How to Use Coconut Oil for Black Hair

We just can't get enough of this stuff!


Like just about every other girl I know with natural or relaxed hair, coconut oil for black hair is a total game-changer. For years, I have sworn by using olive oil for everything like oiling my scalp and using it as an oil treatment for my hair, but the oil is far too heavy for everyday use. While olive oil did leave my kinky-curly hair soft and conditioned, nothing compares to the lightweight feel on coconut oil on a black girl’s hair and I’m sure many can agree with me on this.

Now the question many of us have is whether or not there is a version of coconut oil that is known as the best coconut oil for natural hair or black women’s hair in general, and the answer is: in a sense, yes! Read on to find out how to use coconut oil for black hair and which version of the oil you should aim to stay away from.

coconut oil for black hair
Coconut oil is a great addition to any hair care routine.

Why you should use coconut oil

Let’s first discuss why you should be using coconut oil on your natural or relaxed hair in the first place. Coconut oil is made up of small molecules that are able to slip into your hair shaft which allows it to condition your hair from the inside out. If you ever find that your hair needs moisture after applying coconut oil just a few days ago and wonder why, keep in mind this is an oil that penetrates, it doesn’t sit on top of your hair unless you’re applying more than what your hair can handle at a given time. When it comes to application, a few drops of coconut oil per section of hair goes a long way.

The best type of coconut oil to use

The number of different brands and forms of coconut oils on the market can be quite overwhelming and trust me when I say they are different and will feel different on your hair. The best coconut oil for natural hair and relaxed hair types are unrefined and organic coconut oil. Steer clear from refined versions of coconut oil as the impurities from the oil are removed during the filtering process which also removes some of the nutrients in the oil that your hair benefits from.

How to use coconut oil

This oil can be used from hair to toe which is why many of us love it. Use coconut oil to supercharge your conditioner by adding it to your hair while deep conditioning, use it to moisturize your strands whether you’re relaxed or have natural hair. You can also use coconut oil to add shine to your hair after styling if you’re opposed to using a shine hairspray.

If you want to create a hair care routine that is infused with coconut oil you can try a wash and care system like Love Beauty and Planet Hope and Repair Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang Shampoo and Conditioner. This formula will help repair visible damage on your hair. For an at-home treatment, you can also use Love Beauty and Planet Hope and Repair Coconut Oil & Ylang Ylang 3-In-1 Benefit Oil


Section and clip your hair up.

Start by sectioning off your hair clipping the areas you aren’t working with away from your face. 


Apply coconut oil.

Warm the coconut oil up between your palms and work it through each section of your hair. Make sure to fully and evenly saturate each section of your strands! After that, cover your hair with a cap and let it sit for 20-30 minutes.


Wash and condition your hair.

Wash and condition your hair using one of our favorite duos: TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Shampoo and ConditionerThis duo is infused with coconut milk and aloe vera. It will gently cleanse and condition your hair without stripping it of all benefits the coconut oil just delivered.


Rinse and go!

Make sure to completely rinse your hair and that’s it! Your hair will feel healthier and hydrated after absorbing all the benefits of coconut oil! 

The consistency of coconut oil changes depending on the temperature of the oil itself. The colder the oil is, the harder it will be. If the oil is warm then it will have a completely liquid consistency. Store it in the fridge for a hard paste and in a room-temperature environment for a softer and more oily consistency.

When it comes to a D.I.Y. coconut oil hair mask the consistency will really depend on your process. If you’re looking for a product to apply to your hair that you’ll leave on for the duration of your shower after rinsing out your conditioner, using warm and liquid-like coconut oil is no problem. For a slightly more heavy-duty conditioning treatment, you can use the coconut oil as a mask. If you’re in a rush and don’t have time for D.I.Y, we love using TRESemmé Botanique Nourish & Replenish Hydration Mask. This mask is one of our favorites because the coconut milk and aloe blend deeply hydrates your hair, leaving it soft and silky.

coconut oil hair mask
The secret to your new favorite hair mask: coconut oil edition

1. Make Sure It’s Stored Properly

Simply store the jar in your shower. Since this oil is very thick, the heat of the water will soften it!

2. How to Apply

To apply, run the oil through damp strands while you wash your body and shave your legs.

3. The Best Way to Rinse It

Rinse the oil out at the end of the shower for super-silky strands. Make sure to rinse with shampoo to ensure that the coconut oil is out of your hair.

1. How To Apply It

After you wash your hair, run the paste-like coconut oil through the bottom three-fourths of your hair. The oil will melt from the warmth of your hands as it absorbs into your strands.

2. Let It Sit

Leave the oil on for anywhere from ten minutes to a few hours. Some people even opt to wrap their hair in plastic and sleep in the coconut oil overnight!

3. Wash It Out

Whatever time frame you choose, rinse out the oil. Leon-van Gorkom, Senior Manager Hair, North America of Unilever, notes: “Wash with a little shampoo (or even conditioner) to remove excess oil.”

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