How to Use Coconut Oil As a Hair Conditioner and a Skin Moisturizer
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How to Use Coconut Oil As a Hair Conditioner and a Skin Moisturizer

The benefits of using virgin coconut oil as a hair conditioner and skin moisturizer.

Using virgin coconut oil can result in healthier, shinier hair. Used extensively in India as a hair preparation, coconut oil contains essential proteins needed for hair growth. Regular use can strengthen hair, nourishing it from the roots and penetrating the shafts to seal and protect individual strands. As a pre-shampoo treatment, coconut oil can reduce problems with dandruff without the harsh effects of chemicals used in commercial products. Massaging it into the scalp also has a stress-relieving effect due to both the massaging action and the light scent of the oil.

Coconut oil and associated products from coconuts have become hot topics lately, although the research dates back several decades. It is an ingredient in some hair and skin care products, but it may be more beneficial and economical to use the coconut oil alone and not pay the price for brand name shampoos, conditioners, and moisturizers.

There are three basic types of coconut oil: virgin, cochin, and RBD (refined, bleached, and deodorized). The term "virgin" has not been satisfactorily defined or standardized. However, good quality virgin coconut oil is white in color and has a light coconut scent and taste. Cochin oils are also virgin but are made from air-dried copra, which commonly has some mold growth. The processing renders the mold harmless, but it does result in a product that is yellowish or grayish in color and may have a much stronger taste. Most connoisseurs of coconut oil consider this type to be inferior to the white, lightly scented virgin oil. RBD has little or no scent or taste, which some people prefer. The type you use is a personal preference. I have found the virgin oil to be more appealing. A very stable oil, coconut oil is solid at room temperature and can be stored safely without refrigeration for 2-3 years. It liquefies easily. Small amounts to use as conditioners or moisturizers melt easily in the palm of your hand.

You can use coconut oil to condition hair in one of three ways. For an extensive deep conditioning, apply 3-4 teaspoons of coconut oil to your hair before going to sleep at night. Allow the solid oil to melt in your hands and massage into your scalp. Reapply as needed to ensure all hair strands are coated. Cover with a shower cap and go to sleep. Shampoo as usual the following morning. For a less extensive treatment, or if you do not relish going to sleep wearing a shower cap, apply the oil the same way but keep on at least 1 hour, preferably 2-3 hours. Then shampoo as usual. Finally, especially effective in treating dandruff, use coconut oil as a pre-shampoo treatment. Massage 2 teaspoons of coconut oil into your scalp half an hour before shampooing your hair as usual. Used regularly, this should help with any dandruff problem

As for commercial products containing coconut oil, I have no idea of their effectiveness. Certainly, products containing coconut oil should be beneficial or at least not harmful. However, I do not know how these are processed or how much actual coconut oil the products contain. If you want a commercial product formulated for conditioning and shampooing hair, I suggest using a reputable organic variety to get the most benefit from the coconut oil in the product.

Coconut milk is a manufactured product made from coconuts. (The liquid found inside coconuts is called coconut water.) Although coconut milk has great nutritional value, I have found no references to using coconut milk as a hair or skin treatment. Coconut oil is the product of choice for hair and skin care.

As a skin moisturizer, virgin coconut oil is easily absorbed into the skin. Its antimicrobial properties promote healing, sealing the tiny cracks in the skin to reduce entry of bacteria and germs. Coconut oil is easy to apply. Just place a small amount in the palm of your hand, let it warm slightly, and begin to massage into the skin. Because it absorbs quickly, you may apply more than is needed in one application, leaving a film on your skin. It is better to reapply more frequently, letting the oil absorb completely, to get the full benefits of this product. Coconut oil is also a great moisturizer for your face, leaving your skin smoother and younger (over time) as it restores health to sun-damaged skin and fights blemishes. It also works wonders for improving dry, cracked skin and for softening cuticles.

My skin is definitely softer and smoother since I've begun using coconut oil as a moisturizer after showering. I also do not experience the "greasy" feeling some moisturizers leave on my face when I use it before applying my makeup; and I haven't had any blemishes on my face since then, either. (I have oily/combination skin and still get blemishes even though I'm well past my teen years). And my hands and cuticles have improved dramatically. My husband, who is a diabetic, has found virgin coconut oil to be effective in keeping his heels from cracking and his feet generally softer than with any other products.

