8 Benefits Of Coconut Oil: {Hair, Skin & Nails}

It might be time to put away all those expensive potions and lotions after trying coconut oil in your daily beauty regimen. It’s loaded with Vitamin E and fatty acids (such as lauric acid, myristic acid, capric acid and more) which are anti-fungal, anti-oxidizing and anti-bacterial, just the sort of stuff that our body happily responds to!

Shiny HairIt can be used as an all-over moisturizer (with excellent results, apply right after showering and throughout the day), but here are eight different ways to take advantage of its natural goodness and treat problem areas.

I also added tips at the bottom of the page outlining what to look for when buying it and where to find it (locally and online).

For Dry & Damaged Hair:

  • Simply work some into the damaged ends a half hour before showering.

Glossy, Shiny Locks & Frizz Buster:

  • After washing, drying and styling, rub a small amount into the palms of your hands then lightly work it in.
  • If dealing with frizz, the above treatment will also help tame it.

Exfoliating Facial Scrub:

  • Mix with an equal part of baking soda and massage into face. Rinse with warm water to remove baking soda residue.

Dark Elbow Patches:

  • Rub in each morning and night until desired results are achieved. Find more remedies on this page.

Dry Scalp:

Each night before going to bed, follow these steps:

  • Part hair one section at a time and rub coconut oil into scalp. A light application is all that’s needed.
  • Repeat process for entire head then massage for a few minutes to really work it in. Comb out any tangles with a wide tooth comb then put on a shower cap.
  • Keep the treatment on overnight, cover pillow with a towel just in case the cap shifts in the middle of the night.
  • Wash with shampoo as usual in the morning.
  • Repeat daily until satisfied with the results (may take up to 5 weeks before the dryness is gone).

Rashes, Eczema, Psoriasis or Severe Dryness:

  • Rub a bit into affected area and allow time for your body to absorb the nutrients. Treat daily for as long as needed.


  • Clean face, pat dry then apply a light coating. Leave on overnight (allow at least 15 minutes to absorb it before going to bed). Repeat each night until desired results are achieved (may take some time depending on how severe the acne is).
  • If dealing with back acne, wash and dry skin then apply some (do this at least 15 minutes before laying down or going to bed).

Note: Some may experience an increase in oily skin and breakouts, this can be the case for several days (even a week or two) until the skin is detoxified.

Athlete’s Foot & Nail Fungus:

  • Apply twice each day to affected area covering it completely (once in the morning and once before bedtime). See more remedies for nail fungus on this page.

It’s A Food Too!

Yes, this can be eaten too! Try it in cooking, in baking (replacing lard and fat) and as a spread (like butter).

Is it a super food? Metabolism booster? Diet miracle? I’m not ruling it out but there’s no definitive answer to that just yet (that I know of). Here are two resources to review to help form your own opinion: doctoroz.com, video series by Dr. Oz (two parts, there’s a link under the first video to watch the next part). Also check out this article on The Guardian which lists some pros and cons: Coco Loco.

What To Buy & Where To Find It

  • Choose pure virgin or extra-virgin (preferably organic) which is unrefined, cold-pressed and non-hydrogenated.
  • To use: It will be solid (at room temperature), heat in a hot water bath for a couple minutes (scoop a spoonful into a small glass bowl that’s resting in hot water) or rub a bit between hands to soften and warm it up a bit.
  • How much to use: A little goes a long way! No need to glob it on, apply in light layers so the body absorbs it readily.
  • Where to buy it: Try the local pharmacy, health food store, online at shops like Amazon or pharmacy sites. This stuff is surprisingly inexpensive considering all the benefits it has to offer!
  • How to store it: Keep it sealed in its original container in a cool, dark place (unrefrigerated). It has a shelf life of about 2 years.
  • Note: If allergic to coconut, chances are you’re not going to have a good experience using it topically. The best bet is to not use it as a beauty treatment to avoid any physical reactions an allergy may trigger.

