3 Coconut Milk Mask Recipes for Dry Hair

In the tropics, women have been moisturizing their hair with coconut milk for generations. And for good reason, coconut milk is wonderful for keeping hair soft and shiny. There's no need to search out and buy a coconut milk hair treatment, either. You can easily make an all-natural coconut milk hair mask at home.

Let's explore three recipes that require just a few ingredients from the kitchen, including one with avocado and another with rosemary-infused oil. They're perfect for dry hair, though almost any hair type can also benefit from them. As an extra bonus, you can even learn how to make homemade coconut milk.

Make Your Own Coconut Milk

While you can buy coconut milk in a can, there's nothing better than homemade just-off-the-coconut milk. Here's how to make your own.


  • 1 coconut
  • 4 cups boiling water

How to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Find the eyes on the coconut (they are always the three spots on one end of the coconut). Pierce these with an ice pick or a sharp skewer. This is to allow the heat to penetrate the coconut.
  3. Drain the coconut water into a cup.
  4. Place the coconut in a pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and place on a large wooden cutting board or another solid work surface. Break the coconut apart with a hammer. Rinse the coconut meat and slice it into small pieces (there's no need to break the shell away from the meat).
  6. Place the coconut pieces and the reserved coconut water in a blender and blend until finely chopped.
  7. Put the chopped coconut into a glass bowl with 4 cups of boiling water. Cover the bowl and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
  8. Using a strainer or cheesecloth, strain the mixture into another bowl; this is your milk. You should have enough for three treatments. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
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Simple Coconut Milk Hair Mask

coconut oil with a comb

Liz Desouza for Byrdie

This recipe is a favorite and leaves hair silky and smelling fabulous. The best part is that it's incredibly simple. Plus, there's no need to use all the milk. You can cover the bowl and use it again after a few days.

If you like, add a few drops of your favorite essential oils. They're not necessary because the coconut smells great on its own, but if you have some, they can add to the luxurious feel of this hair mask.

Similar to choosing essential oils for skin, you can also reap benefits for your hair with certain oils.


  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2–3 drops of essential oil (optional)

How to Use

If you have dry ends but your scalp tends to get oily, apply this mask only to the bottom of your hair and avoid your scalp.

  1. Pour a can or bottle of unsweetened coconut milk in a bowl and mix in the essential oil. Refrigerate overnight so it hardens.
  2. Separate your dry hair into three to five sections.
  3. Working one section at a time, apply the milk from the roots to the ends of your hair.
  4. Cover your head with a shower cap and leave the mask on for about 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair in the shower and comb out. 
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Rosemary Olive Oil and Coconut Milk Hair Mask

coconut oil hair mask

Liz Desouza for Byrdie

Hot oil treatments like Alberto Vo5 are great for all hair types, leaving it conditioned, hydrated, and silky. You can make your own at home and get the same healthy hair. This recipe uses an infusion of rosemary and olive oil and the coconut milk is added for extra moisturizing benefits.

The standard infusion does take a few weeks, but you don't have to wait that long. You can speed up the process by applying heat for a few hours. Also, olive oil and coconut milk are wonderful together, even without the herb.


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

Make the Infused Oil

Combine the oil and rosemary leaves in an airtight jar for four to eight weeks. If you don't have time for this, you can gently heat the rosemary in the oil for two to four hours in a water bath or double boiler. Once the infusion is done, strain out the rosemary and rebottle the oil.

Whatever you don't use on your hair, can be used for food. Rosemary-infused olive oils are wonderful when brushed over focaccia bread and they're excellent for dipping.

Olive oil infusions will last for six months when stored in an air-tight container

How to Use

With your infusion complete, you'll make your hair mask by combining 1/2 cup of the infused olive oil with 1/2 cup coconut milk.

  1. Warm up your hot oil by placing it in a glass jar, then place that in a small bowl with very hot water for a few minutes.
  2. Apply the oil to clean, dry hair, massaging it in.
  3. Cover with a shower cap and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Rinse thoroughly.

You may feel the need to shampoo your hair after a hot oil treatment, which is fine.

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Coconut Milk and Avocado Hair Mask

coconut oil mask on a comb

Liz Desouza for Byrdie

Avocado has amazing effects on dry, frizzy hair. It works wonders on damaged hair and can be very restorative. It's even better when combined with coconut milk and honey.

While this mask can seem a little messy, the results will prove that it's worth it. After one treatment, your hair will be hydrated, silky, and energized. It's also a great way to use up an over-ripe avocado.

This recipe is for shoulder-length hair and it should be doubled if you have long hair.


  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Combine the ingredients in a blender. Add another tablespoon of coconut milk if it's not runny enough.

How to Use

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly, then comb the mask through from roots to ends.
  2. Cover your hair with plastic and a towel or a shower cap.
  3. Let the mask sit for 10 to 30 minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

If you're in a hurry, even five minutes helps tremendously. You can simply rinse after a few minutes and you won't have to leave the shower.

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