Coconut Oil . . . For Your Hair?

Typically, when I hear about the latest, greatest, need-this-now super-product, my wallet cowers in fear. But not this time. According to the beauty blogs, one of the most coveted deep conditioners might be sitting in your pantry, probably somewhere between the instant noodles and canned salmon.

It's plain ol' coconut oil. Indian women have been massaging it onto their scalps and tresses for generations! Yep, the stuff you use to make pie crusts and spread on French toast apparently works wonders on hair; the lauric acid shields hair proteins, and nutrients such as Vitamin E give dull manes that shampoo-commercial gleam.

My hair has been begging for some attention lately. It's lifeless and staticky, and when I scrunch it up with my fingers, there's an audible crunch. So while I've pretty much strayed from at-home beauty remedies ever since the DIY bikini wax incident of 2004 (don't ask), I decided to give this one a try.

Here's how to make your own hair mask:

Get a jar of virgin coconut oil. (You can buy some at Trader Joe's for about six bucks.) Warm up a small amount by rubbing it in your hands, then apply it to a section of your hair, from your scalp to the roots. (If you have fine or oily hair, start at least a couple of inches away from your scalp.) Note: You'll smell like Miss Hawaiian Tropic.

Continue until all of your hair is covered in oil. Cover with a shower cap, thermal heat wrap or saran wrap. (Avoid getting the oil on your face if you have acne-prone skin.) Wait 30 minutes, then shampoo. Do this once or twice a week.

You can also apply a tiny bit to your ends whenever they're looking dry and damaged.

Okay, so the first time I tried the mask, I didn't wash out the oil well enough and ended up with a greasy mop—I looked like a grunge child of the '90s. The second time, though, I used a clarifying shampoo and lathered vigorously. It worked! My hair glimmered in the light and had fewer flyaways. I kept petting my head all day.

Best hair product in the grocery-store baking aisle ever!

Follow me on Twitter: @michellewoo.


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