What isn’t coconut oil good for these days???
It seems like everywhere you look, someone’s got a new use for it. The miracle oil, they should call it. From oil pulling instead of brushing your teeth, to washing your face with it at night, it seems like it’s taking over the world as the go-to all-natural replacement for… well, everything!
I get really excited when I find a new use for it, too.
In our house we try to stay away from chemicals as much as possible. Since my daughter was born ten years ago with severe food allergies (and has since developed asthma), we’ve gone green. The link between food allergies and toxins is one that researchers are still studying, but there is enough evidence for me to know that she needs a clean environment. That’s why for her, especially, I use as many natural and organic products as I can.
My lively little baby girl was born with tiny wisps of straight brown hair.
That didn’t last long. As that new hair fell out, it was replaced very quickly with a *poof* of a curly blonde mohawk on top of her head.
So adorable! Man, how I got comments left and right about that mohawk!
I kind of just assumed, though, that lots of babies have curly hair, and the curls eventually fade and leave them with straight or slightly wavy hair after just a few years. Maybe I thought this because that’s exactly what happened to me. I had long, gorgeous, bouncy curls up until I was about 3-years-old or so. Then after a much-needed haircut, they were gone.
Jillian’s curls, on the other hand, have stuck with her for an entire decade.
First day of Kindergarten…
And now, almost 10 years old…
I would like to point out that I have just scoured my photos from the last decade to select those very few pictures that have her curls looking in good, decent, hydrated, non-frizzy-mess shape. For the sake of brutal honesty, let me show you what her hair looks like on any given day around here…
Yeeeaaaahhhhhh… This has been a challenge for me for nearly ten years now. I don’t have curly hair, much to my disappointment (you always want what you don’t have, right?). And therefore, for many years I have had no clue how to handle and take care of her full head of spiral-y curls.
I’m still learning.
But one thing I have learned is that curly hair dries out a lot more than straight hair. Especially when you live in Florida, like we do, and are constantly running around out in the sun and swimming in the pool.
Hydration is key when it comes to making curls manageable and presentable.
Conditioning your hair on a regular basis in the shower is a must-do, but that only goes so far.
Dry, curly hair like this needs a deep conditioning treatment every couple of weeks.
That’s where the coconut oil comes in!
I’ve looked at tons of hair products over the years, trying to find something suitable and safe for Jillian’s hair. With severe allergies to milk, eggs and nuts, it can be hard to find beauty products that are totally safe. I’ve run across curl sprays with peanut oil in them, and even washes with lactose (milk).
She also has eczema and is extremely sensitive to lotions, soaps and shampoos in general. When she was a toddler, even “hypoallergenic, extra sensitive” lotions would break her out in a rash.
We’ve learned to be very careful with the products we buy and use for her, and for ourselves.
Assuming you’re not allergic to coconuts (which thankfully, Jillian is not), you’re good to go with this all natural hair treatment!
A couple things to note before you treat your hair with coconut oil:
~ Most coconut oils do not smell or taste like coconut… but there is the occasional one that does. If you’re concerned about your head smelling like coconut for a few days (or maybe you want it to!), take a whiff of the oil when you open it up.
~ Coconut oil is hard in it’s room-temperature state. It looks like a white, waxy blob. It just takes a second, though, to warm it in your hands until it melts into liquid. Pretty cool, actually!
~ You have to wash it out really, really well! It may even take a couple of showers, depending on how dry or not-dry your hair is to begin with. Jillian’s hair generally soaks it up so well that just one shampoo is enough.
Let’s get started!
1. Prep — First thing’s first… You don’t need to prep your hair in any way, but you do need to put an old towel under your hair to protect your clothes. Oil is oil, and you don’t want it getting on your shirt.
2. Scoop it out & slather it on — Take a spoonful of the coconut oil and rub it together in your hands for a second until it’s liquid. See? It’s that fast! Start spreading it all over the hair. Run your fingers through and underneath. Make sure you get it all coated. You may need a couple more spoonfuls of oil.
Note: For Jillian’s hair, I put the coconut oil all over. It’s so dry that it really needs the moisture everywhere. For my own mostly-straight-but-a-bit-wavy hair, on the other hand, I only put the oil on my hair from the nape of the neck down. I’ve tried it all over, but my hair is too oily to use it near the scalp.
3. Do the twist — Twist the hair up and clip it in place to keep it from getting everything all messy.
Optional: Put a shower cap on your head to really keep it from getting everything all messy!
4. Let it sit — Leave the oil on your hair for 30-60 minutes. We usually leave it for about half an hour, although we have gotten in the routine of using the oil about every 2-3 weeks, so it doesn’t need a full hour. If this is your first time, however, or if you’re hair is super duper dry, leave it on for the full 60 minutes.
5. Shampoo & Condition — It’s time to wash it out. Really, really well! Some people will tell you that using shampoo of any kind is a big no-no for curly hair. And we do try to stay away from shampoos that will further dry Jillian’s hair out. But there are two times that we always shampoo — after swimming in the pool and after the coconut oil treatment. Otherwise, the hair will just look oily. Even super dry hair like hers.
So shampoo the oil out really well (preferably with a sulfate-free shampoo, to be as kind to those curls as possible), and condition as usual.
6. Style as usual — Do your thing!
Ahhhh… much better.
Keeping up with the coconut oil treatment routine is the hard part. Life gets in the way, and pretty soon it’s been months since you’ve done it. But the results come back quickly once you get going again.
For my own oilier hair, I only do it every few months, and just on the bottom half, like I mentioned.
Even if you decide to just treat your hair once in a while, before a special occasion perhaps, the coconut oil really does make a big difference. And you can’t beat that it’s a completely natural hair care treatment!
What other natural hair products have you tried?