Coconut oil is an all-you-need solution for many problems, but is it wise to use it as a hair mask? Since coconut hair masks are quite popular among DIY community, I think it’s good to also talk about bad experiences that can quickly change your day.
Coconut oil is known as a ‘superfood’ that can be used for moisturizing (as a cream), in soaps, for shaving, cooking and as a hair mask. People also use it for oil pulling (as a mouthwash), polishing furniture, etc. (the uses are almost unlimited).
For anyone who hasn’t tried this hair mask, it probably sounds like a bad idea. But it’s not unless you do a few things wrong:
- DO NOT apply on the roots and scalp: this area gets oily easily, so unless you have REALLY dry and damaged hair, don’t apply it on the roots.
- DO NOT massage your scalp with coconut oil if you have oily or normal hair: this will stimulate sebum production that will naturally make your hair oily. If you combine this with additional coconut oil, you will have difficulties washing it out.
- DO NOT use coconut oil as a hair mask, if you don’t want to use shampoo. Baking soda & apple cider vinegar won’t be effective at this. This is especially important for other oil based hair masks, for example, olive oil that is really difficult to wash out.
And what should I do?
- DO use a lot of oil on the ends and bottom half and less towards the scalp
- DO use it for longer periods of time so it can nourish your hair: natural remedies need longer time than commercial ones, so don’t leave it on for only 10 minutes. Some like to leave it on overnight, but an hour or two will work as well.
- DO apply on damp hair: this will make it even more effective, but if you want to leave it on for longer, use of dry hair (easier).
- DO use a cover for your pillow if you leave it on overnight. Use a towel or at least a shower cap on your head.
For very dry hair you can also use coconut oil after washing, but only if you successfully rinsed out all the previous coconut oil. I suggest you try pre-shampoo hair mask and see the results and the next time try after shampooing (before drying).
Coconut oil hair mask is best used once a week, but if you dye your hair or use heat then use it more often. I like it once a week and a simple (store bought) conditioner with silk proteins (artificial silk) in between. Also, trim your hair every 4-8 weeks, because split ends make your hair look even more damaged. Split ends also make your hair break even more, so instead of a few centimeters, you will soon have 10 cm of damaged hair (it spreads towards the scalp), especially if you use heat (hair dryer, curling iron, straightener).
What can I do if I used too much oil and my hair looks very oily?
Sadly, there is only one solution: wash again. Use more shampoo than usually and shampoo twice, if your hair is very oily. Shampoo more on the scalp and less on the ends. You can use conditioner after washing, but it’s best to avoid using any products that could make the situation even worse.
If you have dry hair (which is probably the reason you use this mask), your hair might look dry after all this washing. Don’t let this discourage you from using coconut oil on hair, just use it carefully and in smaller amounts. 🙂
What happened to my hair?
A few days ago I had an important meeting I needed to attend, so I wanted to make my hair a bit less dry. I used a LOT of coconut oil, because the last time I used it, everything was OK. I applied it on the ends and on the scalp and it was probably a few tablespoons (melted). I left it on for 3 hours and then rinsed with shampoo (twice).
My hair looked good and not oily at all, so I just dried it with a dryer and clipped it into a bun (I don’t dry it until it’s completely dry, but leave the ends slightly damp). The next morning it was hectic, so I didn’t notice it was oily until 5 minutes before I had to go.
It looked so oily as if I’ve never washed my hair since the day I was born. 😀
Braiding and making a bun wasn’t a solution since oily hair doesn’t have any volume and it just looks like you have really thin hair.
So, I washed it twice with LOTS of shampoo and hot water (not healthy for hair, but it was an emergency). After drying with a dryer on the max. setting my hair looked so dry it would probably be better to just leave it without any oil. 😀
To top it off, I messed my make-up so badly, I needed to wash that also and since I only had a minute, I used a soap bar.
I know, not a good idea either. 😀 Soaps are way too harsh for the eyes, so that’s why they were so teary the whole day. 😀
Finally, I managed to wash & dry my hair and wash & apply my makeup in 15 minutes. All women probably know who difficult this is. 😀
So, what’s my tip to prevent such problems? DO use coconut oil, but DO NOT apply it like a maniac all over the place and rinse it WELL (twice or more if needed). And the most important tip: use it when you have time and not when you’re too busy to wash your hair once again. 😀
What about regular hair conditioners and hair masks that you can buy at a store?
If this story freaked you out about DIY hair products, here are some other alternatives. 🙂
I love store bought masks because honestly it’s difficult to use this hair mask each time I wash my hair. It’s time-consuming (I apply coconut oil 10 minutes or more to cover all the hair) and then you need to wait for 2 hours before washing (and can’t go outside with an oily head) and then shampoo twice. That’s just not something I’d do more than once a week.
There are many good hair masks that aren’t tested on animals and work well. I like Eveline hair mask with argan oil (link here-not sponsored, costs about 15€, but lasts at least a year, if you use it once a week) and a hair conditioner from Hofer (Aldi) with silk proteins (costs about 3€ and works well).
Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with coconut oil? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to hear! 🙂