Nourishing Hair Oil Recipe

Nourishing Hair Oil Recipe

Hair can get dry and brittle, especially in the summer months during time spent outside, at the beach, or swimming in a chlorine laden pool. Use of harsh chemical products can also damage hair, but this conditioning treatment helps nourish hair and strengthen it.

Try this easy and inexpensive home treatment that will naturally improve your hair. I even use this on my four year old to make her hair more manageable and easier to brush (she is very tender-headed). This recipe is so simple, it is hard to call it a recipe, but it works really well so I thought I’d share it anyway. Please note that it will leave hair oily and need to be washed/rinsed well as to not leave residue.

If you’re looking for other natural hair care recipes, check out my homemade coconut shampoo, DIY Beach Waves Hairspray and Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair.

Hair Oil Ingredients

Hair Oil Instructions

Combine all ingredients and whisk/blend well (I used an immersion blender). You may have to heat the coconut oil slightly to get it in liquid form. Epsom salt will still be somewhat gritty but will dissolve and work in to hair once applied.
Over a sink or shower, massage oil through the hair and scalp. Put a shower cap on (or old towel) and leave on for up to 30 minutes.
In the shower, rinse well, then shampoo. If still oily, massage a small amount of baking soda through the hair to remove or use dry shampoo after the shower.

Have you ever used oil on your hair? How did it work?
This hair oil uses olive oil and coconut oil with honey to add moisture and epsom salts for a magnesium boost. This creates a moisturizing conditioner for the hair.

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Reader Comments

  1. My toddler has a brownish cradle cap layer under her thickest part of hair and behind her ears. I was going to rub some olive oil on it today to see if it would come of easily. It worked well on my other daughter when she was small, but she had oily hair for a few days because I couldn’t get it to rinse/wash out. I tried some of the Morocco Method hair oil once and could not get it out of my hair. By the time I was done trying to get it out my hair was anything other than softer than when I started! Maybe I’ll experiment on my husband–he has very curly hair that absorbs anything.

    • I think it does depend on hair type somewhat, so probably a good idea to experiment on a small piece of hair or on his hair first…

      • I tried it last night and the olive oil/coconut oil blend worked great. I was able to use a soft brush to get rid of the build-up. I just washed her hair as usual and it came out super soft and shiny! Hooray for a clean head!

  2. I have dry curly hair and often use oils. Coconut is my favourite for dry hair, but you must wash it out properly afterwards. You can
    Use any oil on your hair that can be used on your skin. I also sometimes use an Indian almond oil mix on my hair instead of product as it gives me awesome, sleek curls.

    • could I have your recipe as I have curly hair too !!!

  3. I’ve experimented with oils on my hair in the past and found olive oil hard to wash out but coconut oil seems to absorb better. The honey sounds like a nice touch. Presently, I warm a bit of coconut oil between my palms after every shower and lightly apply it to the dry ends of my hair while it’s still wet. Absorbs right in and you hardly know it’s there once your hair’s dry, except that it’s healthier looking!

    • I do that too — I don’t use shampoo, or any other non-food products, on my body. So putting in too much oil and then having to use soap that dries in order to get out the oil makes no sense to me. I use coconut or avocado oil on my face and hands, then use a little left over to rub through my hair. If I accidentally get too much (rare), I rub it with a clean towel.

      • I am curious what you do use to clean your hair? Anything other than the oil?

        • I don’t wash my hair- even if you od use shampoo -you hair shouldn’t be actually washed with a soap product but once -maybe twice a month.. I use a conditioner I made everyday in place of soap. Do a baking soda detox on your hair to get all the product off and you don’t need shampoo– even oily hair can use cornstarch on their roots/scalp to adsorb excess oil..

  4. thank you for the tips, I’ll try that, I also use argan oil from pro naturals which is really good for hair, leaves it soft, shiny and healthy.

  5. I’m curious. Have you ever tried this without applying to your scalp/head? I am wondering if this would be a good recipe only for hanging hair. [I have below-waist length curly/wavy hair. When I’ve tried oil masks I have SUCH a difficult time getting the oil out!]

