Coconut Oil for Hair Growth

You will never have the healthy and shiny hair of your dreams if your hair doesn’t grow properly. Hair growth is influenced by a number of factors, which include your overall health, your diet and of course whether or not you follow a good hair care regimen. If you are looking to promote hair growth, your hair care regimen must include oil application. Many people use coconut oil for hair growth. When used correctly this oil conditions, protects and moisturizes the scalp and allows the hair to grow properly.

In this article I’m going to tell you why coconut oil can help your hair grow faster, explain how to apply it to hair, and give you some general advice for using this amazing natural oil on your hair.

How Does Coconut Oil Work to Promote Hair Growth?

  • Shields hair protein:Lauric acid, a major component of coconut oil gives the oil its protective properties. Lauric acid is a fatty acid that easily binds hair proteins thus helping in protecting roots of hair strands and preventing hair breakage. A study conducted in 2003 revealed that coconut oil can reduce or prevent hair protein loss more effectively than mineral and sunflower oils (these two oils are common ingredients of many hair care products).
  • Seals in hair moisture: Regular application of coconut oil can help you to keep your hair strong and moisturized. Coconut oil possesses the ability of penetrating the hair shaft and thus conditions your hair from within. The oil supplies enough moisture to protect your hair follicles from environmental impurities and heat.
  • Contains antibacterial and antifungal properties: Coconut oil’s antibacterial and antifungal properties give the oil the ability of protecting your scalp against dandruff and lice, both of which can hinder hair growth.
  • Contains nutrients: Coconut oil is a rich source of nutrients like vitamin E, vitamin K and iron. These nutrients are essential for maintaining your hair’s shine and softness. Vitamin E is particularly effective in eradicating dandruff, which is a major cause of hair fall and hindered hair growth.
  • Improves blood circulation: Massage your scalp with coconut oil to stimulate blood circulation. Improved blood circulation to your scalp will ensure that your hair follicles receive the required amount of essential nutrients and oxygen. This will make your hair follicles healthy and promote hair growth.

How to Apply Coconut Oil

There are two ways to apply coconut oil to hair – either before or after washing:

  • People with slightly wavy or straight hai should undergo coconut oil treatment before washing their hair.
  • If you have curly or thick hair, you can apply coconut oil both before and after washing your hair. As curly hair tends to absorb oil quickly, you will not end up having greasy looking hair even if you apply coconut oil after washing the hair.

Before shampooing: First apply the oil generously to your scalp and rub the scalp gently to ensure that the oil spreads adequately to the entire area. Continue massaging the scalp for 5 minutes. Now, concentrate on your hair strands. If required you can take some more oil for oiling the hair strands. Leave the oil on your hair for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2-4 hours if you have a lot of hair breakage problems) and then wash the hair off with your regular shampoo.

During shampooing: Some people get amazing results by mixing their shampoo and/or conditioner with coconut oil (50/50 or some other ratio). Give it a try and see how it compares with using coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment. This is by far the least time consuming method, so that’s a big benefit as well.

After shampooing: Not all types of hair react well to post-wash coconut oil treatment. If you find that your hair is “protein sensitive”, it is likely to react badly to coconut oil as well, so keep this in mind. As for application, here’s what I recommend: if you have problems with split-ends or dry hair, apply a little coconut oil to the ends of your hair (up to 2-3 inches) after it has completely dried out.

Tips for Using Coconut Oil On Your Hair

While there are thousands of articles touting the benefits of coconut oil treatments for hair, very few of them provide tips to maximize those benefits and avoid any potential pitfalls. The truth is that coconut oil hair treatments are not suitable for everyone. In the next few paragraphs I’m going to give you some tips for using coconut oil, explain how it works, and help you decide whether this kind of treatment is right for you.

Q: Should I warm the oil up before applying it?

A: Due to the fact that coconut oil turns solid in lower (room) temperatures, it often makes sense to warm it up a little before use. This makes it much simpler to apply to hair/scalp. Avoid using hot oil as it can damage your skin. A simple way to prepare coconut oil for use is to fill a large bowl with boiling-hot water and then place a smaller bowl with some oil into it. Wait until the coconut oil melts and then use it!

