The Coconut And Lime Treatment For Natural Black Hair

CoconutDiscover this technique of temporarily straightening natural hair with no damage to the hair structure

If you have natural black hair chances are that you are already in love with your texture and wouldn’t change it for the world. As well it should be!

But like anyone else, you don’t mind the occasional bout of ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ and would like to change your look temporarily.

If you have natural very curly/kinky hair, particularly 4a/b hair types, you will appreciate that it will take more heat to get ‘relaxer straight’ results when you flat iron your hair.

The downfall of using too much heat on your hair is that it may damage it irreparably i.e. burn it straight! Nobody wants to risk the health of their hair for the sake of straight locks for a week. An alternative is required.

This is where the coconut and lime ‘relaxer’ could help you. The ‘straightening’ effect achieved is most noticeable in slightly wavy hair.

In African American (black) hair, the results are more subtle and with continued application, it results in loosening or elongating the curl pattern which makes heat styling much easier.

This technique is by no means new; it has been used for years by Asian women to straighten their curly hair safely without the use of chemicals.

The original recipe involves mixing coconut juice with the lime juice and leaving in the fridge overnight until a cream forms on top. This cream is then applied to the hair and left for a few hours then rinsed off. The remainder of the mixture is then discarded.

The main issue with this recipe is that even though the coconut milk with solidify slightly when put in the fridge, the natural heat from your body once applied to the hair will make it runny again and you may find that a lot of the treatment will end up running down your face and neck! Another problem is the wastage involved as only a small percentage of the coconut milk is being used.

The recipe below is a version of the original allowing both for the dryness of natural black hair with minimum wastage of the ingredients.  Here’s how to make the treatment:

1 tin of coconut milk

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

4 tablespoons of lime juice

2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch

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15 Ways To Get Longer Healthier Hair


About Alma

Hi! I'm Alma Ruddock, a full time blogger. I stumbled on a hair care forum in 2008 frustrated with my breaking relaxed hair and the information that I found there changed the fate of my hair forever!. I started as a way to help both myself and other women of color achieve their dreams of long healthy hair. I have now achieved my goal length and I continue to bring new information about hair on both this website and my personal blog.

  • Tensia

    I will try this and let you know if it really works. I like the fact that the products needed, can be obtained from your neighborhood grocery store.

    • Shaddy Shaddyliscious Owens

      did it work?

  • cwoods

    Is this safe to use on relaxed hair with substantial new growth? I'm pregnant and stopped getting relaxers in January. It's been almost five months. After the baby's born I'll probably resume relaxer treatments. The article only mentions the effects on natural hair.

  • Tootie

    For the question about using the coconut treatment on permed hair, go on youtube girls talk about using it on permed hair and relaxed hair. Girls with relaxed hair use it to make their relaxer stretch , and those with natural hair use it to soften their hair and enhance the curl pattern. They also have different variations of the treatment, you can type in coconut relaxer and different links will pop up. Most links will also show you how to apply it and the results.


  • wizum

    I think I’ll give this a try, so I don’t have to get relaxers so often.

  • dawn

    I decided to go natural about 2 years ago, but had problems controlling the new growth. I would always put a mild relaxer on the new growth just to straighten my hair so that I could comb it, but my hair would start to break off around 2 months. About 4 months ago I decided to have my hair done in kinky twist just so that I could regrow it quickly and thicken it back up. My hair was very thick and coarse at the roots from all of the new growth and as normal was very difficult to comb through, so I decided to try the caramel treatment for softening my hair texture and the coconut and lime treatment to straghten the texture a little more. No more relaxers for me.

    Not only did the caramel treatment soften my natural hair texture, but the coconut lime treatment also straghtened it to the point where I could easily comb through it, blow dry it, and manage it. Both of these treatment’s made it easier for me to blow-dry and flat-iron my hair giving it a relaxed look. Every since I started using the treatments, I have received so many compliments about my hair.

    I am going to continue using both treatments for as long as I can find each of the products at my local grocery store or health food store. After all, we what we eat.

    So far these are the best homemade treatments that I have found for my hair to help with the managability and to also keep it from breaking, due to the chemical stress from relaxers and too much heat from hair appliances.

    • BHI

      Bravo! I’m glad you found something that works for you!!

    • Catolinahanes

      Do you do the carmel treament then the coconut n lime or what???? Plz i would like to know cause i trying to go natural so please help thxs!!!

