Is Coconut Oil Good For Locs?

Is coconut oil good for locs

One of the popular natural hair care ingredients is coconut oil. For many years, people have adored coconut oil. The high absorbency of the oil greatly moisturizes hair. And, sections of hair that are matted and locked into place are known as locs or dreadlocks. With the increase in length, locs turn dry and brittle. Dry locs don’t only look odd but it also makes your scalp itchy and dirty. There comes the need for deep conditioning of locs. As the cuticles of dreadlocks are often split open, it becomes difficult for hair to maintain hydration.

The use of chemical and non-natural haircare products will lock and clog the locs. While natural products can maintain the hydration level and health of the locs and scalp. You can deeply condition your dreads using natural oils like coconut oil. If you possess beautiful dreadlocks, you may want to use coconut oil. So, Is Coconut Oil Good For Locs? Let’s know about the pros and cons of coconut oil for locs and finally come to a conclusion if it is effective for locs!

Coconut Oil and Locs

Coconut oil and locs
Coconut oil and locs

Coconut oil comes from the nut fruit of coconut palm trees. It has fatty acids such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid which have healing properties for hair. Although the oil is solid at room temperature, it melts if you heat it slightly. Hot coconut oil is easy to apply on the scalp directly. Locs are possible to achieve without using any products. While using specific products like coconut oil makes the process easier and smoother. Coconut oil gives locs a beautiful shine. Because of its lightweight, this oil can reach the cortex of the hair shaft and strengthen it by adhering to the proteins in the hair. While using coconut oil frequently can result in locs that are dry and brittle. This can be the result of the oil solidifying in the hair shaft or from excessive use.

Is Coconut Oil Good for Locs: 5 Factors

Is coconut oil good for locs: 5 factors
Is coconut oil good for locs: 5 factors

The answer to the question, “Is Coconut Oil Good for Locs” depends on individual hair type, individual hair needs, type of locs, proper selection and application, and climate.

1. Individual Hair type

Coconut oil is very heavy for some hair types. For dry and damaged locs coconut oil helps as it holds moisture and also repairs the hair. On the other hand, for oily and buildup-causing hair, the oil can give negative results like making it greasy and causing difficulty to wash or remove it from locs. So, hair type determines if coconut oil would be good for locs.

2. Individual Hair Needs

Coconut oil is a protein builder and helps your hair with amino acids. The human body produces hair protein too in the form of keratin. As a result, everyone does not need protein as everyone does not have damaged hair. If you have locs with low porosity hair, you won’t need any additional protein. For mid-to-high porosity hair, the use of coconut oil might result in side effects as those also have adequate amounts of protein. Again, some people may have allergies or sensitive hair or scalp. It is better to avoid the application of this oil on the scalp if you have such type of hair or scalp. So, individual hair needs also determine if coconut oil is good or bad for locs.

3. Type of locs

You may have different types of locs on hair like sisterlocks, traditional locs, and freeform locs. Whatever may be the type of your locs, you will get benefits from the moisturizing properties of the oil. On traditional locs of dry and brittle hair, the use of coconut oil will prevent breakage and promote growth. On sisterlocks, coconut oil helps deep conditioning with hydration without weighing down the hair. While freeform locs do not need so much care and nourishment, but still you can use coconut oil as it will moisturize and nourish the locs. The application process as well as the effectiveness of coconut oil on these different types of locs is a bit different.

4. Proper Selection and Application

Select organic and unrefined coconut oil of high quality. It will work well on your locs. Start with a small amount when you first start to use the oil. First, towel dry the hair and the locks and then coat it with coconut oil. Then cover it with a plastic cap or plastic bag. So, proper selection of coconut oil and proper application method will help coconut oil to be good for locs.

5. Climate

Coconut oil behaves in the same way with locs as it behaves with the environment. The oil causes buildup on locs depending upon the climate. Coconut oil will result in buildup in cooler temperatures. The locs will become dry and brittle. So, raw coconut oil is not the best alternative to use for your locs if you live in colder regions. On the other hand, coconut oil will melt down to a liquid state easily on warm to high temperatures. As a result, the hair will feel soft and shiny due to the application of oil. So, climate influences if or if not coconut oil would be good for locs. While there is no problem with fractionated coconut oil as no specific temperature can solidify it. That’s how it is processed. So, use it for your dreads.

