By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven

Coconut oil is one of the few dis­cov­er­ies that I rave about end­less­ly. It helps hair main­tain its mois­ture and even has a sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven role in con­di­tion­ing. How­ev­er, I do get reports from nat­u­rals who strug­gle with coconut oil and report that it leaves hair crunchy or even feel­ing brit­tle. A super oily scalp is also anoth­er com­mon issue.

Are you strug­gling to love coconut oil?  Here are my four of best hints and tips on how to get the most out coconut oil and con­quer that crunch.

1. The fingertip technique

Coconut oil is not meant to be slathered on. It is light and spread­able which means that a lit­tle of it goes a long way. Use the fin­ger­tip tech­nique to con­trol how much you use.

Sec­tion your hair into four. Scoop one index fin­ger of coconut oil and melt it thor­ough­ly in your hands. Dab the melt­ed oil to each of the four sec­tions and then take the time to spread the oil on each sec­tion focus­ing on the ends. Before using more oil, look at your palms, if there is still oil on them, you do not need to add more.

2. Mix it up to prevent crunchy hair

Cold air can cause coconut oil to freeze which in turn makes hair feel hard and crunchy. Mix coconut oil with shea but­ter (40% coconut oil, 60% shea but­ter) to cre­ate an oil which does not crunch up in cold air. You can also com­bine coconut oil with oils which are liq­uid at low tem­per­a­tures such as olive oil, almond oil or jojoba oil.

3. Use it before washing your hair

Coconut oil does not have to be used just to seal hair and if you have dif­fi­cul­ty using it on its own then con­sid­er just using it before wash­ing your hair. Apply it the night before the wash to allow it suf­fi­cient time to pen­e­trate into the hair. Coconut oil will pro­tect the cuti­cle from expand­ing exces­sive­ly as water is tak­en up from the wash and pro­tect your hair from los­ing its pro­tein.

4. Words of Caution

a.) Sham­poo is required
If you are not using a cleans­ing pro­duct (sham­poo or soap), and you are strict­ly co-wash­ing, you should watch out for build up if you reg­u­lar­ly use any oil in your rou­tine. Build up can be seen often as a white coat­ing on hair but in the case of light build up it may just be that your hair does not respond as nor­mal — for exam­ple it nev­er feels mois­turised or it feels very greasy or it feels hard.

b.) Coconut oil is not a sub­sti­tute for a pro­tein treat­ment
Coconut oil does not con­tain pro­tein. The crunchy feel is relat­ed to the amount of oil used and the air tem­per­a­ture. Coconut oil  does indeed pro­tect hair from los­ing pro­tein but if your intent is to fill gaps in your hair and add strength as a pro­tein treat­ment would do, then coconut oil is not the man for the job.

Have you tried any of the­se tips and tricks? And how do you use coconut oil in your own reg­i­men?

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64 Comments on "How To Get the Most Out of Coconut Oil"

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beey

Does coconut oil have to be washed out of locs? If I wash then put it in my hair, is that bad?

Charlotte
Why is it every­where I turn ppl are say­ing coconut oil is dry­ing? I wish I could get some reas­sur­ance because my hair loves coconut oil! It seems to be just the thing my hair wants. I just leave it on my hair and I can apply it lib­er­al­ly to the last few inch­es of my hair. My hair grew to hip length when I was using coconut oil exclu­sive­ly and now I have decid­ed to go back to that because I want my hair to grow back. It’s bare­ly tail­bone right now because I just got a trim and… Read more »
Tania

My aunt makes me coconut oil from scratch its a long process but its pure coconut oil

Lisa

Thanks for sharing.The fin­ger­tip tech­nique seems to be best for me.But like some­one said everyone’s hair is different,as every indi­vid­u­al is different.My com­bo is Cas­tor oil and Coconut oil.And I get all my oils and beau­ty prod­ucts on iherb.Com You can also use reward code ZQL811 and check­out and get $10 dis­count on your first purchase.Check it out girls ;)

KJ

The only things that pen­e­trates my hair are pure shea but­ter, pure cocoa but­ter, and sesame oil. 

Vir­gin and extra-vir­gin coconut oil dry my scalp out and it itch­es and hurts after using it. It also makes my hair shed more (may­be break more)and I don’t run comb through my hair at all, after adding it, if the oil makes my hair crunchy.

Everyone’s hair is dif­fer­ent. Coconut oil is good for some peo­ple, not good for me.

