How To Use Coconut Milk for Hair Growth (Recipes Included)
When you think of coconut milk, what is your immediate reaction? Odds are you have pretty divided feelings about it, and probably a fair amount of uncertainty at that. This is one of those foods that swings in and out of favor with health food nuts. One year you see a hundred articles online telling you how awesome it is for you, and the next, all you see is, “avoid, avoid, avoid!”
Did you know that coconut hair isn’t just a cooking ingredient, though? It also can be beneficial for hair and skin.
I want to tell you a little bit more about coconut milk nutrition and properties, and then I will get into how you can use it to promote healthy hair growth.
Coconut Milk Nutrition
If you look up the nutrition in a cup of coconut milk, here is what you will discover:
- 5 grams of protein
- 6.7 mg of vitamin C
- 38.4 mcg of folate
- 1.8 mg of niacin
- 0.4 mg of pantothenic acid
- An abundance of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium.
- Lots of fat, as in 626 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
If you needed any more convincing that coconut milk is a highly nutritious ingredient, look no further than the 2013 study conducted by the The National Library of Medicine. In it, they concluded that the consumption of coconut milk led to a decrease in LDL (generally referred to as the “bad” cholesterol). This is striking because usually, saturated fats lead to a rise in LDL.
As you can see, it contains a lot of nutrition, but that fat is bad news for heart health. That is why you should really only cook with it in moderation.
The good news is you do not need to drink coconut milk to use it for your hair. You can apply it directly to your hair and enjoy at least some of the benefits. I do recommend that you incorporate it into your diet as well. That will give you access to even more of the nutrition.
When you drink coconut oil (or cook with it), you get all of that healthy protein. That is a big deal for your hair, since your hair is made out of a protein called keratin. In order to grow new hair, your body needs the appropriate building blocks. The more protein you eat, the more is available to grow your tresses. If you are looking for a solid overview on the different components of your hair, this is a good quick read.
You also get a lot of vitamin C. Vitamin C fights free radicals, which can help you to grow a fuller head of more vibrant hair. Vitamin C is particularly helpful for retaining luster and color in your locks.
Pantothenic acid, also known as vitamin B5, is a commonly listed ingredient on many commercial shampoos, soaps, and skin creams. It can reduce itching and irritation in your skin, which makes it a great treatment for a dry or dandruff-plagued scalp. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can combat conditions like folliculitis which may cause hair to fall out. Additionally, pantothenic acid can give your hair more body and volume. It may also help you to retain your natural hair color as you age.
Folate, also known as vitamin B9, is useful in your body when it comes to the growth of new tissues. It is excellent for helping your body to process protein. That means that coconut milk is delivering the protein you need to create healthy new hair and the folate to facilitate the process.
Those are just a few examples. The minerals listed here are all really great for your hair too.
You can add to that the fact that coconut milk is a tremendously effective moisturizer. So if you suffer from dry, damaged hair, regular treatments with coconut milk can make a huge difference. The stronger and healthier your hair is, the fewer split ends you will suffer from, and the longer your hair will be able to grow before it breaks. Moisturizing can also improve scalp conditions and balance oil production. That too can lead to a healthier head of hair.
Can you Use Coconut Milk in Your Hair
By now, I’m sure you’ve noticed this piece is all about the benefits of using coconut milk in your hair. So naturally, we should start by answering a question.
Can you even use coconut milk in your hair? In short, yes! Coconut milk is one of the most beneficial ingredients for your hair. Why else would it be in so many top shampoos?
In fact, not only is coconut milk one of the best ingredients for your hair, but it is also one of the most versatile ingredients as well. You can use it as a pre-shampoo, shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, or a hair mask. There genuinely are innumerable ways to use this miraculous ingredient.
You can even take it a step further, and add additional ingredients to your coconut milk, making something like a “super ingredient” for your hair. Add honey, or even avocado to the concoction for a little more ‘umph’ to the coconut milk.
What does coconut milk do for natural hair
Coconut milk can work wonders for natural hair. Used as a conditioner, it effortlessly softens the hair. The fat content of the milk keeps hair soft, and easy to manage, a godsend for anyone with a tight curl pattern.
Additionally, it acts as an incredible growth agent for natural hair. Coconut milk is profoundly effective at spurring growth when used as a hair mask in places of balding or hair loss. By nourishing the scalp, it can stimulate the blood cells and promote new hair to grow. It’s as close as you can get to a miracle ingredient.
Can I use coconut milk overnight
Thanks to the soothing ingredients in coconut milk, it is possible to leave in overnight for some. However, everybody’s hair is different, if your hair is protein sensitive then you probably shouldn’t leave it in for more than an hour at a time. Most recommend to leave it in your hair for 1-3 hours (again, depending on your hair type).
