How Coconut Oil Saved My Hair

Niulife Coconut Oil

I have a confession to make. I hate coconut-scented … anything. I can’t stand the smell of it. It’s a peeve I’ve always had since I was young. The only thing that’s coconut-scented that I don’t hate but actually like very much is kaya (coconut jam), and that’s only if it has a lot of pandan in it.

For years, I’ve heard and read that coconut oil does wonders to the skin and hair. It’s like a miracle elixir especially for hair. I’ve always knocked the idea off because the thought of applying anything that smells that strong makes me want to throw up. Yeah, it’s that bad. I decline requests from brands that offer to send me coconut-scented products for review. Nope, sorry, I can’t do it.

So why did I even contemplate it this time?

Niulife Coconut Oil

A month ago, I was getting a bit click-happy with Pinterest and I saw images of how coconut oil is used to condition hair. It was also during that time that I watched a couple of videos on YouTube on how the YouTubers used coconut oil to give their hair amazing softness and shine. Now, for the past 2 months, my hair’s been fried left, right and centre no thanks to the very hot summer. It was terribly dry, lacked volume at the top, too much frizz and volume at the bottom … all in all, it looked like shit and felt like the dead grass that Janey would pee on.

Niulife Coconut Oil

I was desperate, I tell you. The masks I was using didn’t help me much, not even my favourite Pantene 3 Minute Miracle Treatment tubes, which usually work a treat. So I decided to bite the bullet and bought a jar of organic coconut oil to try on my hair. Hey, worst case scenario: if it doesn’t work and I can’t deal with the smell, I’ll just make kaya out of it. Nothing’s wasted. πŸ™‚

I was particularly interested in trying this method out, which was blogged and pinned by Lara from How Does She.

How Does She Coconut Oil

Β© How Does She

Funny thing was, the organic coconut oil I bought didn’t smell that bad. In fact, it smelled a lot like kaya!

I followed Lara’s method and used coconut oil as a pre-shampooing treatment. For a couple of weeks, I used it every time I washed my hair, which was every other day. After that I used it once a week. The results were amazing.

Coconut Oil On Hair

I’m not promoting Niulife, I swear! Any coconut oil will do.

My hair softened many notches without losing volume. My hair was shiny and smooth again. After the coconut oil pre-shampooing treatment, I shampoo-ed my hair twice just to make sure I get rid of all the residue and then I used the Pantene 3 Minute tube. It might sound really full-on but to me, it was like hitting the jackpot on haircare. It didn’t weigh my hair down at all. Hello soft and shiny hair!

So that’s the story about how coconut oil, something which I’ve always strongly disliked, saved my hair. It didn’t make my hair feel heavy at all unlike the thick and heavy hair masks. This is a treatment I’ll be keeping up with from now on.

Coconut Oil On Hair Results

If you haven’t tried coconut oil for your hair, I highly recommend it. Coming from someone who really dislikes coconut-scented anything, it’s actually not that bad and the scent doesn’t linger on your hair after your hair wash.

Have you used coconut oil on your hair or even skin before? How did it work for you?

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52 comments… add one
  1. Emy

    I used to have a bottle of coconut oil, bought to use as a body moisturizer. I rarely used it due to the harder texture (and I’d need to use so much). But I definitely want to try it as a hair treatment now — especially since my hair has been terribly frizzy lately. Your hair looks so healthy!

    1. Tine

      Just wondering, would it be too oily to use as a body moisturiser?
      Once I left the jar of coconut oil by the window for a few days and the whole thing turned into oil! Good thing I was careful when I took the lid off or else it would have spilled all over!

      1. Carolina

        Hi Tine,

        I really enjoyed reading your post about coconut oil.

        In my personal experience, I have completely replaced all my beauty products for coconut oil. I use it for everything, from makeup remover, hair mask to face/body moisturizer. It has been truly a really good money saver and a miracle in a jar.

        I usually buy a jar of 453g of pure coconut oil which lasts me around 3 months.

        You should try to use it as a body moisturizer and face moisturizer and share it with us :).

        I put my coconut oil in the freezer so it doesn’t melt down.

  2. Juan

    I felt the same way about coconut oil but remembered how soft, straight and shiny my hair was every time my late grandmother came to stay with me for her scheduled visits when I was much younger then. I hated the smell but liked how a lot of “aunties” would tell me how black and shiny my hair was. Hence, when I recently found out about 100% virgin coconut oil, I had to give it a try and love it ever since. I don’t need finishing treatments on my hair after one month of weekly use and it is such a cheap alternative.
    Juan recently posted..Beauty tips for beautiful skin could just mean keeping it simple.My Profile

    1. Tine

      Yeah I know what you mean. I think it could be the crappy coconut oils that I grew up with that made it so cloying but after using the 100% virgin coconut oil, it’s so much better. My hair feels so much better now compared to the dry grass condition it was before.

