It’s no secret that all of us here at LC.com have an insane obsession with coconut oil. And, to be perfectly honest, if you aren’t up to speed on all the health benefits behind this omega-3-packed oil, then you might want to brush up on your research. In fact, I have admittedly used coconut for almost every purpose you can think of—body lotion, cooking oil, lip balm, oil pulling, cuticle oil, baking… It even works as a makeup remover. The only way I hadn’t used coconut oil, up until recently that is, was on my hair. One of my girlfriends swears by its magic as an all-natural hair mask, which got me thinking that, with the dry fall and winter seasons coming up, it was about time to add one more use to my roster of coconut oil remedies. So, a month ago, I set out to do just that.
Today I’m letting you in on my experiment with putting a coconut oil hair mask on my tresses once a week for a month. Scroll down to find out how I did it, how it felt, and my overall review on whether I think this word-of-mouth beauty DIY works or not…
This coconut oil hair mask itself is quite simple: I just picked up a new jar of my favorite extra virgin organic coconut oil at my local market and started slathering it all over my hair. At the recommendation of my friend, I applied the oil over dry hair, and I admit it felt kinda funny to be rubbing oil into dry hair. But you can apply it to wet, shampooed hair if you’d prefer. I scooped the coconut oil into my hands, rubbed my hands together to make it an oily consistency, then evenly coated all strands with the oil, using about two tablespoons total (you will use more with longer hair and less with shorter hair). I focused mostly on the ends, which need a little more love, especially with color treated hair like mine, and went lighter on the roots. Then I used my fingers to comb through my hair to distribute it evenly. Once again, it feels weird… But after doing it twice I completely got used to the feeling of oil in my dry hair. I applied the coconut oil at nighttime before bed for a deep conditioning effect and wore a fabric shower cap over my head to go to sleep, so as to not ruin my pillow case.
The first time I rinsed out my coconut oil hair mask, I wasn’t quite used to the feeling of how oily my hair would feel in the shower. It took two rounds of shampooing in the shower to get that oily feeling out, and I used conditioner after too. Once I towel dried my hair and let it air-dry, it did feel thicker and more hydrated. The best part was that this feeling multiplied after every time I did the mask. By the third week of doing a coconut oil hair mask, my strands felt much thicker and shinier, and my hair felt stronger and softer in general.
Why It Works
Because the lauric acid in coconut oil has a low molecular weight, it allows the oil to actually penetrate the hair shaft, nourishing the hair with vitamins, minerals and the medium-chain fatty acids. Coconut oil is a fabulous way to give your hair this healthy boost it needs because it is rich in antioxidants, and has antifungal and antibacterial properties. So, it leaves the hair feeling not only moisturized but clean, too. And while many of our shampoos, conditioners and other hair products tend to be full of harmful chemicals and toxins, coconut oil is 100 percent natural and seriously good for your hair and scalp. You can use coconut oil as an intensive overnight hair treatment like I did, or as an everyday hair oil, using just about ¼ teaspoon. I recommend using extra virgin organic coconut oil (which you can find at your local market) as a great chemical-free hair conditioning treatment replacement.
Pretty interesting, right?
Would you try a coconut oil hair mask?
And, do you have any great DIY hair mask recipes you love?
Tell me about your favorite hair masks in the comments below so that I can give them a try too!