Coconut oil is a cult favorite for those who are serious about hair care. It’s known for its penetrative properties that repair the hair, so you’ll see it in many hair products. But while it always stays top-of-mind when it comes to hair oils, every once in a while a trendier oil takes center stage, like avocado oil.
Everyone loves avocado. You see it on your favorite Instagrammer’s toast for breakfast or even in your favorite taco place in the form of guacamole. But the oil extracted from these yummy fruits is fast becoming a sought-after oil in the world of hair care. But is it better than the classic coconut oil?
In this post, we’ll take a look at the similarities and differences between coconut and avocado oils. Both are excellent for the hair, but which one is superior for your hair type and concerns? I decided the two products should go head-to-head: let’s do an avocado oil vs coconut oil for hair comparison.
Avocado Oil Vs Coconut Oil For Hair
Coconut oil is one of the favorite hair oils that we all might know about.
It’s also used as an ingredient in dozens of hair products in the market.
Coconut oil is not only used to keep our hair healthy but it can also be used for cooking purposes.
If you are thinking you can’t find a better oil, wait, there is a new competitor that wants to win the battle against coconut oil as the best hair oil.
Avocado oil is not so known, but it’s been gaining popularity in the last few years.
We decided to do a detailed comparison of both to help you choose which one is going to work better for you according to your hair type, and what you are looking to achieve.
Coconut Oil And Its Nourishing Hair Benefits
Everyone’s got a bottle of coconut oil lying somewhere in their home.
You probably use it for your skin or as an alternative for cooking oil when you make healthier meals.
But aside from that, coconut oil is known as one of the most nourishing, rehabilitating oils for the hair.
Coconut oil is obtained through two types of processes.
The first process is cold-pressed extraction, and the other is the hot extraction process.
This oil has a high amount of saturated fats (around 90% of its content), a small amount of unsaturated fats, and vitamin E.
It has a solid, and creamy texture.
Coconut oil is popular because of its strengthening and conditioning properties.
It feeds your hair proteins to fortify every strand.
It’s been found that coconut oil has a higher protein count than other popular hair oils like sunflower oil or argan oil.
This is important for strengthening damaged and fragile strands, especially when they’ve been overprocessed and stressed out from coloring jobs, heat styling, exposure to the sun, and more.
These things break down the keratin in your hair, and coconut oil helps minimize this protein loss.
Coconut oil is also made up of many fatty acids, including lauric acid.
It also has tons of lipids that make its structure similar to that of human hair.
This means it absorbs into the hair strands easier, giving you an intense moisturization each time you apply it onto your locks.
The vitamin E contained in the coconut oil helps in nourishing the scalp while keeping the hair soft, shiny, and easy to manage.
Helps In Detangling
Because coconut oil is ultra-nourishing, it’s terrific for detangling knotty locks, increasing luster and shine, and keeping frizz and flyaways away.
It can also reduce hair breakage, allowing your tresses to grow longer without split ends getting in the way.
Coconut oil – like most hair oils – is excellent as a UV filter.
If you coat your hair with a little bit of coconut oil before heading out the door, it can protect your locks from the sun’s harsh UV rays that could dry it out and strip it of color.
Avocado Oil And What It Can Do For Your Hair
This fruit may taste yummy in shakes or on your breakfast toast, but this superfood can do more than just satisfy your cravings.
Avocado oil comes from the flesh of the avocado fruit and has been used since the Aztec times as a face mask.
The Maya people used it to promote hair growth.
The process to obtain the oil is a cold-pressed extraction of the avocado flesh, which means the oil is unrefined to keep the high quality.
Unlike coconut oil, avocado oil is liquid at room temperature and has a green color.
Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (healthy fats) and carotenoids – a pigment found in a variety of veggies and fruits.
It also contains biotin (vitamin B7), a small amount of saturated fats, tocopherols (a powerful antioxidant), and phytosterols (natural compounds that are similar to cholesterol) which are in charge of providing those great benefits it has.
The many lipids and fatty acids contained in avocado oil help to moisturize hair extremely well while sealing in all the moisture from other products you’ve used to hydrate your locks.
It’s perfect for smoothing down unruly hair strands, as well for a tamer mane.
The oil also contains vitamins E and D that help fortify and boost moisture retention in your strands, as well as carotenoids and antioxidants that fight UV damage that can dry out your locks after too much time under the sun.
Biotin also helps the hair grow thicker and longer.