Kim

How could I use coconut oil on my locs?

louise jack

K, What is Organic,Virgin,Unrefined coconut oil.I know how to make coconut oil because my grand­moth­er show me how to make the coconut oil and i have been doing it for years.I have use it on my childern’s hair and skin.The coconut oil you are pur­chas­ing has chem­i­cal in it to pre­serve it.The one i make is all nat­u­ral.
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shosho

how do you make it?

trackback

[…] thx! Thank you every­one. I learn so much from the­se forums :] i am order­ing some more shea but­ter and will mix soon. i found an arti­cle about coconut oil that i thought was help­ful in addi­tion to the won­der­ful help every­one gave. thought it might help oth­ers too: How To Get the Most Out of Coconut Oil | Black Girl with Long Hair […]

Palm Oil Land For Sale

cer­tain­ly like your web-site but you need to take a look at the spelling on sev­er­al of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling prob­lems and I find it very trou­ble­some to inform the truth how­ev­er I’ll sure­ly come again again.

Jo Somebody

If you’re going to com­plain about spelling errors (or British spelling), you should at least try to make sure your own spelling and gram­mar are on point.

Afroblue

Well said.. The nerve of this one here!

Ashley

Some of those spelling errors may come from the fact that JC is British, so the spelling of some words is slight­ly dif­fer­ent (i.e. colour instead of col­or)

K.
I buy Organ­ic, Vir­gin, UNREFINED coconut oil because in addi­tion to using the oil in my hair, we eat it, use it on our skin, brush teeth and gums with it, and use it for cook­ing too.  We keep our oil in the fridge because I prefer to eat it when it’s in a solid form.  For oth­er uses, we sep­a­rate it into small glass bowls with lids. We keep some in the bath­rooms as well as in the car for on the go appli­ca­tions. We only use Spec­trum brand because I can usu­al­ly find it at Wal­Mart. And I was hap­pi­ly… Read more »
Kaylin

What I find so iten­rest­ing is you could nev­er find this any­where else.

A.G.

I keep it sim­ple. Shea but­ter, Coconut oil, and a bit of aloe vera gel at night when set­ting the hair with braids or twists. For a bit more scent you can add shea moisture’s coconut smooth­ie before head­ing out the door.

ScrewyHair

We make coconut oil at home, since it’s hard to find it in Lagos stores and I don’t trust the ones that are sold in mar­kets. I use it in 3 ways:

1. In my shea mix (with olive oil, jojoba oil, and veg. glyc­er­in)
2. In my oil mix (with olive oil and jojoba oil)
3. In my deep con­di­tion­er (with hon­ey, olive oil, glyc­er­in, and–every oth­er DC–an egg)

So far, it works well in the mix­es for me. My sis­ter uses it on its own and loves it. We both have tight­ly-coiled hair.

timi94

hel­lo , I live in lagos and have nooo clue where to get jojoba oil olive oil or any­thing need­ed for nat­u­ral hair, all the prod­ucts in stores con­tain hor­rid thinks like petro­le­um jel­ly so right now i buy all my stuff on ama­zon when at school abroad and it costs a bomb! do you hap­pen to know any­where or any­one who can style nat­u­ral hair in lagos :s or where i can get productsxxx??/

trackback

[…] Black Girl with Long Hair explains how to max­i­mize coconut oil […]

zaksmama

I blend it with shea but­ter, cas­tor oil, silk and/or wheat pro­teins and essen­tial oils for detan­glers and pomades. I love it, and buy it in bulk not just for busi­ness, but for per­son­al use.

Hyspin

Don’t sup­posed you can tell me where I can buy wheat or silk pro­teins by them­selves. I can’t use coconut because it breaks me out along my hair line and caus­es itch scalp. 

I am look­ing for a way to main­tain pro­tein besides treat­ments. I have been using avo­cado and olive oil since I know they are the only oth­er oils I know that get absorbed into hair.

The Natural Haven

Some body build­ing sup­pli­ers stock hydrol­ysed wheat and col­la­gen (if you are non veg­e­tar­i­an).

michelle

Can you buy coconut oil at the super­mar­ket? Or where can you buy it?