  3. Paris B

    I did this many years ago when I’d just started blogging except I didn’t use coconut oil, but coconut milk (santan). I imagine the oil is easier to handle but the milk was easier to find locally and it did a good enough job, plus I think the fats in the milk serve to nourish the hair too. I personally don’t advocate the hairdryer method as it’s far too hot. As an alternative, heat some towels and wrap around the shower cap (and use a disposable shower cap – less mess) I stopped it coz it got too messy and after I cropped my hair, I’ve barely had to actually treat it (yay for short hair!) but it’s a very affordable and effective hair treatment indeed.
    Paris B recently posted..Plum Pop and Berry Pop: Beautiful Cheek Pops of colour from CliniqueMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh coconut milk! I’ve never thought of using that. Unfortunately a can of coconut milk is quite expensive here so I think I’ll stick to the coconut oil.

      I didn’t try out the hair dryer method. All I did was to cover my hair with a shower cap, wait for 30-45 mins and I’m done!

  4. lyn

    I bought a jar of organic cold press virgin coconut oil and have used it as a leave-in hair treatment. It conditions and leaves my hair feeling so soft. But I don’t do it often enough because I don’t like dealing with the mess. This reminds me I need to get a shower cap soon. I threw mine out when it got mouldy (yuck, I know).
    lyn recently posted..Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm: The Glossy Cousin Is Here In TownMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh I know what you mean by mouldy shower caps. I had to chuck a couple of mine and get new ones. πŸ˜›

  5. Wendy@BlushandBarbells

    I haven’t tried coconut oil, but now you’re making me want to. I like putting shea butter in my hair overnight for conditioning, but I’m not consistent with it. When I do use it, it’s amazing.
    Wendy@BlushandBarbells recently posted..This Week in WorkoutsMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I’ve seen bloggers leave coconut oil in their hair overnight. Makes me wonder, isn’t it too greasy and won’t it dirty the pillows? Hmm…

      1. Jami

        It does get greasy but usually I’ll put my hair in a cotton shirt and put a shower cap over that or vise versa if you wrap it it should be good to go! Although I accidentally did get coconut oil on my pillow but washed it and it was all ok! πŸ‘ŒπŸ½ the results are amazing!!! I also use coconut oil for my oil pulling! Coconut oil is my go-to … I heard a lot of ppl say they love coconut oil for their skin but I tend to breakout I have not found the perfect mix for that… My face is super oily anyway a so I think that’s why I tend to breakout

  6. Megan

    I love coconut oil as a hair treatment but I also use it to shave my legs, works fantastic and has so many uses.
    Megan recently posted..Celebrate Valentines Day in Style with PalmoliveMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh I’ve never thought of using it to shave my legs! Thanks for the suggestion. πŸ™‚

  7. Sue

    I bought 2 containers of coconut oil. I got one to use on my skin and hair. I’ve been itching from dry skin so bag here in the Winter. I used this oil and I just rechecked my skin on my armms and elbows and they aren’t dry and flaky at all. I hadn’t thought of using it for shaving my legs. I have been using hair conditioner for shaving which works good. Can’t wait to try the oil. I have been using it in my dry ears and it worked great first day. I used it on my face too as in the winter I tend to get dry skin.

    I have fairly shaort grey hair. Should I just take a few fingers full and massage it in and leave it on for a while, then shampoo it out one shampoo or two times?

    I wonder if this would work on my husbands dandruff? I will have to see if he’ll go for it. He doesn’t like “foo foo stuff”. But this might help.

    My other jar is for my kitchen. We are trying to eat healthier and his sugar has gone down a lot….now try using the coconut oil to saute or fry. Any suggestions for me??? Thanks. Sue.

    1. Tine

      I’d say shampoo twice, just to make sure you get all the oil out of your hair. A regular shampoo will not, not a clarifying or detoxing one lest it’s strips the hair off its moisture.