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    • patricia

    Thx for the tips for using coconut oil. It makes dull hair shine again.

    • Terry Madison

    I have been using coconut oil on my face and hands as described above, for several years now. When asked my age every one always guess’s at least 15 years younger. I am 74. Love this oil !!!!

      • feels young

      Hi Terry, I am in my early 50s and going through menopause. What else have you been doing all these years? I try to eat nutrient dense, organic foods and keep my weight from creeping up, but know that the loss of estrogen will start to age me. If I could stay looking my age when I am your age…well that would be amazing! Please post more of your tips!

    • `-Treay

    Excellent to relieve pain. Mix Essential Oil of Peppermint with Coconut Oil and massage into affected area.

    • melissa

    I make my own body butter with this as a base as I’m allergic to lots of things in store products. I’ve been using it for over a year on my grand baby who has eczema and it’s the best. It may seem a bit oily at first but it is absorbed completely within a half hour. The mositure really lasts too.

    • Crave Cute

    It’s great for my cats too. As a beauty treatment, I take about a 1/4 tsp. and rub it between my palms and massage it into their fur and skin. It helps with dry skin and make their coats soft and shiny. For their health and digestion, I melt about 1/4 tsp. and add about 1 cup of dry cat food and stir till well coated. I let it soak in overnight and give about ten pieces to each cat for their morning “treat”. Much cheaper and better for them than those expensive “hairball” prevention commercial treats. It took them a couple of days to adjust to the taste and smell of the new treat. Now they love them!

      • Lisa

      This is great! I have a long haired cat who is constantly coughing up hairballs. You’re right, the hairball control treats are not only expensive, but not all stores carry this variety. I am going to try this today.

    • Raychelle

    I used pure coconut oil from Bali during my pregnancy and to great delight, no stretch marks.

    • Heather

    Coconut oil works wonders for diaper rash. My daughter had painful diaper rash and using coconut oil after every diaper change (place a small amount about 1/4 to 1/3 tsp. on skin and rub in) healed it within 2 days and has kept it away. I didn’t believe it would work either but I swear by it!!

    • Melissa H.

    I make my own baby wipes with coconut oil and water and have noticed my son does not get rashes like he used to. They are all natural and gentle and have great topical properties

      • Heather

      that’s a great idea! can’t wait to try it. what do you use for the wipes? paper towels? or…?

    • Robyn H.

    Trader Joes now carries this in there store…

    1. At night come through hair , shower in the morning, you will have glistening hair!

    2. Bye, Bye, Under Eye Circle!

    3. Best Wrinkle Cream Ever!!!!!!

    4. Makes dry skin disappear….

    • Anna

    I’ve been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for several years….love, love, love it. A few months ago, I had a blemish pop up that my dermatologist would characterize as “pre-cancerous” and charge $150 to freeze off my face. Instead, I keep the spot moisturized with coconut oil and that “pre-cancerous” growth has up and disappeared.

    Nature’s pharmacy is WAY more effective than Walgreen’s.

    • Kimberly Clifford ✿ (@kimmiecliff)

    I’m afraid to eat it. I’ve recently read a post where a woman gained weight from cooking with it. She said it is high is saturated fats. Anyone else know anything on this?

      • Robin

      If you use the organic cold pressed it is very good for you. You want to stay away from the hydrogenated type. Coconuts are called the “Food of Life” in the Philippines, the oil is very heart healthy and is good for the intestinal track. I just eat it by the spoon full 2-3 x’s a day.

      • miki

      Kimberly, I was on heavy duty steroids for more than seven years, and ballooned to more than 400lbs; my doctor told me I’d never be able to get off of them. I completely overhauled my life and proved him wrong. Coconut oil is now my primary cooking oil and healthcare oil/cream; I’ve *lost* more than 100lbs in the past year. Not all saturated fats are bad, in fact you need them for your brain and body health.