  6. I love using home remedies for my hair, it’s super
    curly and frizzy. I also tend to splurge on good quality products like pro
    naturals moroccan argan oil hair mask, at least I know they work 🙂

    • Don’t oil your scalp, you will cause your pores to become blocked. Oils do not moisturize the hair so you won’t get moisture by oiling the hair. It will only cause build up. Using the oils as a hot oil treatment before washing is a better idea if you are going to use oils or just put a little in your palm from time to time just to add a little sheen to the hair. You can try avocado. It’s also dependent on the products you are using in your hair. Avoid products with petroleum/petrolatum, mineral oil etc. Those just seal the hair so nothing can penetrate it. Try deep conditioning maybe every two weeks or so and get a mild shampoo that is sulfate free. Maybe you also need to get your hair stripped to get rid of any buildups

      • Coconut oil does inside the cuticle of the hair & moisturizes the hair. Also- Paul Mitchell’s new marula oil. The oil molecules in both are tiny enough to penetrate into the hair shaft. Most oils have silicone in them- these do not. That’s why you can use coconut oil on the skin and its moisturizing! 🙂

  7. This sounds lovely… but is the honey a necessary ingredient? I’ve heard that it can bleach hair, and I don’t want to lose my natural red color faster than I already am!

  8. Can I use fractionated coconut oil?

    • Or even shea butter?

  9. i have fine thin hair and coconut oil makes it really dry. it’s been a week since i tried it and it seemed to change my hair…i can barely comb through it. it’s not quite to my shoulders. it’s not really tangled but just…weird. I don’t know what it did to my hair. I feel like i should cut it off now.

    • surprised at your comment, and glad you mentioned that. i’m new to coconut oil and have been using on skin for fabulous results, but on the hair, i have also noticed it’s not quite tangled but weird is exactly the word. it’s not dry, not oily, but it’s just not the result i was expecting or hoping for. not happy, healthy looking or feeling hair :/

    • Your hair may be sensitive to protein. I have read that coconut does not contain high levels of proteins, but it helps keep protein in your hair. My hair always felt dry after using it, but everyone has always claimed how wonderful it was for their hair… So I decided to leave an ayurvedic herbal
      blend in a base of coconut oil on my hair overnight to really see the benefit. Upon washing it out, my ends felt like straw, I trimmed 3 inches off and tried all kinds of clarifying treatments. Nothing helped; I eventually had to cut another 6 inches off. Looking back I should have known – when I would use commercial high protein shampoos and conditioners, my hair would feel great for one or two uses – and then it would start to take on a hard feeling and I would have to stop using the product, I did not realize that it was protein sensitivity at the time. Protein Overload… I have learned my lesson well – no matter how
      good something works for one person, does not guarantee it will do the same for me or anyone else. I now proceed with caution with anything new that I try. One of the reasons I love this site and making my own products – I know exactly what goes into my products, and if I have an adverse reaction, it is much easier to pin-point.

    • We have the problem at the salon when a client is using drug store bought shampoo & conditioner. The non water soluble silicone in them make it impossible for penetration so, the hair gets gummy from the extreme build up. There is hardly any protein but it is possible you do not need protein & causing the dry feeling as well!

  10. Would the Epsom salt irritate sensitive skin?

    • I haven’t heard of anyone having trouble with it, but you can certainly omit it…

    • I have eczema and I use Epsom salts all the time. I put it into my bath or use it as a face scrub (rarely). However I don’t use it when I have flair ups as it will dry out my skin even more and cause intense pain.

      On a different note, I have had the coconut oil reaction as mentioned in previous posts, where my hair gets hard and weird.

  11. I have used hair oil since childhood. From experience, I have learn that any oil that you can lay your hands on works just well. I have used sesame, olive, almond, coconut, safflower, etc. I generally apply oil to the hair and scalp and leave it overnight. If I have the time, I damp a towel in warm water and wrap it around my hair for 15-30 minutes. This makes my hair softer and less dry (which otherwise tends to be dry and static-y. I need to shampoo twice in order to remove the oil thoroughly though.