Q: How much oil should I apply to my hair?

A: When applying coconut oil to your hair before shampooing you can use as much oil as you feel necessary. Many people dose coconut oil the same way as regular shampoo/conditioner by applying just enough to cover the scalp and full hair length.

Now, using coconut oil as a leave-in treatment after washing your hair is very different. Applying too much of it will almost certainly leave your hair looking greasy and tangled. Plus, oil attracts dust and other pollutants which can make the hair look dirty really fast. I recommend using just a tiny amount of coconut oil on the ends to help combat dryness. If you are looking for a suitable leave-in post-wash oil treatment for your hair, coconut oil is not it.

Q: What are the benefits of pre-wash coconut oil treatments?

A: Using coconut oil on your hair prior to washing is a great way to minimize damage and breakage that occurs when you wash your hair. Water has the tendency to soften our skin and can lead to the skin around your hair follicles becoming tender and prone to damage. This can lead to hair breakage, shedding and various other problems.

Luckily, since coconut oil is a water repellent, applying some of it to the scalp/hair before washing can prevent this from happening. Another thing that sets coconut oil apart from other oils is that it bonds with hair proteins with ease and can penetrate deep into the skin thanks to its light chemical properties. This creates a temporary “shield” that protects your scalp and hair from water damage.

Q: What about using coconut oil as a post-wash treatment?

A: Most people use coconut oil after shampooing to prevent split ends. Wait until the hair has dried out completely and then apply a little oil to the very ends. The oil is quickly absorbed by the hair and forms a “protective” layer shielding your hair from environmental damage.

Q: Does coconut oil really cure head lice?

A: There is a lot of evidence that coconut oil is very effective as a natural head lice treatment. For instance, one UK study found a special coconut oil + anise spray to be nearly twice more effective at eradicating head lice than any other widely used treatment today.

A commonly used (although never studied) lice treatment is to soak the scalp and hair in coconut oil, then cover with foil, shower cap or a towel. Leave it on overnight, then wash the oil out with shampoo. There’s no evidence that this treatment works, but many proponents of all-natural remedies swear by it.

If you have any questions about coconut oil for hair please ask in the comments below and I will answer them as soon as possible.

About Marina

79 Responses to “Coconut Oil for Hair Growth”

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  1. Lauren says:

    Do I need to heat the oil up before applying it?
    Great info btw!

    • admin says:

      I normally heat it up a little so it melts properly. Don’t make it hot though.

      • Batzion says:

        Another way is to get one one of those nozzle-top bottles (the kind used for coloring your hair) from a beauty supply store. Pour the liquid coconut oil in the bottle. If it solidifies, just hold the bottle under hot water until the oil melts.

      • kay says:

        how long does it take for your hair to grow like 1 inch when using dis????????????

    • Saidah says:

      Ok i want my hair to be lighter and longer how can i achieve this?

      • Mandy says:

        Do the inversion method with coconut oil. To find out more look up on you-tube and there are many people to show you how to do it.

  2. marlon q says:

    make the oil a bit more warmer before applying it.

    • admin says:

      Yea you can fill a pot up with hot water, place a small bowl inside it and add some coconut oil to it and let it melt. Don’t make it hot though. Coconut oil is difficult to apply otherwise because it’s a solid mass in room temperatures.

  3. Don says:

    Wonderful article and great to see you promoting the amazing benefits of Coconut Oil. I have been using it on my hair for several years now and enjoy its healthy shine. Coconut Oil is far better than any commercial product out there and knowing its 100% from nature, is the only way for me.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for the comment! I only just enabled comments so still learning how it all works heh. 🙂

      There are many other oils that can be used to improve hair health and ultimately promote hair growth. I’ll try to cover some of those in another article soon.

