I guess this is more of a beauty (hair?) blog post, but it does fit into my travel theme ever so slightly – promise!
For the past decade, I have truly suffered with my hair. It’s thick, it’s dry and it frizzes the second the temperature gets above fifteen degrees. Blow-drying my hair is a nightmare, and don’t even mention trying to straighten or curl it – no amount of heat protection serum has managed to save it yet. Now, I’m sure you can imagine my endless frustration of going abroad on summer holidays where the temperature hovers around thirty degrees and you spend the days jumping in and out of salty oceans and chlorinated pools. My hair just refuses to cooperate and it usually results in me trying to hide it in a bun.
About eight months ago, I finally caved and decided to join the coconut oil fad. I purchased the Vita Coco Extra Virgin Organic Coconut Oil 250ml sized product from Tesco as at the time it was on offer for around £3.50 (currently on offer at £3.99 for 250ml at Tesco or £9.99 for 500ml at Boots). I was hesitant at first as to whether it would be beneficial to hair as sometimes bloggers/influencers can give a false representation of a product, but I gathered I could always use it for cooking if this was the case. A year on, and I’m thrilled I made the decision to purchase, and as of yet, it’s been the only product that has made a impression to the appearance of my hair.
I found it took some experimenting to know how much to use as it really depends on the thickness and quantity of your hair. Over the past six months, I’ve had relatively thick hair and have used the coconut oil around twice-weekly, and as it currently stands, I’ve probably used around half of my original coconut oil product (I’ve purchased the new one primarily for the sake of photos, and because eventually I will get round to using it). The only problem I’ve found with using this product is when you accidentally use too much and you look like you’ve gone for a swim in a bucket of oil. I made this mistake when I recently got my hair cut and thinned out – I literally had to re-shower because I used the same amount of oil as when my hair was significantly longer. It’s also so easy to do as when applying coconut oil to wet hair, you just can’t feel the product at all. Usually it can be saved by curling your hair, and I’ve had a few comments where I’ve been out with my curled, coconut-oil-heavy hair, and people have expressed how healthy and shiny it looks (it also holds the curls really well), but straightening your hair when this happens is a huge no (try it out once and you’ll see why!). With a lack of instructions on the packaging about how to use coconut oil in hair, the following steps are what I’ve found works best for me:
- Wash hair with shampoo and conditioner products. Fully ensure that all the conditioner is washed out.
- Coconut oil is solid at room temperature. Warm the product with hot, running water until some of it begins to liquefy.
- Squeeze water out of hair or even towel dry slightly so the hair is still damp, but not dripping with water.
- Use around one-two teaspoon (varies) of liquid coconut oil and massage into your hair. Avoid the root area.
- Rinse hair.
Assuming you used the correct amount for you hair, once you’ve dried your mane, you should notice how much silkier your hair is. After the week of thirty plus degree weather in the UK, followed by a week in Lanzarote, I found I haven’t been plagued by my usual frizzy and limp hair problems that I’m usually susceptible to. My hair is suddenly soft to touch, and pretty much frizz-free, with an exception near the roots. Following a hair-wash session, it can often be difficult to style hair – especially curling, as usually there is a lack of natural oils to hold hair in place leading it to be limp, but with the addition of coconut oil, I’ve curled hair before now, brushed it, slept on it, and still had curls 48 hours later. I’ve decided this will certainly be a travel essential from now on, and will be on the hunt for a miniature-sized product for hand baggage when I jet off to European city breaks (I’m really hoping they do them because space is key when you can only take hand luggage!).
I’m not entirely sure what the long-term benefits of using coconut oil is but I’ve noticed on days where I’ve showered and forgotten to apply the oil, that my hair is back to its usual self, and despite all the blogs and articles claiming it works long-term, for me it’s more of a one-time, hair mask that disappears as soon as it’s washed out again. I’d certainly be interested to see what experiences others have had with long-term use and whether they’ve found it to be beneficial or a disappointment.