Coconut oil scalp treatment: The route to thick, long & shiny hair

When was the last time you gave your scalp a facial? Yes… you read right. I said when was the last time you gave your scalp a facial? Because, like our face, the scalp is also ‘skin’. And it needs just as much love and care. In fact, hair experts say a good scalp treatment is key to healthy, glossy, sleek strands. And it makes sense: like all other skin on our body, the scalp also needs to breathe. It needs oxygen, moisture and nutrients. And since our hair is rooted in the scalp, it is kind of important!

It seems our grandmothers understood this pretty well. I know mine did – she was regularly brewing up lotions and potions for the skin on top of her head and her hair looked super-gorgeous even at the age of 80. So, I am borrowing a page from her beauty diary – two luscious coconut oil scalp treatments that she would use at least once a month to make her hair thicker, longer and silkier. Both remove product build-up, loosen the hardened sebum (natural oil) that clogs hair follicles, bust dead skin cells and boost circulation.

Pick your scalp recipe

First, however, you need to choose your scalp treatment formula.

For dry, flaky, dandruff-prone or acne-ridden scalps, take 6 tablespoons of extra virgin, organic coconut oil, olive oil or jojoba oil (depending on your hair type). Mix with 3-4 drops of tea tree oil and 4-6 drops of rosemary oil.

On the other hand, if you have an oily scalp, tons of product buildup or hair that just generally feels lacklustre, mix 6 tablespoons of extra virgin, organic coconut oil with 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of grapefruit juice.

How to apply the scalp treatment

Done? Good. Now, apply the chosen mixture to your scalp with a hair dye brush or cotton ball. Make small partings through the hair and work in 1-inch sections to make sure the mixture is evenly distributed. Then give your scalp a good massage (mothers, kind friends or loving significant others are priceless here), rubbing with your fingertips in a circular motion for 5-10 minutes. Let the mixture sit for another 20 minutes before washing off with your regular shampoo. Finish with a good conditioner.

Why does it work?

Easy right? And totally worth it, as your hair will attest. These ingredients are great for rebalancing the scalp’s oil and hydration levels, ridding it of toxins, calming down the sensitive skin and stimulating the follicles for hair growth, among other things. Neglecting your scalp, on the other hand, can result in hair damage and premature hair loss.

Which option do you choose?


  1. says

    I tried this last night with cocnut oil, eucalyptus essential oil and some fresh sqeezed lemon. It felt great and my hair feels to soft today, but I was afraid that my roots would look oily, so I exfoliated my scalp with epsom salt (after I let the hair mask sit for a half hour) and then shampooed and conditioned like normal–but my fears have still been realized: The roots of my hair are very greasy! I thought that with all that scrubbing I had made it impossible for any greasy oil to be left behind for the next day. Any tips, tricks or suggestions?

    • anubha says

      uh oh… that’s never happened to me but checked with my hairstylist right now. She says first make sure that you are shampooing with hot water as coconut oil starts solidifying with even a bit of cold. If that doesn’t work, mix a bit of baking soda with your shampoo – ratio of 1:1 is good – and then wash. Let me know if either of these work for you.

  2. Kalpana Adlakha says

    Hi, I haven’t tried this yet but was wondering how often should one use this treatment? Thanks!

    • anubha says

      Not the tetrapak but I do get mine from a slightly strange source: the Haji Ali Juice Centre :) They will squeeze it fresh and pack it for you!!

  3. MIchelle says

    I was hoping you can help me understand more about the oils. I have long thick colored hair but i suffer from dry scalp! What do you recommend me to use?

    • Rachel says

      I have the same problem. Very thick, colored hair. It was very long but I recently got a shorter cut. Its so difficult to find products. Have you found anything good?

  4. brian says

    just wanted to say i tried this and my hair is very soft – way better than any conditioner i think (not that i have used many.) very surprising how well this cheap natural product works. i was just trying to find something to do with it before it goes bad..thanks again

  5. leah says

    thanks so much for this! loved it. i mixed more than i needed of the tea tree recipe. can i store it in an airtight container and save it for the next time i want to use it?

  6. Grace says

    I have dry scalp. I’m assuming, if tea tree and Rosemary oils aren’t available, I can do the treatment with just the coconut oil. However, will the results be as effective? Or are the oils primarily for scent?
    If not, is there something I could substitute with, such as fresh spearmint or dried Rosemary? Thanks.

    • anubha says

      Coconut oil is definitely superb for dry scalps. The tea tree and rosemary provide additional antiseptic and detoxing benefits.

  7. says

    Trying this right now! I have also exfoliated with Epsom salts first. My mixture is coconut oil, apricot kernel oil and a few drops of tea tree essential oil. Can’t wait to see the results :)

  8. Sulakna P says

    A problem I have with oil treatment is that it leaves my hair greasy even after i wash it with shampoo. I don’t want to wash it several times with shampoo because, well that defies the purpose of the whole thing :) What should I do?

    Also, though this isn’t related the above topic, can I ask whether you absolutely have to shampoo your hair after a workout? I exercise almost everyday, and I live in a tropical, humid country, so not washing my hair after a workout leaves me feeling really grungy. But I don’t want to shampoo my hair every single day either…

    And finally is it all right to use the above treatment once a week?

    • Clare says

      sweat is water soluble! so no, you don’t need to shampoo everyday. A good rinse with some warm water will do the trick. every other day would be recommended, though.

    • Lauren says

      I use organic, non sulphate shampoo fromantic green people which is really gentle. But if you use double the amount of shampoo you usually would use, apply after rinsing your hair thoroughly under hot water, and leave it in for 10-15 minutes, then shampoo again with a normal amount of shampoo. Then condition your hair (making sure to comb it through) to get every last bit of oil out of your hair. I use coconut and jojoba once a week and it always comes out even though I leave the mask on for 9+ hours

  9. Zenia says

    Coconut oil made my hair fall out :( I know I’m not allergic to it because my scalp doesn’t itch. Is there other oil that I can use?

  10. cazz says

    Washing your hair with shampoo 2-3 times does not destroy the purpose of oiling your hair because you are just washing the excess oil out but make sure you are usingl shampoo with no sulfate or parabens because they are harsh chemicals that will strip your hair dry guaranteed. If you have spent the night with oil in your hair then it will be deeply conditioned and can stand the extra shampooing. Hope that helps! You need to get all the oil out of your hair anyway so that your hair isn’t weighed down and can be nice and bouncy! :-)

  11. happypants says

    I get itchy scalp usually in the winter – very annoying ! My girlfriend was using the Somaluxe Argan Oil for her hair, and I thought I would try it on my scalp to see if it helped with the itchy flaking thing. It really did! I used it for 2 days, and the Somaluxe Argan Oil totally stopped any itch and flakes.

    My girlfriend says usually you are not suppose to apply oil to your scalp, but its been like 3 months now since I used that Somaluxe oil on my scalp – and its the only thing that has ever worked!

  12. Trinity says

    Will this lighten my hair or bleach it in any way? I have dark hair with blonde highlights. I ready that you can shampoo with baking soda also, would that lighten my hair?

  13. gerri says

    I have very long hair and it becomes very difficult to manage if it gets dry. Once per week, I use the Shielo intensive Hair Mask and it has not only repaired my damage hair (which use to always tangle) but has also give them a smooth silky shine. It appears as if there has been a coating of cream on your hair which is protective layer.

  14. Cara says

    Thank you for the tips! I am just wondering how I should use this. I have very thin hair with a very oily scalp. How can I use your mask without weighing my hair down too much or making my scalp even oilier?


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