  4. jayne says:

    I have seborrheic dermatitis n oily scalp. Can I use coconut oil. Please advise

    • christie says:

      For the oily hair issue, you can use 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, an entire bottle of water, and a few drops of coconut oil. That is basically a homeade shampoo that works very well. For the seborrheic dermatitis, coconut oil should really help with that, but i would have to look into it more. I hope it works though

    • christie says:

      For the oily hair issue, you can use 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of coconut milk, an entire bottle of water, and a few drops of coconut oil. That is basically a homeade shampoo that works very well. For the seborrheic dermatitis, coconut oil should really help with that, but i would have to look into it more. I hope it works though.

  5. anju says:

    i have curly dry hair from last 6 years its grown only 5 c.m now i am 22 years old,, what can i do please help me….

  6. Sha says:

    I cut my hair recently. It’s not suitable for me. How can I grow my hair faster. I used biotin for 1 week. Rather than this way? Pls help me. My weeding on recently.

  7. Maria says:

    I have heard wonders about coconut oil benefits to the hair and have started applying it as a pre-wash treatment. However, I notice that every time I apply it some of my hair falls. I have relatively thin hair and I am trying to grow it out. Is hair loss normal when applying oil? Am I applying too much oil? Should I dilute the oil with some water? I would really appreciate it if you can give me some advice about how to best use coconut oil in my case. Thank you.

    • Marina says:

      Hey, thanks for your comment!

      Coconut oil is not suitable for all types of hair. Unfortunately, the only way to tell whether your hair will like it is to give it a try. Now, there can be many reasons why you’re losing more hair than normal:

      1. Using too much oil. Coconut oil mimics protein and some hair types simply can’t stand heavy protein treatments.
      2. Massaging your scalp for too long and/or irritating hair follicles. While scalp massages are a great thing, you must be very careful to apply oil smoothly without applying too much pressure on your scalp.

      Heavy shedding when using oil is not normal… especially if it continues. I would suggest either trying a different method (such as mixing coconut oil with shampoo or conditioner) or trying lighter oils (jojoba/olive + a couple drops of your favourite essential oil/oils. castor oil is another option, but it has a distinct smell that you might not like).

    • says:

      I use avocado oil for my hair as well as my face. It seems to work really well, but is not as “heavy” as coconut oil, so it might be more suitable for thinner hair. I also sometimes use almond oil, or a mixture of almond and coconut oil for a hair mask. Using a thinner oil makes spreading it to hair a faster feat.

  8. Salma says:

    How often should I use coconut oil on my hair? I have wavy hair and I want to grow it out fast. I would really appreciate a quick answer 🙂

    • Marina says:


      It depends on how you use it and whether your hair likes protein or not (since coconut oil mimics protein). I’ll write something up about hair and protein sensitivity in the next couple of days.

      If you have trouble retaining growth, do you also have split ends? Put some coconut oil on dry ends to give them a little extra protection. Is that doesn’t work – try using jojoba oil on your ends instead. Oh and don’t forget to trim the very ends before treating them with oils – existign damage (split ends) can’t be repaired and should be cut off.

      As for frequency… pre-wash leave in treatments I’d say about 1-2 times per week. If you mix coconut oil into shampoo or conditioner – every time you wash your hair (should be 1-3 times a week).

      Remember that not all hair types like coconut oil. If you find that your hair feels brittle, dry or weighed down – try jojoba oil instead! For most people it’s either coconut or jojoba.

  9. Brittany says:

    Thank you for writing the article on coconut oil and its benefits. Is it okay if I mix castor oil & coconut oil together to use as a pre-wash? Also, can I use conditioner after shampooing even though I did a pre-wash with the coconut oil?

    • Marina says:

      No problem – thank you for leaving a comment!

      1. Mixing castor and coconut oils shouldn’t be a problem. Unless your hair doesn’t like coconut oil, of course.
      2. You can use a conditioner without problems. Think of oil products as an addition to your regular hair care routine. Some people find that adding coconut oil into shampoo or pre-soaking hair in oils before shampooing allows them to skip conditioner altogether. But that obviously depends on how your hair reacts to specific oils.

      Remember that both castor and coconut oils are considered to be quite “heavy” and can weigh your hair down if overused. I’d experiment with 2:1 and 3:1 (coconut:castor) ratios to start with.

  10. nayeli says:

    Can i leave the coconut oil over night? Will it become greasy if i do?

