Which Coconut Oil Is Best For Hair?

Welcome to Afterthought. Coconut oil has long been cherished for its myriad benefits for hair health. With its natural properties, it’s a favorite among those seeking to nourish their locks, prevent damage, and promote growth. However, with so many types and processing methods, choosing the right coconut oil can be overwhelming. This guide will help you navigate the options and find the best coconut oil for your hair.

Understanding Coconut Oil Types

Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO)

  • Extraction: Made from fresh coconut meat, VCO is extracted through processes like cold-pressing.
  • Benefits: Rich in antioxidants and healthy fatty acids, it retains the natural nutrients of the coconut, making it highly beneficial for hair health. It helps in moisturizing the scalp, reducing dandruff, and promoting hair growth.
  • Usage: Ideal for deep conditioning treatments and daily hair care routines.

Refined Coconut Oil

  • Extraction: Produced from dried coconut meat (copra) and undergoes refining, bleaching, and deodorizing (RBD) processes.
  • Benefits: While it lacks the strong coconut aroma and some of the natural nutrients found in VCO, it is still a good source of lauric acid, which can strengthen hair and reduce protein loss.
  • Usage: Suitable for those who prefer a neutral scent and for use in hair masks and treatments.

Fractionated Coconut Oil (FCO)

  • Extraction: This oil is processed to remove long-chain fatty acids, leaving only medium-chain fatty acids.
  • Benefits: Liquid at room temperature, FCO is lightweight and easily absorbed by the hair and scalp. It’s excellent for those with oily hair types or for use as a carrier oil in DIY hair treatments.
  • Usage: Best for lightweight moisturization, scalp massages, and as a base for essential oils.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Coconut Oil


Ensure the coconut oil is 100% pure without additives, preservatives, or chemicals. This ensures you get the full benefits without potential side effects from contaminants.

Processing Method

Cold-pressed and unrefined oils retain more nutrients compared to those that undergo heat and chemical processing. Look for labels indicating minimal processing to preserve the oil’s natural properties.


Opt for coconut oil stored in glass jars rather than plastic to avoid chemical leaching. Dark glass containers are preferable as they protect the oil from light exposure, which can degrade its quality.

Organic Certification

Organic coconut oil ensures that the coconuts were grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, making it a safer and more environmentally friendly choice.

How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair

Pre-Wash Treatment

Apply coconut oil to your hair and scalp before washing to protect it from the drying effects of shampoo. Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for a more intense treatment.


Use a small amount of coconut oil on the ends of your hair after washing to lock in moisture and prevent split ends.

Scalp Treatment

Massage coconut oil into your scalp to alleviate dryness and dandruff. The antifungal properties can help keep your scalp healthy and promote hair growth.

Hair Mask

Combine coconut oil with other natural ingredients like honey, avocado, or essential oils to create nourishing hair masks. Apply the mixture to your hair and leave it on for 30 minutes to an hour before rinsing out.

Styling Aid

Use a tiny amount of coconut oil to tame frizz and add shine to your hair. It’s particularly effective for dry, curly, or frizzy hair types.


Choosing the best coconut oil for your hair depends on your specific needs and hair type. Virgin Coconut Oil is generally the top choice for its nutrient-rich properties and minimal processing.

However, if you prefer a lighter option, Fractionated Coconut Oil is excellent for its ease of absorption. Always opt for pure, organic, and minimally processed oils to ensure you’re giving your hair the best possible care.

Incorporating coconut oil into your hair care routine can lead to healthier, shinier, and stronger hair. Whether used as a deep conditioning treatment, daily moisturizer, or styling aid, this natural oil is a versatile and effective addition to any hair care regimen.

Also Read: Which Brand Of Coconut Oil Is Best For Hair?

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