Why You Should Wash Your Hair and Skin With Coconut Milk

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The Best Uses of Coconut Milk for Hair and Skin
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Coconut milk is a creamy white liquid which is obtained by soaking the grated “flesh” of a mature coconut in water. Because coconut milk is rich in vitamins, minerals and fatty acids it is a great ingredient to use in natural beauty treatments to keep hair and skin looking and feeling healthy.

You can use coconut milk to make a luxurious shampoo to cleanse your hair and add it to hair masks to condition hair and straighten it. Many people also say that coconut milk helps to boost hair growth. You can also apply coconut milk directly to your skin or mix it with other natural ingredients to cleanse and moisturize your skin.

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Coconut milk shouldn’t be confused with coconut oil or coconut water. Coconut oil is extracted by either drying the meat of the coconut and then pressing the oil out or by soaking the meat before extracting the oil. Coconut water is just the liquid that is abundant in young coconuts. At the end of this article, you can find a recipe on how to make your own coconut milk.

Let’s look at the many reasons why coconut milk is so great for your hair and skin. You will also find many natural homemade recipes which use coconut milk to keep your skin and hair looking and feeling great.

The Benefits of Coconut Milk for Hair and Skin

Coconut milk contains vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5, and B6 and other minerals like magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, copper, and potassium.1 According to nutritionist Jo Lewin on the BBC Good Food website, coconut milk also contains lauric acid which contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.2

Therefore, many of the ingredients in coconut milk nourish your hair and skin by providing the necessary nutrients and minerals. For example, Dr. Laura J. Martin on WebMD says that selenium, copper, iron, and magnesium are all essential nutrients to keep your hair looking healthy.3 Coconut milk also contains high amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant which can help protect skin cells and the scalp from the damage caused by free radicals.4

So, coconut milk has many health benefits if you consume it and you can use it to make great home treatments to wash and condition your hair and also to keep your skin moisturized and young-looking.

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Coconut Milk for Hair

It is very easy to combine coconut milk with other natural ingredients to make shampoos, conditioners, and masks to keep your hair and scalp healthy. Many of these recipes only use one or two extra ingredients which you may already have in your home. Essential oils are also added in some coconut milk treatments to help control dandruff and boost hair growth.

Coconut Milk As a Pre-Shampoo Mask

If you have dry hair and want to use the deep moisturizing properties of coconut milk, you can combine it with coconut oil and honey to get shiny, great looking hair. The combination of these ingredients helps to protect, moisturize and strengthen dry hair and prevent it breaking.

You will need:

  • 6 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp. raw honey

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Apply the coconut milk mixture to your hair, making sure to massage it into your scalp and coat each strand. Cover your hair with a shower cap and warm towel and then leave for 20 – 30 minutes. Thoroughly wash the coconut milk mixture from your hair and dry as normal. Apply the coconut milk and honey mask once a week to keep your hair looking great and feeling smooth.

Coconut Milk Shampoo for Dry Hair

To leave your hair feeling clean and soft after washing, you can make your own homemade shampoo with coconut milk, Castile soap, and some of your favorite essential oils. Castile soap is an olive oil based soap that cleanses your hair and skin naturally. The addition of essential oils in the natural shampoo provides a pleasant fragrance and can help to combat various hair problems like dry hair or dandruff.

To make coconut milk shampoo, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup pure Castile soap
  • 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil
  • 2 tsp. almond oil. (alternatively, you could use olive oil, jojoba oil or vitamin E oil)

Directions:

Put all the ingredients into an old shampoo bottle and shake well until all the ingredients are mixed together. Use the coconut milk shampoo regularly as you would use any shampoo to wash your hair.

This coconut milk shampoo is great for hair because it only uses a few ingredients and doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients which can strip your hair of its natural oils and irritate your scalp.

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You can further cleanse your hair and increase its shine by following with apple cider vinegar (ACV) hair rinse. You can find more information about the benefits of ACV hair rinse as well as how to do it in my article on why you should wash your hair with ACV.

You can also add tea tree oil to your coconut milk shampoo to get rid of dandruff and prevent a flaky scalp because it contains powerful antifungal compounds. A study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology into the antifungal properties of tea tree oil found that a 5% tea tree oil shampoo is effective in treating dandruff because it kills fungal infections on the scalp. It can also help to reduce itchiness and control greasy hair.5

To get rid of dandruff naturally, you should add 10-20 drops of tea tree oil the coconut milk shampoo recipe in place of your favorite essential oil. Use the homemade shampoo regularly to treat dandruff and get rid of flaky skin from your scalp.

Coconut Milk Conditioning Mask

If you have an itchy and irritated scalp you can use coconut milk to make a conditioning hair mask to give your hair an amazing moisturizing boost. This hair mask puts back natural oils to your hair to make your hair smooth and manageable as well as giving it more volume.

In this homemade conditioning hair mask recipe, you can use olive oil or avocado oil, depending on what your preference is, along with coconut milk. Studies show that olive oil contains compounds which are anti-inflammatory and the natural oils help to moisturize the scalp, reduce itchiness and the appearance of flaky skin. Avocado oil is also rich in vitamin E and can help to keep the scalp healthy.

To make a natural conditioning hair mask which will also help to detangle your hair, you will need:

  • 3 tbsp. coconut milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil or avocado oil
  • 6 drops of essential oil (optional)

Directions:

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Mix the ingredients well and thoroughly massage the coconut milk hair conditioner into your scalp. Using your fingertips, apply small amounts of the coconut milk conditioner to your hair, working from the tips of your hair to the roots. This will help to keep your hair tangle-free and looking shiny. Cover with a shower cap and a warm towel. Leave it in for 20 minutes before washing it out with your favorite natural shampoo.

