Why Coconut Oil May Not Work For Every Hair Type - hair buddha

Why Coconut Oil May Not Work For Every Hair Type

Why Coconut Oil May Not Work For Every1


Coconut oil is fab. But why the obsession. It’s touted as ‘the’ natural beauty aid for every hair or skin type. Coconut oil or for that matter any ‘one’ oil is not going to work for everyone.

Why Coconut oil May Not Work For Every Hair Type

Coconut oil can penetrate inside the hair shaft due to its low molecular size, and also because it contains lauric acid which has a high affinity for hair proteins. This study shows that coconut oil can help reduce the protein loss from hair when used pre-wash or in a post-wash grooming product. This is great, as protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure. But too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Coconut oil works pretty well for those with soft, fine or medium thick (in diameter) hair. Its protein retention abilities will add body and volume to such hair types. And also minimize damage and breakage while combing and styling.

But if your hair is dry, stiff, brittle, or coarse (could be wavy or curly), then it’s better to give it a pass. With repeated use coconut oil may cause protein build up, making your hair further stiff, hard and less elastic. And less elasticity means more breakage when combing or styling. Also, your hair will be tangled and dull looking.

What Is The Solution For Dry, Stiff And Brittle Hair?

If you hair feels dry, stiff, rough, crunchy, tangly, or brittle, you need to add in moisture. This may sound strange, but coconut milk is a great substitute for coconut oil. The reason being, dry hair needs a combination of fatty acids plus moisture – which the oil lacks. Coconut milk will nourish and moisturise your hair, but without causing protein overload. (More on coconut milk for hair see here).

Besides, you can also treat your dry hair with moisturising hair rinses such as sage, marshmallow root and fenugreek seeds. Even better, make a hair spritz. Combine 1 tsp of glycerine with 100ml rose water (or any floral water you like). And spray as often as required.

Replenish the moisture in your hair and it will be softer, more flexible and shiner. Also, you do not have to forgo coconut oil altogether, but don’t use on its own. Combine it with other oils or moisturising ingredients and you will have happier and softer hair.

Have you experienced dryness with coconut oil? How do you moisturise your hair?

DIY Rosewater & Glycerin Spray: For Soft Hair and Glowing Skin

DIY: Top 3 Hair Masks for Dry Hair

Miracle Hair Mask for Hair Growth

The Ultimate Homemade Conditioner for Dry, Coarse Hair

Yogurt and Honey Hair Mask for Dry, Frizzy, or Damaged Hair 


Leave a Comment:

Taylor says

I have a nice relationship with my coconut oil– I think. I mean, nowadays I tend not to use it. My hair is grows naturally in small coils and tend to get stiff and sucks up moisture very quick. When I did use coconut oil on the regular, I used it by the handful everyday and my hair was growing rapidly. It was shiny and more manageable and there was no real issue until I stopped using it. It’s like my hair fell out as if I were in chemotherapy, especially after I washed my hair. I have a feeling other factors were to blame like I couldn’t wash my hair when I wanted at the time and I stopped using other products as well. A while after my hair had gotten shorter again, I used coconut oil only in smaller quantities and washed my hair every so often and my hair grew back somewhat but then just got worse and started to break off more hair. The more I think about it, I think the other product I used before coconut oil (which has coconut milk and has been great to my hair) was the only thing that kicked in while I was using the oil which did me good. Forgive me because I’m pretty sure you already gave the answer but what do you think about this situation?

Kat says

I’ve noticed that my hair tends to get dry when using products with coconut oil, most recently with a shampoo from a very high-end brand. It contains coconut oil and coconut derived cleansers. There is a detox period that you are supposed to go through to get your hair back in shape, but I’m afraid the feeling of dry, dehydrated ends might be mistaken as detox. Is it possible to have the same reaction to coconut oil found in cleanser ingredients, as with the pure oil itself, or is it more likely detox?

    Minaz says

    It’s not necessary to have the same reaction to coconut oil found in shampoo as it contains many other ingredients. The shampoo, even if from a high-end brand, probably is not suiting your hair. I would give it a try 4 to 5 times, if it’s for me I will know it.