Like coconut oil, avocado oil is known to penetrate deep into each hair strand to moisturize it from the inside out.
However, avocado oil is lighter and non-greasy, so it doesn’t make your locks feel heavy and clogged.
This oil also boosts scalp health, which is a must if you have issues with dandruff or are trying to grow longer hair.
Not only does it nourish the scalp to keep flaking at bay, but it also helps improve blood flow in the area to stimulate growth.
Talk about hitting two birds with one stone!
When you’re shopping for avocado oil for your hair, you need a specific kind.
Always look for unrefined or pure, virgin avocado oil, which will likely be green in color.
This is a sign that all the vitamins and antioxidants are still present, unlike in clear or yellow refined oil that is processed with high heat and therefore cooks off all the good nutrients from the avocado.
Always opt for unrefined avocado oil to reap the full benefits of this vitamin-rich oil.
What The Two Oils Have In Common
From what we’ve touched on so far, there are many things coconut and avocado oil have in common.
This isn’t surprising because they’re both so rich and nourishing, and are packed with vitamins and lipids that can repair exhausted hair strands.
They’re both excellent for boosting moisture levels in the hair as well.
Both of them are among the few oils that have penetrative properties that allow them to seep into the hair strands and nourish the inside of the hair instead of just sitting on its surface.
Both avocado and coconut oil are also terrific at boosting scalp health, especially when it comes to moisturizing a dry, flaky scalp.
This is sure to beat those irritating dandruff episodes for anyone whose sebum production is whack on their scalp.
Lastly, both these oils are great at growing out the hair.
Avocado oil is rich in vitamin D, which is essential if you want your follicles to actively regenerate and spew out more hair.
Meanwhile, coconut oil has fatty acids to nourish and clean out sebum build-up blocking the follicles from growing healthy hair.
The Differences Between Coconut And Avocado Oils
Of course, even if coconut and avocado oil have a lot of hair benefits in common, they’re still not made equal.
They have many small but impactful differences that can influence which oil you decide to purchase and use on your hair, depending on your hair type and hair oil preferences.
The biggest, most obvious difference between the two is that coconut oil is super heavy, while avocado oil falls between lightweight to medium even if it’s nourishing.
The fact that coconut oil solidifies at room temperature is already a sign that it’s very heavy and creamy on the hair.
Because of this, coconut oil might make your scalp and strands a bit greasy if you overuse it.
This can cause a bit of trouble when you want your hair to look fresh and voluminous since coconut oil can easily weigh down your mane.
On the other hand, avocado oil isn’t greasy and is known to absorb into the hair and skin quite fast.
So even if you apply a hefty amount of avocado oil into your hair, you won’t have to stress out over buildup and a waxy, icky feeling on your strands.
Another difference between the two is that avocado oil has more healthy fats in its composition.
This makes it easier to add luminosity and shine back to dull hair using this oil over coconut oil.
Meanwhile, coconut oil has more protein than avocado oil, which makes it ideal for repairing severely-damaged hair with broken down keratin.
That said, it makes it riskier for protein overload, which can make hair more fragile and prone to breakage when you’re not careful.
An Extra Word Of Warning About Coconut Oil
If you have coarse, dry, and low porosity hair, you could be sensitive to coconut oil.
It can even make your hair moisture-resistant, which means it will block the much-needed hydration from nourishing your hair.
If this sounds like you, stick with lighter oils like marula, sweet almond, or even avocado oil instead.
So if you know that you’re sensitive to protein, it might be better to use avocado oil instead of coconut oil.
If you use coconut oil instead, you run the risk of getting even more dehydrated, brittle strands.
Plus, remember that coconut oil solidifies at room temperature.
So if your hair doesn’t absorb it quickly because it’s less porous, you could be dealing with waxy, greasy locks that feel hard and rough.
This is in sharp contrast to avocado oil which poses no such problem, so it’s perfect for moisturizing all hair types.
How To Use Coconut And Avocado Oils In Your Hair
There are a handful of ways you can use coconut or avocado oil in your routine.
However, it’s important to remember that removing these oils from your hair and scalp will require shampooing.
So if possible, only use pure oils the night before or on the day of your next hair wash.
With that, let’s take a look at some ways to use coconut and avocado oil in your hair care regimen.
As An Ultra-Nourishing Pre-Poo
Coconut oil is super rich and creamy, so it makes for the perfect pre-treatment before shampooing your hair.
