I’ve spent many years – and dollars – on a mission to find the perfect hair conditioners to make my thick, wavy, long hair silky and shiny.  I routinely blow dry and straighten, so moisture-infusing products are a must. Now, I sometimes buy into advertising hype. So I have been known to purchase one or two products with the promise of lightweight, restorative powers. None worked, sigh. Then I finally found a magical elixir that truly works! Drumroll, please…coconut oil.

This product is natural (edible), effective, multi-purpose and budget friendly. I regularly purchase a 16.9 oz. (500 ml) bottle for $2.99 from my local Indian grocery store, where coconut oil is a cultural staple and priced accordingly.

Many other grocery and drug stores sell very reasonably priced, no-frills coconut oil that is cheaper and more effective than any other deep-conditioning or styling product on the market. This is a good option.

Here’s how to use it:

  • Store coconut oil in a cool place, as it liquefies around 76 degrees  F. It remains viscous and more user-friendly below that temperature.
  • Dispense coconut oil into your palms. If stored in a cool place, it will come out like Vaseline but quickly liquefies as you work with it. If the air is especially warm, the coconut oil will come out as a liquid, so dispense slowly.
  • Massage coconut oil into dry hair.  Apply it everywhere but the scalp, paying special attention to the hair ends.  You can rub any extra on your skin as an added natural moisturizer.
  • The fragrance is strong and unexpected, but not unpleasant. It smells like macaroons.
  • Clip hair up to avoid getting the oil on your clothes.
  • Let the oil sit for at least 30 minutes, or overnight for very dry hair.
  • Wash, condition and style hair as usual.  (I no longer need any sleek styling products.)
  • Repeat weekly.

Even after the wear and tear of blow-drying and straightening, this coconut oil routine leaves my hair silky and luminescent.  Enjoy your touchable hair and the savings from avoiding other expensive hair moisturizers and conditioning products.

 This has been a guest post by Alissa from NY
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32 thoughts on “Coconut Oil: The Affordable Secret to a Luxurious Mane”

  1. I love coconut oil!! I use it on my face/body. My kids eat it like candy. A tbs a day makes for HAPPY children. They are calmer and happier if I give it to them 3x a week. It makes your brain happier.lol…also good on bugbites, stops the itching, swelling. I buy 2 at time, one for external use, and one for internal use. Nutiva is the best!

  2. Anonymous says:

    This was a great article.  I enjoyed immensely the comments from the KCL readers and learned a lot.  I recently priced coconut oil in one of the chain markets here in Dallas at $8.99 for 16 oz.  It was the Spectrum brand. I had completely forgotten about the Indian ethnic markets of which there are a more than a few in Dallas.  Thanks for suggesting checking there.  Trader Joe’s will soon open in Dallas and will count me as a customer for this and other items.

    When washing your hair and assuming there are not other factors requiring daily washing, you can survive quite nicely with washing your hair every other day.  Saves on shampoo and conditioner.  I have been doing this for a number of months and find no ill effect.  Picked up on this tip from another frugal living type website who added that the tip came from a high fashion model.

    Does coconut oil smoke when cooking??  Never used it and am wondering about it.

    Stay cool!!

  3. Gacoo says:

    Anything in moderation is good. Just make sure you excercise regularly when you use coconut oil for cooking because it does contain saturated fat. As kids we used coconut oil as hair serums and sesame oil for body massages.

    • Nikki says:

      u r misinformed.  nothing wrong with coconut oil’s fat.  nothing wrong with it at all.  there’s a difference between BEEF SATURATED FAT and plant fats.

      • Anonymous says:

        yea, coconut oil’s saturated fat is called lauric acid and it does raise cholesterol but the HDL kind(which is “good”). Lauric acid is actually better at raising HDL levels better than any saturated or unsaturated fatty acid, the higher your HDL versus LDL, the less risk of heart issues. So love me some coconut oil :)

  4. Debboe says:

    Great for cooking.  Love it for smooth soft skin.  Also, great for diaper rash.  Tropical Traditions has the least processed, high quality coconut oil or you can get it in the cooking section at Walmart for a good price.

  5. Bthiggs says:

    I suddenly found myself with a terrible case of flaking scalp. I went to two derms. and spent a fortune on prescription shampoos. All they did was dull my hair. I heard on Dr. Oz to try coconut oil..I found in Walmart…… My scalp was clear and my hair so soft and silky. I love it. Its also good for many things.