    • I use hair rinse or soda and water to get the oil out before I shampoo. Not bso hard to get oil out.

  12. Just did this with a few tweaks and loved it. Fabulous to do once a week.


  13. Can u use this hair oil recipe on color treated hair? I just colored my hair & don’t want the recipe to strip the fresh color. Thanks. Tammy

  14. I have struggled with SEVERE dandruff/eczema on my scalp for quite some time, saw a dermatologist and spent 28.00 on a shampoo that was supposed to help…IT DID NOT! 2 nights ago I put coconut oil on my scalp/hair, put my hair in a bun, and slept with it on. Next morning I washed my hair thoroughly, and now my scalp is almost completely gone of eczema and dandruff!! I could not believe it! Not to mention, how soft my hair is now!

  15. I use oil on my hair on a regular basis. My hair is naturally dry and chemicals dry it even more. I use a variation of your recipe that also includes almond oil and avocado oil, in addition to the oils you mention. I also throw in some Argan oil. I leave the oil in my hair overnight along and cover it with a plastic conditioning cap. Works like magic and makes my hair shiny and soft.

  16. back in the day we did VO5 hot oil, but now I use a mixture of coconut, sweet almond, castor, jojoba, vitamin e and olive oils. I put all the oils in tip bottle used to apply hair dye, soak hair and scalp put on a thin shower cap like the ones you get from a hotel. Leave that on for several hours while I’m doing housework and chores, even working out. Then I rinsed my hair in warm water and conditioner. Make my hair feels so soft an much more manageable. I have dense thick super spirally curly hair that sucks up the oil mixture. Took a while to find the proper oil balance and combination that helped me. I do this 2 a month.

    • Hi Tracey

      I realize that your post is from 2+ years ago, but I’m wondering if you still use your oil mixture, and if it still makes your hair really soft and manageable. My hair is similar to yours, and I’d love to know what proportions of oils you use.

      thanks! 🙂

  17. Hi Katie! I love, love your site and you have made my journey to a more natural-life fun and easy….I’ve really come to trust your recipes! I’ve used too many to list! Thank you for sharing all you do! Just a tip to rinsing out oil treatments (works like a charm, I promise), DO NOT wet hair! In the shower, work in the shampoo as much as possible WITHOUT water and then slowly, slowly add small amounts of water working in and lathering as much as possible before adding more water. Do this until you have a full lather and then rinse thoroughly. Then shampoo normally a second time and condition normally. No greasy hair after 🙂

    Also, just a note to those who commented about the coconut oil making their hair “weird”….I noticed the same thing immediately but then by the end of the week I had the super silky, shiny hair everyone else was talking about….weird! So maybe give it a day or two and see? I personally love it!

  18. Epic Fail!
    The closest I could get to raw honey in Toronto, Ontario, Canada was organic unpasteurized which is solid, not liquid. I am going to assume that you need liquid honey for this to work. I had to head up the honey to even begin to mix it with the oils and had to apply it to my hair while warm/hot. It solidified on contact. I could not work it through my hair. What I had was a hot, solid mess!!
    So, is there any other recommendation to those of us who don’t have access to raw honey other than regular liquid honey? A supplement to add to replace the lost nutrients from using pasteurized, farmed honey? I’d send a picture; but, it was just….bad. Lol!

  19. I used this and became a grease ball. I’ve washed my hair 3 times with the detoxing mud shampoo and used a ton of baking soda to try and regain “normal” hair texture to no avail. Any suggestions or at least logic on why this happens to my hair. I feel like I have dry hair, but when I put anything “nourishing” on it such as oil or honey it’s like my hair rejects it and starts detoxing all over again.

    For the record, I’ve been commercial shampoo free for almost 4 months and found the mud shampoo to be the best wash around month 2 of this 6 month commitment (which I’m hoping will become lifelong). My hair is a fine blonde and took forever to adjust to no shampoo. Now that it has adjusted, it seems a little dry. I’d love to know what I can do to help nourish it without losing a week to super greasy/oily hair.