Likewaterforchocolat

Some­times the best place to get 100% pure coconut oil is Indi­an or African stores. 16 oz jar for $3.99. Also, a real­ly good enriched coconut oil is the one by the Indi­an com­pa­ny Vatika. It uses pure coconut oil as a base and is enriched with lemon, hen­na and amla herbs. Jar­row also makes a real­ly good organ­ic coconut oil for around $6 for a 16 oz. jar. I usu­al­ly get mine along with all my essen­tial oils and herbal sup­ple­ments at http://www.iherb.com. Good prices and fast, cheap ship­ping.

tobes

india,asian stores and over the inter­net

Sue

You can buy coconut oil in the reg­u­lar gro­cery stores. I have bought some in Walmart’s gro­cery aisle in the oils sec­tion. In anoth­er store it was placed in the organ­ic foods sec­tion. Some of the brands out there are Spec­trum and Nuti­va. Do some explor­ing in your area

smallfro

You can defi­nate­ly get at gro­cery store. Usu­al­ly in oil sec­tion near olive oil. More vari­eties are in the health food stores. So I would check there as well. Way more acces­si­ble than most “nat­u­ral” hair prod­ucts.

tobes
In order of best oils in pen­er­at­ing scalp and pop­u­lar­i­ty sun­flow­er no hair shaft pen­er­a­tion / cheap olive oil very good/ cheap jojoba very good / some­time expensive/ easy to use coconut oil excellent/ cheaper/ spe­cial protien/ access­ci­ble Argan oil aka mor­ro­con oil from mor­roc­co expensive/ AMAZING/ veryrich/ not as accessible/ sold at extor­tion prices due it been tak­en over by most­ly lucra­tive bussi­ness. and as I have tried to buy some, most of the top brands sell­ing them sur­pris­ing­ly do not ever use the argan oil in their prod­ucts as they have come up with sythet­ics to replace the true argan oil… Read more »
Likewaterforchocolat

I am sooo glad you noticed what is going on in the hair­care mar­ket and the whole Argan Oil craze. I had to seri­ous­ly mull the whole Argan oil thing over to decide whether it was ulti­mate­ly worth it or just the new craze (remem­ber when jojoba and shea went main­stream?)

Anulkah

Where do you all buy coconut oil? Is there any specif­i­cal­ly for hair you’d rec­om­mend, or do you just buy it off a gro­cers store shelf?

christine

You don’t have to buy coconut oil that’s mar­ket­ed as being for hair, that’s the great thing. It can be found in some gro­cery stores. I get mine from whole foods and when I catch a good sale, I get it from the vit­a­m­in shop. They have a sale going on buy one get one half off. PS, coconut milk also makes a great deep con­di­tion­er and that can be found in a can in some Lat­in or Caribbean gro­cery stores!

Likewaterforchocolat

Some­times the best place to get 100% pure coconut oil is Indi­an or African stores. 16 oz jar for $3.99. Also, a real­ly good enriched coconut oil is the one by the Indi­an com­pa­ny Vatika. It uses pure coconut oil as a base and is enriched with lemon, hen­na and amla herbs. Jar­row also makes a real­ly good organ­ic coconut oil for around $6 for a 16 oz. jar. I usu­al­ly get mine along with all my essen­tial oils and herbal sup­ple­ments at http://www.iherb.com. Good prices and fast, cheap ship­ping.

Zyaran

I brought my Nuti­va Extra Vir­gin Coconut Oil at Food Lion’s for $9.99 16oz size. If you have a health or nat­u­ral food store they have dif­fer­ent brands as well, exam­ple Spec­trum, Jarrow’s, Nuti­va…

brandi

Yes I love nutivia u can extra vir­gin coconut oil from 8oz to 5 gal­lons! Now that’s a lot of oil!!! From $15 to $150 I believe

The Natural Haven

Just any grocer’s shelf for me as long as it is 100% pure coconut oil :)

tobes

YES! buy para­chute it’s in a blue bot­tle.
it’s made in India ‚used by my Indi­an friends and they love it too
go to any indi­an shop or asain shop.i’m in Eng­land and our Asian stores sold them loads!
it should have a slight smell do not try to buy the over­ly expen­sive ones over the inter­net. if you real­ly want the very best, by the organ­ic, or cold pressed or extra vir­gin ones. but I strong­ly rec­om­mend para­chute.
good luck

tobes
Final­ly! nat­u­rals who have heard of coconut oil.I have been using coconut oil for 6 years now and it has been amaz­ing it keeps my hair in its nat­u­ral curly pat­tern. I use it to some­times cool my scalp (thanks to the specail pro­tein it has),condition,straighten my hair when needs be, over­all to pro­tect hair dur­ing win­ters. I live in Eng­land and the weath­er is unbe­liev­able and is a major threat to black hair and I also use it after I sham­poo or some­times before. I love coconu­toil, it loves my hair and my hair loves it back! I do use… Read more »
Jo Somebody

What is this spe­cial pro­tein?! I’m intrigued!

