Coconut oil does not directly stop hair from thinning or encourage growth, according to Healthline. It does act as an excellent moisturizer for the scalp and hair, and is helpful in soothing eczema and psoriasis. Both are conditions that may lead to thinning of hair through irritation and scratching.
Coconut oil comes from the mature coconut and has been touted as helping to treat many diseases. However, research into these claims is limited. When it comes to hair loss, the claim is that this oil penetrates into the hair and follicles, carrying with it vital nutrients, according to StyleCraze. Practitioners also claim that massaging the oil into the scalp helps improve blood flow to the follicles, keeping them healthy.
However, hair loss and thinning is primarily caused by the follicles' sensitivity to a hormone in the body, DHT, according to Healthline. The beneficial claims of coconut oil would not directly affect the body's production of DHT or the follicles' sensitivity to it.
There is research that shows coconut oil can protect the hair strand through moisturization and by binding hair proteins with lauric acid, according to Viviscal. This can keep hair from thinning as much due to weak strands that break easily. When using coconut oil, remember to look for the virgin cold-pressed oil, which contains more lauric acid and other nutrients.