Pros and Cons of Coconut Oil for Locs

Pros and cons of coconut oil for locs
Pros and cons of coconut oil for locs

The natural properties of coconut oil give it several good and bad impacts for locs. Due to the good sides, you may add coconut oil to your loc care routine while considering the bad impacts, you may avoid using it on your locs. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of using coconut oil for locs.


Following are the pros of using coconut oil for locs.

  • Gives hydration: coconut oil can penetrate the hair strands, which gives it excellent hydrating properties. The molecular composition of the oil makes it penetrate hair strands easily. Coconut oil also moisturizes your scalp since a dry scalp and hair will inhibit hair growth or even cause hair loss. But avoid using coconut oil in excessive amounts as it leads to build-up. If you have oily skin, you should use coconut oil sparingly and use it as a pre-shampoo oil.
  • Promotes growth: coconut oil is a rich source of vitamin K and vitamin E, and fatty acids. Hair follicles can receive oxygen, which promotes the growth of hair. While vitamin E reduces inflammation and repairs damaged hair follicles to further promote growth. This supports the health of your hair follicles and keeps your locs hydrated, reducing breakage and protein loss from your hair. Coconut oil will well promote the growth of your dreadlocks, particularly when used in combination with oils that can play a role in the growth, such as castor oil and peppermint oil.
  • Forms protective layer: coconut oil forms a protective layer around the locs as it is a hydrophobic liquid. It holds the moisture of hair and maintains the soft and smooth texture of hair. It has a unique composition of fatty acids. The fatty acids found in coconut oil like Lauric acid, Capric acid, caprylic acid, etc. have specific properties that contribute to the protective effects of coconut oil on locs.
  • Provides deep penetration: coconut oil is very lightweight yet very porous. As a result, the oil can deeply penetrate the hair to the cortex. When you wash the locs, it loses protein from it. The oil binds to the hair protein which results in stronger and healthier locs.
  • Reduces breakage: the affinity of coconut oil for hair proteins is one of the best qualities that makes it a golden oil for everyone who wishes to grow long and beautiful dreads. Hair is comprised of a protein called keratin and hair protein is lost when you wash your dreadlocks or use harsh hair products. Your dreadlocks weaken and become more prone to breaking, which prevents you from developing long locs. The use of coconut oil for locs will help you to reduce the damage. If you take good care of your dreads, you will be able to grow long dreads since coconut oil reduces breakage.
  • Reduces hair fall: coconut oil is often praised for its potential benefits for hair health, including reducing hair fall, and this extends to locs as well. It acts as a natural hair conditioner, making the hair softer, smoother, and more manageable. Coconut oil is also very effective for colored, bleached, and porous hair. Locs that are dried out and damaged are more likely to separate quickly while they can be strengthened with coconut oil.
  • Reduces dandruff: dandruff is a major hair concern for both men and women and it can demolish the beauty of this hairstyle. Fungi, bacteria, and dry skin are the three factors that cause dandruff. Coconut oil is useful in its prevention. Being an excellent moisturizer, coconut oil will keep your dreads and scalp enough hydrated. It helps to treat and prevent dandruff which results from dryness. Because of having antibacterial characteristics that will help in the treatment of dandruff caused by fungi and bacteria.
  • Gives shine and damage protection: the application of coconut oil gives shine to your locs. Everyone wants to show off their long, bright, and radiant locs. While showing off locs causes it to experience environmental damage. By forming a protective layer on the surface of locs, coconut oil helps to protect the hair from external damage, such as environmental pollutants, UV radiation, and heat styling. Coconut oil has a natural SPF of around 4 which helps it to give protection from damage caused by the sun.


Following are the cons of using coconut oil for locs.

