How Does Coconut Oil Help Prevent Hair Loss?

Written by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
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Coconut oil has been an age-old remedy for all kinds of hair problems. From dandruff to dry hair, it is a one-stop solution for all issues of the hair. It conditions hair and improves the health of not only the cuticles but also the scalp because of its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and emollient properties (1), (2), (3). It also has penetrative properties, which make it a perfect ingredient for hair care (4).

Due to the oil’s ability to manage most hair problems, it is an efficient remedy for hair fall as well. Below are the different ways in which coconut oil helps your hair and keeps it healthy.

Coconut Oil For Hair Loss Treatment – How Does It Help?

1. Strengthens The Roots

The lauric acid present in coconut oil has antibacterial properties (5). This makes it perfect for maintaining the health of your scalp. It keeps the hair follicles healthy by keeping bacteria at bay.

2. Prevents Hygral Fatigue

Hygral fatigue, or the swelling of the hair shaft, happens when excess moisture is absorbed into the cuticle, causing frizz as the cuticle dries. This happens when it is humid or when you shampoo your hair too much. Coconut oil counters this as its oily nature seals in the required moisture in your hair shaft while keeping excess external moisture out (6).

3. Prevents Protein Loss

Coconut oil penetrates deep into your hair shaft and keeps the protein locked in. Since the oil is a triglyceride of lauric acid, it has a high affinity for proteins (7). Hence, the topical application of coconut oil can help prevent protein loss.

4. Provides Nourishment

Coconut oil is a great source of nutrients and antioxidants that are good for your hair (8). It keeps your hair well-nourished. It gets rid of dandruff and promotes hair growth, making your hair look thick and healthy.

5. Moisture Retention

The oil keeps your hair from getting dehydrated. It is a great natural conditioner that keeps the moisture in your hair locked in. Your hair is constantly thirsty for moisture, so using coconut oil is a good way to keep it hydrated.

6. Prevents Viral And Bacterial Infections

The antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of coconut oil make it a perfect solution that prevents viral and bacterial infections (9). This can help keep issues like dandruff and lice at bay.

7. Improves Blood Circulation

Massaging coconut oil into your scalp can improve blood circulation and ensure that the nutrients in your blood reach and nourish your follicles, ensuring that your hair grows out healthy and thick (10).

8. Cooling Properties

Coconut oil is a great ingredient to use in the summers or when your scalp is irritated, as it is a coolant. The cooling nature soothes any sores or irritation in the scalp.

9. Conditions Hair

While store-bought commercial conditioners coat your hair with chemicals and leave it feeling smooth and conditioned on the surface, they do little to improve the health of your hair. Coconut oil works from the inside to lock the moisture in your hair for longer, improving the health of your hair.

10. Anti-Dandruff Agent

While there are many causes of dandruff, ranging from skin conditions to fungal growth, coconut oil can soothe this chronic problem and ease its symptoms. It works especially well for a dry scalp that is flaking, as it moisturizes the scalp and restores its health.

There are many ways in which you can use coconut oil for hair growth. We have listed the five most efficient ways on how to use coconut oil for hair loss and promote hair growth.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Growth

1. Deep Conditioning With Coconut Oil

You Will Need
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • A comb
  • A shower cap
  1. Wash your hair with shampoo. Skip conditioning. Let it air dry.
  2. Heat the coconut oil by placing it in a bowl and then letting the bowl sit in a bigger one that has hot water.
  3. Once your hair is completely dry, apply coconut oil to your hair and massage it into your scalp.
  4. Comb your hair to ensure that the coconut oil has coated every strand and then put your hair up.
  5. Cover your hair with a shower cap and let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour. You can also leave it in overnight.
  6. Rinse with shampoo and condition. Instead of conditioning, you can also apply a tiny bit of the oil to the ends of your hair post-wash.

2. Detangle Your Hair With Coconut Oil

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • comb
  1. Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a bowl so that it melts.
  2. Once it is at room temperature, apply a tiny amount to the tips of your hair.
  3. Start detangling your hair with your comb.

