Coconut oil for hair: the most important questions and answers

Kokosöl für die Haare: Die wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten

Hair care is part of everyday life. Especially with us girls. Our hair is our sanctuary, which we try to protect and care for with every means. They should shine, be nice and long and definitely not fall off. That's why we often resort to chemical agents, be it creams or industrially manufactured masks. However, there are also natural alternatives. Including coconut oil.

In the following, we will explain and explain in detail everything about coconut oil and its connection with hair care.

the essentials in brief

  • Unlike conventional oils, coconut oil is solid at normal room temperature. At first glance, it doesn't look like oil at all, but rather like soap.
  • Coconut oil is made in Asia. Well-known countries include India, Philippines and Indonesia (1)
  • Coconut oil isn't just for hair. This product helps with health problems, is ideal for body care, and can also be used in cooking and baking.

Coconut oil for hair: what you should know

As you can see, this product can be used in many ways. But to get more specific and to get a better overview of what coconut oil is all about, why it's good for your hair and what else it's useful for, below we answer all the questions you should know about.

What is coconut oil?

As the word suggests, this product is an oil made from coconut. This is solid at room temperature, i.e. not liquid like the ordinary oil that we use when cooking, for example. Only at a temperature of approx. 24 to 37 degrees Celsius, coconut oil becomes liquid.(1)


The coconut just doesn't taste good, but the fruit has one of the best oils that are good for body and grooming (Image source: moho01 / pixabay)

How is coconut oil made?

When making coconut oil, there are two methods. In the first variant, the dried pulp of the coconut, also called copra, is heated. Then this is used in a screw press and pressed until all the oil has been pressed out. The other method, you don't heat the coconut. This version was called cold pressed.(2)


ingredients Percentage
lauric acid up to 52%
myristic acid up to 19%
capric acid up to 10%

This table consists of nothing but foreign words. Fear not, because these terms are namely the fatty acids that are present in this oil. This group belongs to the medium-chain fatty acids. This means that they are made up of 8 to 12 molecules. Also, these types of fatty acids are known for their water solubility, which means that instead of being stored as fat stores in the body, they flow into the blood.(5)

Why use coconut oil for hair?

Coconut oil is said to be particularly suitable for hair care. Through triglycerides, which is one of the ingredients of this oil, both hair and scalp are supplied with the necessary nutrients.

Coconut oil protects your hair and ensures its stability and growth.

In addition to this property, both triglycerides and the most important component of coconut oil, lauric acid, provide protection against radicals that get into our hair, for example due to UV rays or other free radicals . This fat blends with the flora of the scalp and produces monolaurin. This works against both bacteria and fungi that can cause infections. This ensures strong hair and our nightmare of hair loss disappears.(5)

A study in India tested which oil reversed the lack of protein in the hair. Coconut oil, mineral oil and sunflower oil were used. Only the coconut oil could do the job.(19)

Why does hair loss occur?

But why does hair loss happen in the first place? Before devoting ourselves to this question, you need to know that there are three types of hair loss and they are:

  • androgenetic hair loss
  • circular hair loss
  • diffuse hair loss
  • scarring hair loss

The first variant is hereditary hair loss, which can affect both men and women. Put simply, androgenetic hair loss is caused by a hereditary excess of hair follicles that fight the hormone DHT. This hormone is responsible for hair growth. Therefore, in this process, hair loss occurs, be it on the head or in men the beard.(6)

The circular hair loss is mainly observed in men. This often leads to hair loss in the middle of the head. This is caused by autoimmune diseases. This is where the body's defense cells attack the hair follicles, as they ingest it as vermin. Most people fully regain their hair over time, but 25% lose not only scalp hair but body hair as well.(6,22)

hair loss

There are different types and indicators of why hair loss can occur. Coconut oil ensures that this doesn't happen at all (Image source: Element5Digital / pexels).

