From removing makeup to preserving eggs, coconut oil can be adapted to do pretty much anything. So it should be no surprise that it’s the go-to natural beauty alternative, especially for hair. When your store-bought products just won’t do, try mixing up your own homemade hair mask instead to combat those issues—yes, frizz and dryness, we’re looking at you. Here are nine.
Why use coconut oil in your hair?
Coconut oil’s benefits can solve just about any hair problem. Studies show that the oil has antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant properties to treat a variety of common concerns.
For example, the lauric acid found in coconut oil is a triple threat. It works to moisturize dry areas, support hair growth and reduce protein loss due to coloring, bleaching or using heat tools overtime. Aside from the fatty acids, the oil is rich in vitamins to help smooth, nourish and get rid of excess oil in your hair.
Whether your strands are very dry, prone to breakage or frizzing out, there’s coconut oil hair mask recipe out there for you.
1. If your hair is brittle: Try coconut oil and castor oil
Coconut oil alone is great, but adding another oil to the mix like castor oil upgrades your hair mask times ten. There's no scientific proof that castor oil helps with hair growth, but its fatty acids and antioxidants work to increase moisture in dry, brittle hair, ultimately decreasing breakage.
Mix together two tablespoon of coconut oil and two tablespoon of castor oil. Section hair before applying the mixture. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, or keep the mask on overnight (just be sure to put a towel down over your pillow so the oil doesn’t seep through). Repeat two to three times a week for best results.
2. If your hair is oily: Try coconut oil and lemon juice
Lemon juice is a great cleanser and oil controller. The juice’s antifungal properties promote scalp health by reducing grease, removing any dirt and keeping pores unclogged. This combo also helps fight dandruff, reduce itchiness and keeps hair feeling soft.
Melt one tablespoon of coconut oil before stirring in one tablespoon of lemon juice. (Optional to add tea tree oil for added dandruff-fighting and moisture benefits.) Apply the mixture to dry hair and leave on for 15 minutes. Rinse with water and finish your hair routine as normal. Use this mask twice a week for maximum results.
3. If your scalp is itchy: Try coconut oil and aloe vera gel
We know aloe vera gel can help reduce acne scars and relieve a sunburn, but did you know it can be a useful hair treatment, too? The gel’s antimicrobial, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will leave your mane looking and feeling healthier. The vitamins A, C and E soothe itchiness and clear out dandruff, while vitamin b12 promotes hair growth.
Stir together one tablespoon of coconut oil and one tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Put the combo on your scalp and target the roots before working it through the rest of your hair. Leave the mask for 15 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water and finish your hair routine. Try this mask once to twice a week and consider doing it overnight to really get in there.
4. If your hair is dull: Try coconut oil and apple cider vinegar
It’s time to finally say goodbye to product build-up. Apple cider vinegar (aka ACV) is known for being a great shampoo replacement, even becoming a go-to wash for some. ACV’s vitamins and nutrients help balance your hair’s PH level, while bringing dull hair back to life with shine, softness and strength.
Combine two tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before applying the mixture to damp or dry hair. You can also add two tablespoon of honey to help retain moisture and/or your favorite essential oil since ACV’s scent is a bit strong. Leave for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse and continue your normal hair routine. Use this treatment once a week.
5. If Your Hair is Curly: Try coconut oil and avocado
This fruit always finds its way onto our plates and into our hair routines. The vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants make avocado a great mask ingredient for strengthening, repairing and nourishing thirsty hair.
Cut a medium size ripe avocado into chunks and smash it up in a bowl. Once the avocado is smooth, add the coconut oil and stir together. Apply the mixture to dry or damp hair, making sure to massage it into your scalp and cover all of your strands. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes, rinse out and finish with shampoo and conditioner. Use this combo once to twice a week.
6. If your hair is frizzy: Try coconut oil and banana
If you suffer from frizzy or dry hair, try adding banana into your coconut oil mix. Bananas have a high amount of antioxidants and potassium to nourish, soften and protect the hair from split ends and breakage.
Grab a ripe banana, peel and chop it, then toss into a blender. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil before blending together until smooth. Massage it onto your hair and leave on for 10 minutes to 15 minutes. Rinse off and continue your hair routine as normal. This can be used one to two times a week.
7. If your hair is thin: Try coconut oil and egg
Folks with brittle, thinning hair should use this mask to pump in moisture. The proteins and nutrients give instant shine, while the yolk’s oils help repair and nourish hair.
Combine one egg yolk with two tablespoons of melted coconut oil. You can also add one tablespoon of honey for extra moisture. Whisk until smooth. Separate your hair into sections, apply the mask to damp hair and cover with a shower cap to avoid dripping raw egg. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse with cool water. Use the mixture every two weeks.
8. If your hair is damaged: Try coconut oil and honey
Honey works wonders for the skin, so it's no surprise that it does just as much for your hair. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties can bring back the moisture your locks have been craving.
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil and honey in a pot on the stove. Turn the heat to low and stir until it’s melted and smooth, feeling free to add more coconut oil if the mixture is too sticky. Let it cool down before applying to damp hair, then wear the mask for 40 minutes before rinsing it off with water and moving on to your shampoo. Apply the combo at least twice a week.
9. If your hair is all of the above: Try coconut oil and olive oil
We raved about this treatment before and are singing its praises yet again because it’s just that good. This combo soothes an itchy scalp, repairs damaged hair and strengthens fine, thin strands. The omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants have been proven to improve dullness, prevent breakage and strengthen all hair types.
Whisk together half a cup of olive oil and one cup of coconut oil in a bowl before massaging it through your hair. Work it into your strands and scalp and leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes (or even overnight). Rinse your hair and continue with shampoo and conditioner. Use at least once a week.
A few things to keep in mind:
Aside from the amount of time you leave it on, you should also be mindful how much coconut oil you’re using to make your masks. Too much, and it can have the opposite effect, leaving hair greasy and dull (this is especially true if your hair is fine). So remember, a small amount goes a long way, and you should always thoroughly wash your hair after masking to clear your scalp of oil buildup.
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with essential oils, honey and other kitchen essentials that have been proven to boost your hair. DIYs are meant to be fun, after all!