coconut oil on curly hair

Are you looking for a natural and effective way to keep your curls soft, moisturized, and frizz-free? You've come to the right place! Coconut oil has been praised as a wonder product for all types of hair, especially those with curly locks, including 4c hair. 

This tropical oil has been used for centuries to nourish and protect hair, and today, we're diving into how it can work its magic on your curls, with before and after results that will amaze you.

Let's explore whether coconut oil is good for curly hair, how to use it, and what you can expect from this fantastic natural ingredient!

Is Coconut Oil Good for Curly Hair?

You might be wondering, "Is coconut oil good for my curly hair?" The answer is a resounding yes! Coconut oil is good for curly hair as it provides deep conditioning, protein retention, moisture retention, scalp health, and hair growth protection.

Let's break down the benefits that make coconut oil a curly hair's best friend, including 4c hair, along with some considerations to keep in mind and the remarkable before and after transformations you can achieve.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Curly Hair

Deep Conditioning

Curly hair is naturally drier than straight hair, which can lead to frizz and breakage. Coconut oil, rich in fatty acids like lauric acid, penetrates the hair shaft(1) to provide deep conditioning, leaving your curls softer, shinier, and more manageable. It also helps to reduce friction between hair strands, minimizing tangles.

Protein Retention

Did you know that coconut oil is one of the few oils that can help prevent protein loss in hair(2)? This is important for curly hair types, as they are more prone to protein loss, leading to weak and damaged hair. Coconut oil binds to hair proteins, preventing them from being washed away during shampooing.

Moisture Retention

Curly hair struggles to retain moisture, making it prone to dryness and frizz. Coconut oil acts as a natural sealant, locking in moisture and ensuring your curls stay hydrated, smooth, and bouncy.

Scalp Health

Coconut oil is known for its antimicrobial and antifungal properties(3), which can help maintain a healthy scalp, prevent dandruff, and soothe irritation. It also stimulates blood circulation, promoting hair growth.

Hair Growth and Protection

By nourishing the scalp and preventing breakage, coconut oil can promote healthy hair growth and even give the appearance of fuller, thicker hair. It also protects hair from environmental damage, like sun exposure and pollution.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Curly Hair

However, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

Not for Everyone

While coconut oil offers numerous benefits for curly hair, it may only work for some. Some people might find it too heavy, leading to greasy or weighed-down curls. The key is to find the right amount and method that works for your unique hair type.

Potential for Build-Up

Coconut oil can build up on hair over time, which may require clarifying shampoos to remove. This can strip natural oils from the hair, so it's essential to use clarifying shampoos sparingly and replenish moisture afterward.

With these benefits and considerations in mind, it's time to learn how to use coconut oil on your curly hair!

How To Use Coconut Oil On Curly Hair

So you're wondering how to use coconut oil on curly hair, huh? No worries, we've got your back! Here are seven fabulous ways to use coconut oil for your curly mane to get those smooth, stunning curls you're after. Remember, everyone's hair is unique, so don't be afraid to experiment and find the method that works like a charm for your curls.

If you’re looking for a visual demonstration, check out this video to see what it’s like to use coconut oil on curly hair:

Pre-Shampoo Treatment

  • Slather coconut oil onto your hair, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
  • Let it chill for 30 minutes or even overnight (we won't judge!).
  • Shampoo and condition as usual.

Why try the pre-shampoo treatment? Well, think of it as a shield protecting your hair from protein loss and keeping it moisturized while you wash. By using coconut oil before shampooing, you're giving your curls the extra boost they need to stay hydrated and strong. So, next time you're about to hit the shower, give this pre-shampoo treatment a go!

Deep Conditioning Mask

  • Mix coconut oil with nourishing buddies like honey, yogurt, or avocado.
  • Spread the mask onto clean, damp hair
  • Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing it out.

If you're looking for extra hydration and softness, a deep conditioning mask might just be the ticket. Combining coconut oil with other nourishing ingredients creates a powerful blend that infuses your curls with moisture and nutrients. Say goodbye to dry, lackluster curls and hello to touchably soft, vibrant locks!

How To Use Coconut Oil On Curly Hair

Leave-In Conditioner

  • Use a small dollop of coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner.
  • Work it into damp hair, especially on the ends.

What's the deal with using coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner? This handy trick helps seal in moisture, reduce frizz, and make your curls pop. By applying a bit of coconut oil to damp hair, you're locking in hydration and giving your curls the definition and bounce they deserve. Give it a try and watch your curls come to life!