Eliza says

I am the only person I know who has found this so far, but coconut oil the ‘miracle hair grower’ actually makes my hair fall out…in chunks!

I can’t use anything (on my hair, skin is fine) that has it in or has coconut-oil-derived ingredients.

I had trouble explaining this to an ayurvedic doctor while doing panchakarma.

Any ideas why this could be?

(all I can think is that it is far too cooling in the UK climate)

    Minaz says

    There is no one size fit all. Your hair could be sensitive to lauric acid.

Esha says

Hi – Thanks for you great advice! I’ve lost so much hair because of harsh shampoos that I’m on the path to try natural stuff to get it back to it’s former glory.

One question: I have fine, wavy, Indian hair, and dry scalp. When it’s perfectly moisturized, I get amazing curls. While I would previously put coconut oil and shampoo it out, it would be great. However, nows, just using coconut oil and either a besan mix, yogurt mix, egg mix or aloe vera mix, the coconut oil still remains and I end up with limp, oily hair. Do you have any recommendations that would get rid of the oil, yet keep my hair bouncy, curly and moisturized (not to mention, reduce hair loss)? Thanks so much!

    Minaz says

    You can use rhassoul clay shampoo. It’s great to get the oil out, plus this clay is moisturising for the hair compared to the other clays.

dances says

I have long medium blond hair with highlights. It’s fine and soft. Coconut oil overnight makes it feel stiffer and dryer with much less shine and I swear it’s darker and duller. Like it stripped my highlights. I am going to try flaxseed or butter next.

    Minaz says

    You can also try this or this

BlueG says

Someone saw my hair has gotten a lot lot shorter. I said I didn’t cut it but CA water is hard and it just broke off the last few years. Two gals (one from Cameroon and one white from America) said to use Moroccan or coconut oil. So I finally got Coconut oil and use it a few times a week. My hair is fine (I just found that out in the hair trailer on set) and it seems to be making it much softer. But now I’m reading on this site that c oil is bad for fine hair and makes it worse. I don’t see the split ends ceasing and I’ve used it a few times a week for a few weeks. I put a big on the pony tail down at night then wash it the next day. Sometimes I’ll put it on the scalp an hour or so before I’ll shower. Not a table spoon or anything like some sites say. Just enough to cover it. No point in wasting it and putting gobs on. (Though I don’t want to clog the pores and make the hair fall out and then not grow back-my hair started thinning in my late teens. Used to be thick. Luckily it kindda just thinned and hasn’t KEPT thinning) I figured I’ll wait a few more weeks. It doesn’t make it worse from what I can see.

The bad thing on this site is you didn’t mention how often. I just googled it and figured a few times a week. And then once a week I do a hair mask I got at target. And then once a week I use a hair clarifer.

Someone told me to do that. I wash every other day and condition every other opposite day. Then I met another (black) gal on set and she said since I don’t use hair products to cut the clarifying to once a week. (and I have). Everyone has different opinions and it takes forever to find out what one needs for ones hair. ;-/

anabella says

I have thick eurasian hair. Normally my hair is quite frizzy, with natural waves. I tried coconut oil on the recommendation by a friend. I do find that when I use it, my hair becomes much more stiff, and dull, and does not have any bounce or wave to it. It is rather hay like. I find an argan oil does much better, as it makes my hair shiny and smooth.

Jess says

Strange I have coarse brittle thick and can be dry without product, yet contrary to the article coconut oil works so good on my hair, it is my essential product and keep some it so conditioned

    Louise says

    Exactly, I’m the same and it’s so weird. I have 4c naturally dry and coarse hair, but coconut oil works like a treat to hydrate and add shine to my hair. But other with softer hair seem to have problems with it.

Rachael says

I’m Caucasian with fine hair. Although I have a lot of it. Coconut oil makes my hair dry, brittle and crunchy with one use. Right now I use butter from my fridge! It makes my hair gorgeous.

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