Working with Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil Conditioning

Coconut oil is a product I wished I’d discovered earlier on in my natural hair journey. When I transitioned, I’d use coconut oil to seal my hair at the end of the day, but there are many more beneficial uses for it than that. It makes for a great detangling agent, a deep conditioning hot oil treatment, and a base for ‘lightening-up’ a whipped shea butter mixture.

Dry detangling:

Have you ever let your hair get so try and matted that you thought the only way to work through the knots was to hop in the shower and slather on conditioner? Applying a liberal amount of coconut oil to dry hair in sections can prevent you from having to get wet right away. There is a significant amount of slip and moisture in this oil, and with expert and patient fingers, you can work through the toughest of knots.

Deep conditioning hot oil treatment:

Your hair can feel greasy after you’ve sectioned, detangled and twisted your now unknotted strands with coconut oil. Why not sit under a heated cap or dryer with a conditioning cap for a hot oil treatment before washing? I wouldn’t recommend using this treatment as a substitute for deeper conditioning methods like mayo-honey-egg or the use of heavier oils (castor oil, etc.), but it’s a great in-between quick conditioning method. The photo above shows the result of finger detangling with coconut oil and leaving it in for a deep conditioning treatment overnight.

Lite Shea Butter Cream:

If you haven’t already, check out the recipe I use to make whipped shea butter cream. The butter in this post turns out to be very thick and lasts quite a while, both in your hair and on the shelf. I find that if I use this butter to twist my hair after washing, I won’t need to reapply it until my next scheduled bi-weekly wash. However, in-between washes, I do need to re-twist in order to hold my style. Since the whipped recipe yields too strong of a hold, I infuse the butter with coconut oil, a trick I picked up from naptural85’s YouTube channel and find a get a softer hold and am able to retain the stretching I’d worked on over the past several days after my wash day.

The trick is to add 50% coconut oil in the container you’d like to store your lightened butter in, and slowly spoon in 50% shea butter, mixing it all the while with a fork.

Coconut oil + Shea butter

Storing Coconut Oil:

Ideally, keep your coconut oil at room temperature, perhaps in a cupboard or on a shelf away from a heated appliance. This is because it’s much harder to measure when it’s in a liquid form.

If you do want to melt it, for example: to make Lite Shea Butter Cream as mentioned above, you can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds, or you can heat it in a bowl above another in boiling water. Be careful not to over heat it, we don’t want bubbles.

I have had my coconut oil supply melt in the jar after accidentally leaving it too close to my stove. No worries! Put the jar into the fridge to harden, but beware it will be stiffer and more difficult to work with moving forward.

 

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