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Coconut Oil for Hair Health | Pamper Yourself with This Luxurious Treatment

coconut oil hair treatment

I have mentioned several times in the past month or so that the frigid, dry air here in Utah is wreaking havoc on my body. So if I sound like a broken record, I apologize. But as my daughter would say, “the struggle is real!” Not only am I slathering moisturizers and lotions onto my skin by the handful, but my hair and scalp are starting to suffer too. 

So I’m breaking out my secret weapon: a homemade deep conditioning hair treatment made with coconut oil. But before we get down to making it, let’s talk a little bit about some of the amazing benefits of coconut oil, and why it is a saving grace for your dry hair and scalp.

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Coconut Oil For Hair

Coconut oil is an amazing all-natural tool in your health and beauty arsenal, especially for your hair. Here are just a few of the benefits you can get from using coconut oil on your tresses:

  • Helps stimulate hair growth without the chemicals found in most hair product lines.
  • Promotes scalp health which can help with such problems as lice, cradle cap, and dandruff.
  • Moisturizes dry hair and dry scalp.
  • Adds luster, shine and softness to damaged hair.
  • Prevents hair breakage and split ends, which promotes healthy hair.
  • Slows hair loss.

Coconut oil is a rich source of fatty acids that nourish your hair and your body (and it has antibacterial and antimicrobial too!) It is especially high in lauric acid which contains proteins that can strengthen your hair and prevent damage. Coconut oil’s structure also allows it to penetrate hair in ways that other oils are not able to, infusing moisture back into your hair and leaving it soft and shiny.

What Kind Of Coconut Oil Should I Use?

Processed or refined coconut oil is best saved for use in your kitchen. Instead, make sure you are using pure, unrefined coconut oil, since it will be free of any chemicals that may damage your hair.

Best Coconut Oil

What Is The Best Oil To Use For My Hair Type?

Pure Coconut Oil is excellent for all hair types, but can be especially helpful for those with dry, brittle, and chemically- or heat-damaged hair. Its fatty acids bond to your hair in a way that other oils can’t, which is why I use it here, in the desert where I live. :-) And it smells heavenly!

Almond Oil is a great alternative to coconut oil. While it doesn’t have the benefits of the medium chain fatty acids, it is rich with vitamins that enhance the health of the hair follicle and promote hair growth and overall hair health. It is an excellent moisturizer with anti-inflammatory properties, and can help reduce dandruff just like coconut oil can. It’s best for dandruff-prone hair (and smells so nice!). It also works well as a pre-styling hair treatment. Rub a bit in your hands, apply to damp hair, and then style as usual.

Olive Oil is great as both a moisturizer and pre-treatment before you pull out your hot hair tools.

Argan Oil comes from the nuts of the argan tree. It is also rich with fatty acids and ideal for frizzy or coarse hair that is exposed to heat from curling irons and blow dryers. It protects against UV rays and smooths that stubborn frizz from your hair shaft.

Mineral Oil is safe and moisturizing, but it’s also highly refined. So it won’t give your hair the same essential vitamins and minerals that a natural oil will.

How To Use Coconut Oil On Your Hair

There are countless ways you can use coconut oil in your hair. You can add a bit of it into your regular shampoo or conditioner for an added boost of hydration when you shower, or you can use a little dab on your fingers to smooth down flyaways and split ends. But my favorite way to use coconut oil on my hair is to make a homemade coconut oil hair mask. It takes just minutes to mix together and the results will amaze you! My hair has never been so soft, shiny, and healthy!

Here’s how to make it.

coconut oil hair treatment

Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

You’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsp organic virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp jojoba oil (or almond oil)
  • 3-5 drops essential oil of your choice
  • A small bowl


Use raw coconut oil that is in its solid state. If you live in a warm climate or your coconut oil has been sitting out somewhere warm, just stick it in the fridge for a few minutes until it solidifies.

Measure the coconut oil into a small bowl and stir well. Stirring will heat it up just enough to create a smooth, creamy texture.

