with natural shampoo and rinse off

Castor oil mixed with coconut oil for hair growth

This is good for moisturizing the scalp and hair conditioning. It also assists in removing split ends and proper hair growth.

  1. Add castor oil to a sufficient amount of coconut oil.
  2. Separate your hair into 4 – 5 parts and apply from scalp to the shafts then to the tips.
  3. Cover with warm shower cap or warm towel, and leave on 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Wash with shampoo, rinse and pat dry.
  5. Repeat 3 times a week.

Suggested further reading: How to use castor oil for hair-Jamaican Black, Before after Results, Eyebrows, Eyelashes, Reviews and more

Argan oil vs. coconut oil for hair growth

Coconut oil and argan oil have similar properties but in equal proportions and that is why they are in competition. In hair growth, coconut outdoes argan in antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is therefore better for the treatment of acne and dandruff.

Argan is better when it comes to anti-oxidation properties such as having vitamin E. it is therefore suitable for cell regeneration of the dermal papillae hence hair grows faster. It also is better at preventing hair damage by UV rays.

Argan keeps the hair glossy while coconut leaves it greasy and might be difficult to remove when applied.

According to, the recommendation is that argan be used for the strand themselves while coconut oil be used for the scalp.

Egg yolk and coconut oil for hair growth

  1. Take your liquid (cool it a bit) coconut oil and mix it with the honey, whisking the two ingredients together. You may need to whisk for up to two minutes for the ingredients to correctly combine.
  2. Separate your egg yolk from the white using a sieve.
  3. Take your egg yolk or hair and gently whisk it in its own bowl. After whisking, slowly add your mixture of honey and coconut oil. Once again whisk this mixture until all ingredients are combined.
  4. Now apply the mixture, massaging it into both your hair and into the scalp[8].

Onion with coconut oil for hair growth

  1. Make a juice out of onion then add to coconut oil of sufficient amount
  2. You could choose to add another beneficial oil such as olive oil as described in the previous sections.
  3. Apply onto your palms then apply onto the hair and massage into the scalp.
  4. Leave on for 30 minutes
  5. Wash off with shampoo and rinse with water
  6. Pat with a dry towel

Coconut oil & cayenne pepper for hair growth

  1. Add half a cup of coconut oil to 2 tablespoons finely ground Cayenne pepper and half a cup  of olive oil
  2. Mix the oils well and let sit for 10 to 15 days
  3. Apply before or after shampooing
  4. Rub gently into the scalp and on the hair strands and leave on for 30 minutes
  5. Wash off with shampoo and rinse.

Coconut oil and garlic

According to The Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leprology, garlic can also be used to fight hair loss, promote hair growth and slow graying of hair. It also has antimicrobial properties due to one of its principal components allicin.

To do this;

  1. Add one teaspoon coconut oil to garlic juice produced by crushing the garlic cloves
  2. Heat the mixture for 2 minutes and stir well
  3. Let it cool before application
  4. Then massage onto the scalp gently
  5. Repeat this 2-3 times a week for best results

Coconut Oil for  African American Hair-Black Hair

One of the amazing things about coconut oil is that it works for almost all hair types. It is actually not a racist oil. So how beneficial is it to  African American black hair?

coconut oil african american hair
Coconut oil African American hair

In addition to benefits you’ve already noted earlier,  “coconut oil benefits black hair in two important ways. First, coconut oil‘s hydrophobic oil characteristics allow it to inhibit the penetration of water from the surrounding air and environment. Second, coconut oil is able to bind to the natural protein structure of the hair. This helps the hair retain its natural moisture content and reinforces the hair fiber, making it stronger.” BLHG

How long does it take for Coconut oil to work on Hair?

The duration depends on the treatment undertaken, whether it was a preventive or reparative therapy. For reparative therapy, it may take longer than treatment done to improve the look of hair. Damage might have been done to the cells of the dermal papillae which will need to restore first before hair follicles grow out of them. According to reviews, effects were seen after one month of weekly use. This means that the frequency at which you apply will also determine the duration taken for effects to be seen. Some take 4 – 6 months. Some other agree that with dandruff, it will not go away overnight but results are expected in a week or so.

To be more scientific, hair begins to shed at normal levels during a 2 – 4 month period and anagen phase begins producing new

Coconut Oil for Hair before and after  Results, Reviews + Pictures

Looking around, a lot of users have shared insightful before and after results of coconut oil. Thanks to the advancement in technology. Smart phones(selfies)  and the internet (online shopping and social media platforms) has made it easier to share and access all forms of information: photos, videos, user reviews and more.
The good news is that huge percentage of the results are positive. Many users even post pictures showing their hair before and after they used this oil on their hair. Basing on these pictures, the results are incredible. Other user say that they got rid of dandruff using coconut oil frequently. Some women claim their hair started growing faster and healthier.

