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3 Alternatives to Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

• Mar 18, 2013


By Chinwe of Hair and Health

While extra virgin coconut oil is a favorite of many naturals, it is not quite liked by others.  After all, no two heads of hair are exactly the same.  That being said, what is a woman to do when she wants some of the benefits of extra virgin coconut oil but without the oil?  Well, here are three alternatives that might be worth trying:

1. Vatika enriched coconut oil


Dabur Vatika enriched coconut oil is a blend of pure coconut oil, amla, henna, lemon, neem, and other natural ingredients.  For those whose strands dislike coconut oil alone, you may be surprised to find that your hair loves Vatika oil.  (It is somewhat analogous to how shea butter alone is disliked by some naturals but when mixed with other substances is an instant favorite.)  Some ladies use Vatika oil for sealing as well as overnight pre-poos and receive the benefit of softer, more moisturized hair.

2. Babassu oil


Like coconut oil, babassu oil is extracted from a kernel of the palm tree family – the babassu tree, to be exact.  More importantly, it has similar proportions and composition of fatty acids as coconut oil.  (The fatty acids include lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, and oleic.)  Some women love using babassu oil in place of coconut oil because it is less comedogenic (i.e., it does not clog the pores as much) and lacks a greasy feel after application.  Some naturals also feel that babassu oil is more penetrating.

3. Quality refined coconut oil


Maybe you love everything about extra virgin coconut oil except the smell.  Then you might want to try refined coconut oil, which is generally odorless.  Beware, however, that not all refined coconut oils are of good quality.  Look for those that have not undergone a chemical-based cleaning process and hydrogenation.

Ladies, have you tried any of these alternatives?  Share your experiences!

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When I first used coconut oil it made my scalp itchy and I felt like my scalp was burning up and I had to use a sulfate shampoo to wash it out. The next time I tried it I made sure to only apply it on my strands and not my scalp and it made my hair brittle and hard. That’s when I learnt that what may work for others, even so-called “holy grails” of natural hair, may not work for you and that’s totally okay because everyone’s hair is unique! I use pure aloe vera on my hair now… Read more »

LOL! Me, too. Not to mention, I got little itchy hives all over my scalp, the back of my neck and side of my face…basically everywhere the oil touched my skin.

I happened to use Spectrum as pictured above. I assume I got a bad batch because most of my products list coconut oil in the top 5. Had no idea I was allergic.


I had no idea I was allergic either. At the time I just thought I’d applied it wrong lol.

It could be that you’re allergic to pure coconut oil but when it’s mixed with other ingredients it’s diluted so you don’t get the same itchy reaction? I prefer to avoid products with coconut oil just to be on the safe side!


It doesn’t work for me either. It made my naturally soft hair hard and crunchy. I panicked the one time I tried it. Thank God it didn’t permanently damage it. I’m a skeptic when I hear recommendations sometimes because of me wasting money in the past. Productwise I’m down to olive oil from my kitchen and shea butter. If they have SAMPLES for this oil I will try otherwise I might have to miss out on what could’ve been…

Joan B. in S. C.

The Indian market where I now buy henna also sells the Dabur Vatika enriched coconut oil, so I might give it a try.


Does babassau oil mimic protein in protein sensitive hair like coconut oil does? It’s interesting to hear that it penetrates the hair strand…


started using extra virgin Coconut oil and especially through the winter, it has been awesome! So far I don’t hav ean issue with it, but I may switch to a different oil come summer. I’m not sure I’m still thinking about it.


Quality grade palm oil would be an even better sunnier for coconut oil. That over priced. “Oj on ” brand has been getting by on packaging it up fancy for years now.


my hair lovessssssss vatika oil and i do too


My hair loves coconut oil. I use the pure one that i bought in my homeland Suriname.
It gives my curls 3c/4a shine and high definition


Is Vatika oil 100% natural? Do you know?


My hair HATES coconut oil although I love it as a body moisturizer. Will try the Vatika and the babassu. I just love experimenting with oils!


But how do you know when the coconut oil have not undergone a chemical-based cleaning process and hydrogenation.
I bought this one last time which is odorless because I dont like the smell of coconut. Are you ladies familiar with this brand? is it good?


Coconut oil is actually pretty good for the hair and the body.


Thanks for the article! I tried Coconut Oil and it didn’t do well on my hair. I had the same results…itch scalp and dry hair; however when it’s mixed with something else I it works well on my hair. I still don’t us it on my scalp.

Glad I found this because Vatika has a few things in it I would love to try, so it is definitely going to be on my to try list. I have to say though I don’t know what it is but my low porosity hair actually loves coconut oil, I have never found it drying at all. It is just the right consistency for me because as loose as my curls are, (apparently looseness or tightness does not have much to do with dryness) my hair is so so dry it’s like a sponge. Coconut oil costs my hair while… Read more »

I tried using coconut oil, I really did but my hair is too thin and it took like 5 shampoos to get all the greasiness out! Not to mention the coconut SMELL. If anyone else had the same problem then use argan oil instead, its much lighter and not oily at all. Plus if you get the one by the Pro Naturals brand then you just leave it in your hair after a shower and let it to all the work.


Coconut oil is the #1 oil for my hair.
Castor oil is good for scalp for too thick on my fine strands.
Jojoba and grapseed oil are cool but kinda runny.
Olive oil and avocado oil are great but just feel like a greasy coating on my hair.
Coconut oil is the only oil that gives my hair sheen and penetrates my hair strands.
Apparently my hair loves protein because I’ve never had a problem with it.

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