  • Gives a greasy feeling: using too much coconut oil when styling your locs can leave the person with locs with a greasy or heavy feeling, which makes the locs challenging to maintain throughout the day.
  • Causes product build-up: if you use excessive coconut oil on your locs, it will cause build-up on the scalp over time can block pores, and result in dandruff or other scalp problems. As the oil has a high concentration of fatty acids, so when used excessively or not washed out properly, it can leave a residue on your locs. Over time, this buildup may attract dirt and impurities, making it harder to keep your locs clean and potentially leading to an unpleasant odor.
  • Weigh down the hair: coconut oil is heavy oil, and using too much of it can weigh down your locs. Heavy locs can lose their shape and definition, and it may be more challenging to maintain a well-defined, tight hairstyle.
  • Weaken the strands: even though some swear by coconut oil as a strengthening agent for locs, excessive use can weaken the strands due to its heavy weight when applied directly to the hair shaft without first being diluted with other oils or conditioners.
  • Causes excessive dryness: while coconut oil can be moisturizing for some hair types, it may not work as well for others. Some people find that coconut oil does not provide enough hydration for their locs, leading to dryness and potential breakage.  So, if you apply excessive amounts of coconut oil without first thoroughly hydrating your strands either with water-based conditioners like leave-in conditioners or moisturizing oils, it will cause excessive dryness of your locs and result in brittleness or breakage.
  • Difficult to wash out: coconut oil is quite thick and can be challenging to completely wash out, especially if you use it in large quantities. This can lead to a greasy appearance and may require more frequent and thorough washing.
  • Difficult to maintain locs: due to its sticky nature, coconut oil can attract lint and debris, leading to a less tidy appearance and making it harder to maintain your locs keeping it fresh and clean. For some people, the application of coconut oil on their locs can leave behind an unpleasant smell that stays even after washing it off.

Necessary Tips to Use Coconut Oil for Locs

Follow these tips which are related to the use of coconut oil for locs.

  1. Use the styling products carefully as some may contain chemicals that cause breakage or damage to the locs.
  2. Go for hot oil coconut oil treatment. Massage the hot oil on the length and ends of the locs more than the scalp area.
  3. Do not leave it on the hair for more than an hour.
  4. Use coconut oil both before and after washing locs with shampoo once a week.
  5. Never use too much coconut oil, whatever the condition of your locs.
  6. If the application of coconut oil results in drier and brittle locs, go for alternatives.

7 Alternatives to Coconut Oil for Locs

Coconut oil is an excellent option for locs. But some alternative natural oils can be beneficial for locs.

1. Castor Oil

Castor oil works wonders on coarse and dark hair. The oil is a fantastic option for people who want longer and thicker locs because it is rich in omega fatty acids and vitamins B, C, and E. Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, a strong anti-fungicidal and antibacterial compound that gives protection to the hair and scalp from infections. To create stronger, longer, and thicker locs, it also quickly absorbs moisture and retains it. A common issue with locs is that you can’t wash those as frequently as you would normal hair, while the oil helps in cleansing the scalp. It should only be used in small amounts because it is thick and won’t attract lint or dirt.

Castor oil
Castor oil

2. Almond Oil

Almond oil has magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and vitamin E in it. Although its nutrients are better maintained in the unrefined state, those are chemically heated in the refined state. Because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, it becomes an excellent oil for locs. These ingredients have a natural SPF of 5, which guards against sun damage to your locs. The oil also has vitamin B-7 to keep the hair strong and healthy. Its antibacterial properties balance the yeast that produces dandruff when applied to the scalp. It also cleanses hair follicles and hydrates the scalp.

Almond oil
Almond oil

3. Argan Oil

Many people refer to this oil as Moroccan oil while the term is less significant than the miracles the liquid gold can perform when used on locs. The oil is extracted from the Moroccan argon tree. Its nourishing power works on all hair types. It contains vitamin E, which hydrates and safeguards hair. Its antioxidant properties repair scalp damage and its anti-inflammatory effects soothe itchy, dry skin. Argan oil absorbs very fast after it is applied to locs which leaves a thin residue that results in lustrous and silky dreads.

Argan oil
Argan oil

4. Jojoba Oil

The oil is made up of a chain of monounsaturated liquid wax esters. The best feature of jojoba oil is that it was chemically created to act like the sebum on your scalp. As a result, it can readily increase the sebum in your hair without contributing to any artificial buildup. Jojoba oil also maintains the hair’s pH balance and is excellent for strengthening weak locs to prevent breakage. This oil can promote blood circulation in the scalp, minimizing breakage and giving your locs shine while also promoting hair growth. Avoid using it excessively or frequently as this could lead to buildup on the scalp.

