Coconut Oil On Skin and Hair – Does it Really Work?

If you’ve gone shopping for any personal care products within the past 5 years, you’ve undoubtedly seen a surge in products containing coconut oil. Being a skeptic, I wanted to see if this coconutty goodness was scientifically proven or just marketing gone nutty. This short article is by no means exhaustive but in it, I hope to provide some useful information, and resources when looking for legitimate skin and hair claims for this tropical fruit. For more detailed information of the facts, I invite you to follow the links listed in the sources below the article.

coconut oil, coconut shampoo, coconut water

1. What is Coconut oil

According to, coconut oil is normally a semi‐solid oil extracted from copra (dried coconut) that contains 90% saturated fats. But why then isn’t your shampoo solid at room temperature? The difference is the absence of linoleic acid. The coconut oil found in skin care products has gone through an extra step in order to remove the saturated fats from the coconut. This industry term is “Fractionated coconut oil”, and is said to absorb more readily into the skin as a liquid. (Source 2)

2. Why is coconut important?

According to current scientific literature there are significant  benefits of consuming coconut oil particularly for lowering bad cholesterol. (Source 3)  But what about topical application? Are there proven, evidence based benefits for that?

3.Does topical application of coconut make a difference?

Let’s look at the evidence for both skin and coat. We’ll start with the skin. 

Coconut skin care products


According to an article published in Karger, Medical and Scientific Publishers, coconut oil helped to heal wounds of rats faster that those that were not treated. (Source 1)

The main skin benefits were the following: (Source 1)

  • Higher collagen turnover – This can also be called “protein turnover” or “protein synthesis”, which is important for replacing damaged proteins within the body.
  • Antioxidant Enzyme activity – According to Cell BioLabs, Inc., “These form the body’s endogenous defense mechanisms to help guard against free radical-induced cell damage.”
  • Fibroblast proliferation – This is important for wound healing, and the process of tissue repair. It produces structural proteins such as collagen, and stimulate both angiogenesis (development of new blood vessels)  and epithelialisation (growth of surface skin tissue known as epithelium).
  • Neovascularization This is the formation of new blood vessel in abnormal tissue.

All of these processes aid in the healing of damaged skin tissues. For the full abstract, visit the following link: Effect of Topical Application of Virgin Coconut Oil on Skin Components and Antioxidant Status during Dermal Wound Healing in Young Rats – Nevin K.G. · Rajamohan T.

Now let’s look at some evidence on topical effects of coconut oil for hair.  

coconut products for hair

According to “Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage” published in Europe PMC,

“The findings clearly indicate the strong impact that coconut oil application has to hair as compared to application of both sunflower and mineral oils. Among three oils, coconut oil was the only oil found to reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.” (Source 5)

In another study, “Effect of coconut oil on prevention of hair damage” published in Society of Cosmetic Chemists, coconut oil was also seen to “prevent the lifting of surface cuticle, and its breaking by the force exerted by the comb.” In short, coconut oil was shown to prevent hair breakage and damage.

3. What products should I use?

What products do we recommend for you use to get the benefits of coconutty goodness? The Pure Paws H20 Line is filled with coconut oil, and is specially formulated to hydrate the coat and repair the skin. For extra healing power, the H20 line also contains aloe vera to compliment the coconut oil, and as one of our best-selling lines, we guarantee you’ll love it! 

h20 coconut shampoo






For any questions on the products, please feel free to email us at

Thank you,

The Pure Paws Family