Penetrating Natural Oils For Relaxed Hair: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has been the "it" oil for a few years now. As it's gained popularity in North America it's popped up in multiple hair care products - shampoos, conditioners, you name it. Not only that but it's also gained popularity in its pure form, which is the best way to use it.

I started using coconut oil last year and have made it a staple in my relaxed hair regimen. I use it in hot oil treatments, to seal my ends and massage my scalp. When I use it consistently I see improvements in my hair including increased shine and manageability.

Penetrating Natural Oils For Hair Coconut Oil | A Relaxed Gal

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About coconut oil

Coconut oil is made from the pressing of the insides of coconut also referred to as fresh coconut meat. IT can also be made from dried coconut called copra. There are different types of coconut oil - virgin coconut oil (also called unrefined coconut oil), refined coconut oil, and unrefined coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut and doesn't go through any type of processing outside of the extraction of the oil from the coconut. One thing to watch out for virgin coconut oil is some will say extra virgin. Unlike olive oil, there really isn't a difference between virgin and extra virgin.

Refined coconut oil is made from dried coconut and copra. It goes through additional processing besides extraction. This is the type of coconut oil that is best for cooking. 

The benefits of using coconut oil

What makes coconut oil a penetrating oil is its low molecular weight. It also contains saturated fatty acids and Vitamin E which are beneficial for relaxed and natural hair. Some of the benefits of using coconut oil on relaxed hair include:

1. Moisture retention

Coconut oil is hydrophobic so it repels water reducing the amount of water that enters the hair strand. This makes it an excellent pre-poo treatment and good for reducing hair frizz in humid weather.

2. Protein restoration

By penetrating deep into each hair and helping to bind the natural protein structure of the hair it helps with reinforcing the hair fiber.

3. Dandruff prevention

This oil has antibacterial properties that help to protect the scalp against infections that can result in dandruff and itching.

In addition to being a penetrating oil, coconut oil is also considered a carrier oil. This means it can be used to dilute essential oils which helps to carry the essential oils onto the hair and scalp.

How to use coconut oil on your hair

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate coconut oil into your hair regimen whether your hair is relaxed, colored, or natural:

As a detangler

Saturate your hair with coconut oil and use fingers to slowly remove knots starting from the bottom and moving upwards.

A hot oil treatment

You can heat the coconut oil up and use it on its own or mix it with other oils such as olive oil, or grapeseed oil. If my scalp has been feeling really dry, I make sure to apply the hot oil to my scalp and spend some time massaging it into my scalp.

As a sealant

After using applying a water-based moisturizer or leave-in conditioner you can apply coconut oil to your ends to seal in the hydration from the moisturizer.

In a hair mask or treatment

You can mix coconut oil with other ingredients found in your kitchen or bathroom. Ingredients like avocado, moisturizing rinse-out conditioners, or other natural oils. You can also mix coconut oil in with your deep conditioner to give it a little extra oomph.

As a pre-poo

Before shampooing your hair, you can apply coconut oil right out of the jar to your dry hair and let it sit for at least 10 minutes or you can use it as an overnight pre-poo.

Have you tried using coconut oil on your hair?



  1. Great article. I've just begun to use coconut oil to seal my ends and already see improvement. There is less breakage when I pull a comb through my hair and my hair moves better.

    1. Agree coconut oil is a great oil. My hair loves it and I've also started using it on my skin.

      Thanks for reading Yvonne!


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