We all know the third type. You comb your hair and you already have the feeling that half of it is already gone. Because diffuse hair loss is caused by damage that happens both outside and inside the body. For example, fever, stress or the birth of a child can be the cause. But constant dyeing and the use of chemical hair products can also lead to diffuse hair loss.(6,23)

What is bad, however, is the scarring hair loss. This type is caused by severe diseases such as tumors or fungal infections. These damage the hair follicles so that hair no longer grows in those areas. In addition, scars appear in the bald spot.

How often should you use coconut oil on your hair?

There is no specific guide to how often you should use coconut oil in your hair. So it is up to you how often you want to smear the oil in your hair.

How much coconut oil should you use for your hair?

That depends on how you want to use the oil. If you want to use it as an oil, then one or two pinches of the oil is enough. However, if you plan to pamper your hair with a treatment, then use two to three large tablespoons.

How to use coconut oil for hair correctly?

There are two ways to use coconut oil on hair.

  • oil
  • cure/mask

If using the product as an oil, take up to 2 pinches of solid coconut oil with your fingers and rub it into the ends. It is important not to include the hairline here, otherwise your hair will look oily and greasy.(11)

The cure is different. Before using the oil, wash your hair. It is best if you use a shampoo that is free of chemicals such as silicone. After you've lightly dried and combed your hair, take about 2-3 tablespoons of the oil and let it melt. Then use it to massage your entire hair, including your scalp.

It is important that you then enclose your hair well with a towel so that the oil can work properly. For a minimum of 45 minutes, you must let the treatment work. However, keep in mind that the longer you leave the treatment on, the better the effect. It's best to do it at night and leave it on until morning. Then you grow out your hair as usual.(4)

What else can you use coconut oil for?

scope of application usefulness
to eat for sore throats, as a detoxification cure or as a substitute for oil
as a cream for injuries, for face care or as sun protection
for oral hygiene as lip balm or toothpaste
for hygiene as deodorant or make-up remover(8)

coconut oil for health

  • few calories
  • works against viruses
  • Intestinal bacteria are not damaged
  • protects against dementia and heart disease
  • prevents cancer

If you need help with losing weight, then coconut oil is the best alternative to conventional fats. Due to its medium-chain fatty acids, this oil has fewer calories and does not store itself as fat, which means a reduction in fat and thus weight. This is also confirmed by a study in which one group received medium-chain fatty acids while the other group consumed long-chain ones.(14)

Lauric acid and the resulting substance monolaurin are not only important for the hair, but for the whole body. This is because it fights bacteria and viruses. Therefore, coconut oil is effective against herpes or viruses that cause the flu(5)

Coconut oil is not only suitable for hair care, but also good for your health.

The ingredient capric acid is also of high importance. Because it not only works against normal bacteria, but especially against sexually transmitted viruses. One study showed that this fatty acid fights HIV, while another study showed it was effective against chlamydia. Chlamydia is a virus that can cause inflammation in the genitals and is also transmissible(15,16)

As you can see, the ingredients present in coconut oil are anti-bacterial and anti-viral. So should you be worried about whether these also act against the good bacteria, for example those in the intestine? No, the studies have shown that these are not damaged or attacked by the substances.(17)

A review also confirmed that coconut oil is beneficial for dementia, heart disease, and cancer. According to the author, these diseases have increased because many unsuccessful studies claim the opposite.(18)

What should you pay attention to when buying?

Coconut oil is not just coconut oil. After all, you want a product that keeps all the promises. Therefore, make sure that it is organic coconut oil . This product does not contain any additional ingredients such as preservatives or artificial flavors. In addition, both the cultivation and the production of this oil are environmentally friendly. Accordingly, the palm trees are not destroyed or sprayed with environmentally harmful fertilizers.(3)

What alternatives are there to coconut oil?

If you don't have coconut oil on hand right now, don't worry. Because there are various alternatives that, like coconut oil, care for the hair and are also useful for various other things

  • argan oil
  • olive oil
  • castor oil

You are probably familiar with olive oil. Argan oil is also often heard when it comes to beauty. Castor oil rather rare. Here we will show you why you can use this oil instead of coconut oil.

argan oil

This oil, which comes from Morocco, is made from the argan fruit. It can be used in many ways, be it for cooking or for skin and hair care. One of the most important ingredients is linoleic acid, which comes from the group of unsaturated fats. This substance not only moisturizes the hair, but also protects it from pests that can damage the hair.

