Coconut Oil for Dreadlocks: Benefits and How to Use

coconut oil for locs

Coconut oil is regarded as a holy grail by most naturalists. I can attest to this claim since I have used it every day since I started growing my beard. But what benefits does it offer to the dreadlocks?

Coconut oil is good for both dreadlocks grooming and promoting growth. Coconut oil will penetrate the hair strands and moisturize your dreadlocks and scalp, soften and add luster, stimulate growth, add strength and shine, fight and prevent dandruff, repair damaged hair, and promote health of your scalp.

Since coconut oil penetrates your hair easily just like avocado oil, you should use it with a sealant oil such as castor oil, grapeseed oil, or olive oil to reap the full benefits of its moisturizing benefits.

Related: Avocado oil for dreadlocks

Benefits of Coconut Oil for Dreadlocks


Coconut oil has great moisturizing properties due to its ability to penetrate the hair strands. The molecular structure of coconut oil makes it easy to penetrate the hair strands like avocado oil. Likewise, coconut oil will also keep your scalp moisturized, dry scalp and hair will lead to poor hair growth and even loss of hair.

However, you should not apply too much coconut oil as it has been reported to cause build-up when used excessively. If you have oily skin, you would better use coconut oil as pre-shampoo oil or apply it sparingly.

Another trick to use is to just apply coconut oil sparingly without applying it on your scalp, for moisturizing your scalp you can use rosewater. This way, you will be able to reap all the benefits of coconut oil for your dreads and keep your scalp moisturized.

Prevent Breakage

One of the best properties of coconut oil that makes it a golden oil for anyone who wants to grow long and lustrous dreads is its affinity for hair proteins. What I mean by ‘affinity’ is that ‘coconut oil loves keratin’ literally. Keratin is the protein from which your hair is made of.

Washing your dreadlocks or using hair products that are harsh on your hair leads to loss of hair protein. As a result, your dreadlocks become weak and are prone to breaking easily consequently preventing you from growing long locs.

Based on this studyOpens in a new tab., when coconut oil was compared with sunflower oil and mineral oil. The results showed that coconut oil absorbed much better into hair and prevented protein loss both before and after washing.

If you had bleached, chemically treated or dyed your hair and want to dread your hair, starting a coconut oil hair treatment will help you control the damage caused. While coconut oil prevents breakage, you will be able to grow long dreads if you also adhere to guidelines for taking care of your dreads.

Promote Growth

Does coconut oil help grow dreadlocks? Absolutely. Coconut oil has several vitamins and fatty acids known as medium-chain fatty acid or lauric acid that promote the health of your hair follicles.

Vitamin K is one of these vitamins, it allows oxygenation of your hair follicles and promotes growth. Vitamin E is another constitute of coconut oil and helps treat inflammation and repair damaged hair follicles which further promotes growth. This helps keeps your dreads moisturized, preventing breakage, preventing loss of protein from your hair, and promotes the health of your hair follicles.

Coconut oil will definitely promote the growth of your dreadlocks, especially when combined with oils such as castor oil and peppermint oil that have been proven to help grow hair.

Prevent Dandruff

Dandruff can be a nuisance to both mature and starter locs. If you do not know how to treat the cause of this problem you can end up hating this hairstyle. This is a major problem for all people both men and women, whether you prefer weaves or braiding your hair.

There are three causes of dandruff, fungi, bacterial and flaky skin caused by dryness. This is where coconut oil comes in.

First and foremost as we have discussed earlier, coconut oil is a great moisturizer. It will keep both your dreads and scalp properly moisturized helping you treat and prevent dandruff caused by dryness.

Secondly, coconut oil has been proven to have antimicrobial properties that will help you treat dandruff caused by fungi and bacteria. Make sure to massage the right amount of coconut oil in your scalp especially if you have oily skin to avoid clogging your facial hair follicles.


Clean dreads lock much faster compared to dirty dreadlocks. Actually, when my wife was getting her dreadlocks done she was having them washed once every two weeks. After her hair locked, she bought a drying bonnet that she uses whenever she washed her locs twice a week.

Keeping your dreadlocks dry after washing them is very important to prevent dread rot or molds. Here is where coconut oil comes in. When you wash your dreads, your hair loses proteins. It loses more protein when you use a blow drier or any other machine to dry it. When you apply coconut oil prior to the shampooing or cleaning, it will help prevent the loss of protein. Apply coconut oil later after washing your dreads before you dry them to further prevent protein loss from heat.

Fight and Prevent Lice

Lice is not that common nowadays given that hygiene has improved among most people. However, head lice was a common challenge among most dread wearers.

A few years back, there was a myth that dreadlocks should not be washed at all to help with the locking process. As a result, most dread wearers would suffer from head lice. Fortunately, fast forward to today, there have been discovered several chemicals that can help treat head lice.

Applying coconut oil can go a long way to helping you treat lice from root to the tip of your hair. However, on its own, coconut oil will not entirely help you treat lice. Mixing it with tea tree oil or rinsing your hair with apple cider vinegar then following it up with coconut oil with tea tree oil will help you deal with the neats.

Boost Shine and Prevent From Environment Damage

I have found that applying coconut oil to my beard makes it shine all day long. Just apply some coconut oil into your dreads to increase shine if that is your thing.

I know we all want to show off our dreads, especially if they are long and lustrous. Unfortunately, showing them off also exposes them to environmental damage. Thankfully, coconut oil has sunscreen properties that will protect your dreads from sun damage.

How to Use Coconut on Your Dreads

Dreadlock Pre-wash

You already know that you should wash your dreads about once a week. To make sure that the shampoo you use does not cause damage to your hair, apply coconut oil before washing and after washing to moisturize and keep your dreads strong.

Dread Conditioner and Moisturizer

Dreads need to be moisturized to help fight dandruff and dry scalp that may cause hair loss. Applying coconut oil will keep your dreads and scalp well moisturized. However, you should be careful as some people have reported that coconut oil clogged their pores and led to build-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is coconut oil good for starter locs? Coconut oil is good for both starter locs and mature locs. Coconut oil will keep your starter locs moisturized and maintain the health of your scalp and promote hair growth.

Does coconut oil cause build-up in locs? Some people have reported that using coconut oil has caused a build-up in their locs. Do not use too much coconut oil on your locs to avoid build-up and clogged pores.


Coconut oil is a great moisturizer oil that will help you maintain the health of your scalp. It will also help you prevent and treat dandruff, head lice and promote dread growth. However, using too much coconut oil may result in build up that will end up clogging your pores and may result in dread loss.


Hi, I'm Ben! When I embarked on my beard-growing journey, I had lots of questions. Now having successfully grown a beard, I launched this blog to share the answers I discovered through extensive research. Alongside beard tips, I also offer insights on maintaining and growing dreadlocks, as well as general advice on looking your best. I'm all about helping others look and feel great!

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