When contemplating almond oil vs coconut oil for hair there are a few elements to consider. Both oils are a natural way to help your hair grow longer, thicker, and faster.
The vitamins and essential fatty acids naturally found in both nourish the scalp and help to remove sebum build-up from hair follicles.
Adding any of these natural oils to your hair care routine might be exactly what the doctor (or in this case, hairstylist) ordered to transform dry hair to healthy hair in no time.
But in this case of almond oil vs coconut oil for hair the benefits will be based on your hair concerns.
Coconut oil is the richest natural source of Medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFA). It is a special type of acid that thoroughly nourishes your body and contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
While almond Oil will help reduce hair fall with the help of Vitamin E and D content. It helps in moisturizing hair which is dry and brittle.
We are going to break down the properties of each oil but let’s have an overview on the benefits of oils for hair to start.
Whether you are trying to avoid chemicals or are just looking to experiment with some new hair care products, natural oils such as coconut or almond oil are some of the great for hair health and can be used directly on the skin and hair.
Natural oils improve the look of hair by helping it retain moisture and adding a beautiful, healthy shine.
When it comes to almond oil vs coconut oil for hair, if are dealing with scalp issues the anti-inflammatory properties make almond oil a great choice but if you have weak brittle hair coconut oil’s strengthening properties make it the right choice. Let’s break down why:
Almond Oil Vs Coconut Oil For Hair
Almond Oil Benefits
Almond oil softens hair
Almond oil is an emollient, meaning it can fill in gaps in your hair at a cellular level. That makes your hair feel smoother to the touch. Using almond oil on your hair gives it a softer texture over time.
Almond oil is higher in monosaturated fats (it’s made up of 70 percent of them, while coconut oil has only six and 45 percent respectively), which helps it penetrate the hair shaft more easily.
Because of its ability to sink in, almond oil is great to use on the ends of your hair, especially strands that have become particularly porous from sun damage and heat styling.
Almond oil strengthens and repairs hair
While not as strengthening as coconut oil, A study on Brazilian nut oils (many of which contain oleic acid and linoleic acid, just like sweet almond oil) showed improvement in hair’s resilience when it was treated with small amounts of oil ingredients.
The essential fatty acids in almond oil help in not only moisturizing the scalp but also the hair strands themselves, thus leading to healthy hair.
Almond oil treats scalp conditions and Hair Loss
Almond oil can also be used as a treatment for flaky scalp (seborrheic dermatitis) and scalp psoriasis.
While we don’t have studies that show how almond oil treats these conditions, almond oil has been used to treat dry scalp conditions in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries (3).
Not to mention, emollients like almond oil are often used to help soothe and soften scalp conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and even dandruff.
It also promotes re-growth of hair and decreases hair thinning. Almond oil has magnesium, calcium and zinc.
Less magnesium and calcium can lead to less hair growth and ultimately, hair loss. Zinc deficiency can lead to alopecia that leads to thinning of hair. As almond oil has these minerals, regular use of it helps avoid hair loss.
Coconut Oil Benefits
Restores Hair Moisture
The fats in coconut oil can penetrate each strand of hair, restoring lost moisture. In particular, the medium chain fatty acids are good at restoring lost moisture to hair.
Coconut oil can even protect your follicles from heat or other damage, meaning that the very roots of your hair will be more healthy.
Coconut oil can penetrate inside the hair shaft due to its small molecular size, and also because it contains lauric acid which has a high affinity for hair proteins.
This can be great for fine to medium hair that lacks natural hair proteins because protein is what gives the hair its strength and structure and results in healthier, shinier hair.
Coconut oil is also brimming with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can restore health to lackluster hair.
For example, coconut oil is high in vitamin E, vitamin K, zinc, and iron (Self Nutrition Data, 2015). These vitamins and minerals have been shown to increase oxygenation of hair follicles and promote hair strength and health.
UV filters can help protect your hair from sun damage. Some studies have found coconut oil to have a sun protection factor of 8, so putting it on your hair could be useful (4).
Coconut oil penetrates and fills the hair shaft, which may help prevent other harmful substances from getting into the hair.
In turn, this might prevent hair damage, especially for people who use coconut oil strategically.
Many harsh chemicals can damage the hair, including those in bleaches, dyes, and shampoos with heavy detergents.
Putting coconut oil on the hair before using these chemicals may help prevent serious hair damage.
People can try coconut oil as a pretreatment before using a clarifying shampoo or hair dye.
Who should use Almond Oil Vs Coconut Oil For Hair?
Using oil in general may not be right for every hair type and texture because some hair types retain oil for longer than others.
Your body naturally produces oil through glands attached to hair follicles, and this oil tends to travel faster down thin, straight hair than it does down coarse or curly hair.
Almond oil is most beneficial for dry, thick hair. It can keep hair moist and strong.
Coconut Oil tends to add too much protein to this type of hair causing it to feel hard and brittle.
Heavily processed hair — like hair that’s been treated with relaxers, perms, or bleach — especially benefit from extra protein should use coconut oil.
Always wait at least 72 hours after the initial treatment before you apply coconut oil.
Dandruff and Hair Loss
Dandruff can be caused by an overgrowth of fungus or yeast on the scalp. The antibacterial and antifungal properties of sweet almond oil help soothe scalp inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of dandruff.
The emollient properties of almond oil help soften and remove dead skin cells from the scalp.
Almond oil and coconut oil can help smooth the broken or burned ends of your hair thanks to their vitamins.
Due to its ability to penetrate the hair shaft, both oils can be used to seal in moisture and to restore softness and natural luster to dry hair.
The high content of fatty acids prevents hair from drying out and keeps it strong, pliable, and easy to manage.
Almond Oil Vs Coconut Oil For Hair
The Bottom Line
The bottom line in the debate on almond oil vs coconut oil for hair it all comes down to your hair and health needs.
If are dealing with scalp issues the anti-inflammatory properties make it a great choice but if you have weak brittle hair coconut oil’s strengthening properties make it the right choice.
They are both great choices, if you have the change to try them both, do it. Finding the best oil for you is essential.
How to Use Almond Oil or Coconut Oil For Hair
Here are a few ways to use almond oil or coconut oil to help improve the health of your hair.
- As a conditioner: Shampoo your hair as normal and then comb almond or coconut oil through your hair, from the midsection to the ends.
- As a post-wash detangler: After shampooing and conditioning your hair, rub a little almond or coconut oil through your hair to protect it while you brush it.
- As a hair mask: Rub almond or coconut oil through your hair and let it sit for a few hours (or even overnight) before washing it out.
- As a pre-wash hair protector: Rub almond or coconut oil through your hair before you wash it.
- As a scalp treatment: Before bed, massage a small amount of almond or coconut oil into your scalp. Leave it overnight and wash it off with shampoo in the morning.
These techniques can be used regularly or once in a while (depending on your hair type) to give you beautiful, healthy and shiny hair.
The amount of almond or oil you’ll need will depend on your hair length and type. Most people use just enough to cover the midsection to the ends of their hair to avoid their hair getting greasy.
The best approach is to start with the smallest amount you think you will need and gradually increase from there.
If you have short or very fine hair, you may need as little as one teaspoon. However, people with long, thick hair may want to use as much as two tablespoons.