This winter hasn’t been incredibly kind to my hair and skin. The bi-polar nature of Atlanta’s temps (snowpocylapse one day and 70 degrees the next?) has me more cracked out than Lindsay Lohan.
Enter – coconut oil. People in the know have been using this product for everything from whitening their teeth to improving their funfetti cupcakes. The uses that appealed most to me were a skin moisturizer and an intensive hair conditioner. So I gave it a try!
Skin moisturizer – I loved it! I used it on my lips, legs and elbows. It’s pretty oily, so I used it very sparingly. It was an amazing lip balm. I love the flavor and scent of coconuts, so that was a huge plus for me. It’s going in the lip balm rotation for sure. I don’t think I will wear it out on my legs during the day because of the intense shine, but it’s perfect to put on before bed!
Hair conditioner – This process was a little more intensive than the skin. I recommend you hop in the shower and do a quick wash (with shampoo.) Keep the jar of oil in the bathroom to let the steam soften it a bit. Then apply the oil to your damp hair. I focused on my scalp and the ends of my hair because they were the most damaged areas. I threw on a shower cap and let the oil sink in for about 3 hours. I’ve read articles suggesting 1-8 hours, so you may need to experiment with what works for you. Once you are ready wash it out with a gentle shampoo and let it shine! It worked wonders on my hair and I would love to do this treatment once a month if possible. It’s very time consuming and you are basically under house arrest for the entire treatment, so factor that into the process.
Note: The consistency is more like Crisco than olive oil. Just dig in and let the heat of the your palms warm it up. SCIENCE.
For my next trick I will try using it in my cooking! It’s a great substitute for as a replacement for milk, cream, yogurt, vegetable oil or butter.
I should note, coconut oil hasn’t always been the darling of foodie and beauty nuts (still funny.) In fact, according to the New York Times: “Its bad reputation caused a panic at the concession stands back in 1994, when the Center for Science in the Public Interest put out a study claiming that a large movie-theater popcorn, hold the butter, delivered as much saturated fat as six Big Macs. “Theater popcorn ought to be the Snow White of snack foods, but it’s been turned into Godzilla by being popped in highly saturated coconut oil,” Michael Jacobson, the executive director of the center, a consumer group that focuses on food and nutrition, said at the time.”
Seems a little dramatic if you ask me. I love it, and my hair doesn’t mind getting fat, so I’m not worried about the calories yet. If I blowup like a balloon after cooking with it I might change my tune.
Buy it at Amazon, Whole Foods or Trader Joes.