The debate on whether to use pure almond oil or coconut oil for hair is worldwide, with both oils scoring a place high above the rest.
This article presents a quick comparison of these highly popular and beneficial oils.
The following points will help us to find the differences between coconut hair oil and almond hair oil:
Almond oil is extracted from the almond fruit and is rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also contains a high amount of tocopherols, polyphenols, flavonoids, and vitamin E, which help in nourishing and making the hair smooth. (1) It improves skin complexion and is beneficial for the hair and scalp. (2)
Coconut oil is produced by crushing the kernel of mature coconuts. It is rich in saturated fats and fatty acids including caprylic acid, capric acid, lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. (3) These fats are responsible for hair nourishment and protection against damage due to grooming. (1)(3)
Almond oil has a thick texture and does not penetrate the skin as much as coconut oil. (4)
Coconut oil has a lighter texture than pure almond oil and is readily absorbed into the scalp and can penetrate the hair shaft. (5)
Pure almond oil is not available everywhere and is quite expensive. Most of the oils that claim to be almond oil on the market are mixed with mineral oil.
Pure coconut oil is found in abundance everywhere and is quite affordable in comparison to pure almond oil.
The high amount of unsaturated fatty acids in almonds makes them become rancid when stored for more than 3 months. (6)
Among most oils, coconut oil is the slowest to oxidize and is thus resistant to rancidity. This leads to a longer shelf life for coconut oil. (7)
Keep scrolling to read the benefits of using almond versus coconut oil in detail.
Know More About Almond Oil
Almonds are the “king of nuts,” and when they are pressed, they release almond oil, which has been used in ancient cultures worldwide for its numerous health benefits. Almonds are rich in protein, vitamin E, omega fatty acids, squalene, polyphenols, and minerals.
The almond oil that is sold commercially is sweet and can be used on the hair for growth and repair. It contains many properties that make it an excellent oil for your hair.
Apart from its immunity-boosting property, the anti-inflammatory virtues of almond oil have made it a preferred hair oil for many people. This almond oil helps to reduce scarring, as well as smoothens and rejuvenates the skin, including the scalp. (2)
Benefits of Using Almond Oil
1. Hydrates the hair
If you want to restore the lost shine and bounce in your hair, almond oil can help. As it is thick and abundant in fatty acids, it does a great job of moisturizing dull and dry hair.
2. Smoothens your hair
It can be annoying to deal with hair that stands up even after combing it, especially in the hot and humid weather. Almond oil comes to the rescue as it can calm down unruly hair and make it smooth, mainly when applied as a leave-in oil.
Almond oil is known to have emollient properties known for smoothing and rejuvenating the skin and scalp.
3. Makes hair stronger
Well-hydrated hair is immune to breakage. Use drops of almond hair oil before shampooing, brushing, and using hot styling tools to infuse your hair with the necessary nutrients and moisture.
4. Helps in hair growth
Applying a few drops of almond oil to your hair and scalp helps to reactivate dormant hair follicles as it contains biotin, which is essential for hair growth.
Biotin is known to make thinning hair grow thicker because it helps in the regrowth of hair follicles and keratin production.
5. Gets rid of dandruff
Almond oil can be used to treat dandruff and hair damage. It helps in fighting scalp contamination and hair infection. It also contains powerful antioxidants and is rich in vitamins E and A.
Rubbing a few drops of it on your scalp can increase blood flow and is beneficial for your hair. (8)
Know More About Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is beneficial for the hair as it has antidandruff and anti-hair fall properties and has been used as an ingredient in hair products such as shampoo and conditioners. (9)
A large study was conducted to check the effect of using coconut oil on the hair compared to sunflower and mineral oil. It was found that only coconut oil reduced the protein loss for people with undamaged and damaged hair who applied it before or after washing their hair.
Coconut oil is a saturated oil and a triglyceride of lauric acid, a fatty acid that possesses a greater affinity for hair proteins. It can penetrate the hair shaft much more than the other two oils. (5)
Benefits of Coconut Oil for Hair
1. Softens the hair and makes it easy to comb
Research shows that applying coconut oil to hair of any type helps prevent damage when combing. For example, coconut oil minimizes protein loss in hair when used as a prewash and postwash hair grooming product. (5)
2. Gets rid of dandruff on the scalp
Since ancient times, people from India and Africa have traditionally applied coconut oil for softening, hydrating, and growing hair. Studies further show that it also has a powerful effect on scalp fungi.
