How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Straightening (2 Ways)

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It almost seems impossible these days to find a hair product without coconut oil. It contains beneficial nutrients and moisturizing properties, so should you use coconut oil for hair straightening? We’ve got the answer.

Can You Use Coconut Oil For Hair Straightening

Written By Summer Wise

Coconut oil can be used for hair straightening both before and after treatment to prevent hair from being damaged by heat. The properties of coconut oil allow it to penetrate the hair shaft and protect it from split ends and frizz caused by heat damage.

Why Is Coconut Oil Good For Hair?

Coconut oil benefits hair in a multitude of ways, such as providing it with essential acids, conditioning the hair, and protecting it from outside damage.

In fact, this research experiment found that even on different hair types in varying conditions, coconut oil performed the best, and “among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss”.

Discoveries such as this helped the rise of coconut oil as a popular hair care product and demonstrate how hair can benefit from the application of coconut oil.

Properties Of Coconut Oil

It’s Rich In Fatty Acids

Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, including lauric acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, and stearic acid.

These acids are beneficial to our hair, with lauric acid being able to coat and penetrate the cuticle. A lack of oleic acid can cause dry hair and scalp.

Penetrates Hair

Coconut oil has the ability to coat the hair and create a waterproof layer around the hair strands.

This may be why many use coconut oil as a natural heat protectant for hair. You would achieve this by applying a thin layer before proceeding with heated tools.

Due to its ability to penetrate the cuticle, coconut oil also works great as a moisturizer as it contains protective properties.

This is why many choose to use it as a treatment for damaged hair, or as a pre-shampoo treatment.

Can You Use Coconut Oil For Hair Straightening?

Yes, it’s definitely worthwhile making coconut oil part of your hair straightening routine.

Coconut oil is even great for wavy hair before hairstyling as the hair is left in a healthier condition due to the oil. Therefore, using coconut oil for hair straightening is likely to give you a better result. It will also leave your locks shiny, straight, and silky.

How To Use Coconut Oil For Hair Straightening

As Conditioner

The best way to prep your hair is to condition with coconut oil either the night before or a few hours before straightening your hair.

This is also called a pre-poo treatment. Essentially you’re creating a protective barrier around your hair strands using the oil which will help preserve shine before straightening.


  1. To condition your hair, apply coconut oil all over your hair and scalp before covering with a deep conditioning cap.
  2. Allow this to soak in for a couple of hours, or overnight if needed.
  3. Remove the cap and rinse any excess oil out of the hair with a gentle shampoo to ensure the hair does not look too oily.

Try The Body Shop Coconut Hair Oil which is formulated specifically for use in hair treatments. It works best as a pre-shampoo treatment to keep hair soft and conditioned between styling and everyday wear and tear.

Incorporate coconut oil into your routine in this way and you should begin to notice a visible difference in your hair’s appearance and condition.

Heat Protection

You can also use coconut oil as a heat protector right before straightening your hair. The oil will not only moisturize your hair but it will also protect against damage and split ends.


  1. Only use a few drops at a time and distribute evenly throughout your hair.
  2. Wait a few minutes before applying the heat tool for optimal results.

Apply a small amount of a natural coconut oil product, such as Coco Road Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil to hair. This is the purest form of coconut oil and therefore the most suitable to be used as a heat protectant.

Apply towards the ends and up toward the roots, not applying the oil to the scalp at this time.

Note that oil weighs heavy on hair so don’t overdo it. If you put too much oil in your hair, you may lose volume and experience oil build-up on your scalp.

Precautions To Take For Coconut Oil

  1. Try and avoid the application of coconut oil to the roots of your hair when applied as a leave-in treatment or heat protectant. Oil on the scalp can make the hair appear heavy and unwashed due to the shine and “grease” on the hair.

2. Always start hair straightening on a small section of hair to ensure the heat is not high or that the oil is not too thick. Both can interfere with a good result from straightening, due to the heat being diffused by too much oil, or the heat burning hair when it is too high.

When To Avoid Using Coconut Oil On Hair

If you have had an allergic reaction to coconut in the past then you should avoid coconut oil completely.

Similarly, if your hair doesn’t respond well to hair products containing coconut oil, you may want to try a different oil.

Coconut is often seen as a protein mimicker (even though it doesn’t contain protein) as it can cause hair to turn dry or frizzy.

If you have protein-sensitive hair or do not need excess protein in your hair, then it’s best to avoid coconut.

Alternative Oils To Use For Hair

If you are allergic to coconut oil, never attempt to use coconut oil on your body, even on the furthest part of hair away from the scalp. It is possible to find alternatives to use when needing the benefits of coconut oil.

Oils such as sunflower or mineral oil will only coat the hair shaft and will not penetrate the hair as coconut oil does. This means that they leave a thicker layer of oil across the hair, which can leave hair looking ‘greasy’ and unwashed.

This is why it is best to use an oil with similar properties to coconut oil, such as the examples listed below:

Grapeseed Oil

One alternative oil is grapeseed, as it also has high heat resistance. Grapeseed oil is also beneficial for your hair and has a low smoking point similar to coconut oil. It is filled with oleic acid too, so it has the same benefits for your hair and skin.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is more lightweight than coconut oil and contains vitamin E. It brings deep conditioning to the hair and scalp, and so it will work as an alternative to coconut oil for hair straightening and general hair care.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.

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Dee is the founder of Loved By Curls and in-house Curly Girl expert. She loves natural haircare and has tried and tested her share of CGM products. She's always happy to recommend you her favorites.