What is coconut oil?

Taken from the coconut itself, coconut oil is one of the most potent forms of oil in the world. Bursting with vitamins, minerals and fatty acids, there is no wonder why coconut oil is becoming an increasingly popular choice of oil to use not only for cooking but also for hair and skin care. Many well known brands have started adding coconut oil to their beauty products due to the wealth of benefits this natural oil has. If you are considering using coconut oil to improve the condition of your hair or scalp then it helps to know what improvements you could expect to see after regular use.

Coconut Oil For Hair: Benefits

Coconut oil has a wealth of useful attributes, each of which can go some way to helping to protect your hair. If you listen to experts, then you might believe that coconut oil is one of the best oils to use for hair protection. And to be honest, that would be entirely correct: coconut oil is a deeply hydrating and long lasting substance. When used in your hair, it can improve the condition of your hair in many different ways. Here are just some of the benefits that it can offer you:

  • It’s been found that coconut oil can help to reduce protein loss in your hair. 
  • Coconut oil is super hydrating and easily absorbed into the hair due to the presence of lauric acids.
  • Coconut oil can also help to increase the speed at which your hair is able to grow.
  • It helps to protect your hair from environmental damage when used on a regular basis.
  • Regular use of coconut oil in your hair can reduce hair loss and prevent excessive breakage.
  • You can find that coconut oil also helps with protecting your hair from UV damage
  • Dandruff can be reduced when using coconut oil on the scalp due to its antimicrobial properties. Dry and itchy areas can be relieved by using coconut oil due to it's deeply by deeply moisturising the scalp.  
  • Coconut oil can be used before and after shampooing to help reduce hair damage during washing and help by smoothing the hair to minimize frizz.

Coconut Oil Side Effects

If you have never used coconut oil on your hair or scalp before you may be worried of any possible side effects. Although generally this is a very safe oil to use on your hair we recommend considering the following points before use:

  • Do not over use coconut oil as this can leave your hair feeling greasy. If you use coconut oil in your hair prior to shampooing you can generally use slightly more as the majority of the oil will get washed out. If you are using coconut oil after shampooing then limit the amount you use as it can easily weigh your hair down and leave a greasy residue.
  • If you have very fine hair we would recommend only using a small amount of coconut oil on the ends of your hair to help with the driest areas. Doing this will prevent your hair from feeling weighed down.


Written by Jordan Prichard. Medically reviewed by Dr. Shane Jackson, MBBS. Last modified on 20/05/2020. 


Dr. Shane Jackson a UK based doctor, working within the NHS for 9 years. With experience in both Medicine and Surgery, his time is now spent mainly in Elderly care and Rehabilitation. Outside of his clinical work he has a strong educational presence, teaching undergraduates and foreign doctors wishing to work in the UK. He is passionate about the dissemination of healthcare for all, providing consultancy for health, well-being and biotech startups worldwide. Dr. Jackson is the founder of Acrosophy, which helps school leavers applying to medical, dental and associated courses at the top universities in the country. 

Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.

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