  11. shay says:

    hi i gave the coconut oil a go although i did it a little bit differently. i could only buy the pro chef cocnut oil spray and i sprayed it in my hands then rubbed it into my scalp and tips of my hair but i left it in over night and now im not sure whether to wash it out straight away with shampoo or leave it in for two days like people on other websites say to do.

  12. ian says:

    my hair drops alot. will coconut oil help aid this problem?

  13. raj says:

    whether applying coconut oil at night time before sleep is good for hair growth and stops hair loss..?

  14. Heather says:

    Good day,
    I have thin, fine hair. My hair tends to break off ever so often and mainly in the front on the sides and the back sleep section. I have tried so many products n wen it doesn’t work I stop give my hair a break and try something else. Should I try the pre was treatment seing as my hair is dry n thin.

  15. Kumar swamy says:

    How to treat bald spot by coconut oil.

  16. Hanan says:

    Does coconuts oil suit oily hair?

  17. Marnina says:

    Coconut oil is not a protein treatment, not does it mimic one. It prevents protein leaving the hair shaft and furthermore locks in moisture.

  18. Audrey says:

    can it darken hair? I hv some grey gair. can the grey hair turn black? or can black hair remains black?

  19. Rachel says:

    Hi Marina, I’ve just started using coconut oil in my very thick, curly and frizzy hair. I had put in some coconut oil in it while it was dry and it felt nice and soft. I left it overnight and then washed my hair today. My hair felt quite dry after shampooing but this could be due to my hair being unhealthy at the moment.

    I then let my hair air dry and then put some coconut oil in my hair. My hair now feels really nice and soft. Do you think my hair likes coconut oil or not? I’m not sure if after washing is when my hair is telling me it doesn’t like it although it feels soft while it’s in my hair now. I look forward to your reply. THANKS!

  20. dinesh Babu says:

    for past 7 years I had hair loss . my hair loss from root . after hair loss . I took the hair and saw . end of the hair had white colour skin .why it’s coming and how to stop that.with two years marriage for me . revert me

  21. Lisa says:

    Hello – Are there any brands of coconut oil you would recommend? Is the goal for Extra virgin expeller pressed? Any trustworthy brands you know? Thanks!

  22. Mandi says:

    Thanks to the wonderful post. I’m gonna try it tonight on my hair.

  23. Jeanine Jones says:

    I want to try coconut oil for hair strength and shine. After buying a small bottle of liquid at the beauty supply store called coconut oil, then buying a tub of Blue Magic at CVS, i realized both of these probably have very little coconut oil in them. I want to use the right stuff. Please tell me what brand or brands to buy. My hair is fine and straight. Thank u so much.

    • Darryl says:

      Extra virgin organic coconut oil raw or unrefined has more nutrients. The brand sold at Costco is awesome

  24. aleem says:

    hey.. how long does it take before you start noticing the benefits of coconut oil on your hair? i just started applying it since i have an itchy scalp and i have hair loss..

  25. Faiza says:

    How often should I apply cocunut oil I really need something for hair growth Iam 14

  26. Cindy says:

    Hey ladies, I have problems removing coconut oil after any tips?

  27. Farzeen says:

    Hey, I bought coconut oil recently and its called ‘Dabur Vatika’ coconut oil. Apparently, from what I know about coconut oil, it’s supposed to be kinda… solid-ish? The one that I bought is like pure liquid oil. Do you think it’s the same?

  28. Trace says:

    Does it need to be “extra virgin” or refined to work?

  29. I am racially mixed, I use coconut oil after I shampoo,I mix it with my conditioner so when I rinse it out it wont make my hair greasy,and since I blow dry my hair its perfect

  30. Jeanine Jones says:

    I have Nature’s Way Liquid Premium Coconut Oil 93% MCTs non-GMO Expeller Pressed. It is very liquid-like in a bottle. I don’t think it would be too thick to pour into and use a spray bottle to apply it to my hair. What do u think? Thank you.

  31. LaColsha Williams says:

    Does coconut oil help with detangling hair while washing?