Coconut Oil deep conditioner and detangler

Add the jojoba oil and continue stirring until the mixture is even and well-combined.

coconut oil hair treatment

Add 3-5 drops of your preferred essential oil. Many essential oils can help promote hair and scalp health, including lavender, rosemary, peppermint, and geranium. Stir well.

Apply the mixture to your hair from roots to ends, paying particular attention to any dry areas.

Coconut Oil deep conditioner and detangler

Then cover your hair with a plastic bag or shower cap, and use a hair dryer to warm the hair a bit. Leave the mixture on your hair for 15-30 minutes. Finally, wash and condition your hair as usual. Use this deep conditioner once a week for the fullest benefits.

But wait, there’s more! (I hope you read that like an infomercial host.) This coconut oil hair treatment can do double duty, because you can also use it to make a hair detangler spray! I wish I had known about this when my kids were little, because we probably could have avoided a lot of hair-combing meltdowns. But of course, adults get tangles too, so this is a good thing to keep in the bathroom cabinet for just about anyone!

Coconut Oil deep conditioner and detangler

Coconut Oil Detangler Spray

You’ll need:

    • 1 part Coconut Oil Hair Treatment (see recipe above)
    • 10 parts water
    • A spray bottle

Coconut Oil deep conditioner and detangler


Combine 1 part Coconut Oil Hair Treatment with 10 parts water in a large spray bottle. Shake the bottle well before using.

Coconut Oil deep conditioner and detangler

After washing and rinsing your hair, spray it lightly with the detangler spray as you comb to help work through tangles. Remember to use a wide-tooth comb when working with wet hair to avoid causing further damage.

Now you can replace those expensive, deep-conditioning salon treatments with this natural and inexpensive coconut oil treatment you can easily make at home. Just another reason to always keep a jar of coconut oil on hand.

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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Natural Remedies

  • Jillee, I have a bottle of Avocado oil on hand (NO scent at all). Is this a fair carrier oil to use with essential oils if I don’t have Jojoba oil? AND…do I HAVE to use only the solid Coconut oil if I have the liquid on hand? Once again, thanking you in advance! :-)

  • This is an awesome idea! My hair stylist told me that coconut oil coats the hair and doesn’t provide that much moisture, but after trying this I think she was completely wrong! I’ve been using avocado oil on my hair which works well, but it’s nice to change things up once in a while. What are the benefits of using the Jojoba oil along with the coconut oil? I make all of my own beauty products and have worked with many different carrier oils, but I am the most unfamiliar with Jojoba. Great article and product!

  • I would like to try this but I’m also concerned as Pam mentioned below about putting it down the drain. We have a septic system. Does the shampoo cut the oil enough so it wouldn’t cause plumbing problems? BTW I’ve had “natural platinum” hair for years, not “gray” or “white”. :)

  • I keep a bottle of fractionated coconut oil in the shower (it has no scent) that I use on my body (and my son’s dry skin, he was born with Down syndrome and very dry skin). Going to give it a try on my hair, too! Thanks so much for expanding my uses!

  • Isn’t there a issue with putting coconut oil down the drain? Even though I love the idea of this I am afraid of trying this recipe because oil should not be put down the drain! Has anyone ever had issues with this ?

  • Coconut Oil is really popular in the ‘rainbow hair’ community – awesome for helping minimize the damage of bleaching, and helping with dryness. I’ve always just used it as-is, but will try adding some Jojoba (and EO’s) when I find some to see how that goes for me. Or maybe Argan Oil…
    To get it OUT of your hair again can sometimes be a challenge depending on your hair type – often the easiest way is to first apply a bunch of conditioner and work that through thoroughly, leave for a few minutes, rinse well, and then shampoo after if needed. The oils in the conditioner help to break up the CO and allow it to wash out easier (this also often works for washing other greasy stuff off your hands etc). [Another trick I’ve heard of is to whisk up an egg, work it into your hair, wait 5 mins then rise – haven’t tried that one yet.]
    To minimize damage when bleaching your hair, slather heaps (and I mean HEAPS – until you’re practically dripping) of CO into your hair at least an hour prior to bleaching, preferably overnight (wear a shower cap to bed and/or put a towel on your pillow :-) ). Then apply the bleach straight over the oil – your hairdresser will probably be horrified and swear it will never work, but it really does minimize damage without interfering with the bleaching process, and for some people it even speeds the processing.
    I have very dark brown hair, and have to get to light yellow-blonde in order to colour my hair the aqua/teal shades I like, which means lots and lots of processing – with the CO there’s minimal damage to my hair; without it, it turns to nasty straw :-( Then after bleaching, I’ll always do another one or two CO ‘treatments’ in the next week, and my hair is in really good order despite the level of bleaching required :-)
    [Note that I know this works great for straight bleaching – I have no idea if it would work for colouring.]

