Is it better to apply coconut oil to damp hair or dry hair?

wet hair

Do you want to know if it’s better to apply coconut oil to damp or dry hair?


Unfortunately, the answer is that it depends.

I’m aware that the worst answer to any question is the infamous, “It depends.”

But, thanks to my experience as a hair stylist and as a mom, I know it’s the best answer to this question.


  • Because, in reality, it all depends on what you’re using the oil for, since, as we know it’s practically got a star on the Walk of Fame for its many, many uses.
  • So, if you’re using it because you want to eliminate frizz, I’d recommend that you apply it to damp hair.
  • But, if you’re trying to use it as an intensive hydration treatment, it would be better to apply it to dry hair.


I imagine you’re a little bit relieved because at least my “it depends” isn’t leaving you with a blank look on your face.

You don’t know what face I’m talking about?


Well, if you have kids, try to respond to their begging to go to an amusement park this weekend with an “it depends” and you’ll see the face they make at you. And that’s the face I’m talking about.


But, I was good today and I gave you a pretty clear answer.


  • To eliminate frizz, coconut oil on damp hair.
  • To deeply hydrate, coconut oil on dry hair.


Of course, it’s not just about throwing a whole container of oil on your hair, then waiting for the magic to happen.

No ma’am, it has to do with how much you put on and your technique.

 Because, in order to get the best results from coconut oil, your technique for applying it on either dry hair or wet hair is also very important.  


So, if you want to know how to correctly apply coconut oil on your hair to reach whatever your goal is, stay with me.

Because I’ll tell you:

  • When it’s ideal to apply coconut oil to wet hair
  • How to use coconut oil as a deep hydration mask


So, you can wipe that blank stare off your face because today you’ll have clear and precise answers to all your questions.


Tabla de Contenidos


When is it ideal to apply coconut oil on wet hair


Check coconut oil price on Amazon


Like I said before, it’s very important to know which is the best way to apply coconut oil to your hair, remembering the effect you’re looking for.


This all reminds me of one of my clients that I told to use coconut oil on her wet hair to beat frizz.

Of course, Julia (my client) only half-listened to my instructions.

Let me explain a little more.


Julia has naturally very, very greasy hair.

But she has an even worse problem: her hair tends to frizz up bad on humid days.

 So, I told her to apply just a FEW drops of coconut oil to her wet hair on those days, after heating up those drops softly in her hands by rubbing them together.  

That’s the only thing she had to do. But, she did exactly the opposite.


She used coconut oil as an overnight mask every two days. After 15 days she came to see me, as angry at me as if her boyfriend had told her to go to the moon and never, ever come back.

When she told me what happened, I was the one that wanted to go to the moon. She complained that her hair a sticky mess. If she had slightly greasy hair before, her hair was now a personification of grease.

Who think it’s a good idea to use coconut oil as the base of an overnight mask, especially if you have super greasy hair?


Yep, I know. Julia.

 If you have greasy hair and you get frizzy hair on humid days, you can put a few drops of oil into your hair and distribute it through your hair from the middle through the ends when it’s wet.  

But only a little bit and only on extremely humid days.

Is your hair normal in terms of greasiness but you also get a lot of frizz?


If so, you can also use coconut oil as an anti-frizz technique on your damp hair any day.

Now, what happens if one day you wake up and the frizz in your hair is just totally unmanageable?


You can also use a few drops of coconut oil. But I should warn you.

You might notice that your hair is less shiny and opaquer when you apply the coconut oil to it. That’s normal. But that means it will be one of those days where you just can’t have everything.


So, you can decide to go for shiny hair or frizzy hair. That’s just how it goes.

Now, what happens if you want to use coconut oil as a deep hydration mask?

I’ll tell you the answer in a moment.


How to use coconut oil on dry hair as a deep hydration mask

You’ve surely heard of a lot of people using coconut oil on their hair as an overnight mask.

But, although it might not be what you expect, you should do it on dry hair.

The reason is simple.


Let’s imagine that you have a sponge and you keep dipping it in water over and over again.

What will happen at some point?


The sponge will stop absorbing water because it’s full, right?

The same thing can happen with wet hair.

  • When your hair absorbs water, it swells. And when it swells, it can’t absorb anything else. Not even coconut oil.
  • That’s why if you put coconut oil on wet hair, you’re minimizing the product’s ability to deeply hydrate your hair.
  • Because the oil won’t be able to get through the outside layer of your hair to give it its nutrients because those spaces are already occupied by water.
  • So, although nothing bad will happen to your hair, you won’t get what you were looking for out of the mask, which is to deeply nurture your hair.

And you’ll be wasting time and money.

And what’s even worse is that your hair will continue to look weak and dry.

Wouldn’t it be great if coconut oil could transform your hair?


It can, and if you want it to, you have to give it a chance.

Since coconut oil is a lauric acid triglyceride, an essential fatty acid, it has a high affinity for the protein in your hair, and thanks to its low molecular weight, it can penetrate to the inside of your hair.

So, how should you apply it to your dry hair?


  • I’d recommend heating up the coconut oil in your hands so it turns into a liquid and then rubbing it between your hands to turn it into a kind of foam, which you’ll then apply to the ends of your hair.
  • This is a key step because with this movement, you’ll be preparing the oil and your hair so its cuticles open and the molecules in the oil are able to penetrate your hair.
  • It’s better to divide your hair and apply the oil in sections to ensure that you cover each area.
  •   And, of course, apply more oil in the areas where your hair looks drier and more damaged, which is generally at the ends, and less where your hair is healthier, which is usually on your scalp.  


Do you remember in the beginning when I told you about an exception to using coconut oil on wet hair for a hydrating mask?


That except is for people that have very curly, afro-type hair.

Do you know why?


Because that kind of hair absorbs water very quickly, but it also loses it very quickly.

So, water never makes your hair swell if you have that curly hair, so coconut oil can penetrate the outer layer of your hair perfectly fine even when it’s wet.


Now you know if you should apply coconut oil to your wet or dry hair, depending on what you’re looking to do.

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