      • janieg

      I have been on a diet and eating coconut oil became part of that after 5 months. I went from loosing 6 pounds a month to 2 pounds a month. When i ask my doctor she said that the oil will make yougain weight. It is high in saturated fats. So now i use it externally only.

    • sj

    it is also great on craddle cap 🙂 rub some on the yucky spots let it soak in for about 30 minutes and gently massage and repeat. dry skin, I love coconut oil.

    • ffg

    I am afraid to use this on my hair – we have a septic tank, and this stuff is solid at room temperature. Won’t it clog our drains, etc?

      • alison

      It shouldn’t be a problem for your septic tank because however you use it on your body or internally, it will be digested and broken down and used to rebuild you.
      Go get some and enjoy – it’s fab stuff! 🙂

      • Mae

      It isn’t really solid at room temperature, it’s solid when it’s cold. I live in NJ and I took a jar of coconut oil on my vacation go the Caribbean and if was liquid the entire time I was there. Even just sitting at room temperature. So maybe if u take hot showers or so it might melt if down

    • stacey

    I read about coconut oil a couple months ago and have been using it ever since. I love it. ITs great on my skin. I get red bumps on the back of my thighs and arms and this has helped reduce them. I also eat about a tablespoon a day and it has helped in my weightloss goals. I love to take a bath and add a couple of tablespoons to the water and my skin is left so soft for days. I could go on and on

    • Robin

    If you use the organic non-hydrogenated it is very good for you. It is very heart healthy the studies that said it was bad for you used the hydrogenated type.

      • Robin

      There is a great book called “The Coconut Cure” I don’t remember the arthur’s name, but it has lots of good info.

        • Caitlin

        Bruce Fife, N.D.

        Is the author of “coconut cures”

    • Abby

    I have used this as a face moisturizer/toner for the last several months, it gives the dewy look, is the best moisturizer ever. I also used it on the soles of my feet – same as the dry skin areas mentioned above I have 0 dry areas now.

    I have a neighbor who uses it on cold sores to get rid of them faster, I’m not sure if it works, but it’s possible.

    • Surjit

    I have acne-prone oily skin what should I do, Can I use coconut oil on my face? plz help

    • Kelley-Briana

    I’m a 24 year old and Dialysis Patient. Coconut oil is a part of my daily routine! Dialysis causes horrible dry skin issues- due to the blood cleaning process taking out both good and bad things from your body :/ I use the Extra-Virgin Coconut oil from Trader Joe’s. I’m in college as well, so I live on a pretty strict budget but at $4.99 a pint(woooo!!!) you can’t go wrong 🙂

    • AJ

    I use coconut oil to make my own deodorant. It works great, and doesn’t contain toxins that may be linked to breast cancer (although i believe the jury is still out).

    Mix coconut oil, baking soda, cornstarch, and tee tree oil into a deodorant-like paste. I shoved mine into an old deo container and apply it normally.

    • Julie

    I have been using coconut oil to remove waterproof mascara, moisturize my face & body, lips, cuticles, and heels. I can’t say enough about how much I love the effects! Recently, I melted about 1/2 cup and added a teaspoon of my favorite mineral bronzing powder. Once it cooled, I had a tinted moisturizer. Wow! It’s my new favorite makeup essential! I hope some of you try it.

    • Denise

    Just baked chocolate chip cookies with extra Virginia organic coconut oil instead of butter! So incredibly delicious. And I usually feel sick after eating sweets.. Not after these yummy coconut oil cookies!! Love coconut oil now!! I am going to try it on my hair and skin today! If interested in my results or recipes for cookie let me know!

    • kadia

    I honestly don’t know what the buzz about coconut oil is. We in the caribbean cook with it and use it on our skin for hundreds of years. We already know it is good.

      • Allie

      Well we’re not in the caribbean, that might be why.

        • Boosie


      • Jaci

      I noticed the same thing when I lived in Hawaii. The locals use coconut oil for EVERYTHING. Coconut palms grow wild and there are no pesicides used on them so I think they are all organic.

