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How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair, Dogs and 20 Other Things

How to Use Coconut Oil for Hair, Dogs and 20 Other Things

Coconut oil remains extremely popular since its rise in popularity over the past few years – and for good reason. Studies and personal experience have shown that there are a wide variety of uses for coconut oil for beauty, cooking and cleaning, as well as potential health benefits. Coconut oil is a natural product that is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory, with so many versatile uses. If you want to use more natural solutions in your your health and beauty routine, coconut oil is a great item to incorporate into a more natural, organic lifestyle. From how to use coconut oil for hair to uses for your dog, we offer 22 ways to put this fragrant, soothing balm to work.

What Type of Coconut Oil to Buy

There are two different types of coconut oil found in stores. The first type is refined, hydrogenated coconut oil which means that it has been chemically altered, destroying any healthy properties found in natural coconut oil. The other type is unrefined coconut oil which is the most natural form, since it hasn’t been chemically processed. This virgin or extra virgin type of coconut oil is the best pick, since  it will contain the most healthy properties. 

Most Common Uses and Benefits of Coconut Oil

You can buy your unrefined, virgin coconut oil in a large jar and use it for all your coconut oil needs, from beauty to cooking. One important note: to keep ingredients people will consume clean, you will want to have one coconut oil jar dedicated to cooking and one for beauty and health purposes.

1. Use as a makeup remover

Apply coconut oil with a cotton ball or pad, and even waterproof eye makeup will easily glide off.

2. Skin moisturizer

Coconut oil can improve skin dryness and might help improve skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis in both kids and adults. Apply it on any dry patches or all over your skin. This is my favorite all-natural substitute in my skin care routine. It can leave a greasy residue on hands, though, so wipe your hands well after applying with a towel you don’t mind getting a little oily.

3. Coconut oil for hair

The fatty acids present in coconut oil are able to penetrate the hair shaft, preventing and reducing damage and protein loss to the hair. You can try using coconut oil as a conditioner or a post-wash detangler (rub a little through your hair before you brush it), as a hair mask or even as a scalp treatment as part of a DIY spa day at home.

3. Use on baby’s cradle cap

Applying coconut oil on an infant’s scalp can help prevent and reduce cradle crap, the flaky skin that adheres to a newborn’s head. Simply rub it on their scalp and use a fine-tooth, two sided baby comb with a handle designed for this to gently scrape away flakes.

4. Baby’s diaper region

Using coconut oil on an infant’s diaper region can reduce skin inflammation, itching, and irritation from diaper rash. It’s not as strong as commercial diaper rash creams, so it won’t heal a severe rash. Coconut oil can, however, form a barrier to help keep the skin in this area protected from further diaper rash.

5. Weight loss aid

The fatty acids in coconut oil can actually improve functioning of the thyroid and endocrine system and increase the body’s metabolic rate by removing stress on the pancreas. Though it is no miracle weight loss ingredient, in essence, coconut oil helps allow your body to burn more calories and energy to aid in weight loss.

6. A mild Sun protectant

A study has shown that coconut oil can block approximately 20% of harmful UV rays. It’s important to note that this is not enough for the recommended sun protection that intends to block 90% of UV rays.

7. High-heat cooking and frying

With its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is a great substance to use for high-heat cooking or frying. Coconut oil doesn’t convert into toxic compounds like some other high-heat oils which makes it a very safe and natural option for this type of cooking.

8. Antimicrobial mouth rinse

Coconut oil has been shown to kill streptococcus mutans bacteria present in mouths that cause plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.  It can act as effectively as rinsing with commercial mouthwashes.

9. Healthier mayonnaise ingredient

Mayonnaise typically contains added sugar and unhealthier oils. To make a healthier, homemade mayonnaise, find a recipe using coconut oil as an alternative, for added health benefits and less sugar.

10. Helps prevent itchy pregnancy belly

Toward the end of pregnancy, your belly may start to itch due to the skin becoming stretched out. Coconut oil can help to resolve the itch on your belly, as well as making the skin soft and smooth. It’s also a natural oil, so you can be assured that it’s safe for mom and baby.

11. Increases the good cholesterol (HDL)

Increasing the good cholesterol is another health benefit of coconut oil.

12. Alternative ingredient in dark chocolate

Don’t like eating a spoonful of coconut oil? Make homemade dark chocolate with it to get the added health benefits of this natural oil.

13. Soothes chapped lips

Coconut oil can heal chapped lips quickly, making them soft and supple.

14. Aids in digestion

Consuming coconut oil can help the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins, such as calcium and magnesium, better to improve digestion and prevent stomach and digestion-related problems including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

15. Wood polish

Applying coconut oil to your wooden furniture can make it shiny and polished. In addition, the thin layer of oil that you’ll leave on the table will act as a dust repellent, further reducing your need to clean.

16. Heal cuticles

Another beauty benefit of coconut oil is for dry and damaged cuticles. Simply rub a little bit on the cuticles to moisten the area and help reduce damage.

17. Natural deodorant

Using coconut oil as a deodorizer provides you with a chemical-free way to stay fresh. You’ll have to use a few more ingredients, including baking soda and arrowroot powder in addition to the coconut oil to make your deodorant (and you can add essential oils, if you like), but you can find simple recipes for it online.

18. Natural insect repellent

Adding a few drops of essential oils (geranium, lemon eucalyptus, rosemary, citronella and lavendar) to a few tablespoons of coconut oil can produce a natural non-toxic repellent, to keep away those pesky bugs this summer.

19. Increase speed of wound healing

Some studies have shown that coconut oil applied to wounds can actually reduce inflammation and increase collagen, which can quicken the healing process and perhaps reduce scarring.

20. Coconut Oil for Dogs

Even your furry friend can get in on the coconut oil action, both topically and as a supplement. It can help create a glossier and softer coat, as well as with digestion, help eliminate ordors and treat itchy skin issues, and it’s also often used as a paw balm. Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before giving orally, as there are no conclusive studies of the health benefits.

There are a multitude of beneficial uses for coconut oil. The possibilities are endless. Pick up a couple of large jars and you’ll use it up in no time.



This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare provider before consuming any supplements. 

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About The Author

Marissa Labuz

Marissa LaBuz is a pediatric occupational therapist turned full-time blogger who loves sharing her advice, experience, and designs with the world. She runs the blog,, all while starting tickle wars and dance parties with two energetic toddlers and calming a newborn baby. When she doesn't have her hands full of children, she enjoys a glass of wine, reality tv, and country music.

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