How to Apply Coconut Oil to Hair Is Easier Than You Think With This Simple Breakdown

The Benefits of Using Coconut Oil on Your Hair

1. It’s incredibly moisturizing.

So, why should you use coconut oil on your hair? For starters, it’s perfect for deep conditioning your strands, says hairstylist Evalyn Denis. It’s one of the easiest ways to add extra moisture to your hair. Consider it nature’s hydrating heavyweight. This is because coconut oil helps your cuticle retain moisture by acting as a sealant, preventing any previous moisturizing products you’ve applied from exiting your hair shaft. The result is smoother, less-frizzy hair that’s protected for future styling. Who doesn’t want that?

2. Coconut oil can help with hair growth.

For those with thinning or fine hair, coconut oil helps slow down hair loss by penetrating deep into your hair shaft to prevent protein loss, which in turn prevents breakage. When applied to your scalp, it simultaneously moisturizes and removes buildup around your hair follicles to jumpstart hair growth.

3. It can be used to treat dandruff.

Because the oil is so hydrating, it can often be used to treat dandruff. Your dry scalp is no match for the fatty acids in coconut oil, which work to reduce irritation and flakes. But it’s not just a temporary fix. Coconut oil helps maintain a healthy scalp microbiome to ensure your scalp is nourished 24/7.

4. It makes your hair look amazing.

Using coconut oil on the ends of your hair can also help prevent split ends, add luster and shine, and even improve your hair’s manageability for styling. Not to mention, it’s jam-packed with antibacterial properties and nutrients. Denis calls it a great (and more natural) substitute for hair gel. It can even help you get that Bella Hadid-esque slicked back bun that’s trending right now. All in all, even adding just a small amount of coconut oil to your hair care routine can have some seriously stunning results.

How to Apply Coconut Oil as a Hair Mask

Want to harness the full moisturizing power of coconut oil? Stick to unrefined virgin coconut oil (or even extra virgin coconut oil) for the best results. This just ensures your hair will be getting all the good-for-you nutrients present in the oil’s natural form. Denis recommends keeping your coconut oil hair mask on for at least 30 minutes for a quick moisture restoration. If you feel like your hair is damaged or in need of a more long-term repair, you can sleep with it overnight too. Just make sure to sleep with a cap or bonnet (that you don’t mind getting a little gunky) to keep it in place and off of your pillow as you sleep. A plastic cap might work best so you can easily wash it off in the morning.

Ipster tip: Two to three times a week is a good baseline for how often you should use coconut oil as a hair mask, but feel free to experiment to see what works best for you. It ultimately will come down to your hair type and porosity level.

Step 1: Warm the coconut oil.

Coconut oil is naturally harder than other oils, so if it’s solidified or not in liquid form when you first open the jar, don’t worry. You can melt it by taking a small amount of coconut oil in your hands and rubbing them together, or by scooping a spoonful into a pan and heating it until it starts to melt. To avoid product buildup, start with no more than a teaspoon.

Step 2: Apply the coconut oil to dry hair.

Use a wide-tooth comb, like this detangling comb from AQUIS, to distribute the coconut oil through your hair. Start at the midsection of your hair, around where your ears are, and continue to the ends of your hair for all-over moisture. If you’re concerned about hair loss or want to boost hair growth, you can also take a small amount in your fingertips and massage it on your scalp first before applying it to the midsection of your hair. You can also experiment by blending your oil with other ingredients, such as yogurt, honey, or lemon juice.

Step 3: Leave on for 30 minutes—or overnight.

For a quick deep-conditioning hair treatment, apply your coconut oil before shampooing and conditioning your hair like you normally would. Simply leave it on for 30 minutes, then wash your hair like normal. Or, for an extra-hydrating hair mask, leave your coconut oil hair treatment on overnight. Simply wrap your hair up in a shower cap (we love the KITSCH Luxury Shower Cap) before sleeping to make sure you don’t get it all over your pillow. Then, shower and shampoo when you wake up. You might have to rinse a few times to get all of the coconut oil out, but when you do, you’ll be left with silky, soft hair.

How to Apply Coconut Oil as a Hair Oil

Don’t have time for a full deep-conditioning treatment, or want to incorporate coconut oil into your everyday hair care routine? We’ve got you covered.

Ipster tip: While you can use coconut oil as an on-the-go split end treatment for extra-dry hair, this can cause product buildup or excess oil if you use it too frequently. To avoid this, try using coconut oil as a hair oil on wet hair first, after you’ve showered.

Step 1: Warm the coconut oil.

Since you’ll be using less coconut oil than you would be if you were using it as an all-over hair treatment, try taking just a small amount of coconut oil between your palms and rubbing until it’s soft and malleable. Of course, you can also heat it up over the stove for a more liquid consistency.

Step 2: Apply the coconut oil to the ends of your hair.

After showering, run the coconut oil through the ends of your hair, or take it up slightly higher (to the midsection of your hair) to use as a moisturizing detangler. To avoid excess oil or grease, skip applying it to your roots or scalp area.

Step 3: Comb through and style as usual.

After you’ve applied your coconut oil to the ends of your hair, comb through and dry as you normally would. If you’re using a blow dryer, we recommend applying your heat protectant (try the BRIOGEO Farewell Frizz Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème). It’ll help tame flyaways while also protecting your hair from damage. Add the heat protectant on top of the coconut oil to make sure none of the moisture is lost while you style.

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