  32. LaColsha Williams says:

    I have been going natural from a year and nine months now. I’m trying to find something to help me detangle my hair easier without breaking my hair. I have bought a wide tooth comb but I need something that will help detangle my hair.

  33. Trisha Marchesa says:

    I’ve been using coconut oil on my waist length hair for 3 months. Sometimes it’s a real problem to wash it out so my hair isn’t greasy looking. I tried using a handful of baking soda mixed in with my shampoo to remove the excess coconut oil. It works!

    • Jenna Nolten says:

      I have that problem now too. I used coconutoil for the first time yesterday and I had to wash my hair twice and it still was a little bit greasy looking. How did you come up with the idea to add baking soda in your shampoo? Isn’t that bad for your hair? Doesn’t it remove the positive effects of coconut oil?
      I’d be very happy with an answer!

  34. Hallie says:

    how many inches would you say it grows in a month, after using everyday every week?

  35. Alexandria says:

    I put on coconut oil all over my hear (including the ends, and scalp) and leave it in for an hour. Then I take a shower in cool water, and wash my hair. I shampooed my hair twice. Will that take all the oil off? Should I shampoo my hair when taking a shower with coconut oil in my hair?

  36. bee says:

    Hey guuuys! For those of you that have issues removing the coconut oil! I started using it a couple of weeks ago and had the same problem! What I did was taking baking soda and spread it all over my scalp, and massage it, as if it was dry-shampoo. I brushed my hair trying to get rid of as much baking soda as possible. Then showered. Also, during shower, I put conditioner (like a humongous amount of conditioner) and left it there for a while. Rinsed it, and did it again. After that there was no oil on my hair. And it still felt suuuper soft and shiny!

  37. Melody says:

    Would u still recommend rubbing coconut oil on our hair scalps if we have naturally oil-hair?

  38. nicole says:

    What if some hair comes out during a treatment? Is that normal or is coconut oil not right for me?

  39. Lani says:

    Love this article. I am a true Hawaiian girl, born and raised on the islands and grew up doing this all the time..My mom use to send me a ton of bottles up until 3 years ago when they started selling them in stores. Tank God… I use to for Everything!

  40. Alex says:

    Hello, I am desperately trying to grow my wavy hair out. It has suffered a lot of damage due to an eating disorder and heat damage. And I am looking for a “top notch” organic coconut oil. What BRANDS do you recommend? Oh and if I apply the coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment, should I wet my hair first or treat it when dry?

    Also, my hair (besides my roots) is dry as a desert. Would coconut oil be a good leave in conditioner for me personally? Or will that lead to more hair falling out? Thanks!!

  41. Rehav says:

    hi i read about coconut oil as one of the best ways to increase hair and as a body moisturizer for body too my question is does coconut oil increase the body hair ?!! please ancwer me! thanx.

  42. Vandari says:

    My hair is dry and it falls too much,what should i do?i am having a seven months old baby

  43. Caro says:

    Hi, I use coconut oil mixed with a little almond oil as a pre wash for my colour damaged thick hair. It really works well and I sometimes leave it in over night but I have found that it works just as we’ll if I leave it in for an hour. The tip that I have is removing the oil….I coat my hair in a light conditioner (silicone free) , leave it in for 15 minutes. I use quite a lot of conditioner , then when I shower it removes all the coconut milk. Sometimes I don’t use shampoo at all , giving it a final coat of conditioner just to make sure I have removed all the oil. Occasionally I may use a SLS free shampoo in a tiny amount just on the roots at my temples. When my hair is dry I use a little coconut oil on the ends. Works for me xx

  44. Derrika Wiley says:

    Can I use coconut oil for hair growth if I have a little hair lose

  45. April says:

    I just started using coconut oil and my question is that, I have braids in my hair and i apply coconut oil about every three days and smooth some through the braids, I shampoo my hair every two weeks, how long can coconut oil stay in the hair before shampooing it? should I shampoo it once applied or is it OK to leave it in that long?