Beneath The Clutter

I love coconut oil. Used to use it more often though. Now, I do a com­bi­na­tion of #2 and #3. I mix it in with oth­er ingre­di­ents (con­di­tion­er, coconut milk, and herbal ingre­di­ents) as a pre-poo. Seems to work.
I used to use it to seal, but now I’ve aban­doned that tech­nique. I did make the mis­take of adding it to a leave in con­di­tion­er and plac­ing it in the fridge. It hard­ened and I had lit­tle bits of coconut float­ing around. But, I reme­died that by rub­bing a small por­tion with my palms to melt it.

HairItIs

Coconut oil and I are engaged. It is a very deep, pro­found love affair. 

It’s my favorite pre-sham­poo treat­ment (often times I’ll use Vatika oil instead, which is coconut oil, but even bet­ter), and I also use it to make home­made oil infu­sions. I can take advan­tage of it becom­ing solid in cool­er tem­per­a­tures, because it makes it easy to “scoop” when I make home­made pomades (basi­cal­ly, it’s my base for when I make my healthy ver­sion of hair grease), and I find it less messy than deal­ing with liq­uid oils.

NancyM

Couldn’t agree more! I love coconut oil as well. I use Vatika for pre-poo and organ­ic unre­fined to moisturize/seal.

tobes

I love it when you can just scoop it as if it has des­olved I find it hard to know the amount that will go on to my hair.
and yes it is so good as a nat­u­ral hair grease.

Rashida

I under­stand why my hair has felt crunchy w/ coconut oil then. I’ll def try mix­ing it w/ my jojoba oil next time! Thanks :)

The Natural Haven

Glad to help Rashida, def­i­nite­ly update on how the mix went for you!

Lyxs

I use it in my DC, to seal, as a detan­gler… I like a lot the coconut smell =)

Shay

Ok coconut oil is my favorite oil.. I apply direct­ly after I wash and my hair.Works won­ders!!! Love it so much..lol

mangomadness

I use coconut oil as a detan­gler and pre-poo. I ocas­sion­al­ly use it to seal if I use a low/no-oil leave-in con­di­tion­er.

Louisa
The best way for coconut oil to ben­e­fit your hair is to eat it. For every 50 pounds [of your weight] take one table­spoon, dai­ly. (So, if you weigh 150 pounds–take 3 table­spoons every­day.) If you’re over­weight (and you stop eat­ing sug­ar and processed foods) you’ll lose weight, and you’ll notice that your new hair growth is a lot soft­er and hap­pens faster. (You can take red palm oil, too.) Try it for 30 days to see what hap­pens. Note: Some peo­ple find that coconut oil makes one nau­seous; so, start out slow­ly by build­ing up to your opti­mal amount for… Read more »
Metoyou

Agree 100%. one of the health­i­est oils for human consumption…if any­one is inter­est­ed, please read my com­ments below and do your own research about the won­ders of coconut oil. You will do well to add it to your diet.

Metoyou

I emat to say read my com­ments above in reply to JC.

Likewaterforchocolat

I looove coconut oil. I pur­chase the Jar­row Organ­ic Extra Vir­gin Coconut Oil (which is food grade) and use it on my hair. After using it for my hair only, I began to expire­ment and use it when I cook. I use it to sautee veg­gies and it is a good alter­na­tive to olive oil in my cook­ing.

The Natural Haven

Louisa I think that peo­ple should also be aware that coconut oil is very high in unsat­u­rat­ed fat and most health bod­ies in US and UK actu­al­ly rec­om­mend watch­ing your con­sump­tion of coconut oil (same with oth­er sat­u­rat­ed fats like but­ter, lard, ghee). 

From my expe­ri­ence, los­ing weight requires you to be more active and gen­er­al­ly eat less.……simple.

merry

i under­stand where you’re com­ing from, but peo­ple are not fat and suf­fer­ing from obsesi­ty-relat­ed dis­ease because they are con­sum­ing extra vir­gin coconut oil. 

i prefer to focus on those things peo­ple are con­sum­ing that are actu­al­ly mak­ing them fat — processed foods, espe­cial­ly meat, lots of refined carbs, fried food, huge por­tions, etc. 

amer­i­cans con­sume very lit­tle in the way of health­ful fats.

