You have probably heard people say that mixing coconut oil with shampoo can make your hair soft, shiny and glamorous. But is coconut oil shampoo really the secret to beautiful, soft and shiny hair? In this article I’m going to give you some tips for mixing coconut oil with shampoo.

How to Use a Coconut Oil and Shampoo Mix

Every shampoo contains different ingredients, some of which might not play well with coconut oil. Unfortunately, finding the right balance and application method that works for your hair will likely require some experimentation. Below is a rough guide that I used to find that perfect shampoo/oil balance that works well for my hair.

Use a simple, gentle shampoo

Many modern shampoos have a lot of chemical ingredients, silicone and so on. Most of them also contain some amount of coconut oil (which is usually processed). When mixing coconut oil with shampoo you should use products that are as basic as possible. This can be a gentle herbal shampoo, a baby shampoo or some other type that has as few ingredients as possible. Personally I can recommend the Soapberry shampoo. Check it out here!

If your hair gets tangled and just “doesn’t feel right” during/after shampooing chances are that your chosen shampoo just doesn’t work well with coconut oil. Although in some cases coconut oil might simply not be a good fit for your hair, the most common issue is simply not using the right shampoo.

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Coconut oil to shampoo ratio

Again, there is no one answer here as everyone’s hair is different and there are countless different shampoo brands out there. Most people start with a one-to-one ratio and adjust from there. I find that for my hair the best mix is about 1 part oil to 4 parts shampoo (so, as you can see, I use very little oil in my mix).

The truth is that using too much oil is almost always going to cause some issues while using too little will usually have no or very little effect. For this reason I recommend starting with an oil to shampoo ratio of 1:1 or even just 1:2. Scaling up is easy while dealing with tangled, dry or greasy hair is just such a hassle.


Melt the oil fully

This is very important. Since coconut oil normally comes in a solid form (unless you live in a very hot climate), you have to melt it properly before applying it to your hair or mixing it into shampoo. There are many ways to melt coconut oil but the two simplest approaches are:

  1. Microwave the oil until it melts.
    or
  2. Fill up a large bowl with boiling hot water. Then place some coconut oil into a smaller bowl and place it inside the larger bowl. Wait until the oil melts.

I personally prefer the second method, although both approaches should work just fine. Microwaving the oil is a great time-saver though. Once the oil has fully melted, place it into a small plastic bottle with a cap. Shake the bottle well a few times before use to make sure that no hard bits have formed.

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How to apply it

This part is very simple. Mix some oil with your shampoo and apply it to hair roots. Then take some oil/shampoo and apply it to the entire length of your hair. Coconut oil is one of very few oils that can actually penetrate into the hair itself, so make sure that you apply some to all parts of your hair. You can comb the shampoo through your hair using a wide comb to get even better results. Just be very careful not to cause any damage.

There’s no need to leave the shampoo/oil mix on your hair for too long. The general advice is to follow your regular routine just like you would when using a simple shampoo: apply shampoo/oil, wait 30-60 seconds, rinse and then apply a conditioner. Use any simple conditioner, there’s no need to pay for fancy and expensive products/formulas.

Also remember that if you wash your hair daily you should either use very little coconut oil with every wash or use more but only 2-3 times per week.

Give this method a try and let us all know what you think in the comments below!

Susan Ehlers

Susan Ehlers

Susan was born and raised in Seattle, where she studied Biology. Now she works as a health and nutrition coach. In her free time she enjoys canoeing and hiking together with her husband.

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