Coconut Milk for Hair: What Are the Benefits?

Chances are, you’ve used coconut milk in cooking, smoothies, or even as a vegan (and delicious) ice cream! But did you know that coconut milk can also be used for hair? In fact, it has been used in beauty and hair care in many cultures for centuries and has a long list of benefits that make it one of our favorite ingredients to talk about!

What Is Coconut Milk?

Coconut milk is derived from the inner flesh of the coconut, or Cocos nucifera, a tree that belongs to the palm family and grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The coconut is grated, mixed with a small amount of water, and pressed, after which it is typically diluted with water, then packaged up into a can or bottle. The resulting product is what we know of as coconut milk! 

Coconut Milk vs. Coconut Milk Powder: What’s The Difference?

The coconut milk you use for cooking usually has added water as a filler. Coconut milk powder, on the other hand, doesn’t. Instead of adding water after grating and pressing the coconut, the top layer (which is referred to as the cream) is separated and dehydrated. The two end-results are very similar except that one has water and the other doesn’t! 

Both liquid and powdered coconut milk are packed with good-for-your-hair compounds; The main difference being the powdered version needs fewer preservatives and is far more concentrated.

What are the Benefits of Coconut Milk for Hair?

Coconut milk is chock full of coconut fat, which is what gives is its creamy texture and makes it such a great dairy alternative. But coconut fat isn't just tasty, it also contains high amounts of lauric acid, a fatty acid that, unlike other fatty acids, is able to penetrate the hair shaft and deliver all sorts of hair-supporting benefits. 

Coconut milk is also full of minerals like iron, selenium, calcium magnesium and phosphorus, as well as vitamins C, E, and B6. Let’s dive into some of the main ways that coconut milk can improve your hair:

Delivers Intense Hydration

Coconut milk contains fatty acids that have an extreme moisturizing and conditioning effect. The main fatty acid, lauric acid, that is found in coconut milk has the ability to get deep into the hair shaft to provide moisture and tame frizz.

Contains Antimicrobial Properties 

The lauric acid found in coconut milk has also been shown to have strong antimicrobial properties - it is even being explored as a potential treatment for acne. 

Can Boost Hair Growth

Coconut milk is also loaded with protein which helps promote hair growth and strengthens the roots, and is rich in Vitamin E and Vitamins B which can fight hair fall. 

Incorporate Coconut Milk Into Your Hair Care Routine With Mirage

At Mirage, we use coconut milk powder as one of the star ingredients in our Hydrate Shampoo Powder, along with aloe, coconut-based surfactants, and a blend of natural botanicals and essential oils.

All of our shampoo powders are 100% waterless (because why add water during manufacturing when you can add it yourself in the shower?) and sustainably packaged. Simply shake a small amount of powder into your wet hand, add a small amount of water from the shower, and rub to form a paste. From there, apply to your hair and lather away! Because of its conditioning abilities, many customers report that they don’t need to follow with conditioner, or that they need less than they are used to. In our opinion, that just goes to show the incredible powder of coconut milk for your hair! 

Shop our other waterless shampoo powders here!


Gavazzoni Dias MF. Hair cosmetics: an overview. Int J Trichology. 2015 Jan-Mar;7(1):2-15. doi: 10.4103/0974-7753.153450. PMID: 25878443; PMCID: PMC4387693.

Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Fang JY, Zouboulis CC, Zhang L, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Antimicrobial property of lauric acid against Propionibacterium acnes: its therapeutic potential for inflammatory acne vulgaris. J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Oct;129(10):2480-8. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.93. Epub 2009 Apr 23. PMID: 19387482; PMCID: PMC2772209.