The Natural Haven

The issue with sat­u­rat­ed fat is not that it makes you fat but rather that it can coat your arter­ies. It is a big mis­con­cep­tion that fat equals unhealthy. In truth there are many peo­ple who are slim but con­sume a lot of sat­u­rat­ed fat and there­fore end up hav­ing heart attacks at 50.

I would per­son­al­ly say that it is not real­ly good to say have a table­spoon of sat­u­rat­ed fat every day when some­one may already have high cho­les­terol, dia­betes or ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis and not know it. It is not exact­ly the same as say­ing eat an apple.

Metoyou

There are sev­er­al stud­ies as well as anec­doc­tal evi­dence out there that prove that coconut oil is a super­food and has many ben­e­fits when con­sumed inter­nal­ly. Yes, coconut oil is a sat­u­rat­ed oil but it is none the less healthy and con­tains no trans­fats. I think peo­ple should research and come to their own con­clu­sion rather than just dis­miss­ing it because of wrong PR. Here are a few use­ful links:
http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/The%20Coconut%20Oil%20Miracle-Where%20is%20the%20Evidence.htm
http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article10027.htm
http://www.naturalnews.com/036156_Coconut_oil_superfood_healing.html

Metoyou
…“Sim­i­lar­ly, new­er find­ings about coconut oil demon­strat­ed that it, too, is a healthy fat. In 1988, N.W. Ist­fan of Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical School’s Nutri­tion Coor­di­nat­ing Cen­ter, vin­di­cat­ed coconut oil. Dr. Ist­fan report­ed: “For the U.S. con­sumer, the use of coconut oil does not increase the role of heart dis­ease.” Oth­er researchers demon­strat­ed that coconut oil reduces the risk of ath­er­o­scle­ro­sis, heart dis­ease, can­cer, and oth­er degen­er­a­tive con­di­tions. It helps pre­vent bac­te­ri­al, viral, and fun­gal infec­tions, as a result of its antimi­cro­bial com­po­nent, lau­ric acid, which is found sole­ly in coconut oil and in breast milk. Coconut oil is rich in… Read more »
BelovedPandora

This is true about the fats…but let us not for­get that we are also a soci­ety that dri­ves every­where and dreads walk­ing to the mail­box to check the mail. Obe­si­ty is not just diet, it’s mobil­i­ty as well. Both good and bad fat are essen­tial to a healthy diet. Mod­er­tion is more opf the cul­prit, not the fat itself. If you can’t con­trol how much you con­sume of any­thing, it becomes harm­ful to the diet.

tinabobina

You are absolute­ly cor­rect.

Frankifries

Hal­lelu­jah! Thank good­ness peo­ple are edu­cat­ing them­selves on nutri­tion. Coconut oil is a MCT And has long been used around trop­i­cal cli­mates as a sta­ple cook­ing oil. It pro­vides a boost of ener­gy like noth­ing else. To lose fat, we need to eat fat and the best fat to jump­start weight loss is Coconut oil. 

Great links Louisa–u might change someone’s life. I know WAPF and MDA both have been awe­some for the health of my fam­i­ly!

Louisa
Sat­u­rat­ed fat is a health­ful and ben­e­fi­cial fat for the human body. It is not the evil fat that it has been por­trayed to be by con­ven­tion­al dieti­tians and nutri­tion­ists, and the gov­ern­ment, over the­se past few decades. The obe­si­ty rate has increased, where­as most Amer­i­cans are fat/overweight, since we’ve aban­doned our tra­di­tion­al eat­ing habits. Look at fam­i­ly pho­tos before 1970, and you will see very few who are over­weight. Since eat­ing most­ly liq­uid fats (polyun­sat­u­rat­ed oils)–one of the con­tribut­ing fac­tors to obesity–is when Amer­i­cans start­ed putting on the pounds. I’ve post­ed below a few links that dis­pute this bad… Read more »
The Natural Haven

sor­ry i made a crit­i­cal mis­take — i meant to say coconut oil is high in sat­u­rat­ed fat.

Stephanie

the extra vir­gin coconut oil shouldn’t have any sat­u­rat­ed fat or any­thing else that’s bad for your hair.

JJ

I didn’t know that coconut oil pro­tects hair from los­ing pro­tein. I will con­sid­er get­ting some once my huge bot­tle of cas­tor oil is fin­ished.

tobes

coconu­toil is the only oil that pen­er­ates deep into the shaft and cuti­cles. the oth­ers either do not pen­er­ate as much as their mol­e­cules are too big. it also has it’s own spe­cial pro­tein which is very unique.

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