      The thing about coconut oil is, whilst it’s healthy, it’s very fatty. I wouldn’t use it to fry food. To be honest, I don’t use it for cooking at all, just on my hair and maybe my body. πŸ˜›

      1. Nina

        Actually my favorite health person, Cassey Ho (blogilates) always uses Coconut oil when she cooks food. Even if it’s fatty it’s a very very good kind of fatty. So you should really try it. I just bought home 100% extra Virgin Coconut oil, cold pressed ( which should be the best for this, some people take it when you write “any Coconut oil” very literally, so try to add some more directions. So now I’ll use it for my hair, and maybe oil pulling too. I use soy bean oil to cook in. But I might just try Coconut oil too. Now when I already bought it.

  8. shalunya

    I love to use coconut oil but now I want to use it more often. I’ve used it as an occasional prewash treatment but now I’m wondering why I am not using more regularly. Thanks for sharing this with us and encouraging me to be more consistent with it. Great post.
    shalunya recently posted..Flower Cream Shadow vs L’Oreal InfallibleMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Thanks! By writing about it, it makes me use it more regularly too. πŸ™‚

  9. Allison

    My hair could use some help, and I have a jar of coconut oil that hasn’t done much to soften my skin unfortunately so I may as well try it on my hair. (It made great DIY lipstick, however!) I love the idea of using it as a pre-wash. I’m not sure I can deal with the heating it up part. Did you do that, and for how long?
    Allison recently posted..Hada Labo Tokyo Hydrating Facial CleanserMy Profile

    1. Tine

      I didn’t use the hair dryer on me. Decided against it; thought it might be too drying for my hair making the coconut oil counterproductive. What I did was apply the coconut oil on my hair, put a shower cap over it and leave it on for about 30 to 45 minutes. No extra work required. πŸ˜‰

  10. Victoria

    Thanks for the post Tine. I really need to try this as both yours and Lara’s hair look so soft. My hair is still soft and shiny due to rebonding but was thinking of doing treatment at a salon in a few months time. I think you just saved me that trip with this tip πŸ™‚ Now I need to find out where I can get extra virgin coconut oil in Malaysia….

    1. Tine

      Thanks Victoria. I haven’t done rebonding in years but I do use the flat iron every other day so my hair’s pretty darn damaged. As for the coconut oil, you should be able to get them at Cold Storage. πŸ™‚

  11. giddy tigress

    I use coconut oil but I don’t have the luxury to use the hot towel. Not yet, anyway.
    I love how my hair feels after that. I’m using it mainly to combat hair loss…hmm…..I should start doing it again, I reckon.

    I’m now using my homemade coconut milk shampoo. πŸ™‚
    giddy tigress recently posted..Goodbye With A Heavy Heart…My Profile

    1. Tine

      Oooh does coconut oil combat hair loss? If it does, I’m so getting my husband to use it!

      1. Kristina Beck

        It really helped my stepdad. He has long hair. It was thin on both sides in thr front(receding hairline). Also, a spot in the back was thinning. Now after two trims and a few treatments his head has sprouted new growth in all the areas that were thinning as well as his ponytail is alot thicker. I don’t think it would help someone who has actual baldness. Although, it will help thinning hair. I’ve been using it for years. My hair grows faster than ever.

  12. Monica P

    Oddly enough .. I tried this the other day .. and I hope to get more regular with the treatment. I’ll probably try and heat the coconut oil slightly as I had chunks of coconut oil in my hair (not a good look .. lol).

    Monica P recently posted..Clarks WaveTrek Lace-Up Fashion SneakerMy Profile

    1. Tine

      Oh yeah, when it’s cold, that coconut oil is hard and chunky! I’m just wondering what to do when it’s winter here and I need to use the oil. It’s summer here now so I don’t have a problem but when it gets a lot colder, it’s going to be quite difficult digging the oil out!

      1. Roxanna

        I just run mine under hot water and it melts just enough for me to poor out. I like it better anyways bc then I don’t have to worry about pouring too much out. For my hair And skin I also have a mixture of water (just enough so it’s not really solid) and coconut oil that I put into a spray bottle and just spray rub everything down.

        1. Tine

          That’s a great idea, Roxanna! I should have thought of running the jar under hot water. It’s now getting colder in Melbourne and the coconut oil is as hard as rocks. Can’t take any out at all. Will do it tonight. πŸ™‚

          1. Brigitte

            Even at room temperature? To melt the amount I will sue on my hair I put whatever I need in a plastic cup or container, and then i warm some water in a cooking bowl and I put the plastic to float in the hot water so the oil melts and warms a bit. I think it’s better warm.

          2. Rose G

            Use a rice cooker to soften up. Put some in a glass and set it on white

  13. Natasha

    How timely is this?! I just bought a jar of unrefined, organic coconut oil and used it as a pre-wash — then opened my email while it was soaking in and found your post! I figured that since I’m living in Hawaii for a few months, I should try what the locals use. I have used coconut milk before as a conditioning hair mask and also have used the oil as a cleanser in the past.

