If you have curly hair, you’ve likely experienced the struggle of attempting to de-frizz your locks for smooth, silky curls. And while coconut oil has been touted for centuries as a natural hair mask to moisturise and rejuvenate dry, frizzy hair, we’ve got another secret ingredient for you to try: coconut milk.
The problem with using coconut oil is that it is much too heavy for most people’s hair—especially if you have low porosity hair, which is resistant to absorbing oils and moisture. Instead of that silky smooth finish, you could end up with a weighed down, greasy mane. Not a good look!
In this article, we’ll go through why coconut milk is a better alternative to coconut oil, how to use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner, and give you a DIY coconut milk leave-in conditioner recipe that you can make at home.
What is the difference between coconut oil and coconut milk?
While both are made from the flesh of a coconut, coconut oil is made by pressing or centrifuging coconut until the oil separates. Coconut milk, on the other hand, is made by heating up the coconut meat and blending it into a cream. It is then diluted in order to create a fluid milk. Both have naturally fatty properties, a high Vitamin E content and proteins to help restore and regenerate thinning, frizzy hair, split ends, damaged hair, and promote hair growth; however, coconut milk is a better alternative for the hair and skin as it is lighter and less oily.
Can you use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner?
Yes! Because coconut milk is created from the flesh of the coconut and diluted, it tends to be less oily than coconut oil. If you were to use coconut oil as a leave-in conditioner, your hair would look wet and greasy—with the right mixture of coconut oil and a light spritz over your locks, however, coconut milk can be used daily as a finishing leave-in conditioner, leading to smoother, less tangled, shiny hair, without being weighed down.
How long can I leave coconut milk in my hair?
If you are using coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner, it can be left in your hair all day long and used every day. If your roots are prone to getting oily quickly and your ends are dry, you may want to just spray the coconut milk leave-in conditioner only on your ends.
Can I condition my hair with coconut milk?
Yes! If you’d like to use coconut milk as a hair conditioner, simply apply the mixture below onto your hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.
How do you use coconut milk as a leave-in conditioner?
To use this DIY coconut milk leave-in conditioner, mix up the conditioner ingredients as directed below, then fill up a spray bottle with the mixture. Once you have washed your hair, towel dry it and squeeze out any excess moisture. This will prep your curls to absorb as much fatty goodness as possible. Then, shake up the spray bottle, and spritz onto clean, damp hair. Rake the product through your hair with your fingers or a wide-tooth comb, focussing on the mid-shaft to ends of your hair strands. Air-dry or style your hair as usual.
Use the leave-in conditioning spray as needed for an extra boost of shine and moisture. You can also use a light spritz on dry hair to detangle any knotty curls.
Remember, your hair is as unique as you so feel free to try spraying the coconut milk leave-in conditioner at night before bed, in the morning to revive your hair, or before you leave for a night out for an added shine boost!
DIY coconut milk leave-in conditioner recipe
Now that we’ve gotten all the important information out of the way, here’s how to make your own coconut milk leave-in conditioner at home.
When shopping for coconut milk, be sure to purchase organic coconut milk with no additives or preservatives. This could dry your hair out further! Most organic coconut milk will contain only three ingredients: organic coconut, water, and guar gum, a natural stabilizer that helps maintain the coconut milk’s consistency.
- 1 tbsp coconut milk
- ¼ cup distilled water
- 1 tbsp argan oil
- 1 tbsp jojoba oil
- 2-10 drops of your favourite essential oil (optional)
- Big bowl
- Fork or whisk
- Small spray bottle (about 2 ounces)
- Add the water, essential oils, jojoba oil, and argan oil to the bowl and whisk well
- Add the coconut milk to the mixture and whisk again until smooth
- Add the entire mixture into the spray bottle and shake well.
- Keep the mixture refrigerated when not in use.
Because the coconut milk leave-in conditioner is made from coconut milk with no preservatives, the shelf life will be about 4-7 days. If you’d like to make a big batch and freeze it, you can do so as well—just be sure to whisk the mixture well when thawed!
Which essential oils can I add to my coconut milk leave-in conditioner?
If you choose to add essential oils to your leave-in conditioner mix, we recommend using the following:
Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties that promote scalp health, and can also help speed up hair growth.
Peppermint essential oil
Not only does peppermint oil smell like Christmas, but it also stimulates the hair follicles to aid in hair growth. That tingly feeling that peppermint causes? That’s the extract hard at work, increasing circulation.
Rosemary essential oil
Rosemary helps regenerate cells, which also stimulates healthy hair growth.
Cedarwood essential oil
Cedarwood helps fight oily, greasy hair, by controlling the sebum production in the scalp. It also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties, which can help with issues like dandruff or hair loss.
What other oils can I add to my coconut milk leave-in spray?
We’ve recommended jojoba oil and argan oil for the simple fact that both are incredible for moisturizing dry hair and boosting shine. Argan oil can also help with thickening the hair, while jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties that can help fight frizz, revive dull, brittle hair.
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By the way, coconut milk isn’t the only ingredient you can use for moisturizing hair and promoting hair growth. Learn more about how to use shea butter and chebe powder for enviable hair. If you’re looking for an instant fix, our natural hair extensions will give you that boost of length and thickness instantly.