3. Battle Dandruff With Coconut Oil

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Towel
  1. Heat the coconut oil until it has melted.
  2. At night, on a freshly washed and dried scalp, start massaging the coconut oil.
  3. Once you have covered your entire scalp, wrap your head in a towel and go to sleep.
  4. Wash off the oil with shampoo and condition.

4. Use Coconut Oil As A Base For Hair Color

You Will Need
  • Towel
  • Comb
  • Plastic mixing bowl
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Box hair dye (with developer)
  1. Melt the coconut oil and coat your hair with it liberally. Comb your hair out for even coverage.
  2. Mix the colorant and developer in the mixing bowl.
  3. Apply the colorant mixture over your oiled hair and let it sit for the recommended amount of time.
  4. Wash off with shampoo.
  5. Once your hair is dry, wrap your head in a towel to let to color further set. Sleep with the towel on.

5. Coconut Oil To Protect Hair From Sun Damage

You Will Need
  • A spray bottle
  • Water
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • Comb
  1. Mix the coconut oil in a spray bottle filled with water.
  2. Shake the bottle and spritz it over your hair.
  3. Comb your hair out for even coverage.
  4. You can use this spritz multiple times throughout the day. The oil will protect your hair from sun damage.

Let us now understand the causes of hair loss.

Causes Of Hair Loss

1. Nutritional Deficiencies

Not getting a sufficient amount of nutrients can have a negative impact on the health of your hair, leading to hair loss. Overconsuming vitamin A or not getting enough iron can trigger a response in the form of hair loss (11), (12). Since most of your hair is made up of protein, lack of it can also result in hair fall.

2. Hormonal Imbalance

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which is a more potent form of the male hormone testosterone, is a cause of hair loss in women (13). The lack of estrogen can also result in improper hair growth as the female hormone stimulates growth (14).

3. Fungal Infection On The Scalp

Fungal infections, such as ringworm, folliculitis, piedra, Demodex folliculorum, and seborrheic dermatitis, are conditions of the scalp that result in irritation, inflammation, and ultimately hair loss.

4. Hair Treatments: Bleaching, Hair Straightening, And Curling

Chemically treating your hair with relaxers that alter its structure leave your hair damaged with issues like frizz, dandruff, graying, weak hair, and hair loss (15).

5. Hair Colors: Chemical Hair Dyes And Hair Colors

Chemicals that alter the color of your hair can be a big factor for hair loss. One case study found that a 41-year-old woman experienced 90% hair loss after she used a hair dye (16).

6. Extreme Use Of Medication

Prescription medicines and over-the-counter drugs can sometimes trigger hair loss, but the symptoms usually stop when you stop taking them (17). Drugs for high blood pressure and high cholesterol are usually the ones that cause these problems.

7. Physical/ Mental Stress

Stress can cause a type of temporary hair loss known as telogen effluvium. Your hair has three phases of growth – anagen, catagen, and telogen. The telogen phase is the shedding period where the hair falls off, and a brand new hair replaces it. Stress can cause the hair to shift from the anagen phase right to the telogen phase, causing hair loss (18). While this usually happens with physical stress, emotional stress can worsen a hair loss problem.

8. Rapid Weight Loss

Losing weight rapidly can be stressful to your body. This stress causes telogen effluvium, which results in hair loss. Stress is caused due to sudden changes in the diet and physical activity.

9. Heredity

Hair loss can be genetic (19). If you have a history of hair loss in your family, it is likely that you too will start losing hair. Heredity is a big defining factor when it comes to the health of your hair.

10. Aging

As you grow older, the rate at which your nails and hair grows slows down. Hair starts losing pigment and grows out thin and brittle (20), (21). Almost everyone experiences some hair loss as they grow old, with some women losing so much hair that parts of their scalp become visible.

There is a reason coconut oil is used by women all around the world for hair care. If you have issues of hair loss, use this effective ingredient to tackle the problem and promote hair growth. If you are experiencing severe hair loss, consult a medical professional immediately to tackle the root cause.