  6. Lore5 says:

    My mom wants to give this a try but she has very greasy hair.  It needs to be washed everyday or the roots will be shiny.  Is adding coconut oil going to make it worse?  What do you guys think?

    • Anonymous says:

       Sometimes overly greasy hair is a result of a few things like hormones and products we use to clean our hair like harsh shampoos.  Suggest that she uses Sodium Lauryl Sulfate free shampoos, which is hard to find sometimes unless you take the time to look- Hint: google ultimate list of SLS free shampoo.  SLS is an industrial strength cleaner (same stuff for floor cleansers) companies often put into products (toothpaste, soap, etc) only to create bubble/suds to give the illusion of “cleaning” the dirt but often over dries the skin or scalp.  As a result some people’s scalp will over react by producing more oil or like me over dry my scalp completely.  Once she stop using these products and start using the coconut oil, she might actually see an improvement.  The only way however to know how a person will react to coconut oil is to simply try it.  Also remember to keep it away from the scalp since it may be sensitive to some oils.

  7. Coconut oil is awesome! I use it for cooking, hair, and even as a facial moisurizer. I clean my face with castor and sunflower oil and moisturize with coconut oil when I’m done. Acne issues have cleared up, my crows feet are almost non-existant and my skin is brighter. I won’t spend tons of money on facial stuff ever again!

  8. Coconut oil beats Astroglide & KY any day!  And way cheaper!

  9. Lb says:

    I use coconut oil almost exclusively for cooking! It is a very healthy oil that doesn’t go rancid like most other oils. My son and I love the special flavor it gives pancakes, tortillas, and even eggs. I never have used it as a beauty product before though, I excited to give it a shot!

  10. Kaci says:

    My husband now uses coconut oil for our cooking oil. No more canola and very little olive oil ever used! I think he’s obsessed. haha. I will have to try this hair trick! I have thin hair, but who knows, it might help that too! Oh, we buy ours at Trader Joe’s – it’s amazing how many grocers don’t carry it yet or if they do, increase the price dramatically!

  11. Lindsay says:

    Where does everyone buy coconut oil?  I think it’s kind of expensive, right?  Curious to where the best deal is!

    • Se says:

      Mosty natural food stores sell it. I’ve made an exfoliant with corse sea salt and coconut oil.

    • Anonymous says:

      if you can’t find an indian/south asian supermarket around you, i’d go to trader joe’s. It’s around $5.99-$6.99 but it lasts at least 6 months if you only use it for your hair.

    • Chels says:

       i went to vitacost.com and got a huge jug of their brand for around $21! also if you refer a friend you each get $10 off :)

    • Debbie says:

      Tropical Traditions  they have the BEST coconut oil…check it out!www.tropicaltraditions.com/

    • Ralgirl46 says:

      I buy from Vitamin Shoppe either in
      store or online.  The Nutiva coconut oil is the
      best in my option – 54 Ounces for $24.14. If you buy in store you need to ask for the web price.  Coconut oil is also great for making popcorn with a little sea salt and I use it also for cooking.

    • Tuwana says:

      Found my coconut oil for about $8.99 at Vitamin Shoppe and they had about 5 different options. I have been mixing mine with Rosemary essential oil and Jojoba Oil and applying to my DRY hair ever night before bed. Just started so havent seen overall results but took this advice from others who swear it changed the life of the hair. Cant wait to see what it does for me!

    • Anonymous says:

       I buy it from Indian Grocery store, it’s $3-4, the best brad is Parachute. And it’s edible I know people who fry banana chips in it and they taste great.

  12. Anonymous says:

    it’s a long process that goes into making coconut oil, my grand always had a large pot brewing back home,,nothing like homemade and it’s best applied warm to your hair:)

  13. Anonymous says:

    love me some coconut oil…you’re right…but also, massaging into your scalp is great because 1 – the massage itself promotes more circulation in your scalp and 2 – the coconut oil keeps the scalp from overly drying out from whatever products you’re using for styling..
    also for a hair mask that works great you can add an egg and beat it with the liquefied coconut oil and let it sit for 30-40 minutes, works like magic..my whole family swears by it!

  14. Alynn8059 says:

    I use pure coconut oil as a body lotion especially on my feet which tend to get dry and cracked, works better than anything else I have tried, just make sure to let it soak in before you get up and walk around or u might slip and fall. Also a little goes a looooong way, the tiniest amount (like a dab the size of your pinky nail when solid) will be more than enough for an entire foot. trader joes has the most reasonably priced coconut oil around here since there is no ethnic markets but vitacost has decent prices as well.