After spending over 15 hours evaluating the relevant academic research, we reveal if coconut oil is an effective treatment to stimulate hair growth and prevent hair loss!
Plus, we reveal the special type of coconut oil that could make all the difference to really improve the quality of your hair!
Just keep reading to learn more.
The Wonder Oil For Beauty Treatments!
Coconut oil is useful for a number of different beauty treatments.
Not only is this miracle oil effective as a teeth whitening alternative to chemical whitening strips, coconut oil can also be used to reduce the appearance of scars, as a makeup remover, eczema treatment, and even a brush cleaner!
A good sign for those hoping coconut oil will stimulate hair growth (or prevent hair loss) – a lot of women swear by coconut oil as a mascara remover and a treatment to help their eyelashes grow longer. And there’s some scientific research to back this up!
The beauty industry is starting to take note of the potential link between hair growth and coconut oil. For example, coconut oil is a key ingredient in the formula of a patent filed in 2015 for a hair oil that claims to stimulate hair growth.
But is this link wishful thinking? Is there any real concrete evidence to suggest that coconut oil helps stimulate hair growth (or at least prevent hair loss)? We’ve examined all the relevant research to find out!
Research Reveals The Benefits Of Coconut Oil For Hair Health
Before we discuss the (limited) research into the impact of this oil on hair growth, let’s examine the well-established link between coconut oil and a reduction in hair damage.
This Miracle Oil Reduces Cuticle Damage & Improves The Appearance Of Your Hair
Results from Rele and Mohile (1999) show that coconut oil is an effective protective pre-wash conditioner. In this study, coconut oil was found to reduce cuticle damage when combing hair.
The authors suggest this is likely due to the hydrophobicity of coconut oil. It acts as a lubricant and helps reduce the cuticle swelling that can damage the scale structure of the hair, especially when combing while wet.
Additionally, judges in this study rated both undamaged and bleached hair treated with coconut oil as more cosmetically attractive on most attributes, compared to hair treated without coconut oil.
Coconut Oil Is More Effective Than Mineral Or Sunflower Oil At Reducing Protein Loss
Rele and Mohile (2003) compared the impact of using mineral, sunflower, and coconut oil on the protein levels in hair. Their research revealed that coconut oil (as a conditioning product) was the only oil to decrease protein loss levels in both undamaged and damaged hair when applied both before or after washing the hair.
A big difference between coconut oil and mineral or sunflower oil is that coconut oil is a triglyceride of lauric acid (a fatty acid) with a low molecule weight and a straight linear chain. Rele and Mohile (2003) speculate that this enables coconut oil to penetrate deeper into the hair shaft compared to sunflower or mineral oil.
Can Coconut Oil Prevent Or Ease Hair Loss?
Most of the (limited) research into the impact of coconut oil on hair loss (and hair growth) is pretty recent. Thus far, studies have been restricted to India and many more additional trials are necessary across the globe to improve our understanding of the impact of this oil on hair growth.
Coconut Oil For Hair Loss Caused By Pollution
It’s possible that coconut oil helps reduce hair loss caused by pollution. Rajput (2015) investigated the impact of coconut oil (among other treatments) on the quality of hair and hair loss in areas impacted by pollution in India.
This study recommended a treatment that includes a combination of mild shampoos and EDTA shampoos, the use of antioxidants, plus the use of coconut oil or hair serum on the hair over a 2 – 4 month period.
All of the participants reported an improvement in hair or scalp quality, and/or a reduction in hair loss after 4 – 8 weeks. This improvement continued every two months afterward as the treatment progressed further.
However, this study isn’t rigorous enough, and further research is necessary with proper controls to find out how effective coconut oil is (on its own) at preventing hair loss caused by pollution.
Coconut Oil For Women Experiencing Hair Loss & Dandruff
Kura et al. (2007) conducted a randomized double-blind clinical trial to investigate whether or not Vatika-enriched coconut hair oil has an impact on the hair health of women with hair loss and dandruff issues compared to regular coconut oil.
Vatika enriched coconut oil (VCO) is a hair treatment that uses coconut oil as a base ingredient combined with a number of herbs and oils.
This 8-week study was conducted by the Dermatology department of a hospital in Mumbai with 44 women (aged 18 – 35) recruited as the participants.
Half of the women used the Vatika-enriched coconut oil while the other half used regular coconut oil on their hair.
Use of regular coconut oil helped improve the condition of the hair, but the Vatika-enriched version proved better on a number of different measures. The VCO was clinically more effective than coconut oil at reducing dandruff and hair fall. Vatika-enriched coconut oil was also better at improving the strength and shininess of the hair.
The impact of the coconut oil treatments on hair growth was evaluated using the trichoscan technique. Both were effective at improving hair density and hair count of the subjects, with no significant differences between the coconut oil and Vatika-enriched coconut oil.
While coconut oil and Vatika coconut oil had a similar impact on measured hair growth, VCO was much more effective at preventing hair loss. Hair loss was measured using hair fall from a comb through of the hair before and after treatment.
Participants using Vatika coconut oil saw a 50% improvement in hair fall compared to the baseline before the treatment, while those who used regular coconut oil saw a 30% reduction in hair fall.
TL;DR | Is Coconut Oil Effective For Hair Growth & Preventing Hair Loss?
If we trust the results of Rajput (2015) and Kura et al. (2007) – the answer is yes! However, additional research is necessary to verify the results of these studies.
The Rajput (2015) study is limited because it fails to isolate the impact of coconut oil on preventing hair loss from the other treatment methods. Kura et al. (2007)’s randomized, double-blind trial comparing coconut oil and Vatika-enriched coconut oil is more reliable in this respect.
Although the academic research so far is limited (both geographically and in scope), it suggests that coconut oil (particularly Vatika-enriched versions of this oil) is effective at promoting hair growth and preventing hair loss.
We need further research to verify its efficacy, however (barring any allergies) it certainly can’t hurt to use coconut oil as a hair treatment!