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  2. Verallo-Rowell, Vermén M et al. “Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.” Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug vol. 19,6 (2008): 308-15.
  3. Intahphuak, S et al. “Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil.” Pharmaceutical biology vol. 48,2 (2010): 151-7.
  4. Keis, K et al. “Investigation of penetration abilities of various oils into human hair fibers.” Journal of cosmetic science vol. 56,5 (2005): 283-95.
  5. Shilling, Michael et al. “Antimicrobial effects of virgin coconut oil and its medium-chain fatty acids on Clostridium difficile.” Journal of medicinal food vol. 16,12 (2013): 1079-85.
  6. Ruetsch, S B et al. “Secondary ion mass spectrometric investigation of penetration of coconut and mineral oils into human hair fibers: relevance to hair damage.” Journal of cosmetic science vol. 52,3 (2001): 169-84.
  7. Rele, Aarti S, and R B Mohile. “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage.” Journal of cosmetic science vol. 54,2 (2003): 175-92.
  9. Ghani, Nurul Aqilah A et al. “Physicochemical properties, antioxidant capacities, and metal contents of virgin coconut oil produced by wet and dry processes.” Food science & nutrition vol. 6,5 1298-1306.
  10. Abel Anzaku, Abbas. “Antimicrobial Activity of Coconut Oil and its Derivative (Lauric Acid) on Some Selected Clinical Isolates.” International Journal of Medical Science and Clinical Inventions.
  11. Koyama, Taro et al. “Standardized Scalp Massage Results in Increased Hair Thickness by Inducing Stretching Forces to Dermal Papilla Cells in the Subcutaneous Tissue.” Eplasty vol. 16 e8. 25 Jan. 2016
  12. Cheruvattath, Rekha, et al. “Vitamin A Toxicity: When One a Day Doesn’t Keep the Doctor Away.” AASLD.
  13. Rushton, D H. “Nutritional factors and hair loss.” Clinical and experimental dermatology vol. 27,5 (2002): 396-404.
  14. Ustuner, Emin Tuncay. “Cause of androgenic alopecia: crux of the matter.” Plastic and reconstructive surgery. Global open vol. 1,7 e64.
  15. Levy, Lauren L, and Jason J Emer. “Female pattern alopecia: current perspectives.” International journal of women’s health vol. 5 541-56.
  16. Shetty, Vinma H et al. “Chemical hair relaxers have adverse effects a myth or reality.” International journal of trichology vol. 5,1 (2013): 26-8.
  17. Ishida, Waka et al. “Severe Hair Loss of the Scalp due to a Hair Dye Containing Para phenylenediamine.” ISRN dermatology vol. 2011 (2011): 947284.
  18. Tosi, A et al. “Drug-induced hair loss and hair growth. Incidence, management and avoidance.” Drug safety vol. 10,4 (1994): 310-7.
  19. Hadshiew, Ina M et al. “Burden of hair loss: stress and the underestimated psychosocial impact of telogen effluvium and androgenetic alopecia.” The Journal of investigative dermatology vol. 123,3 (2004): 455-7.
  20. Ramos, Paulo Müller, and Hélio Amante Miot. “Female Pattern Hair Loss: a clinical and pathophysiological review.” Anais brasileiros de dermatologia vol. 90,4 (2015): 529-43.
  21. Trüeb, Ralph M et al. “A Comment on the Science of Hair Aging.” International journal of trichology vol. 10,6 (2018): 245-254.
  22. Monselise, Assaf et al. “What Ages Hair?.” International journal of women’s dermatology vol. 3,1 Suppl S52-S57.

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Anjali Sayee
Anjali SayeeAssociate Editor
Anjali is an associate editor at StyleCraze. She specializes in hairstyles and hair and skin care and has written over 200 articles in these domains. She has 7 years of experience, and her philosophy about hair and skin care is simple: if you love and care for it, it will be healthy.

Read full bio of Anjali Sayee
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