How To Get the Most Out of Coconut Oil

By Jc of The Natural Haven

Coconut oil is one of the few discoveries that I rave about endlessly. It helps hair maintain its moisture and even has a scientifically proven role in conditioning. However, I do get reports from naturals who struggle with coconut oil and report that it leaves hair crunchy or even feeling brittle. A super oily scalp is also another common issue.

Are you struggling to love coconut oil?  Here are my four of best hints and tips on how to get the most out coconut oil and conquer that crunch.

1. The fingertip technique

Coconut oil is not meant to be slathered on. It is light and spreadable which means that a little of it goes a long way. Use the fingertip technique to control how much you use.

Section your hair into four. Scoop one index finger of coconut oil and melt it thoroughly in your hands. Dab the melted oil to each of the four sections and then take the time to spread the oil on each section focusing on the ends. Before using more oil, look at your palms, if there is still oil on them, you do not need to add more.

2. Mix it up to prevent crunchy hair

Cold air can cause coconut oil to freeze which in turn makes hair feel hard and crunchy. Mix coconut oil with shea butter (40% coconut oil, 60% shea butter) to create an oil which does not crunch up in cold air. You can also combine coconut oil with oils which are liquid at low temperatures such as olive oil, almond oil or jojoba oil.

3. Use it before washing your hair

Coconut oil does not have to be used just to seal hair and if you have difficulty using it on its own then consider just using it before washing your hair. Apply it the night before the wash to allow it sufficient time to penetrate into the hair. Coconut oil will protect the cuticle from expanding excessively as water is taken up from the wash and protect your hair from losing its protein.

4. Words of Caution

a.) Shampoo is required
If you are not using a cleansing product (shampoo or soap), and you are strictly co-washing, you should watch out for build up if you regularly use any oil in your routine. Build up can be seen often as a white coating on hair but in the case of light build up it may just be that your hair does not respond as normal – for example it never feels moisturised or it feels very greasy or it feels hard.

b.) Coconut oil is not a substitute for a protein treatment
Coconut oil does not contain protein. The crunchy feel is related to the amount of oil used and the air temperature. Coconut oil  does indeed protect hair from losing protein but if your intent is to fill gaps in your hair and add strength as a protein treatment would do, then coconut oil is not the man for the job.

Have you tried any of these tips and tricks? And how do you use coconut oil in your own regimen?

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The Natural Haven

The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

  • K, What is Organic,Virgin,Unrefined coconut oil.I know how to make coconut oil because my grandmother show me how to make the coconut oil and i have been doing it for years.I have use it on my childern’s hair and skin.The coconut oil you are purchasing has chemical in it to preserve it.The one i make is all natural.

  • Kim

    How could I use coconut oil on my locs?

  • KJ

    The only things that penetrates my hair are pure shea butter, pure cocoa butter, and sesame oil.

    Virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil dry my scalp out and it itches and hurts after using it. It also makes my hair shed more (maybe break more)and I don’t run comb through my hair at all, after adding it, if the oil makes my hair crunchy.

    Everyone’s hair is different. Coconut oil is good for some people, not good for me.

  • Lisa

    Thanks for sharing.The fingertip technique seems to be best for me.But like someone said everyone’s hair is different,as every individual is different.My combo is Castor oil and Coconut oil.And I get all my oils and beauty products on iherb.Com You can also use reward code ZQL811 and checkout and get $10 discount on your first purchase.Check it out girls ;)

  • My aunt makes me coconut oil from scratch its a long process but its pure coconut oil

  • Why is it everywhere I turn ppl are saying coconut oil is drying? I wish I could get some reassurance because my hair loves coconut oil! It seems to be just the thing my hair wants. I just leave it on my hair and I can apply it liberally to the last few inches of my hair. My hair grew to hip length when I was using coconut oil exclusively and now I have decided to go back to that because I want my hair to grow back. It’s barely tailbone right now because I just got a trim and layers.

  • beey

    Does coconut oil have to be washed out of locs? If I wash then put it in my hair, is that bad?