What does coconut milk do for your hair
Coconut milk is one of the most functional hair ingredients around. It strengthens hair, encourages hair to grow, makes it softer, helps to treat and prevent split-ends. And most importantly, it keeps your hair healthy and strong, effectively adding volume to the hair.
When used as a hair mask, it restores dry and damaged hair to its glistening, natural voluminous state — leaving you with hair that you can be proud of.
Coconut Milk Hair Mask and Shampoo Recipes
There are a lot of recipes you can use for masks you apply topically to your hair. I recommend you do this regularly if you are serious about moisturizing your hair. A couple treatments each week can lead to lasting improvements, especially if you stick with it over time. You may even want to mix a shampoo using coconut milk and also use the masks. After I run through these topical recipes, I will introduce you to some edible recipes you can use to add coconut milk to your regular diet.
Below you can find a few popular recipes to try!
1. Coconut Milk and Olive Oil Hair Mask
One of the most basic recipes for a coconut oil hair mask involves just two ingredients. All you need is a tablespoon of coconut milk and a teaspoon of olive oil. Pour these into a cup and then add some warm (not hot) water. Stir it up, making enough that you can cover all of your hair.
The next step is to massage it into your scalp, starting at the roots, and then work down through to the ends of your hair. Once you are sure you have gotten ample coverage, you should leave it in for 10-15 minutes or so. You can then shampoo your hair and condition it in the shower. Make sure you get all of the coconut milk and olive oil out. Once your hair dries, you should notice a lot less frizz and a lot more smoothness and shine.
2. Coconut Milk, Olive Oil, and Honey Hair Mask
If you like the recipe above, here is a variation on it which uses just one extra ingredient: honey. Mix four tablespoons of coconut oil with enough honey and olive oil to cover your hair. The honey makes it easy to apply; you don’t necessarily need any water with this one. You can use the mixture pure and undiluted. You should heat it up first in the microwave so that it is warm, but not too hot. Work it into your hair, once again starting at the roots.
Keep in mind that this is a messy process because honey is involved, so wear a towel. Wrap up your hair once you have achieved full coverage, and wait for as long as you’d like—anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour. Then wash it out in the shower using shampoo and conditioner. You should see even more powerful results with this method than the previous one.
3. Coconut Milk with Honey and Banana
Banana is another great moisturizer. Mix a single banana with a tablespoon of honey and two to four tablespoons of coconut milk. Blend them together to get as even a mixture as you can (a food processor can help with this, but isn’t necessary if you are willing to put some elbow grease into it). Work the mixture into your hair starting at the roots. If you have really long hair, you may want to double the recipe.
Cover up your hair and wait for 15 minutes (or longer if you prefer). This gives the mixture time to soak into your scalp and hair for maximum benefits. When you are done waiting, hop in the shower and wash it out. Note that getting banana out of your hair can be a hassle. The better job you do mixing it beforehand, the easier it will be to wash out afterwards.
4. Coconut Milk, Avocado, Egg Yolk, and Olive Oil
This hair mask uses an avocado instead of a banana. Both the texture and the benefits from the avocado’s nutrition are similar, which is why it is used in so many hair masks. For this recipe, mix one ripe avocado with one egg yolk, a quarter cup of olive oil, and a quarter cup of coconut milk. For the best results, wrap up your hair and leave it in for around 10-20 minutes. You may want to apply gentle heat. You can then wash it out in the shower when you are ready. Remember, the better you blend the mixture beforehand, the easier it will be to get out the avocado.
5. Banana, Avocado, and Coconut Milk
You guessed it … yet another easy hair mask you can make involves combining banana and avocado. For this recipe, you need a banana, an avocado, and ¼ cup of coconut milk. If you have long hair, you probably should double the recipe so you can get full coverage. Blend the ingredients together, by hand or with a mixer. Work extra hard to get it as smooth as possible. Then, work the mixture into your tresses, being sure to get the roots and the ends. Wait a good half hour or so with your hair covered, and then wash it out in the shower with shampoo.
6. Homemade Coconut Milk Shampoo
Hair masks are not the only way you can treat your hair using coconut milk. You also can create a shampoo which you can use time and again in the shower. There are a number of ways you can do this, but here is a simple recipe.
Start by purchasing a shampoo to use as a base. You may just decide to use the same shampoo you are using now—you can just enhance it by adding the coconut milk.
If you want to try a new product, I recommend you purchase some liquid castile soap. This stuff works perfectly (yes, I know it says “soap,” but it works as soap or shampoo). That is the unscented variety; you can also purchase scented options (they use essential oils, so they are all-natural and may have additional benefits for your hair).