For more information, check out books on the subject written by Bruce Fife, C. N. N. D. He includes full bibliographies so, if you want to look at the original research findings, you can locate them more easily. Most of the information in this factoid has been drawn from his work.


Fife, Bruce. (2004). The coconut oil miracle. New York: Avery.

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Comments (39)

Very informative!

I think I would like to try some coconut oil on my hair to make it stronger and my face as a moisturizer. I suffer from adult acne too. Very good and informative article, I'll have to try it and see if it works for me too. Do you have any idea where I can get some ? How much does the virgin coconut oil usually cost? Thanks!

You can find coconut oil many places. My supermarket and Walmart have even started carrying it. However, so far, I have found Nutiva to be the best brand. Very white in color with a light scent and taste. I also found the best bargains online. You can go directly to to order. They sometimes have specials. Or check (which is where I bought my last jars). Cost can run anywhere from $10.00 up, depending on brand, quality, and size.

I will have to try this. Thank you!


I was only able to find organic coconut oil at my local grocery store. Would this also work, or should I buy virgin coconut oil online? Thanks!

Virgin coconut oil seems to give the best results because it has usually not been heated in the extraction process. Organic coconut oil may or may not have been. I believe it will still be helpful, though. Fife's book contains more information on the exact differences. However, I have also found that buying coconut oil on line tends to be cheaper because, even with shipping and handling, I can usually buy in bulk at much lower prices and save money. If you just want to try first, though, go ahead with what is available at your local store and see how you like it!

yes coconut oil is very good for hair. Just shared to reddit !


I've never used any oils on my hair before. Is it compulsory that when you oil your hair you must wash it off with a shampoo the following day? what is likely to happen if you happen to keep the oil on your hair may be for about a day or two and then wash off? Please advice.

Vimo, I'm not sure what would happen, but I doubt there would be any damage to the hair from leaving it on. It will just be oily. However, I'm also not sure your hair would be getting any more benefit from leaving it on longer than suggested in my article. Ultimately, it is up to you. My hair is still oily naturally, so for me, leaving it on longer would not be the best choice. If your hair is extremely dry, a longer period of time before you shampoo may not be a problem. I just really don't know. If we have any hairdressers out there who may be able to advise us on this one, please respond.


Thank you very much for your advices Ms Sandy. :)


Can I mix cococnut oil with E vitamin oil because I just purchased E vitamin liquid for hair. Essatiainal vitamin statement warning that those esstiatial vitamins must not be used alone or it will react differently, I don't know if it means directly for skin or hair. For the safetly I combine it E vitamin (essential) with Jobajo oil or Cococnut oil (Carrier oils).

For my own hair ,can I combine E vitamin oil and Cococunut oil together then apply to my scalp?

I really cannot advise you on this. I am not a beautician and I am not familiar with the liquid vitamin E product you are referencing. I suggest you talk with your beautician/stylist. If any of our readers knows, please respond. Sorry I can't be of more help here.

Adrienne Jones


just leave virgin coconut oil in your hair (i mean do every little part of your hair to oil up with virgin coconut oil) after that just put on plastic cap . Psst...if you don't have plastic cap , no worry just use wrapping, plastic bag, or anything that is plastic but be sure it clean. Then put small towel in hot water (hot enough but don't burn yourself) put it on your head. Just for at least 15 mins, do it once a week. It is more of Deep Conditioner than Leave in .

You can only put virgin coconut oil on (yea, evenly properly) hair and massage. it will be leave in. do it as often you want.


I have afo american processed hair and i wash it once every week i am wondering if i can apply coconut oil daily to my hair without washing it out,would this moisturize it?

I don't think it will hurt your hair in any way. However, I would keep the amount very small so that it does not build up too much over the course of the week. You may also wish to ask your hairdresser before doing this. My only concern is that, you may need to wash your hair sooner than you usually do if the oil seems to be building up too much.

I love this article! I was pointed in the direction of coconut oil based on a question I asked on here last week, and since then I have been determined to obtain some. I haven't used any in years!


Hi everyone. Just want to let you know that I have been using coconut oil for 13 years now. I usually buy it from my local walmart or zellers(canada) for a few dollars.