    Last week-end I used olive oil to protect my hair while swimming in the ocean… and it worked well. I think coconut oil might be a bit better since it is a lighter texture.

    Looking forward to glorious hair when it dries!
    Natasha recently posted..Sunscreens… more to consider if you snorkel or swim in the ocean…My Profile

    1. Tine

      Hahaha a great coincidence indeed! The hair feels soft already when the coconut oil goes on but after it dries, ooooohhhh yeeeeaaaahhh. πŸ˜›

  14. Swati Murti

    i haven’t used coconut oil for hair in a long time!! oils, body or hair, always catch my fancy so i keep on experimenting with them and right now i am getting through with some of the ayurvedic ones after which i am surely gonna give the plain coconut oil a try!!
    Swati Murti recently posted..5 Goofups I made as a bride {Five Series}My Profile

    1. Tine

      Haha it’s great stuff, this coconut oil. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and gave it a go. Works wonders on my hair πŸ™‚

  15. plue

    not a fan of coconut scent, and definitely not a fan of the mess! i think I tried it once and I was so put off by the scent and oily mess I can’t do it again.

    i know i read somewhere before that you can do housechores while wearing a shower cap as the heat generated from your body helps your hair to absorb the goodies, but of course you sweat also la, which is a bit yucky. Or wear it while you are having nice hot bath, and leave on a face mask too, haha! I do the latter when I go travel because only then I have a bath tub to use, and I replace the coconut oil with hair treatment πŸ˜› Tee hee.
    plue recently posted..Happy Chinese New Year & Huat Ahhhh!My Profile

    1. Tine

      It actually wasn’t as messy as I thought. But I’m thinking that given that it’s warm in Malaysia, do you guys actually just get the oil in the jar or is it white and quite chunky?

  16. katz

    My hair’s been recently rebonded. Do you think i can do this coconut oil treatment? TIA^^

    1. Tine

      I don’t think it would be an issue, but if you’re worried, I recommend checking with your hair stylist on this. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  17. Nikki

    My hair was soo dry and thinning I tried coconut oil everyone was saying and it Def made my hair softer and hairs growing back !!what wonders thnx

    1. Tine

      I was skeptical at first of the thought of putting all that oil on my hair but it really works!

    2. Vini

      Hi there. Im having the same problem too now. My hair is thinning and very dry. Can you mention what brand of coconut oil you use? and btw i have a question. In shop there’s oil to apply for hair after shampooing . can it be used to massage the hair before shampooing also. pls reply. I want to try out this to my hair.

  18. ANDREA

    I have very fine Asian hair which is or should I say was in great condition. I decided to buy pure coconut oil to deep cleanse my hair for a quick hair boost. I followed all the so called (right ways) to do this however to my horror it did not work. my hair went into a great big tangled mass and it just would not come out. It had set like candle wax to my roots. 3 hours of washing and brushing would not remove it. It took my hair dresser 4 hours the next day to remove it by pouring boiling water to my hair to try and melt it away and vigorous brushing like hell. NEVER AGAIN WILL I USE THIS. IT RUINED MY HAIR.

    1. Tine

      Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear that, that’s awful! πŸ™

  19. John Marris

    Coconut oil is one of the best natural treatments for hair problems; it repairs damaged hair and makes dry hair healthy. The coconut oil is also good for preventing dandruff because of its anti-fungal nature.Coconut oil can be used also to encourage hair growth in babies.Thanks for sharing.

  20. Jami

    Thanks for this blog! I love coconut oil!! I also rinse coconut oil out with eggs.. Because i had been no pooing for a year but I will occasionally use a natural shampoo if I have an emergency and can’t take time on my hair to rinse it out with the egg! Coconut oil has made my hair soooo healthy. Everyone needs this product in their home!!!

  21. Vic

    Hi , any recommendations for good coconut oil? I use , they sell 300ml coconut oil for the skin.

  22. Aweng

    Love your blog, informative and very interesting, especially to those people who are into taking good care of their hair. I agree with you that there are a lot of benefits from coconut oil, I’ve been using it for years now and it never stop to amaze me. Thank you for sharing.

  23. fiona

    hey, ur hair looks great! Definitely gonna try your method! Anyway, where did you buy the coconut oil? I’ve been looking in every supermarket and pharmacy in KL, but not one jar of coconut oil was on display.

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