Next, you will want to buy organic coconut milk. You can also get some essential oils if they are not already included in the shampoo or soap you are using as you base. Some good choices include peppermint, lavender, rosemary, basil, and thyme. I have written extensively on essential oils. Check out this post for my full recommendations as well as safety information on using them.
Essential oils are inexpensive and can do amazing things for your tresses. There is something for every hair type and every hair problem: dry hair, oily hair, damaged hair, slow-growing hair and so on. That means that you can literally formulate a shampoo custom-tailored to your hair. That is going to give you better results than anything which you could buy ready-made at the store.
The last thing you need is just an old shampoo bottle or a jar or a pump dispenser. You may want to go with a larger container since you will be adding extra ingredients, but a smaller container may also work. Why? You don’t necessarily want to mix a full batch. It depends how fast you go through your shampoo. This stuff is only good for several weeks, and then it goes stale. So you may end up making less.
Here are the proportions you need to make the shampoo:
- ¼ cup liquid shampoo.
- ¼ cup coconut milk.
- 20 drops of any essential oils you want. Pick oils which will help your hair grow and which will smell good.
Literally all you have to do to prepare your shampoo is combine all of it into the bottle or jar. Just pour it in and shake it to mix it up. Every time you use it, you should shake it again, since some of the ingredients can settle.
I love this simple recipe since you can customize it to your heart’s content. Just pick whatever essential oils you need to achieve the effect that you want. You can also use it repeatedly.
Alternate Recipe for Coconut Milk Shampoo
If you like the recipe above, but want to try changing it up a bit with a few extra ingredients, here is an alternate version that you can try:
- 1/3 cup liquid shampoo
- ½ teaspoon avocado oil
- ½ teaspoon jojoba oil
- 20-30 drops of essential oils of your choice
Once again, mix everything together in a dispenser. Use it in the shower like regular shampoo. In case you are wondering, coconut milk shampoo will stay fresh up to four weeks. For that reason, you may want to make smaller batches. You don’t want to let your ingredients go to waste. Just make a new batch when your shampoo starts getting stale.
Coconut Milk Dietary Recipes
In case you are interested in occasionally adding coconut milk to your diet to get even more nutritional benefits (both for your hair and for your body as a whole), I wanted to include at least a few simple recipes.
Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer Recipe – This is one of the easiest recipes you are going to find. If you drink coffee, you can use this creamer a couple times a week for faster hair growth. Here are the ingredients that you will need:
- 1 can of coconut milk.
- 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
- 1-2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- Honey or stevia as a sweetener
- Sea salt if you want
Making the creamer is incredibly easy. Pour everything into a blender and turn it on. Alternately you can mix it by hand. Your coffee creamer is then set to go. Don’t drink coffee? This would probably also taste great as an alternative to milk or cream in your tea.
Coconut Milk Smoothie – Here is another beverage recipe which is easy to customize according to what you enjoy. This recipe uses bananas and mangos, but you could change up the ingredients and use any fruit you wanted. But remember—bananas are good for your hair!
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 mango
- 1 and a half frozen bananas (be sure to slice them first)
- 1 tsp coconut extract
- 1/2 tsp lime juice
- Stevia as needed
- Ice cubes as needed
If you have a food processor, it could not be easier to make this. All you need to do is add all the ingredients and blend until done.
Recommended Reading: 8 Damaging Hair Care Myths Debunked
Curried Coconut Chicken – Finally, here is one food recipe you can try. The ingredients and directions are both relatively simple. To make this recipe, you will need the following:
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts
- Oil of your choice to cook in
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- ½ onion, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can of coconut milk
Begin by seasoning the chicken with as much salt and pepper as you want. Then, get a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Add oil and curry powder. Wait for two minutes, and then add in the garlic and onions. Cook for one minute before adding in the chicken. Toss it lightly so that the curry oil gets on all sides. Drop the heat down on the burner to medium. Cook the chicken another ten minutes, or until done.
Next, pour the remaining ingredients (the tomatoes, sauce, coconut milk and sugar) into the pan. Stir them in so all the ingredients are evenly combined. Cover the skillet and simmer the chicken. Once in a while, pull up the cover and stir. The chicken will need to simmer for 30-40 minutes.
No matter how you choose to use coconut oil—whether in your diet or applied topically to your scalp and hair using masks or shampoos—it can help to fight dandruff and dryness, reduce hair loss, and even accelerate hair growth. Enjoy the benefits, and be sure to check out the blog archive for other great ideas for speeding up your hair growth and moisturizing dry hair!