    • Personally, I’ve used coconut oil for a year now and the liquid is harder to apply and makes a big mess… when you use it solid, it creates the creamy texture the articles speaks of and turns into a liquid later on your hair

  • I found a blowout brush by Ion at Sally Beauty supply. Works amazingly well on my wet hair. Used my 30% off and they had a free ion comb offer.

    This helps, too, along with using the treatment.

  • Hello I have used coconut oil for some time now and the results are fantastic my hair really as adapted to this wonderful oil and there is no turning back for me honestly my hair was slow growing and thin hated it now after using coconut oil for some time my hair as grown and gone slightly thicker I am so so happy and now I am pinning this coconut oil recipe and I am very sure all you guys will be so glad you tried for mixed with jojoba is a winner with me I love this website thank you so much kind regards

    • I have used this in dry and wet hair. In my opinion, it works much better in dry hair, since oil and water don’t like to mix! Both ways definitely helped my dry hair, but it seemed to soak in better and my hair was softer when my hair started out dry! And yes, then wash it really well, I usually wash it twice or it will be greasy, but I have weird hair!! :)

  • I love the idea of a natural coconut oil detangler and made a batch a few nights ago. However, by the next morning, the coconut oil re-solidified in the bottle. I can’t even shake the water now. Any tips without having to put it in the microwave every time?

  • I’m bleaching my hair later (I know its terrible but I want to go blue!) so I will definitely be using this, just the post I was looking for!

  • It would have been nice if these treatments had been around when I was little. I had to wear mine short for a few years and hated it. I found out years later, that I inherited my crazy coarse,straight hair from my Dads side of the family. My sisters have great hair, not quite as thick. I found when we were sitting around talking with Dads side of the family and they knew what we were talking about. Grandma still had a nice head of hair as she got older.

      • What I’ve been doing for several years when I was my hair. I get it wet first. Put the conditioner on and comb it through. Then I add the shampoo on top of that and rinse. It really helps if you have thick , coarse hair like mine.

    • I was thinking this was the one I used for the detangler. It was the other version with the almond oil and conditioner. I used to use it a lot on tangly spots on my hair when I was trying to comb it out. I use a wet brush now after washing my hair.

  • Unfortunately, my daughter takes after me with the horrible hair genes and the dry, crisp air hasn’t helped AT ALL, so I’m definitely going to try this when I get home. We always keep coconut oil at home and I use it on my skin all the time, but never thought of something like this. I’m excited to give it a try :) thanks Jill!!

  • I’m the same way, but I found printing them and making a DIY folder or binder to hold all your findings works great :) maybe it could help you too! Not to mention, you can get creative with the binder to make it “your own”!

  • I’ve found that if you have a hard time washing the oil out of your hair, try washing your hair “dry” first. By that I mean, once in the shower, DO NOT wet your hair! Take your shampoo and put it in your hair and scrub your scalp and hair down to the ends. You may have to get a little water in your hands and apply to the hair. Once your head and hair has been covered in tiny suds, THEN wet your hair and scrub some more. Wash again as your normally would, if needed.

  • Would I need to add Polysorbate 80 to the spray to combine the oils with water? I’m thinking the oil would solidify at the top & eventually clog the sprayer…

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