    • You may have coarse hair, not dry hair. People mistake them for each other because they feel similar, but coarse hair is caused by more protein on the hair shaft, whereas dry hair just lacks moisture. If your hair is coarse but well moisturized, putting extra moisture on it may cause it to feel oily and gross. You could try shea butter-based things, but avoid things that will sit on the hair without absorbing in.

  20. Hi,

    Is the honey necessary? I have used unpasturized and now raw honey and I am unable to get it to emulsify with the oils. It stays as a clump. Is this the epsom salts that are doing it? Should I omit the epsom salt altogether??


    • You honey might be too cool. It can clump up if it is cold. It usually helps give the oil a little body so that it stays in the hair better. It’s also really good for your hair as a natural anti-humectant and moisturizer.

  21. Are honey and the magnesium flakes safe to use on babies? I would like to try this on my 3 month old for a dry scalp. Just want to be sure all the ingredients are ok for babies too.. Thank you!

    • Babies are just not supposed to eat the honey, so as long as it does not get in his mouth it should be fine. The magnesium should be fine. You may just want to go easy on them in the recipe if you are concerned they might tingle too much for him, and test it first.

  22. I haven’t had great luck with coconut oil. It gives me dandruff 🙁 Could I replace it with some other oil like almond oil or sesame oil?

  23. Coconut oil is not good for everyone’s hair. I have dry, thick, curly hair, and have been battling dry, itchy scalp for forever. coconut oil does not absorb well into my scalp, and makes the itchiness worse. I also had split ends, and coconut oil was useless in getting rid of them.
    I think it’s good in a shampoo or conditioner, but for those of us who have to oil our scalps and ends on a daily or every other day basis, I recommend jojoba oil or avocado oil. They absorb much easier, and properly absorb into the scalp and hair shafts. I use jojoba oil on my scalp every other day, and the itchiness, dryness, and split ends are gone.

  24. Linda, sounds like you could add some red wine vinegar & pepper & have salad dressing. I hope you guys are doing well. George


  26. I used to have really pretty hair that looked like it had just been brushed all day. Then I started getting into dying it and that pretty much ruined it. So now i’m back at my original color and I just had to chop half of my hair off because it was SO damaged. I have pretty thin hair and I live in a place were it’s sunny all year round and i go to the beach a lot, which i hear isn’t good for hair. I’m pretty desperate for something to work, because right now it just coarse rope if I didn’t just brush it. I just read ALL of your hair recipes like the shampoo and the hair growing stuff and it all sounds really great, i’m just wondering which ones I should do. should I try them all at once? Or just try each one and see the best results?

    • I would try each of them and see how they work. It will depend on your personal hair properties, so you may like some, and not others.

  27. Both olive oil and coconut oil nourishes hair and contribute in reducing hair fall. Thank you for this useful hair oil recipe. I will try it this weekend.

  28. I used this recipe and added little bit of castor oil. What I used was store brought organic blue agave honey. During and post shower I lost lot of hair…LOT of hair. I wonder if it was because of the type of honey I used. I’m really worried about my hair loss and not sure if it’s going to get any thicker. Please help!!!

  29. Hi Kate, I’m wondering if you can double/triple… this batch to have it on hand for the next few applications. Does it stay nicely blended for a while or does it separate and go bad?


    • I’ve noticed a lot of comments on here about not being able to wash the oils out of the hair. I recently read that washing your hair with eggs, then a very small amount of castile soap helps a lot. I recently did a coconut oil mask on my hair and washed it out with egg, and a little bit of castile soap. It came out great! Only downside to washing with eggs is….no warm or hot showers. You have to wash your hair in cool water or you will end up with scrambled eggs in your hair. And make sure you rinse your hair really well.

  30. This worked amazing on my hair! I warmed it all, blended it & applied the sticky mess to my hair, focusing on the bottom half of my hair. I have loads of fine, straight hair down to the middle of my back and a scalp that tends toward oily. Will double it next time. Two washes with regular shampoo (which is free of all the stuff…) & my hair came out beautiful! Thanks again, Katie!!

  31. Do you use the whole recipe all at once or can I store it for later use. I have short hair and I don’t think I will need it all.