      • PEDawk1

        you do the carmel treatment first to soften the hair and then the coconut n lime

        • BHI

          no, it’s one or the other. both treatments do the same thing so i’ve found

          • Nv02

            can you tell me what the caramel treatment it plz 

          • BHI


  • Mai

    Hey guys!

    I just came upon this site and I got sooo excited that I went and bought the
    ingredients right after :D! I was wondering…seeing as it says that over time
    this can help to soften the curls a little do you think that if I were to use
    rollers while I have the ingredients in my hair I could help “guide”
    (sorry but I can’t think of a better word) to maintain a certain structure? I
    have mainly type 3c curly hair with some areas a little less curly and some a
    little more and I have a lot of shrinkage after my hair dries. When it is wet
    it goes a little down my back and once dry it is shoulder length. So I was
    thinking that maybe if I use rollers to the size that I would like my curls to
    be it might gently help “guide” my hair…even if it does not set it
    in that way. Perhaps one of you has done this? I will try and do this myself
    but it will probably take time before it takes effect (if at all). I will keep
    you guys posted…but would be great if someone who has done this can let me
    know :D.

    • BHI

      I don’t think that it would make a difference to to honest. You’ve got to remember that with a perm a basic(alkaline) solution is added to the hair to break it’s bonds then neutralized with another solution while the hair is in rollers to reset the bonds in the new shape. The coconut lime mixture is acidic so doesn’t have the bond breaking ability of an alkaline solution, which is a good thing anyway because with the broken bonds goes the strength of the hair! Let us know how it goes though.

  • Mai

    Hi BHI!

    Thanks for getting back to me so quickly :D! I will probably get this mixture
    in my hair today…latest tomorrow and I will probably skip the roller part as
    what you said does make sense. I was just throwing it out there because I definitely
    don’t want to get rid of my curls :). I did a lot of searches on this Coconut
    treatment and found that there is sooo much out there. I just happened to
    stumble on this site and never heard of this before but when I went to
    I found a ton of video’s  but some people
    have referred to this as a “natural relaxer”. I think that that name can be a
    little deceiving especially if people think that it will have the same effect
    as a relaxer.

    I am first and foremost looking to get good nutrients into
    my hair and it looks like this might do the trick…and if it will also allow my
    curls which are quite tight  (I guess I
    am a 3c in general but have different textures around my hair) then all the
    better! I had bought a coconut conditioner out of the blue one day and notice
    that my hair LOVED it! I wanted to get some more but the shop ran out when I
    went back and then a few days ago I found some so of course I went a little crazy
    in the shop :D.

    One thing I noticed while researching is that some people
    have altered the ingredients in the recipe for example some have added full fat
    natural yogurt, used coconut cream instead of coconut milk, and included
    coconut oil. Some haven’t included lime juice at all. I plan on following the
    recipe above and will see how my hair takes it. I will get back and let you
    guys know how it worked for me.


    Thanks again! :D

  • Mai

    Hi all,

    So I did the treatment yesterday and my hair loved it! I have to say I didn’t
    really see any stretch in my curls once my hair was dry but my hair loved the coconut
    milk I did notice that my curls looked a little more defined though. I had some
    left over product which I froze and will reuse again. I will probably try the
    caramel treatment as well at some point.

    Thanks for the great info!

    • BHI

      Excellent! I didn’t see much difference in my curls either, just the fact that my hair seemed to retain moisture better. Well worth it.

  • Mai

    Hi BHI,

    I revisited this treatment after doing a little more research online and I
    decided to swap coconut milk for coconut cream and I added molasses and removed
    the lemon because when I first did the treatment while my hair was soft I felt
    that it got a little dry the next day and I think it is because of the lemon. I
    have done DIY conditioners with lemon before and my hair also felt somewhat dry
    on the next day. So with the coconut cream, molasses, and no lemon I loved this
    treatment even more! As I put it in my hair I could feel the softness already.
    After putting it in my hair I twisted the sectioned parts. This was MESSY! But
    it was worth it because as I said I could feel my hair getting super soft. It
    was so smooth that I was able to comb my hair before doing the twists without
    hitting any tangles. I left it in for a few hours and then untwisted my hair
    and first washed the treatment out by pouring water over my head a few times.
    Then I used my coconut conditioner. After my condish my hair still had the
    pattern even after I finger combed it. I didn’t want to comb my hair out a
    third time because it was already detangled and clean. At night I did a twist
    out and still have it in today. My hair has never kept the twist pattern when I
    wash and condish my hair so it will be interesting to see how this turns out on
    the long run. I just thought I should share this seeing as you spent the time
    putting up the recipe you use. :D

  • Rahel Duncan

    I’m going to try this….I’m going back natural because I have relaxed hair but it is really damaged. I wonder if anyone has any tips that can make the transition to natural faster and healthier for my hair…

  • Kizzi

    How often do you need to this treatment?