      • Lorelei

      Seriously?! You are very fortunate to have one of our planet’s special gifts to naturally be a part of your culture!

    • sugarandsalt


    Your recipe for deodorant sound cool.
    But remember. Coconut oil does become solid again at some stage, depending on the weather

    What is your solution to this?


      • Trina

      I also use it as a deoderant. So does my husband (who was a huge skeptic at first but now is totally convinced) and several of my friends. The coconut oil melts and is absorbed into your skin so it doesn’t have the opportunity to turn back into a solid. Hope this helps!

        • Lisa

        but it also becomes liquid very easily too, how do you prevent your deodorant from turning liquid??

    • Brandy

    I keep reading about coconut oil and its many benefits and even went out and bought expensive extra Virgin from the natural health food store but none of the uses ever say if you are supposed to use it in its solid form or melt it??????

      • K

      You can use it in either form. 🙂

    • Marina

    Hi there, l just started using coconut oil on my face and l would like to usse it to remove my makeup, but it burns my eyes, have you had that problem?

    • emma

    Hi, I also am 74 and have always been told look much younger, and since using coconut oil on body, face and hair, I get so MANY compliments. Also have a good attitude re: life, but coconut oil is wonderful. Have used it on my cats fur and give it to my dogs and they love it also. HAVE A HAPPY EASTER!

    • Debbie

    Wow I just started using it , so I Hope it will help me take off like 15 lbs. I will let ya all know ! 🙂

    • KitD

    How do you use it for weight loss… I saw that someone posted that she takes a Tsp a day… is that all you do? Do you just eat it right from the spoon- or do you mix it with something?

    • janet

    i would like to know if coconut is good for hair loss.

    • kat

    I am from the Philippines where there is abundance of coconuts. When my sister was about 7 yrs old she had falling hair, so my mom would massage coconut oil into her hair everyday. My sister’s falling hair was resolved and now she has beautiful thick black hair. My mom would try to put coconut oil on my hair when i was little but i would run away because i did not like the smell of it, now i have thin and graying hair at 32. I wish i did not run away then, but i have now started applying coconut oil in my scalp and hair. Hope it would still work. My grandma would also use coconut oil— she had very black and shiny hair even when she was in her 70’s and 80’s.

      • Julia

      That’s fantastic story… I will start using this on my hair

    • Zoe

    I’m totally using this on my cat as he often get fur balls.
    Also, I like to massage a very small amount (like half a 1/4tsp) of the oil into my roots to promote shine and less frizz, it also lightens my hair and brings out the red-gold on my chestnut brown hair. Although it leaves it looking slightly oily at first, it will absorb into ur scalp within 1/2 hr.

      • Julia

      Brilliant. Thanks.. I will use this on my dog who eats it too.. (Very small amounts)

    • Tracy

    I ate a spoonful of this last week and was nauseous for two days. I will be trying it in different foods and drinks from now on.

    • Carly

    OIL PULLING. That’s all I have to say 😉 Google it! Amazing! I’m 4 months pregnant and use coconut oil everywhereeee!!!

    • Rebecca

    I have just started using coconut oil in cooking but haven’t started to use it in my daily beauty regimin especially since I read about the hair loss. .the reason I started using it in my cooking is I saw a documentary about alzihmers and how coconut oil can help prevent and reverse the effects of alzihmers. Brain food it most definitely is.

    • Julia

    Hello everyone…
    I buy 100% raw virgin coconut oil for eating an cooking.

    However I have got Hydrogenerated coconut oil for my skin… Is this okay just for skin, I know it’s not good for consumption due to trans fats but I’m not sure if this will effect the skin ?

    Many thanks for reading and advice

    Sorry if duplicated… First comment looked like it wouldn’t send

    • Jackie

    It’s been five days applying coconut oil to my hair for dryness & growth. Thanks for all the information provided.

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