And since you’re going to wash it all off in a few minutes anyway, you can go as generous as you wish with the oil without worrying about greasiness.
Just saturate your strands in coconut oil and cover them up with a plastic wrap for about 15 minutes before you shower.
The oil works to soften your hair, unstick dirt and debris on your strands, and protect your hair from harsh shampoos it might face later on.
Just remember that coconut oil is comedogenic, so it can clog the follicles on your scalp if you use too much of it.
Try to apply it two or three inches below your roots to avoid irritating your skin.
As A Finishing Hair Oil
Avocado oil, on the other hand, is lightweight.
That makes it the perfect finishing oil or serum to brush on your hair after styling to add a little bit of extra hydration and shine.
Just warm up a couple of drops of avocado oil in your hands and then comb it through your hair carefully.
Focus your application on the ends of your hair strands to smoothen them out and prevent split ends.
This will leave your mane looking polished and luminous.
Used For Detangling Purposes
Both avocado and coconut oils are wonderful for detangling hair and they leave a soft finish.
Use a small amount, and then comb your hair.
Be careful with the amount that you use.
It is unlikely that avocado oil will leave a greasy look.
Coconut oil, on the other hand, is likely to leave your hair looking all greasy, so make sure you only use a small amount.
Trust me, a little goes a long way.
To Massage The Scalp
Since both oils are great in helping to reduce hair loss, you can use any of the two to massage your scalp.
Massage helps to increase blood flow to the hair follicles, which encourages hair growth.
For best results, apply a small amount to your scalp and massage for about 15 minutes.
You can choose to leave the oil in your hair or you can rinse it off.
Applying oil on the scalp and massaging gently also helps with dandruff.
As A Hardworking Overnight Mask
Avocado oil doesn’t create that much build-up in the hair and scalp, so it’s excellent as a hair mask.
Coconut oil is super rich and hydrating too, so it makes a great one as well.
You can use either of the oils for this one.
Detangle your hair and apply the oil of your choice in sections to distribute it evenly.
Apply from root to tip, giving your scalp a quick massage to stimulate blood circulation.
Avocado oil in particular is fast-absorbing, so you’ll hardly make a mess if you pick that oil to use.
Wrap a plastic cap to trap the heat in your hair as you sleep.
When you wake up the next day, shampoo and condition your locks as you normally would and enjoy your soft, smooth, tangle-free mane.
Add To Your Favorite Mask
Do you have a favorite hair mask?
Make it even better by adding a small amount of coconut oil or avocado oil.
The oils will help to enrich the mask with the benefits discussed above.
Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatment is the process of using both heat and oil to deeply moisturize your hair.
This involves heating one type of oil or a blend of many oils and then applying it to your hair.
Be careful not to use very hot oil that might end up burning you.
Apply the oil(s) to your hair and gently massage the oil on your scalp.
Cover your hair with a shower cap for about 30 minutes before washing your hair.
Hot oil treatments help to replenish oils back into the hair strands.
This is pivotal in helping to prevent breakage as a result of dry hair
Which One Is Superior: Coconut Or Avocado Oil?
It depends on what type of hair you have.
Coconut oil is best for hair that’s severely damaged and needs help repairing the proteins in each strand.
Meanwhile, avocado oil is better for fine, low porosity hair that might be prone to build-up and protein overload if they use coconut oil.
If you have oily, acne-prone skin, avoid coconut oil, which has a reputation for breaking people out.
Avocado oil will be much better for you.
It is a lot less problematic than coconut oil when it comes to hair and skin health.
Coconut oil is hit-or-miss while avocado oil is more universal and is very forgiving.
If you’re not sure which one to get, avocado oil is always safer.
I hope it was enlightening for you to look at avocado oil vs coconut oil for hair, especially the benefits.
There’s no denying that the two types of oil have a lot in common.
They have super nourishing nutrients that moisturize dull and dehydrated hair and can aid in strengthening damaged locks.
But at the end of the day, their small differences make each one better for a specific hair concern.
Coconut oil is excellent if you have highly porous hair that is thicker.
Meanwhile, avocado oil is perfect if you have fine hair or just want a hair oil that isn’t as problematic when it comes to clogging your pores or creating build-up in your strands.
Avocado oil might be easier to work with, but coconut oil has its unique reparative benefits as well.
Try out both to see which oil your hair responds to better.
Then, stick with that oil whenever your locks need to be pampered with a nourishing treatment.