February 7, 2010

coconut oil for hair | sunday detox

Imagine me sitting at my desk with organic coconut oil slicked all over my hair, which is piled on top of my head and wrapped in a Minnie Mouse towel turban. Attractive image, no?

I rarely heat-style my hair, mostly out of pure laziness and a preference for sleep over having picture-perfect hair every day. But this weekend I went out for special occasions that called for looking better than I do during the week, so I busted out the blow dryer, curling iron and Elnett and did some damage to my hair (though it looked good).

kimberlyloc with a cupcake and blown-out hair

It took a little time and tugging to get my hair blown out for Friday night. Reward for my efforts: cupcake.

mary johnson and kimberlyloc

I spent an hour creating ringlets for Saturday night...my sister's going-away party! Now I'll spend an hour nourishing my stressed hair.

Now I’m treating my stressed, fragile hair to a warm coconut oil treatment. Coconut oil is great for hair because it’s loaded with vitamin E and vitamin K, is super-moisturizing and is completely natural (and in my case, USDA organic—no need for me to worry about random chemicals seeping into my skin). Various studies say that coconut oil can penetrate hair and reduce protein loss in distressed hair. Coconut oil bonds to weak hair strands and reinforces them (temporarily—it will not mend split ends—only cutting will do that…which I have yet to do to my hair that’s been growing for a year and three months).

Here’s how to use coconut oil for hair:

1. Scoop two heaping spoonfuls of coconut oil into a ramekin or other microwavable container (I have medium-length hair, so adjust the amount according to your hair length).

2. Warm the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds (coconut oil is solid at room temperature!).

3. Apply to hair and massage into scalp with fingertips. Comb through hair with a wide-toothed comb for even distribution.

4. Dip your ends into the last of the coconut oil (it’s great to concentrate oils at the ends because that’s the oldest and most moisture-strapped part of your hair!)

5. Wrap your hair in a towel turban (Minnie Mouse optional) and keep it on for an hour for maximum effect.

6. Use a gentle shampoo (I like Monave Rosemary Lavender shampoo) after an hour, or for even more moisture and repair, leave the treatment on overnight and shampoo out in the morning (I’ve done this once before and it’s amazing…just make sure you’re using a pillowcase you don’t care too much about because it’s not exactly easy to get oil out of fabrics.).

Find coconut oil at any natural food store or big-box store. It’s in the vegetable oil aisle. While you’re there, pick up some olive oil and grapeseed oil, too…I’ll tell you what I do with these gems in the next few posts.

Do you have healthy hair secrets to share? Please reveal.

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