Coconut oil for grey hair: A natural remedy to prevent premature greying

When it comes to natural remedies for grey hair, coconut oil is one of the most referenced solutions. Some claims go as far as stating that coconut oil can reverse premature greying. If you are wondering if there is some truth to this read on to find out the facts about the benefits of using coconut oil to treat grey hair. 

Benefits of coconut oil for grey hair

Grey hair is often characterized by thin, dull (grey) and weak hair strands. This hair type is easily prone to damage and needs to be handled with care. Below are a few ways in which applying coconut oil to grey hair may be helpful;

Moisturizes the hair

The older you get less melanin hair follicles tend to produce. This is also the case when hair is exposed to UV rays and free radicals.  As a result, your hair produces less sebum. This is why grey hair usually feels dry, coarse, and thin.

Maintaining optimal moisture levels in your hair and a healthy scalp is therefore vital to maintain its health. Coconut oil is known to be extremely moisturizing and can penetrate the hair shaft to protect hair follicles from losing too much water. 

Repairs damaged hair

Coconut oil contains essential fatty acids that are beneficial to reduce protein loss in grey hair.  Mainly lauric acid is easily absorbed into the hair shafts and helps strengthen them by replenishing protein loss due to aging, UV exposure, or exposure to free radicals. 

Conditions the hair

Coconut oil is known to be a great hair conditioner as it softens and revives the luster of grey hair strands. Using coconut oil on grey hair reduces the risks of breakage by allowing more flexibility during styling. Coconut oil equally seals moisture within hair stands when applied to damp hair which keeps boosts hair growth,

Protects against oxidative stress

Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants that protect hair from premature aging. UV exposure can cause harm to hair follicles leading to lesser production of melanin. In addition to this, applying chemicals like, hair dyes, perms, and heat causes oxidative stress to hair follicles leading to premature aging. Applying coconut oil regularly to the scalp protects and prevents premature greying.

Can coconut oil reverse premature greying?

To date, no scientific proof asserts that coconut oil can reverse premature grey hair. In most people, gray hair is a genetic predisposition. The older we get the less melanin is produced within our hair follicles resulting in lighter hair. 

In the case of premature greying, certain medical conditions may lead to grey hair like a deficiency in vitamin B12 or vitiligo. In the case of a nutrient deficiency, correcting the deficiency will be enough to stop the hair from greying. However, premature greying caused by other external factors like UV exposure, free radical damage, hormonal imbalances, and stress may not be reversible. 

However, coconut oil can be used to prevent premature aging from occurring or worsening. Studies have shown coconut oil’s ability to restore protein loss in hair follicles and limit hair loss which is common in grey hair.

Using coconut oil can significantly help prevent premature greying as maintaining the right amount of protein within hair follicles is essential to guarantee optimal production of melanin. 

Added to this, by sealing moisture within hair follicles, and providing antioxidant protection, coconut oil helps create the best environment for healthy and thicker hair to grow.

Side effects of applying coconut oil to grey hair

However beneficial coconut oil can be for grey hair, there are a few things to note about its usage. 

  • Coconut oil can be pore-clogging when applied in excess therefore always keep in mind that a little goes a long way. Excessive application can cause protein build up which will be counterproductive for your grey hair. 
  • Always apply coconut oil to damp hair so that it can seal in the moisture rather than prevent moisture from getting it. Which is what will happen if you apply dry hair. 
  • Coconut oil will not cause grey hair to turn yellow as it isn’t staining. However, make sure to use natural coconut oil for your hair, free from any dyes or other chemicals susceptible to causing your grey hair to turn yellow. 

How to use coconut oil for grey hair (recipes included)

They are various ways to incorporate coconut oil into your hair routine to prevent premature grey hair or strengthen already grey hair:

Coconut oil overnight hair mask

Treat yourself every other night to a coconut oil overnight mask for healthier and lush hair:

  • Massage a good amount of coconut oil into your damp hair before you go to bed. 
  • Make sure to protect your hair with a silk bonnet and let the oil work its magic overnight. 
  • The next day simply wash your hair with a mild shampoo. 
  • Enjoy soft and shiny hair. This could also work by blending coconut oil with other nourishing hair oils of your choice.

Coconut oil and lemon juice hair tonic

This is one of the most popular traditional remedies for grey hair although this is based solely on anecdotal claims. Both coconut oil and lemon juice are known to have strong antioxidant properties that can help reduce oxidative stress that causes premature greying. 

  • Mix about 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and lemon juice each.  
  • Apply the tonic to your hair root, strands, and scalp. 
  • Put on a shower cap to trap heat for optimal penetration and let it sit for up to 60min.
  • Next, wash your hair with a mild shampoo and condition it as usual 
  • Apply at least once a week for the best results 

Coconut oil and amla hair treatment

A combination of coconut and amla oil is ideal to strengthen and darken grey hair. While coconut oil helps reduce protein loss in hair follicles, amla oil acts as a natural dye to darken the hair. This is why this hair treatment is ideal for grey hair.

  • Melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil and once cool add in 2 teaspoons of amla powder.
  • Mix until smooth then massage into your scalp. Let the mixture sit for up to 2 hours then rinse off with lukewarm water 
  • If can’t take everything off after the first rinse, use a mild shampoo to wash your hair and condition it accordingly
  • Repeat this treatment up to 3 times a week for best results 

Coconut oil and onion juice

Onion juice is another natural remedy believed to help prevent premature greying and maintain already grey hair healthy. Onion juice has strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help strengthen and protect hair from turning grey.

Also, onion juice contains sulfur which helps in follicular regeneration. Here is how to pair onion juice with coconut oil:

  • Peel, wash and grind a few onions into a smooth paste 
  • Sieve the paste using a muslin cloth to extract clean onion juice 
  • In a bowl mix 2 tablespoons of your freshly extracted onion juice with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 2 capsules of vitamin E.
  • Simply massage the blend into your scalp and spread it all over your hair strands. 
  • Let it sit for 30 mins and rinse it off.
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Petra Nakashian (previously Kravos) is a dedicated natural health and beauty blogger, driven by the loss of her parents to cancer, which led her to meticulously research beauty product ingredients. With over 10 years of experience, her in-depth knowledge has made her a trusted expert in the field. Founder of Be Healthy Now and Green Beauty Talk, Petra recently expanded her expertise with Beauty Insights Hub, exploring a wider range of beauty treatments. Committed to transparency and honesty, her work is a vital resource for navigating the complex world of beauty.