The moisturizing effect of avocado/olive oil combined with the coconut milk will leave your hair feeling smooth and looking great.

Coconut Milk Leave-In Conditioner Spray

To rejuvenate your hair and keep your hair well-moisturized, you can make a natural hair mist using coconut milk that will leave your hair soft, moisturized and shiny.

To make a coconut milk hair spray, you will need:

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. natural oil (such as sweet almond, vitamin E oil or avocado oil) – optional
  • A few drops of your favorite essential oil

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a spray bottle and use it as a hair mist.

Coconut Milk for Hair Growth

If you have thinning hair you can use coconut milk to help hair to grow faster and stimulate new hair growth by combing it with essential oils.

Although many people say that they have prevented hair loss by using coconut milk, there is no scientific proof that this works. However, there are studies that show that some essential oils like peppermint oil or rosemary oil help to rejuvenate hair growth. For example, a study into the effects of rosemary oil in treating baldness found that it was effective in treating hair loss and receding hairlines. It also caused fewer side effects than other types of medication that are prescribed for hair loss.6 Another clinical study by Korean scientists found that peppermint oil helps to promote hair growth and was more effective than pharmaceutical drugs commonly used to combat hair loss.

If you are suffering from thinning hair or hair loss, you can use coconut milk to help promote hair growth. You should mix 3 tbsp. coconut milk with 1 tbsp. avocado oil or jojoba oil and add 10-12 drops of either peppermint oil or rosemary oil (or 5-6 drops of each). Massage the coconut milk hair growth treatment into your scalp for a few minutes. This also helps to increase blood circulation in your scalp and promote hair growth. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave several hours or overnight to allow the coconut milk and essential oils to nourish your scalp. Use the coconut milk hair mask once or twice a week to help hair grow back thicker and faster.

For more natural ways on how to promote hair growth with natural homemade treatments, please read my article on How To Make Your Hair Grow Faster: The Best Natural Ways.

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Coconut Milk for Skin

In just the same way that coconut milk helps you to get and keep healthy looking hair, it is also great for your skin. You can use coconut milk to moisturize, cleanse, and exfoliate your skin. Here are some of the best ways to use coconut milk for skin.

Coconut Milk Moisturizer

To avoid the effects of dry skin, the fatty acids in coconut milk can help to keep your skin silky smooth and well-hydrated. Vitamins C and E in coconut milk are antioxidants which can help to protect your skin and the fatty acids help your skin to stay young-looking and soft.

All you have to do to moisturize your skin with coconut milk is to dab a clean cotton ball into coconut milk. Apply the coconut milk daily to all areas of your body where you have dry skin to keep your skin soft and supple. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse.

Coconut Milk Body Scrub

Mix coconut milk with sugar and coconut oil to make a deep-cleansing body scrub to exfoliate your skin. For this homemade body scrub recipe, you should use pure, raw sugar and unrefined coconut oil. The sugar in the natural body scrub will help to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores and the coconut milk and coconut oil will nourish your skin.

You should combine 1/2 cup coconut milk with 1/2 cup raw sugar and 1 tbsp. coconut oil. Apply the coconut milk body scrub to your skin using gentle circular motions to remove and loosen dead skin cells. Rinse with warm water and apply your favorite moisturizer to your skin. Use the body scrub once a week to keep your skin free of impurities.

Coconut Milk Face Wash

Using coconut milk to make a natural face wash is a great way to cleanse your face gently without drying out your skin. You can combine the antibacterial properties of honey and the natural cleansing power of Castile soap with the coconut milk to make a homemade face wash.

You will need:

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp. raw, organic honey
  • 1 tbsp. liquid Castile soap

Directions:

Put the ingredients into a bottle and gently mix together (if you shake the bottle too hard, it will start to foam up). Pour a little of the coconut milk face wash onto your hand and massage into your face and neck to get rid of dirt and grime. Rinse with warm water. Repeat this daily as part of your beauty regime to maintain healthy looking skin.

Coconut Milk Bath Soak

You can add coconut milk to a warm bath to help you relax and enjoy the soothing benefits of coconut milk on your skin.

All you need to do is to pour 1-2 cups of coconut milk into your bath while it is filling. Relax in your bath for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also enjoy the relaxing power of lavender essential oil by adding several drops to your bath. This can help to calm your nerves and ease away the stresses of your day.

How to Make Your Own Coconut Milk

Coconut milk is usually available in most supermarkets and health stores. However, it is very easy to make your own coconut milk to use on your hair and skin.

You will need:

  • 1 cup ground or grated coconut
  • 2 cups of water
  • A blender
  • A fine gauze or muslin.

Directions:

In a blender, put in the coconut and water and blend for 30 seconds. Strain the liquid through the muslin and squeeze out as much of the liquid as possible. You now have coconut milk that you can use to keep your hair and skin looking and feeling healthy and rejuvenated.

Read my other related articles:
1. Olive Oil for Hair Care – Best Uses for Beautiful Shiny Hair
2. 8 Ingenious Ways to Use Coconut Oil on Your Hair
3. Tea Tree Oil for Hair and Scalp – The Complete Guide
4. How to Use Egg White or Egg Yolk for Hair

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4 Responses to Why You Should Wash Your Hair and Skin With Coconut Milk

  1. Tracy Mowery says:

    are you talking about coconut milk that comes in half gallon containers in the milk section of the grocery store, for example Silk brand unsweetened coconut milk or the coconut milk that comes in a can, for example Thai Kitchens unsweetened coconut milk?

    • Jenny Hills says:

      The brand and the packaging don’t really matter as long as the product contains only coconut milk without any additives.

  2. Lois says:

    should the coconut milk be organic and raw?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      In this case the coconut milk is used topically and not internally so you don’t have to use organic milk.

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