Coconut Milk–My New Deep Conditioner


I’m in love with coconut milk.  I started using coconut milk with my monthly henna treatments over a year ago and found that it was the best liquid to add to henna to provide easy henna application and rinsing.  I discovered that it aided in good dye release as well as the overall conditioning and strengthening that henna provides.  I just can’t get over that this one simple thing has really improved the overall health of my hair.

As I further create a simpler curly hair regimen, I’ve added coconut milk as my go-to deep conditioner once or twice a month.  I’ve used coconut butter and coconut oil as deep conditioners, yet coconut milk had proven to be the best so far.  Coconut milk adds strength, luster, and manageability to hair.  It is easy to find in most grocery stores, very inexpensive, and works wonders for hair without the chemical ingredients in most salon products.

I usually prefer to deep condition my hair prior to my clay or conditioner cleansing process.  I apply generously to my hair in sections then cover my hair for 30 minutes or longer with a conditioning cap and then a winter beanie for warmth instead of using heat.  Get creative by mixing your favorite natural or essential oils with coconut milk and enjoy the natural benefits simple green beauty.

Read more on coconut milk in Coconuts–Nothing But Goodness.

To read more articles about hair care go here.  To see my latest beauty regimen included hair care go here.

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  1. Margaret says

    ITA…I love Coconut milk in my Henna mix, however I also add yogurt and tea. Do you use Coconut milk only? What are your porportions in your mix?

    I also see you use Coconut milk prior to clay or co-washing. Has it been more beneficial than oiling prior to using Rhassoul Clay? Thank you for sharing.

  2. Mira says

    I am so looking forward to trying coconut milk as a conditioner. I, too, have curly hair and am always lookIng for ways to have a simple and natural hair regimen.


  3. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Mira,
    Coconut milk is a wonderful deep conditioner! You can add oils with it if you like as well. Also you have a beautiful site! I’m looking forward to reading more on it.
    Peace and Sunshine,
    Dawn Michelle

  4. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Margaret,
    I use coconut milk and whatever oil, usually wheat germ or olive oil, to my henna mix. I don’t add the oil until the henna dye has released though. When I use coconut milk before co-washing I have found it more beneficial than oil alone. I also like adding oil to the coconut milk for extra conditioning if my hair feels dry. I try new things every once and awhile and have truly come to love coconut milk.
    Have a beautiful day!
    Dawn Michelle

  5. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Margaret,
    I really like the benefits of coconut milk and oil prior to cowashing and also in my henna mix. I do sometimes use coconut milk alone as well. I hope this is helpful to you. Have a beautiful day!
    Dawn Michelle

  6. Marjorie G. says

    A couple of weeks ago I tried a new conditioner product since what I currently use is fairly expensive. But my hair absolutely hate it. My hair developed the worse tangles I had ever seen and I had knots for days. I tried coconut milk with olive oil last night for the first time and I love it! My hair responded so well. The difference is so dramatic I’m now a devotee. Your DIY leave-in conditioner is a blessing as well. Thank you so much.

  7. Monik says

    I tried it and it worked wonders!! Especially for my scalp which is always very dry and therefore flaky. I added some lavender, rosemary and vetiver essential oil and left it on for about an hour. I washed it out with an organic shampoo. Today I am about to try it again, but will use your ” no poo” – method ( rhassoul and green tea- rinse). My transitioning to a DIY and organic beauty regimen is growing slowly but steadily :-). Next up: DIY facial cleanser daily scrub with almond milk pulp and kaolin and mineral foundation.
    Dawn, I sooooo love your blog!!! Keep the posts coming, it is so much fun and inspiration! Peace and thanks :-)

  8. Monik says

    PS: just noticed that the coconut milk makes my hands über soft……I might try a mani/ pedi with a coconut milk hand and foot bath…
    I am officially hooked….:-)

  9. Nicole says

    would you suggest mixing it with water and using as a leave in conditioner? I haven’t really roamed your site yet, but will after I post this. I need a great detangler and leave in conditioner. I have highlited hair and am in the process of growing it out. I have cut it but still have dead ends. Helllppp!

  10. Edna says

    Hi Dawn,
    I just bought a can of coconut milk to try out as a Deep Condish! My question is, is it too much to do this treatment every week? If it is, what would you recommend in its place? I have also been trying the Curly Girl method for like a month and I love it. It is keeping my hair moisturized and has made it a LOT easier to detangle. But instead of leaving it out(wash and go), I do a braid-out instead! Thanks and have a great day!

  11. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Edna, You can use the coconut milk for a weekly deep conditioning treatment. It is so simple and inexpensive plus extremely effective. Let me know how it works out for you. Enjoy your day!

  12. Regine says

    Dawn Michelle, do you have any information or opinion about the mixture of coconut milk and lime juice (all over the internet) and how it can loosen curls? Would lime be damaging to hair? Thanks!

