Skip to Content

10 Coconut Oil-Free Shampoos To Try If You’re Allergic to Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a very popular ingredient in many hair products due to it’s anti-fungal and moisturizing properties. It is also a common product in a lot of women’s hair regimen.

Like a lot of Naturalistas, I add coconut oil to my deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, hair spritz, oil blend and anything else that goes in my hair. I also use it to seal my hair after twisting and I add a few drops on my scalp to reduce itchiness and dandruff.

A few years ago, Coconut oil was a holy grail product and it quickly rose in popularity in the natural hair community. And so a lot of women rushed out to get them a few jars of this amazing oil.

But what some women didn’t realize is that we all have different genetic makeup that can play a major role in how our bodies reacts to certain products, no matter how great the product may be.

One of these products is coconut oil.

Eventhough coconut oil is known for it’s anti-fungal and moisturising properties which makes it an ideal oil for women with natural hair, it’s not going to be a favorite product for everyone.

The reason is that while one product may work great for someone, it might work differently for someone else.

While extra virgin coconut oil is a natural and organic product, which isn’t supposed to cause any negative reaction, some women were shocked by the negative reactions they experienced when they used products with coconut oil.

This is why I have decided to write this post to shed some light on coconut oil and why your hair suddenly hates coconut oil, even though it was fine with it before.

This post is also for you if you’ve never had any success with coconut oil in the past.

Ahead I’ve compiled some of the best coconut oil-free shampoos you can use, if you’ve been experiencing some reactions to products with coconut oil.

Can You Be Allergic To Coconut Oil?

Although coconut oil allergies are very rare, it is still a likely occurrence. So, people with this sort of allergy can develop adverse reactions when they apply coconut oil to their hair. The typical symptoms of an allergic reaction to coconut oil include rashes, eczema, hives, and nausea. However, with the hair, a coconut oil allergy would result in contact dermatitis symptoms like blistering or rashes on the scalp.

It is important to note that not everyone whose hair reacts badly to coconut oil is actually allergic. Sometimes the chemical and structural makeup of your hair may be the reason your hair does not like coconut oil but, it doesn’t automatically indicate an allergy.

Is Coconut Oil Bad For Natural Hair?

Coconut oil is not bad for natural hair. In fact, many natural often tout this oil as a holy grail product because it has so many benefits for the hair. However, not everyone’s hair type is the same. So, some people’s hair may not react very well to coconut oil. This can trigger certain issues with the scalp and hair, but not everyone experiences this negative side of coconut oil. Hence, it isn’t inherently bad for natural hair. It is just not ideal for every hair type.

Can Coconut Oil Make Your Hair Dry?

In some hair types, it is possible for coconut oil to make your hair dry. This is because coconut oil can help to regulate excessive intake of moisture into the hair, this typically helps to prevent hygral fatigue. But for some hair types, this property can prevent your hair from absorbing the adequate amount of moisture it needs to stay moisturized and lead to dry hair.

Does Coconut Oil Contain Protein?

Contrary to what most people think, coconut oil does not contain protein. There has been a lot of misleading information about the properties of this oil. Some say it is a protein treatment or that it causes protein build-up. However, as the name implies, coconut oil is an oil . It  is comprised of fatty acids  such as lauric acid, myristic acid, and palmitic acid

However, the reason most people make this confusion is that coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft and can sometimes support and preserve the protein that is already in the hair cuticles. This means it can help to prevent excessive protein loss, but it is most definitely not a protein. A protein is made up of amino acids and coconut oil does not contain any of these amino acids

Is Coconut Oil Good For Low Porosity Hair?

Coconut oil can be detrimental to some extremely low porosity hair types. Since these hair types already have tight cuticles that make it hard to absorb moisture, adding coconut oil could throw off your moisture-protein balance and make your hair dry and brittle. However, not all low porosity hair will have this reaction, since everyone’s hair is different

Popular Coconut Oil Derived Ingredients Found In Shampoos

Due to the gentle cleansing nature of coconut oil, many brands have opted to use cleansing ingredients that are derived from coconut. This is a better and healthier option than traditional surfacants such as Sodium Lauryl Sulphates which often leaves the hair feel dry and dull.

These ingredients do not behave in the same way as raw cold-pressed coconut oil, so you may not experience the same allergic reactions as you normally would to products with coconut oils in it.

Since it’s nearly impossible to find shampoos that is completely void of coconut oil or coconut derived ingredients, we decided to highlight common ingredients you will find in the ingredients lists of your shampoo or any other hair product.

You can do more research on each ingredient to confirm their safety for your specific needs.

Here are some ingredients in your hair products that are derived from coconut oil.

Cocamidopropyl betaine

This is a gentle surfactant derived from coconut oil that is often used in shampoos, conditioners, and other skincare products. It is known to be a non-toxic and non-irritating compound that binds with the grime and dirt in the hair and helps with cleansing. It acts also acts as a thickener and softens and nourishes the hair

Disodium cocoamphodipropionate

This ingredient is a cleaning agent, or “surfactant,” that can also be found in skin soaps, lotions, and shampoos. It is made from fatty acids from coconut oil, also called coconut acid. It is often used products to remove dirt from the hair by helping water to mix with dirt and oils so they can be rinsed away.

Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (SCI)

This is a natural and gentle surfactant that is used in most shampoos, conditioners, and body washes, It is hydrating and enhances the cleaning properties of most products by creating a foamy lather. It also conditions the hair and adds shine.

Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate

It is a mild surfactant that is derived from coconut oil, corn, and fruit sugars. It removes dirt from the hair without stripping it of essential oils and moisture. It also delivers a soft and shiny feel to the hair.

Can I Use Products With Coconut Derivatives If I’m Sensitive To Coconut Oil?

Yes, you can use products with coconut oil derivates. While everyone’s hair will have a different reaction to any ingredient. Coconut oil derivates have not been known to cause any adverse reaction on their own, so they are safe to use.

The only few cases of allergic reactions to these ingredients occur due to other impurities formed during the manufacturing process and not the ingredients themselves.

Also, most people with coconut oil sensitive hair will not have any bad reaction to these coconut oil derivates since they do not function the same way coconut oil does and will therefore not cause the same type of reaction on the hair.


10 Best Coconut Oil Free Leave In Conditioners For Black Hair

​​15 Recommended Coconut Oil Free Deep Conditioners For Natural Hair

15 of the Best Coconut Oil Free Styling Gels for Coconut Sensitive Hair

10 Best Coconut Oil Free Curl Defining Creams To Try

10 Coconut Oil-Free Shampoos For Natural Hair

1. Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength And Restore Shampoo

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strength And Restore Shampoo

Key ingredients: water, decyl glucoside panthenol, hydrolyzed protein, shea butter, castor oil, and glycerin.

Product promise: This shampoo is a great cleanser for all hair types and is coconut oil-free. It is sulfate-free and revives the hair while nourishing it with castor oil. It is a great clarifying shampoo if you want to remove product buildup without leaving your hair stripped.

2. Curl Junkie Curl Assurance Gentle Cleansing Shampoo™  

Curl Junkie - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: cocamidopropyl betaine, silk amino acids

Product promise:  A sulfate-free shampoo with conditioning properties. This extremely gentle shampoo leaves the hair soft and manageable after washing and does not contain coconut oil.

3. TGIN Rose Water Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo

TGIN Rose Water Sulfate Free Hydrating Shampoo

Key ingredients: cocamidopropyl betaine, ginger extract, sodium cocoyl isethionate, decyl glucoside

Product promise: This is another sulfate-free shampoo that properly cleanses and moisturizes the hair. It also smells pretty amazing and helps with detangling and will make your wash day experience go by very smoothly.

4. Curls Blueberry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash 

Curls blueberry bliss coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: cocamidopropyl betaine, aloe leaf juice, hydrolyzed soy protein, cocamide DIPA

Product promise: This shampoo is a sulfate-free cleanser that removes dirt and build-up while also hydrating and softening your curls. It is great for all hair types and repairs and protects the hair from dryness.

5. The Mane Choice Ancient Egyptian Anti-Breakage & Repair Antidote Shampoo 

The Mane Choice - coconut oil-free shampoo

 Key ingredients: silk protein, cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium cocoyl glutamate

Product promise: This is a shampoo that’s great for dry damaged hair. It strengthens the hair while properly cleansing the scalp. It delivers hydration and moisture to the strands and has a good amount of slip for detangling.

6. Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Fortifying Shampoo With Castor Oil 

Carol's Daughter Goddess Strength Fortifying Shampoo With Castor Oil - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: cocamidopropyl betaine, coco-betaine, sodium cocoyl isethionate

Product promise: This strengthening shampoo is great for damaged and weak hair. It is sulfate-free and cleanses the hair while delivering moisture and nourishment to the strands. It also lathers really well but doesn’t dry out the hair like most sulfate shampoos.

7. Soultanicals Sprout- Rice Vitamin Butta Shampoo

Soultanicals  Sprout- Rice Vitamin Butta Shampoo - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: Vegetable glycerin, cetearyl alcohol, aloe juice, decyl glucoside,

Product promises: This is a pretty moisturizing shampoo that deeply cleanses the hair and leaves it soft afterward. It has a lot of slip which makes it a great shampoo for detangling. It also improves hair elasticity, reduces shedding, and smells incredible.

8. Mielle Babassu Conditioning Sulfate-Free Shampoo 

Mielle Conditioning Sulfate-Free Shampoo - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key Ingredients: Cocamidopropyl betaine, decyl glucoside, cocamidopropyl amine

Product Promise: A sulphate-free conditioning shampoo that is coconut oil-free. This product cleanses, strengthens, and softens the hair while delivering much-needed moisture and shine. If you have color-treated hair, it’s a safe and great option to choose.

9. Miche Beauty Cleansed Sulfate-Free Shampoo 

Miche Beauty Sulfate-Free Shampoo - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: distilled water, cocamidopropyl betaine,  disodium cocoamphodipropionate, sodium cocyl isethionates, glycerin, and ginseng extract 

Product promise: This shampoo is moisturizing, cleanses the hair, and deeply penetrates the strands to repair and restore damaged cuticles. It also smells incredible and doesn’t leave the hair feeling stripped or crunchy after washing.

10. Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse Shampoo 

Camille Rose  - coconut oil-free shampoo

Key ingredients: cocamidopropyl betaine, cocaamphodipopionate, ginger root, decyl glucoside, and castor oil.

Product promise: This shampoo is a favorite amongst many naturals. It is a non-stripping shampoo that cleanses the hair and leaves it soft afterward. The ginger aroma is also really luscious and makes you not want to rinse it off so quickly.

Shampoos are an essential product for the cleansing step in a hair care routine, so it is important to use products that your hair will love and not have any bad reactions to. With the help of this list of great products, you can comfortably choose a coconut oil-free shampoo that works best for your hair type without running the risk of damage to your curls.

coconut oil-free shampoos