I leave my coconut oil in for a whole day and over night sometimes. I use coconut oil to smooth fly away hairs. My hair is never oily and people comment all the time about how shiny and soft my hair is.

If you have never tried before just start with a little at a time and do what works best for your skin and hair type. I have never developed any rashes or reactions to coconut oil and I have VERY sensitive skin.

Happy oiling everyone! Hope my comment was helpful.


Coconut oil is a very good conditioner for hair as well as for skin. For healthy and smooth hair, warm the coconut oil apply using your finger tips on to the scalp. Don't rub it harshly. Message gently and comb your hair after applying oil .Tie your hairs and leave it for whole night. Wash it in morning and apply conditioner if you want. Just try and feel the difference.

This is so true! I've been using coconut oil on my hair and face for the past year and I've noticed how my hair got so much softer, and my skin clearer and more supple. Once I also used coconut oil on my dogs when they got a mild case of mange...after a week the unsightly scabs were gone. Great article!


oh yes, you can use cocount oil to moist. it! there is a reason to call it "oil" . I have afro too and a lot women told me cocount oil is the best conditioner you can use . Daisy

Great article. This is so true. Old folks here in our country use coconut oil on their hair regularly. This lessens hairfall and the whitening of hair. If you have sunburn, coconut oil is the best way to treat it.

very informative article.. I learned a lot about coconut oil:)

merma yamaguchi

yeah! everything i read were all true. I have been wondering how smart you guys to produce those kind of oil.

very informative article.

very informative

very well written. Thanks for sharing. am a owner of 500 coconut trees and i know coconut plays a huge role in many issues

Coconut oil is also used for cooking. its good for health.

great information, no one ever taught me how to use un-marketed products for hair care

Of course,coconut oil is easily available in every household to use.


I purchase my coconut oil from Tropical Traditions, they have a variety of different products. Any new customers that use this referral code 6560483 will receive a FREE book w/over 85 recipes that use coconut oil, plus includes testimonies from people who have been helped by coconut oil.

I use it in cooking/baking, on skin & in hair (I use it as a leave in conditioner, melt in palm & apply, just a little so it doesn't look greasy). Just found out it could help my son's scalp (dandruff) so, we'll be giving that a try. I found this site, because I was searching for info. on coconut oil help with dandruff.

moisturize hair

I have been using Shielo's "Hydrate Refresh Mist" for the past 3 years - This is one of those products I use at least 6 times a week. First, I shampoo and then I use this deep conditioner to lock in moisture. I keep a wide comb or brush in the shower to brush out my hair I rinse my conditioner with cool water. Then when my hair is dry and I am combing, I use the Mist. And throughout the day as well. My hair is left soft and silky. I also notice a healthy shine to my hair after it drys.

moisturize hair

I have been using Shielo's "Hydrate Refresh Mist" for the past 3 years - This is one of those products I use at least 6 times a week. First, I shampoo and then I use this deep conditioner to lock in moisture. I keep a wide comb or brush in the shower to brush out my hair I rinse my conditioner with cool water. Then when my hair is dry and I am combing, I use the Mist. And throughout the day as well. My hair is left soft and silky. I also notice a healthy shine to my hair after it drys.


I have been using virgin coconut oil as skin moisturizer for the last several days... I am so surprised when my skin. It is amazing, I tapped it under my eyes and it felt so soothing I spread it all over face. The undereye wrinkles are much improved, my skin over all looks a lot better. I will keep up with this routine in hopes it becomes my holy grail of moisturizer. If so goodbye outrageous priced argan oil, hello vco.

I am a firm believer in coconut oil XVCO and it does marvels for my hair and skin. At times I have even felt a "rush" of energy after several days of adding it to my food.

nice one

very informative article.. I learned a lot about coconut oil:) and i searched on google, and found many useful article about the usage of coconut oil on


Coconut oil is the best thing ever. I feel so fresh and revived after taking a coco bath. Also I have disscoverd the best lip balm. Take a Q-tip and dip it into your coconut oil and rub some on your lips..It feels good and also taste pretty good too..Try it and see. Your lips will be thanking you "I PROMISE"

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I swear by Coconut oil for my hair. Voted!