Natural Homemade Coconut Oil “Hair Repair” Treatment

May 7th, 2013 - filed under: The Fashion » Beauty and Cosmetics

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything about DIY natural body care. Like, um, since 2009? (!!!) But of course I’ve been at it this whole time, and since my natural homemade deodorant is STILL one of my most popular posts (and for good reason – that stuf is the bomb), I thought it was about time I shared a little more home-brewed beauty goodness.

So, my hair has been dry. Like really really dry. I forgot how bad it gets during winter here in SoCal, which is weird because in Portland I always felt like my skin dried out in winter. But here it’s the hair. Don’t know what that’s about . . .

Anyway! Maybe you’re dealing with end-of-winter dry hair too? If so, I’ve got just the super-magic, super-simple, super-potent hair treatment for you!

Coconut oil, melting in a water bath on the lowest heat.

Well of course it’s coconut oil! You guys know how much I heart coconut, so I wasn’t surprised to learn that coconut oil is actually one of the only oils that will penetrate the hair shaft, as opposed to just coating it. This allows coconut oil to moisturize, condition, and repair from the inside out. It’s magical stuff I tell you!

To make your hair repair treatment, simply melt 1 cup organic virgin coconut oil, and then add 1/2 teaspoon of whichever essential oil will be best for your hair. This could be anything from lavender to tea tree to ylang ylang – it all depends on what you need it to do.

Here are some common hair issues, with their corresponding essential oil remedies:

To Stimulate Growth:
Basil, Lavender, Peppermint (I can vouch for this!), Rosemary, Ylang Ylang

For Oily Hair:
Basil, Lemon, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Ylang Ylang

For Dry Hair:
Myrrh, Peppermint

For Dry Itchy Scalp/Dandruff:
Bay, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Rose, Sage, Sandalwood, Tea Tree

For Hair Loss:
Burdock, Cedarwood, Jojoba, Thyme

For Lots Of Shine/Extra Conditioning:
Chamomile, Lavender

Add your essential oil to your melted coconut oil, stir, and then pour into a container (use something with a wide-enough mouth so that you can get your fingers in there). It will harden as it dries but that’s fine – you just need to scoop some out and rub it between your fingers to melt it, see?

Apply a few tablespoons of the hair repair treatment to dry hair and comb it through. You want it well distributed, but not dripping. Wrap your head in a wet towel or a shower cap to keep the oil off your clothes. Leave it on for at least half an hour, but a few hours is best. Then, wash it out and shampoo/condition (or no-poo/ACV, haha) as normal.

Glamorous. (at least Harley doesn’t seem to mind!)

I’ve been doing this once a week or so, and my hair is looking so much shinier and feeling so much softer. Give it a try, and let me know what you think!

  • veggiesara

    This sounds great, thanks for sharing. My hair has been dry since a few months and I’ve already tried using a different shampoo and conditioner (organic without perfume) but nothing helps. So this comes in handy ;-)

  • Emily

    Hi Sayward! This looks great! I absolutely LOVE coconut, too, so I am def. going to try this! I was wondering if you still go “no-poo” or if you switched back to using shampoo/conditioner. I am thinking about trying it…it seems like it would be liberating to get rid of all those hair products, but am a little reluctant, so it would be nice to know if its something you liked so much that you still do it. Thanks!

  • Ellen M. Gregg

    I <3 coconut oil. I use it, with or without baking soda, to wash my face, and then moisturize it. I've also rubbed it into my scalp and hair during the winter to help with excessive dryness. Now I know why it helps. :-)

  • Janae @ Bring-Joy

    I too am curious if you’re still doing the the no-poo routine?

  • Erica

    Awesome! My friends and I were just talking about this. Thanks for the essential oil info! Can’t wait to try it out.

  • Chrissy

    Hi Sayward! I’m semi-new to thic community so I wanted to say hi :) I’ve been no poo/ ACV for a year and a half and I love it!! I’m never going back :) However, I LOOOVE coconut oil and really want to do this oil treatment, but I’m afraid that the baking soda and acv wont get all the oil out at the end… if you are no poo, did it work for you?

