What is the difference between coconut oil for cooking and for hair?

Coconut oil is starting to have vital role in our society nowadays and there are proven studies that would support the amazing benefits it will give to us. Coconut oil has categories according to the process being made; Refined and Unrefined Coconut oil.

  1. Refined Coconut oil

It is the most widely used kind of coconut oil by the consumers. It is known as RBD Coconut oil which stands Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized Coconut oil.


The oil is expelled from the copra and may not fit for consumption due to the presence of dust particles, spawns, insect remains, microbes, fungal spores and many others that are harmful to the health. Foreign substances usually get into the coconut oil during the process of how kernels are being dried up into copra.

The crude oil is being repeatedly filtered to obtain the cleanest filtrate. The oil is bleached as part of the process during the filtration using calcareous clays. It is then being heated to a very high temperature, in which it serves dual purpose. It deodorizes the oil while killing the germs or fungal spores at the same time. Afterwards, the sodium hydroxide is added and added filtration for removal of mono-fats or free fats. Finally, it will be hydrogenated to ensure the absence of unsaturated fatty acids left in the oil, that will also elongate the shelf life of the coconut oil.

If compared with the Pure Coconut oil:

  • It has no typical coconut scent
  • No taste of coconut in the oil

However, as being refined during the process, it has almost no proteins and minerals left for the consumers to enjoy. The RBD coconut oil is more expensive than the pure oil because of the process. But it is easily available, most sold and most consumed coconut oil.

  1. Unrefined Coconut Oil

From the name itself “unrefined” means it has not been filtered nor additives being added. It sometimes being called as “Pure Coconut oil”. The Virgin Coconut oil, Organic Coconut oil, and Organic Virgin Coconut oil are considered to be unrefined coconut oil.



  • It is tastier if compared with refined coconut oil. There were no bleaching or refining done during the process, so the natural taste was retained.


  • It has a flavor of fresh coconuts since there were no bleaching and deodorizing during the process.


  • It is considered more nutritious than that of RBD coconut oil. It is richer in proteins, vitamins and antioxidants

The disadvantages of Unrefined Coconut oil:

  • It is less hygienic since it did not go through a process of refining and might obtain dust particles and unwanted substances that were not removed during the process.
  • It may not be as useful on therapeutic uses than that of the refined coconut oil.
  • It is less available in the market.
  • It is less expensive than the RBD Coconut oil.

The Pure coconut oil is being used as edible oil but should be heated well to avoid contamination. It is best used on external applications such as massaging for skin and hair. It also used as soap and in cosmetic industries.