 Jojoba Oil
Jojoba Oil

5. Avocado Oil

This light oil, which is made from the fruit’s pulp, is one of the most effective oils you can use on your hair because it contains a lot of amino acids and the vitamins A, B, D, and E. It is used for its capacity to provide moisturization by penetrating hair strands. The oil strengthens the roots, nourishes the scalp, and helps hair growth. It can be used with shampoo, rosewater, or glycerin.

Avocado oil
Avocado oil

6. Grapeseed Oil

Grapeseed oil contains both saturated and unsaturated fats. It is a vegetable-based oil made from grape seeds. It can moisturize, soften, and increase the softness of the scalp along with its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties. The oil provides shine, reduces dandruff, hydrates, and protects the locs when applied to those. Again, grapeseed oil can play an active role in the growth of the locs, particularly when combined with other essential oils like peppermint and rosemary oil.

Grapeseed oil
Grapeseed oil

7. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a nourishing hair oil, which helps with its thickness. Although maintaining locs is not always simple, many people choose to moisturize their locs with olive oil. Unlike some other oils, olive oil is very thick and doesn’t require repeated applications throughout the week, and keeps your locs soft and healthy.

Olive oil
Olive oil


1. Which oil is best for dreadlocks?

Each strand of your dreadlocks is moisturized by castor oil. Its antibacterial or antimicrobial characteristics guard against infections on your scalp, and scalp stimulation promotes hair to grow.

2. What oil is best for damaged locs?

Argan oil has moisturizing properties and it is rich in fatty acids and vitamin E. It has anti-inflammatory characteristics that help to soothe dry skin and itching and antioxidant properties that repair the already-caused damage to the scalp.

3. Is it OK to oil my locs every day?

If your hair doesn’t require it, there’s no need to add moisture to your locs every single day. When those begin to feel dry, or brittle is the only time you should oil your locs. You must use the right oil which is suitable for you.

4. How can I moisturize my locs without oil?

Since an aloe plant contains more than 80% water, it is one of the best natural sources for hydrating hair. Because of its unique properties to help in the hair-locking process while nourishing the scalp, you can only use all-natural aloe vera locking gel on your locs.

5. Do locs damage hair?

Locs shield hair follicles. Having dreadlocks might indeed be harmful to your hair. However, the reason for the 99% of damages is not knowing how to properly maintain, style, or even grow dreadlocks.

Final Thoughts

Coconut oil is one of the most available and affordable which makes it an attractive option for loc wearers. It can be highly beneficial for growing and grooming locs. Both the locs and scalp will be moisturized by coconut oil, which will also fight and prevent dandruff, soften and add luster, promote growth, add strength and shine, repair damaged hair, and improve scalp health. Some people may find that coconut oil is too heavy for their hair type, give a greasy feeling, weighs down the hair, cause excessive dryness, buildup, and become difficult to wash out and maintain. Though it has some drawbacks, many people love to take care of locs with coconut oil. The goodness of the oil depends on individual hair type, individual hair needs, type of locs, proper selection and application, and climate. But if coconut oil doesn’t suit your locs, you can go for other natural oils or hair care products for your locs.

Key Points

  • Coconut oil comes from the nut fruit of coconut palm trees. It has fatty acids such as lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid which have healing properties for hair.
  • Coconut oil forms a protective layer around the locs as it is a hydrophobic liquid. It holds the moisture of hair and maintains the soft and smooth texture of hair. While excessive coconut oil on your locs causes build-up on the scalp over time, block pores, and result in dandruff or other scalp problems.
  • Whether or not coconut oil will be good for locs depends on individual hair type, individual hair needs, type of locs, proper selection and application, and climate.
  • For dry and damaged locs, coconut oil helps as it holds moisture and also repairs the hair. On the other hand, for oily and buildup-causing hair, the oil can make it greasy and cause difficulty to wash or remove it from locs.
  • Coconut oil is not the best alternative to use for your locs if you live in colder regions. On the other hand, you can use it in warm to high temperatures for having a soft feeling and shiny look.
  • There are some alternatives to coconut oil for use in locs like castor oil, almond oil, argan oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, etc.
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