Before and after Results Pictures

Picture #1

coconut oil hair before afte results
Results-Before and after

Picture #2

coconut oil for hair gowth before and after
Hair growth Results


How to Choose the Best Coconut Oil for your Hair- Brand Reviews

General Criteria, tips and ideas to select the best for hair use

There are a myriad of considerations you will want to have a look at before you purchase or start using coconut oil. Here are some;

  1. Make sure that you use 100% organic extra virgin coconut oil with a lauric acid content of at least 40%[9].
  2. Choose a brand with glass jar packaging than plastic as plastics contain Bisphenyl A (BPA) as this is dangerous to your skin.
  3. Do not use curling or straightening irons.
  4. Avoid commercial hair styling products that contain harsh chemicals.
  5. Use natural shampoos and conditioners.
  6. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  7. Get regular exercise.
  8. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  9. Get plenty of sleep.
  10. Reduce stress through meditation and breathing exercises.

Top Best Brands Reviews

Extra virgin coconut oil

best coconut oil for hair brand reviews
Extra virgin Oil Nutiva

This coconut oil brand is laden with 89% of potential buyers as from the reviews in the online platform, Makeupalley. This oil hydrates and softens even the driest skin and hair. Other benefits include acting as a sealant and smoothening effect. Reviews in Ulta grade this product as an ace with a wallow around the 5 star 0.3 points short.

To add, iherb has a 76% review scale on the 5 star rating with very few to the tune of 3% in total hovering below the 2 star. The following are some of the comments;

“I’ve tried 2 extra virgin coconut oils so far from iherb: Nutiva and Jarrow Forulas. Nutiva is cold pressed and Jarrow is expeller pressed. I looked up the differences between Cold Pressed and Expeller Pressed: Cold Pressed is expeller pressed in a heat controlled environment and temperature is not to exceed 120F. So, just Expeller Pressed may not have the heat controlled environment in the factory. I found Jarrow has a stronger young coconut flavor than the Nutiva, and I personally prefer the taste of Jarrow better.”

“I am a south Indian and coconut oil is a holy grail to us. It is a Godsend product and here’s is how we use it in the most effective ways…”

With over 7, 500 reviews in Amazon, a whopping 85% accrued to one of the extra virgin oils, Nutiva shows that this oil is doing wonders.

Parachute coconut oil

This is one oil commonly used in India. According to the manufacturers, their product is 100% natural and free from harmful chemicals. It is said to last long since it has been scientifically filtered making it last long. Its packaging ranges from 10ml to 1000ml. In India, it is a Monopoly in the market.

63% gave a 5 star rating while 12% gave a 4 star rating according to Amazon. According to Makeupreviewshall, it is pure as claimed, makes the hair smooth and tangle free, available in so many sizes, easily available offline and online, improves hair shine and texture and is the best oil to reduce

Softee coconut oil

Since it is a rich blend of coconut and jojoba oils, this conditioner soothes and moisturizes the scalp. Applying it on hair lines and shafts conditions and adds shine to hair by replenishing dry and brittle hair with essential nutrients.

Palmer coconut oil

This product is used as a daily hairdress for dry, curly and fizzy hair but may be too heavy for straighter, finer hair. One deep conditioning protein pack can be used 2 – 3 applications for significant effect on hair.

Dabur vatika coconut oil

This oil is applied generously on the scalp and hair, then massaged and left for an hour before washing it off. Apply in a circular motion.

Louana coconut oil for hair

This brand is good for use in hot oil treatments, moisturizing the hair with added essential oils and mixing with conditioners. It is then applied in the same manner as other oils by rubbing and massaging, leaving for 30 minutes or so then washing off with natural shampoo.

Based on the above (criteria and Brands) which is the best for?

Hair Growth

Extra virgin coconut oil. It has no additives and has not been refined hence contains all beneficial nutrients.

Natural black hair & African American hair treatment

Softee coconut oil. African American hair does not retain moisture well and is therefore drier than other hair.

Best coconut oil for curly hair growth

Palmer coconut oil. Has specifications on curly hair.

Sources & References

[1]  Rele AS, Mohile RB. “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.” Journal Cosmetology Science 2003 Mar-Apr; 54(2):175-92.

[2] Burgess IF, Brunton ER, Burgess NA. “Clinical trial showing superiority of a coconut and anise spray over permethrin 0.43% lotion for head louse infestation” European Journal Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;169(1):55-62








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