  • The Vegan Mishmash

    This is awesome! I’ve used coconut oil in my hair before (and it did wonders), but I never thought to use essential oils. I think I’d do a combination of tea tree oil and peppermint oil.

  • Cammila

    For real? I’m doing this shiz with peppermint oil, this weekend. IT’S ON. Seriously, I massage my scalp with castor oil every month or two, but it’s viscous as hell and smells, you know, like castor oil. I put coconut oil on my face every day…you’d think I’d have made the connection by now that it could rock my locks! Thanks for the tip, hot stuff!

  • Shannon

    You’re reading my mind…under all of this dry hair! Thanks for the info…I also want to try making a rosemary concoction for my man’s thinning locks.

  • Alanna

    Hi Ellen,
    Can I ask whether using coconut oil as a facial moisturizer makes your hair greasy? I tried it on my face for the first time a couple weeks ago, and although it did a great job of what I was using it for, it also soaked into the roots around my face and left me looking a little too greasy for comfort!

  • bohemianmatka

    Wow, I needed this post, thanks so much :)

  • lysette

    Awesome advice, I’m trying the peppermint, cedarwood combo this weekend!

  • Sonja

    totally love your DIY natural body care posts!!! I’ll give it a try. Thanks! <3

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Ooh, let me know how it works for you.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I stopped no-poo last summer/fall, and had been using store-bought shampoo since moving to SB, which I think is part of the problem with the dryness. I’ve been back on no-poo for a couple weeks now, and my poor hair is mucking through the transition, oof. Anyway, the baking soda gets the oil out, but you’ll probably need to do a second wash.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Coconut oil and baking soda face wash? I love that!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Just copy/pasting from above:

    I stopped no-poo last summer/fall, and had been using store-bought shampoo since moving to SB, which I think is part of the problem with the dryness. I’ve been back on no-poo for a couple weeks now, and my poor hair is mucking through the transition, oof.

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Hi back atchya, and welcome!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oof castor oil! Great stuff but man . . . it does NOT smell so nice, haha.

  • Brittany

    I love love love coconut oil, and the most tragic thing ever happened to me this past week…..My mother, who unfortunately is completely ignorant of anything dealing with nutrition, found my BRAND NEW jar of extra virgin, cold pressed coconut oil, and decided that because it was solid and white, it was rancid….and……she threw it away! :( I about died when I found out. Bless her heart for trying to do what she thought was right, but still, that stuff is expensive and so precious and *sigh*. Hope I can try this DIY out sooner rather than later!

  • Pingback: Tip for Smooth and Silky Hair

  • Miimi Galvezz

    hey what about a hair smoother for every day use? can you also use coconut oil.. i need something to put on my hair after the shower so my hair doesn’t get so frizzy and i can smooth out my natural curls.

  • Inthethick

    I recommend using a coconut cowash when removing coconut oil. It removes the unnecessary residue when leaving the effects of the coconut oil. I use the brand As I am.

  • Alanna

    Hi Sayward,

    I tried this last night and know the coconut oil did a great job — because I can’t get it out! Do you have any suggestions? I washed my hair twice last night and again this morning, but I still ended up going to work looking like a greaseball, yikes!

    Thank you. :)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh no! I’ve never had that problem, I don’t know what to tell you. How much did you use? Do you have really thick hair?

    I’m sorry you’re having trouble getting it out!

  • Alanna

    Problem solved! A friend of mine suggested trying corn starch due to its absorbency, and it seems to have done the trick.
    When I applied the coconut oil, I used a little less than a cup. My hair is very fine, but thick too, and it tends to be a little oily. The corn starch might be a good trick to keep in mind for regular times when my hair is oily — it has never been so soft or so fluffy as when I put the corn starch on yesterday . . . nor so white! I looked like I had been aged several decades in the space of a few minutes! ;)

  • Lindsey

    Hi Sawyard! You wrote that peppermint herb helps stimulate hair growth. Can you tell me more? How much did you use and did you use it in the coconut oil mixture?

  • Lindsey

    Sayward…sorry for the misspelling!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    I was using a peppermint shampoo for a while and noticed that my hair got thicker and fuller. In this coconut oil mixture I would just use peppermint essential oil in the same proportion (so 1/2 teaspoon). Hope that helps!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Oh Alanna! I only use a few tablespoons when I use this. One batch should last you many, many applications. I’m so sorry if that wasn’t clear!