    • Alma

      I would say once a week bearing in mind that the acid from the lemons may be a bit drying for you hair.

  • Selver256

    I chemically relaxed my hair about a month and a half ago and stumbled upon your page so I decided to try the coco-lime treatment today. Not only did it straighten my hair which is normally very thick, frizzy and wavy and easily tangled, but I was able to blow dry it on a low setting without using a comb–no tangles, no frizzies! This is it, no more chemical relaxers for me. My hair in length is at my shoulder blades and It felt great washing, drying and styling my hair without at least 5 fist fuls of hair on the floor :) Thank you for this recipe and by the way, I used lemon juice and substituted flour for the cornstarch.

    • Alma

      Hi Shelver256. That’s great to hear! For me I found that it only loosened my curl a little bit but it definitely made it much easier to comb and style. Good luck!

  • sarah

    can you leave this in overnight plz plz plz help me i need a answer because im scared if i leave it in overnight itll burn my hair off

    • Alma

      Hi Sarah. I certainly wouldn’t leave anything acidic in my hair overnight! 1 hour max really.

  • Synoun Hong

    My grandma used it all the time, but I never thought to use it on my kids hair since there mixed, it work great on us

  • Ressa Motivated

    im trying to love my natural hair… not looking to make it something its not… luv my kinky curls

  • lovely lady

    It’s this temporary? Will my hair eventually return back to its natural curl pattern?

  • Jamie Lee

    I need to try this asap. I gave myself a protein treatment because i was having a lot of breakage…..OMG…now my coils are even stronger and tighter. They need to relax and chill.

  • Bebe Stclaire


  • Georgiana Gray

    I clicked the link and printed it. I’ll try it later, and let you know how it works.

  • Dania Sanon

    Thank you!

  • Dwinese Marise Aird

    I tried this a couple of years back, I didn’t like it. It didn’t work for me, it was clumpy and very messy and hard to get out of my hair. Probably user mistakes but I never tried again

  • Mrsladiee Jai

    2 bad I’m allergic 2 coconut!!!!! That crap fire!!!!

  • Rhonda M Lawson


  • Selma Olds

    Coconut oil and milk does wonders for the skin as well.

  • KJ

    How many onces are in a tin? At the grocery store where I shop, coconut milk is sold in 16 oz. cans or one quart boxes, which is how I buy it.

  • Devera Smith Robinson

    Do you drink it or apply it to your hair ??? Ijs with the martini glass and all….

  • Kudz

    I recently tried this out. My hair has 2 different curl patterns and the hair at the back is kinkier and knots up very easily. I applied the mixture to the back of my hair and its made a huge difference!!! the hair is noticeably softer and retains more moisture. Its also a lot easier to manipulate. two thumbs up from me :-)

  • Crystal Thomas

    You put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up

  • Shamar Q Huntley

    Look Jewell Cisjuanora Lucille Huntley

  • Portia Beard

    Has anyone tried this?

  • Donna Myre

    I might try it if I can ever read the post… It’s not loading !

  • Adrienne Leonard

    I don’t know, but I know the cornstarch in the recipe provided is basically sugar, and will burn the heck out of your hair if not rinsed well, which negates the purpose of adding it. Think about the brown build up on your clothing iron– starch. Y’all be careful.

  • Tyshanique Glover

    I’m so tempted Tiffany Reneé Faith Hope Charity

  • Tiffany Reneé

    Tyshanique Glover -_- *drake voice* Dont do it, please don’t do it

  • Kourtnie Joi Sanders

    Tried it, it softened my hair bcuz it increased the moisture in my hair but it definitely didnt straighten my hair

  • Schyler Craig

    Evon DeliverusfromEva Landers maybe you should try this.

  • Nefeteria Moore

    Don’t do this mess

  • Yolanda Mchenry-Murckson