These fungi cause scalp dandruff, sores, and itching, but with regular application of coconut oil to the scalp, they can be rid of. The scalp can be healthy again and hair can grow well.
A study revealed that regular coconut oil application to an infected scalp enhanced the presence of core fungal species of M. globosa, which is related to a healthy scalp. It increased after coconut oil was applied to the scalp of people with scalp infection and those without infection. Moreover, the presence of M. restricta was decreased in people with dandruff after oil treatment.
These findings demonstrated that coconut oil helps to maintain a healthy scalp free of dandruff and infection, which is needed for good hair growth. (10) However you have to apply it judiciously and not overuse it. Oiling the scalp half an hour prior to washing is sufficient.
3. Helps to strengthen the hair
Grandmothers use coconut oil and are big believers in its ability to strengthen the hair and make it grow thick and long.
It turns out science supports their beliefs, too, because studies have shown that the thickness of hair increased in those who applied coconut oil compared to those who didn’t use it. (11)
4. Controls hair loss
If your hair strands break while combing, then start applying coconut oil to your scalp and hair as it can help control hair loss. Coconut oil contains saturated fats, which moisturize the hair and scalp, leading to regrowth.
In comparison to mineral oil and sunflower oil, coconut oil has been shown to be the only oil that lowers the loss of protein from the hair strands. It contains a high affinity for hair proteins, allowing easy penetration of the oil into the scalp follicles. (12)
5. Prevents premature graying
Coconut oil provides strength to your hair roots and also prevents premature graying. (9)
This oil is abundant in fatty acids including myristic acid, which helps fight against aging. In addition, lauric acid has a strong affinity with hair proteins, which helps retain the hair’s original color.
Almond oil and coconut oil can be your best friend for your hair needs. Both have numerous benefits for your hair.
While pure almond oil has a thick texture, which makes it difficult to be absorbed by the skin, coconut oil is light and is readily absorbed into the scalp and can penetrate the hair shaft better.
Pure almond oil can be expensive for your hair, but coconut hair oil is inexpensive and widely available.
- Melhaoui R, Kodad S, Houmy N, et al. Characterization of sweet almond oil content of four European cultivars (ferragnes, ferraduel, fournat, and marcona) recently introduced in Morocco. Scientifica. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8421184/. Published August 30, 2021.
- Z; A. The uses and properties of Almond Oil. Complementary therapies in clinical practice. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20129403/.
- Boateng L, Ansong R, Owusu WB, Steiner-Asiedu M. Coconut oil and palm oil’s role in nutrition, Health and National Development: A Review. Ghana medical journal. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5044790/. Published September 2016.
- Lin T-K, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils. International journal of molecular sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/. Published December 27, 2017.
- RB; RASM. Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage. Journal of cosmetic science. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12715094/.
- Rancidity in almonds: Shelf life studies – researchgate.net. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229653423/.
- Ng YJ, Tham PE, Khoo KS, Cheng CK, Chew KW, Show PL. A comprehensive review on the techniques for coconut oil extraction and its application. Bioprocess and biosystems engineering. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8132276/. Published September 2021.
- Goyal A, Sharma A, Kaur J, et al. Bioactive-based cosmeceuticals: An update on emerging trends. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8837976/. Published January 27, 2022.
- Majeed M, Majeed S, Nagabhushanam K, Mundkur L, Neupane P, Shah K. Clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of a hair serum product in healthy adult male and female volunteers with hair fall. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7522433/. Published September 24, 2020.
- Saxena R, Mittal P, Clavaud C, et al. Longitudinal Study of the scalp microbiome suggests coconut oil to enrich healthy scalp commensals. Scientific reports. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8012655/. Published March 31, 2021.
- Kaushik V, Chogale R, Mhaskar S. Alternative protocol for hair damage assessment and comparison of hair care treatments. International journal of trichology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7276157/. Published 2020.
- Dias MFRG, Loures AF, Ekelem C. Hair cosmetics for the hair loss patient. Indian journal of plastic surgery : official publication of the Association of Plastic Surgeons of India. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8719955/. Published December 27, 2021.