  46. Carrie says:

    I have been using coconut oil as a hair treatment for about five years and it is really great stuff. My hair is problematic; naturally curly and easily frizzed, not to mention bleached and highlighted, so it tends to be very dry. I used to have a ton of split ends, like it seemed as if practically every single strand was split, and because the ends were always breaking off it seemed as if my hair was taking forever to grow out from an unfortunate haircut. Then I decided to try putting about a teaspoonful of coconut oil on the bottom few inches of my hair every night. My hair soaked up the oil while I slept and I did not need to wash it out. I learned to wash my hair only every three days or so, which also helped it grow faster and more healthy. After I get my color and highlights my head sometimes feels itchy from the bleach and if I carefully apply a little coconut oil to just my scalp with my fingertips the itch is relieved. I hope this helps anyone else whose hair is as dry as mine was. My hair is now soft and about seven inches longer and has almost no split ends, even right after I get it colored.

  47. Emerald says:

    How often are we suppose to use the coconut oil for hair? Is it daily or every few days?

    • sara says:

      often folks use the oil as a pre-treatment before every washing. i recently created a teatree clove primrose oil blend with my olive oil for my skin as i am acne prone and literally saw results over night.. its a.. about the linoliec acid!!

  48. Dolitha says:

    I wash my hair every weekend I put the coconut oil in my hair for about 1 hr.When will you start seeing a change in your hair.

  49. Precy says:

    Conditioners made with natural oils are the best you can put on your hair, I’ve been using the Pro Naturals moroccan argan oil conditioner and the argan oil has been wonderful for my dry and
    frizzy hair! They have it online, it’s a bit pricey but it’s really professional quality conditioner and you’ll see the difference.

  50. Kayty says:

    I have really thick wavy hair that is down to the small of my back. I want to grow it out longer, but I’m worried I will make it too thick. would that be a problem? How long does it take for you to see the difference in hair length after using the Coconut oil? What brand do you recommend?

  51. Chem says:

    Hi, after applying the oil for the require time, is it a must to wash off the oil completely, or is it ok to just have some oil left on the scalp?

  52. Lily says:

    How often can you use the coconut oil? Will it encourage hair growth for hair loss? Is there a particular brand that is the best?

  53. Sofia Enriquez says:

    Hi , I applied warm Coconut Oil in my hair after shampooing , & left it in overnight. In the morning , I washed it off with shampoo. I’m not sure if I’m doing the right thing. Should I keep on doing this process ? & if so , for how long ?

  54. Brittni says:

    Hi Marina,
    I see you havent responded for quite some time so I hope you will respond to me o.O but anyways I just recently bought my unrefined extra virgin organic cold pressed coconut oil and i’ve been using it in my straightened hair towards the ends and at the root as well as scalp of my hair. im mixed (black and white) so I my hair is naturally very curly so I can go a week without washing/cowashing my hair. Is it okay to apply coconut oil in those areas of my hair everyday without washing my hair for a week or do you recomend that I do something different. Plz answer. Thank you

  55. Sophie says:

    I use coconut oil everyday before I shower. Sometimes I apply a few more afterwards while my hair is still damp and it works great! I have a dry hair btw.

  56. Kels says:

    How often do I do this to make my hair longer in two months?

  57. kylie says:

    does coconut helps with regrowing hair out?

  58. Ranjeet says:

    Thanks a lot for this great info.

    Can you please suggest any treatment for MPB.

  59. Michelle says:

    How long will it take for the coconut oil to make my hair grow faster? How many days will it take?

  60. Jodi Macomber says:

    How long after using coconut oil until you notice a difference in shine/healthiness/softness?

  61. Patricia Aikins-Gaisie says:

    Thanks for your information on coconut oil, it has really helped me alot

  62. Linda says:

    Hello I was just reading your arrival on coconut oil.I am 47 and noticed that my hair is thinning and breaking I also find that shampoos and conditioners are also leaving my scalp itchy to the point of uncontrollable scratching. I do realize through the years I probably could of taken better care of my hair. But unfortunately will always have to colour it now. To keep the grey @bay. So I was just wandering where do I buy this coconut oil from and also do you know of what shampoo and conditioner would benefit me. Kind reguards Linda:-)

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