Scalp Treatment

  • Gently massage a bit of coconut oil into your scalp.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes, or overnight if you're feeling it.
  • Wash your hair as you normally would.

Why treat your scalp with coconut oil? This soothing treatment helps alleviate dryness, itchiness, and dandruff. Massaging coconut oil into your scalp not only feels amazing but also nourishes your hair at the root level. So, next time your scalp is feeling a bit irritated, give it some coconut oil TLC!

How To Use Coconut Oil On Curly Hair

Hair Oil

  • Warm a smidge of coconut oil between your palms.
  • Smooth it onto your hair, focusing on the ends.

Hair oil, you say? Yes, indeed! Using coconut oil as hair oil helps to tame frizz, add shine, and shield your curls from environmental damage. A little coconut oil goes a long way in keeping your curls smooth and protected. So, when your hair needs a little extra love, reach for that jar of coconut oil!


  • Rub a little coconut oil into damp hair.
  • Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb to gently untangle those knots.

Coconut oil as a detangler? Absolutely! The oil reduces friction, making it easier to detangle your curls without causing breakage. No more battling with stubborn knots and tangles! Just work a small amount of coconut oil into damp hair, and you'll find that your fingers or comb glide through those snarls with ease. Your hair will thank you for it!

How To Use Coconut Oil On Curly Hair

Hair Growth Treatment

  • Combine coconut oil with essential oils like rosemary or lavender.
  • Massage the mixture onto your scalp.
  • Leave it on for at least 30 minutes before washing your hair.

Why use a coconut oil concoction for hair growth? Well, when mixed with essential oils like rosemary or lavender, coconut oil helps promote hair growth by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp and providing essential nutrients to the hair follicles. 

Regular scalp massages with this aromatic blend can give your curls the boost they need to grow stronger and longer. So go ahead, and treat yourself to a luxurious scalp massage!

A few Handy Tips

  • Less is more – start with a small amount of coconut oil and adjust as needed to avoid weighing down your curls or making them greasy.
  • Go for extra virgin coconut oil for the best results, 'cause it's less processed and keeps more of its goodness.
  • If you've got low porosity hair or find that coconut oil is too heavy, consider lighter oils like grapeseed or jojoba oil.

There you have it! With these methods, you're all set to enjoy the benefits of coconut oil for your curly hair!

Final Thought

Alright, curly comrades, we've had a blast uncovering the coconut oil secrets that can turn your curly hair into a head-turning masterpiece! We not only tackled the burning question of whether coconut oil is curly hair's BFF but also dished out a variety of ways to use it, from pre-shampoo treats to hair growth wonders. But hey, your hair is as unique as you, so don't be shy – give these methods a whirl and find your own coconut oil groove. 

Just remember our little nuggets of wisdom: opt for extra virgin coconut oil, don't go overboard with the amount, and look for alternatives if needed. With the right coconut oil moves, you'll be rocking those gorgeous curls like the superstar you are. Keep it sassy, and enjoy the curly hair ride!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does coconut oil do for curly hair?

Coconut oil nourishes, hydrates, and strengthens curly hair. It prevents protein loss, reduces frizz, promotes growth, and adds shine, resulting in healthier, more manageable curls.

How long to leave coconut oil in curly hair?

For a pre-shampoo treatment or deep conditioning, leave coconut oil for at least 30 minutes or overnight for maximum benefits. For leave-in applications, use a small amount and adjust as needed. 

Can I leave coconut oil in my wet curly hair?

Yes, applying a small amount of coconut oil to wet curly hair as a leave-in conditioner can help lock in moisture, reduce frizz, and enhance curl definition.

Does coconut oil make curly hair frizzy?

No, coconut oil typically helps reduce frizz by sealing in moisture and smoothing the hair cuticle. However, using too much may weigh down curls or make them greasy. 

How often should you use coconut oil for curly hair?

It depends on your hair's needs and the method used. You may use it weekly as a pre-shampoo treatment, deep conditioner, or scalp treatment, or more frequently as a leave-in conditioner or hair oil.


1. Ruetsch SB; Kamath YK; Rele AS; Mohile RB (2022). Secondary ion mass spectrometric investigation of penetration of coconut and mineral oils into human hair fibers: relevance to hair damage. Journal of cosmetic science, {online} 52(3). Available at:

‌‌2. Rele AS; Mohile RB (2021). Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of cosmetic science, {online} 54(2). Available at:

3. Gambhirsinh Sursinh Vala and Kapadiya, P.K. (2014). Medicinal Benefits of Coconut Oil (A Review paper). {online} ResearchGate. Available at: