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?