  • Alanna

    Ah, that would likely explain the problems I had, then. I thought your instructions said to use a cup. The cornstarch ended up being a temporary fix; it only worked while it was still on my hair. Each time I washed it out, the oiliness returned. I ended up using a pretty heavy-duty clarifying shampoo, and it is back to normal now. I will probably stay away from coconut oil (topically applied, that is) for a while. ;)

  • jen

    I use grapeseed oil instead of conditioner for this!

  • Miimi Galvezz

    for every day use or just for conditioner in the shower?

  • peanuts

    Hi, I am newly addicted to coconuts (cant sleep at mo – 5 am in England) and came across this site. I have some on my hair right now (virgin oil), and my face – smelt so good I could almost eat me! Ha! My son won 7 coconuts on school fayre shy so I have found many uses (eating flesh/drinking the water – using in salads/curries etc but my best is grating then drying on a large tray, then bake in oven til golden. Yummy! then use in a thai dish called mieng kham(best and most simple dish ever and also in vietnamese summer rolls! Sorry ive diversed onto food! Ooh and if you are careful about how you break the coconut shell (i.e. get hubby to saw them in half you can then mix lard with bird seed and make bird feeders (but am not going to do that because as much as I love them its those pesky little ….. that have woken me up this early! ha!) But hair feels fab … thanks.

  • MonaLisa65

    Applying coconut oil to clean, dry hair before coloring prevents damage and doesn’t interfere with color-uptake! Apply a moderate to heavy amount (it should look wet, but not dripping) at least an hour before, up to overnight if lightening, and apply your color right over it, per the box’s instructions. There’s a huge thread about it on the long hair community forum, and I speak from personal experience that it works wonders.

  • Liz


    When you list the various essential oils to use with coconut oil in order to stimulate hair growth, do I have to use all of the ones you list, or just one? Thank you!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Nope! You can use as few or as many as you want. I often just use one, but doing different combos can be fun. =)

  • zoe

    I tried coconut hair mask for the first time and it made my hair greasy too for about a week, impossible to wash out (I have fine hair). Just read on one blog that you should apply shampoo on your hair before wetting it (oil and water don’t mix well). It says it helps to take all the oil out this way and I’ll definitely try that next time!

  • LizP

    To Stimulate Growth:

    Basil, Lavender, Peppermint (I can vouch for this!), Rosemary, Ylang Ylang

    Hi there, do you mean all of these oils or choose one of them to use?

  • Monique

    Is coconut oil butter the same thing?

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Nope, the oil is pressed out of the flesh (like other oils) while the butter is the flesh blended up. The butter is thicker and grainier and is a more “whole” food.

  • Pingback: How To Not F@%# Up That Homemade Coconut Oil Conditioner You Saw Somewhere On Pinterest — theCoolGirl - The Ladies' Guide to Beauty, Fashion, Health, Recipes and Music.

  • Glenda

    Look up a brand called Eufora lol … Hey Mimi this is Glenda

  • Anita

    please how will I prepare the coconut oil, teach me how to prepare it

  • Brittany

    I noticed that you did say to melt 1 cup of the coconut oil.. Was this a typo?

  • Queentamrai

    oh I know what you mean! try doing it in the shower…before you wash your hair! that way you get all of it out of the edges of your hair…then use a little more (light) like just dip your fingers and rub it on your dry face while your hair is up in a towel, avoiding your hair line, as an added moisturizer! hope this helps! it really IS the best thing for your skin I use it all over!

  • Sayward Rebhal

    No, you do make a batch using 1 cup of coconut oil. You just only use a little bit each time, so a batch lasts a while. =)

  • Sayward Rebhal

    Sorry Anita, I’m not sure exactly what you’re asking?

  • Emma

    OMG Brittany I feel your pain!!! My mom has done this before with items she thought “nobody uses” and stuff like that. I keep my jar of coconut oil in my room so my family doesn’t use and abuse it.

  • Robert Dexter

    Most of the people use both Shampoo
    for long hair
    and natural oil to make their hairs to be strengthen.