  13. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Regine,
    I’ve heard of this DIY mixture before, yet henna has always been my go to hair treatment. You will notice when you first start a healthy hair journey that there are so many bandwagons and products to try. Because I’m particular on ingredients it automatically eliminated many of the hair products so many were raving about. With DIY products I usually use my intuition on what to make or try. If you are interested in this mix go for it. You really don’t lose much with DIY products. Just make sure to keep the pH of the product in a healthy range for hair. Let me know what you think if you do try it.
    ~Dawn Michelle

  14. Regine says

    DM I left overnight in plastic cap my hair saturated with can of organic coconut milk plus 2 tbsp evoo and 1/2 cup fresh lime juice . It was a mess since i was too impatient to let mixture harden in fridge and i often had to wipe my face and neck. But it did loosen my curls (4a). Cowashed with Tressemme silocone free then deep Conditioned for 1/2 hr with 2 tbsp Shea Moisture deep Masque conditioner plus 2 tbsp evoo and 2 tbsp agave nectar. I style hair with Shea Moisture restorative Conditioner. The curls in front of forehead and near temples are looser than usual. I may do it once a week friday before my saturday Cowash. I did nice that my prior use of Surya Henna light brown did loosen curls a bit and gave me an out of this world shiny and glowing hair. I am now trying to decide whether to continue with surya (to hide the little bit of grey) or use your routine. I ll probably try yours at some point.

  15. Lisette says

    Hi Dawn Michelle – was reading your post on hair care while swimming in Maui, a day late since i just got back from 2 weeks in Brazil and swam a ton in the ocean. Oh well – did ok just wearing my hair loose. :) Anyway you mentioned getting home and deep conditioning with coconut milk, so I ended up re-reading this older post.

    I have tried this once or twice before but have found it drying and not very conditioning for me. I’m wondering if this is because there is protein in coconut milk. I am starting to think my hair is protein sensitive. Any thoughts on this?


  16. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lisette,

    I thought my hair was protein sensitive, but I realized that there are some proteins that my hair likes and others it is not so fond of. My hair loves coconut milk, but not as much coconut oil unless mixed with another oil. My hair loves henna which behaves similarly to protein but doesn’t like synthetic proteins. If you know your hair isn’t fond of coconut milk maybe try a DIY deep conditioning treatment with avocado or banana.

    You could make either DIY deep conditioner adding some oil and a humectant such as honey, agave, or vegetable glycerin or even do a mix of avocado with banana. Bananas make a great deep conditioner and is a good option since it isn’t high in protein. Avocados bring shine and have some protein. Just blend either with water or aloe vera juice extremely well and strain it with a mesh strainer if you have one. Hope you enjoyed your holiday in Brazil!!!

  17. Lisette says

    Thanks so much Dawn Michelle – will try these! And yes, Brazil was wonderful. I have some photos on Facebook if you’d like to view them – I’m connected to your FB page. :)

  18. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Lisette,
    I have yet to see Brazil. I bet it was amazing! Let me know how your conditioning treatment turns out. Enjoy your weekend!

  19. Honeytreebee says

    I love using coconut milk for my conditioning need. I add aloe vera oil, olive oil that I infuse with nettles and burdock oil using the dry herbs and adding about a tablespoon of this oil to it with a teaspoon of lime juice and it does wonders for my hair.

  20. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Honeytreebee, Thanks so much for sharing your deep conditioning mix with us! It sounds amazing!

  21. Marie Almstrom says

    Hi ms dawn,

    I’m curious about trying the coconut milk but I’m not quiet understanding how it’s suppose to be used. I currently deep condition once a week with ors replenishing conditioner. I sit under the drier for 15 min with it then runs and style as usual .Do I do the same with the coconut milk.?

  22. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Marie Almstrom,
    You can use coconut milk just as you would your traditional deep conditioner. If you are curious about transitioning to an all natural hair care regimen then this series of articles will give you tons of information. <3

  23. Danielle says

    Hi Dawn Michelle!
    I absolutely love your site, and am experimenting with some of your hair and skin care recipes. Washing my face with honey has been a hit, and your article on linoleic oils was very helpful.
    I’m planning to henna my dark blonde hair soon (used henna for about a year a while back, but cut it off and used chemical dyes until my scalp rebelled!). I have four-month-old dreadlocks, and my hair is quite dry and brittle with breaking ends because I’ve avoided conditioning in that time. I wonder if coconut milk would leave a residue that might lead to problems in my dreads. Have you heard of any dreadheads using coconut milk as an occasional or regular treatment?

  24. Dawn Michelle says

    Hi Danielle,
    I’ve had dreads before and avoiding residue and build up is important. Have you ever tried using aloe vera juice or gel to moisturize your hair? It is really amazing for dry skin and hair and the perfect pH for both too. I wrote about aloe here and also use it in a few different hair recipes like this one. Coconut milk could be used as a prewar homes treatment but you might enjoy aloe and not have to worry about it leaving a residue at all. I hope this helps and happy hennaing too! Henna is amazing!