Plus, it's beneficial against viruses, cancer, and heart disease—just like coconut oil.(9)

olive oil

Olive oil not only tastes good in food but also protects your hair. In addition to imparting shine, this forms a protective barrier over the hair so that heat and harmful external substances have no chance of getting into the hair.(12)

In addition, studies show that consuming olive oil is effective in reducing inflammation and preventing heart problems and strokes, especially in obese people.(20,21)

castor oil

When you hear it, castor oil is often associated with eyelash growth. This product is made and pressed from seeds of the Miracle Tree. Again, the cold-pressed version is the best for hair care. Castor oil not only lengthens hair but, like coconut and olive oil, protects it from pollutants. Besides that, you will get if you use it regularly. shiny hair that is soft.(13)


As you have read, coconut oil is a real miracle cure. It cures your hair and protects it from falling out. There are various reasons why this process occurs. But thank God it can be treated in most cases. Aside from its usefulness for your hair, you can do a lot more with coconut oil. In addition, it takes care of your health.

If you don't have coconut oil at hand, don't worry, there are plenty of alternatives that you can even find at home that have the same effectiveness as coconut oil.

References Coconut oil, 03/13/2014 Source : Coconut oil: Not a good alternative to palm oil, 04.2017 Source Source Source : Coconut oil is healthy and delicious. Carina Rehberg, March 5, 2021 Source Hair loss: stop it with effective means Carina Rehberg, March 26, 2021 Source Inexpensive and healthy hair care tips Carina Rheberg, March 7, 20121 Source possible uses of coconut oil Carina Rehberg, March 21, 2021 Source Argan oil – care for skin and hair Carina Rehberg, March 6th, 2021 Source Olive oil: A natural blood thinner Carina Rehberg, March 8, 2021 Source Coconut oil for hair: natural and effective care Paulina Dautfest, December 21, 2020 Source geht-die-natuerliche-haarpflege/:Olive oil for the hair: this is how natural hair care works Alexa Brosiums, 6/29/2020 Source CASTOR OIL FOR HAIR Source Tsuji H, Kasai M et al., Dietary Medium-Chain Triacylglycerols Suppress Accumulation of Body Fat in a Double-Blind, Controlled Trial in Healthy Men and Women, November 2001, The Journal of Nutrition Source Thormar H et al., "Hydrogels containing monocaprin have potent microbicidal activities against sexually transmitted viruses and bacteria in vitro" Sex Transm Infect. Jun 1999; 75(3): 181185. Source Bergsson et al., "In vitro inactivation of Chlamydia trachomatis by fatty acids and monoglycerides." Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1998 Sep;42(9):2290-4. Source Isaacs CE, Thormar H "The Role of Milk-Derived Antimicrobial Lipids as Antiviral and Antibacterial Agents" Adv Exp Med Biol. 1991;310:159-65. Source Lawrence GD, Dietary fats and health: dietary recommendations in the context of scientific evidence, May 2013, Advances in Nutrition, Source Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage Source Olive Oil and Body Weight. Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Zamora Zamora F, Martínez Galiano JM, Gaforio Martínez JJ, Delgado Rodríguez M. Rev Esp Salud Publica. 2018 Nov 21;92:e201811083. Source Anti-inflammatory Activity of Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols: Which Role in the Prevention and Treatment of Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Diseases? Santangelo C, Vari R, Scazzocchio B, De Sanctis P, Giovannini C, D'Archivio M, Masella R. Endocr Metab Immune Disord Drug Targets. 2018;18(1):36-50. doi: Source KJ, Paus R et al. What causes alopecia areata? Exp Dermatol. 2013 Sep; 22(9): 609-626. Source Hair loss and environmental influences Dtsch Arztebl 1999; 96(23): A-1571 / B-1339 / C-1238 Mühlendahl, Karl Ernst von; Stand, Hartmut; Traupe, Heiko Source
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