How To Get Coconut Oil Out of Hair: 13 Step-by-Step Methods

African American female with a kinky hair type styled with pure coconut oil wearing an orange sweater

Coconut oil is a curly girl favorite, known for its fantastic hair hydration properties. But when it builds up on your hair or is accidentally overapplied, it’s essential to remove it as soon as you can.

How To Get Coconut Oil Out of Hair: Step-by-Step

If you’ve already tried to remove coconut oil from your hair but haven’t been successful, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll reveal how to get coconut oil out of hair with 13 easy methods.

1. Wash Your Hair with a Strong Shampoo

Replace your traditional shampoo with clarifying shampoo. As someone with naturally curly hair, you were probably told to stay away from sulfate shampoos, but if you’re experiencing coconut oil buildup, a sulfate shampoo may be just what you need to get rid of the gunk. 

Apply a generous amount of clarifying shampoo onto your scalp, massage it in for a couple of minutes, and then rinse well with warm water.

Shampoo your hair again if you find that there’s some coconut oil leftover.  This is our preferred approach as clarifying shampoo removes coconut oil pretty easily.

2. Use Powdered Shampoo to Soak Up Excess Oil

Another effective way of getting rid of coconut oil is by using dry shampoo or powder. Dry shampoo helps absorb excess oil without drying your hair out.

To use dry shampoo, sprinkle it over all of your hair (or wherever the coconut oil is) and then let it sit for a couple of minutes. Afterward, massage the dry shampoo into your roots and hair to complete the process. 

Note that this method will not remove all of the coconut oil from your hair. It will only remove the excess. This approach works reasonably well, but using liquid shampoo to wash coconut oil out of your hair is the preferably solution.

Cute black girl with coily hair strands styled with virgin coconut oil

3. Mix Mint, Rosemary, and Lemon Water

Lemon contains citric acid and has strong cleansing properties, and when mixed with rosemary and mint, it effectively reduces excess hair oil (i.e., oily hair). 

To try a lemon mix, squeeze a lemon into a cup and then add a tablespoon of rosemary and mint to the mix. Boil the mixture for up to 10 minutes and then allow it to cool. Wash your scalp and hair with the concoction and dry it with a towel to remove unwanted coconut oil. 

Do not repeat this method more than twice a week. The lemon can dry out your hair. If you notice that your hair is getting dry, follow up your lemon wash with a conditioner or deep conditioning treatment

4. Rub Some Alcohol 

An excellent way of removing stubborn coconut oil from your hair is by using alcohol. Mix a tablespoon of vodka with two cups of water and pour it over your hair.

Ensure you do this in a well-ventilated area and avoid getting the mixture in your eyes. 

Leave the alcohol-water concoction on your hair for 15 to 20 minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water. Remember that alcohol can dehydrate your hair, so be sure to follow up with a moisturizing conditioner or a hair mask. 

5. Combine Aloe Vera Gel and Dandruff Shampoo 

Applying a mix of dandruff shampoo and aloe vera is also helpful for removing coconut oil. The dandruff shampoo is harsh enough to lift away caked-on oil, and the aloe vera removes excess oil from your hair and scalp. 

To give it a try, add one teaspoon of aloe vera to an anti-dandruff shampoo and apply it to your scalp. Lather the mixture and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse the shampoo mixture away and enjoy coconut oil-free hair! 

Black female wearing casual clothes with naturally curly hair

6. Egg Wash Your Hair 

Eggs not only eliminate unwanted oil and grease but also offer added nourishment to your hair. Crack one egg into a small bowl and add a tablespoon of water to aid in mixing and application.

Rub this egg wash onto your scalp and hair and leave it in for five to ten minutes. Once you wash it off, the coconut oil will be long gone! While using egg works in many cases, we recommend using a hardy shampoo instead to ensure you’re removing all the coconut oil.

7. Exfoliate with a Scalp Scrub

Scalp exfoliation is another easy yet effective way of getting coconut oil out of your hair. Look for a sulfate-free scrub rich in minerals and vitamins to ensure that it removes all dirt and accumulated oil.

As an added plus, scalp scrubs also help keep your hair healthy promoting a refreshed scalp, ultimately encouraging healthy hair growth.

8. Apply Baking Soda Paste 

Baking soda makes it easy to remove coconut oil from your hair, and many people swear by it. If you want to give a baking soda paste a try, mix one to two tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to make a thick paste.

Apply the paste on your scalp and hair and massage for five to ten minutes. Rinse your hair with warm water and follow up with a conditioner. 

As a side note, this method can be used with many different powders or powder blends. Some ladies have used baby powder, arrowroot powder, corn starch, and even henna powder.

Pretty African girl with curly dry hair taking a selfie outside at the park

9. Try Our Some Lemon Juice 

We’ve already discussed that lemon juice contains citric acid and has cleansing properties, making it a good candidate for removing excess coconut oil.

But the fact is that lemon is strong enough to be used alone for this purpose. The acidity of lemons helps break down the fatty molecules in the coconut oil to make them easy to remove. 

To try it out, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass and apply it to your hair. Let the lemon juice sit on your hair and scalp for five to ten minutes, and then rinse with lukewarm water. 

10. Try Black Tea Leaves

Black tea boasts great astringent properties, which help to break down excess oil on your scalp. Boil a handful of black tea packets and then allow the tea to cool for five to ten minutes.

Once the black tea cools down, pour it over your hair and leave it in for up to ten minutes. Next, rinse your hair with lukewarm water to expel both the tea and the coconut oil.

11. Absorb with Paper Towels 

Using paper towels is a moderately effective way of ridding your hair of coconut oil. To do it, take sections of your hair, wrap a paper towel around them, and gently squeeze.

The paper towel will absorb the coconut oil in seconds. Know that this will not completely remove the coconut oil from your hair, but it could work pretty well in a pinch! 

12. Grab Some Dish Soap

Dish soap contains tough detergents designed to lift away grease in seconds. Though it’s meant to be used on dishes, if other methods on this list are not working for you, dish soap is worth a one-time try.

Just apply about a teaspoon of dish soap to your wet hair and massage it as if you were shampooing your hair. After a couple of minutes, thoroughly rinse the shampoo out and then deep condition your hair.

We recommend that you read this dish soap article focused on hair health, growth, and ensuring that you avoid damaged hair while using tough detergents.

Beautiful black female with kinky, coily hair strands wearing a big afro hairstyle

13. Dilute Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is often used in hair detox treatments because of its ability to eliminate buildup and excess oils. It could work really well for you as you try to remove coconut oil.

Just combine apple cider vinegar and water using a ratio of 1:5 and apply it as a post-wash rinse. Use the diluted concoction on your scalp and hair strands and allow it to sit for five to ten minutes. Then rinse your hair with cold water.

If you regularly apply coconut oil to your hair, read the related articles that encourage you to leave coconut oil in your hair at various times and detail how to apply coconut oil to your hair strands for many different benefits.

Related Articles

Trying to remove excess coconut oil can be tricky and time-consuming. But when you’re armed with the proper techniques and tools, you can get rid of it quickly and effectively.

If your hair still feels gunky after using the tips in this article, something else could be to blame. In that case, we recommend contacting a professional. Good luck! 

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