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A word of warning from a (mortified) coconut oil hair treatment novice.

Further to my diving into a jar of coconut oil (CO) post below (and my obvious adoration for the stuff) I wanted to give other budding CO hair treatment novices a little feedback around my recent experience. I’ve been testing it over the last fortnight (Sunday is my hair and face treatment day, just as a very non-significant FYI). No chemicals are allowed into my home (as far as humanely possible) so if I can make this work I will be very happy!

As for the HOW. I used a couple of hand scoops of CO (see photo), melted it in my hands (unless it’s a balmy Melbourne day and let’s be honest, they are infrequent) and rubbed it through my dry hair and scalp (it’s really good for your scalp so don’t neglect it!). Then I sit around looking like a greasy so and so for approximately 30 mins, praying the neighbour doesn’t knock on the door.

What you need to know before you embark on this treatment journey is you will HAVE to shampoo AT LEAST twice, in fact next time I may shampoo three times. The first time I washed it only once. It dried looking ok. I put some product in it and walked out the door TO A CLIENT MEETING.. needless to say I was mortified when I saw myself in the mirror upon my return. The Sunday just gone I washed it twice and it’s better though not ‘normal’.

The one question I have of any hairdressers out there is this: by having to shampoo my hair THREE times in one sitting is that in fact stripping my hair of the goodness I had just nourished it with? **

Oh and sorry you didn’t get a greasy hair shot but there is NO WAY anyone needs to see that. You just get to see the mess I am making dripping CO all over my bathroom.

** Note: During my visit to Organika Hair in Melbourne (a couple of days after writing this post) I asked the delightful Sarah her thoughts regarding my multiple shampooing. Her advice was that we should always shampoo our hair twice anyway. And that it really depends on the quality of the shampoo you use as to whether you are stripping it of it’s goodness. Sarah also suggested trialling a new treatment such as CO for a minimum of 6 weeks before making a call on it’s ‘impact’. I’ve got 4 more Sundays – I’ll report back!

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Smudge #

    Hi Amy,
    Haven’t done the “full on” treatment that you did but after I wash and towel dry my hair, I have rubbed a very small amount of co between my palms, tipped my head upside down and scrunched it through. Gives hair a textured look and next day feels so soft without looking greasy. And I have very healthy hair according to my hairdresser! Hardly any grey and I’m 55!

    November 23, 2012
    • Thanks, that’s definitely something I will try. The problem is my hair is curly and very dry and I had thought it was my health that had ruined it’s ordinarily decent condition. Until on instagram someone posted a photo of a natural shampoo and conditioner they were using and mentioned it was making their hair like straw. Of course that was the product I was using (I guess it should remain nameless?!) so I now really do need some intensive moisturising! Do you use any other product in your hair? I think that CO alone will make my hair look a bit limp without product.

      November 23, 2012
  2. This is very ironic – I am sitting here reading this WITH CO in my hair (having some scalp issues, so thought I’d try it)……hmmmm better put aside some serious shampooing time (which will probably iritate my scalp more)………

    November 23, 2012
    • Oh Susan how ironic! As long as you have a good quality shampoo you should be fine. The irritants will be in the chemicals though.. so unless your shampoo is chemical free it might be worth looking for one that is or you will probably just exasperate the problem?! Let me know how many washes it takes you. I think I will be okay with 2, I just felt it looked a bit more ‘weighed down’ than usual.

      November 23, 2012
  3. sappho #

    haha i have done this with olive oil and had the same problem the first time i did it! hair def needs a couple of shampoos afterwards. and @susan, apple cider vinegar rinse on the hair works really well for scalp issues. you will see big improvement after 2-3 times. google will help you with details 🙂

    November 23, 2012
  4. Emily #

    I LOVE my CO hair treatments! I have long hair for the first time in my life and it def needs treatments to keep it healthy (well almost healthy anyway!) I have always been a two shampoo girl and do a third after the CO treatments. I also put a bit (tiny bit) of CO in my hair before I blow dry it to put a layer of protection from the heat.

    January 4, 2013
    • Oh great Emily! Since writing this post I have somewhat moderated my CO quantities I must say, much more manageable now! It’s the best treatment isn’t it, you feel like you’re doing sooo much more good!

      January 5, 2013
  5. Rachel #

    My hairdresser told me shampoo dry the first time…no water.

    January 29, 2013
    • Thanks Rachel. Are you aware of a chemical free dry shampoo though? This is a 100% chemical free zone!

      January 29, 2013
  6. boryongreen #

    Just did the treatment today for the first time. I have oily hair and, yes, counter-intuitively, I got up today and put even more oil on my hair :D. I think you went about this the wrong way. First, your hair should be damp when you put the oil. Coconut oil is known as a very good moisturiser because it locks in the water in your skin ( because water cannot on its own penetrate your skin, you need something oily, but then oil doesn’t mix with water…so yeah…it’s a tough world). Anyways, you need your hair to be damp and then you need to put a shower cap and a towel over the shower cap and heat it somehow (a hair drier would be a fast and easy way). Leave it for 1-2 hours and wash off and yes, you might need to do it twice, but then…it also depends on how much you put. Your hair should not be dripping with oil. Today, since it was my first time doing this I was very careful and I put very little, enough to make my hair feel greasy from root to end. When I removed the towel and the shower cap there was very little left, it should all be absorbed. So yes, I washed it twice just in case with a semi-natural 😀 shampoo and it feels amazing now. I have yet to see whether it will go greasy faster than usual (3 days) but I don’t actually expect coconut oil to change the greasiness of my hair, I just expect it to moisturise my scalp and to soften my hair which I think it did. It’s just a very nice treatment.

    March 6, 2013
    • Thanks for your feedback – I have since refined my technique and have a good system. I now put about a heaped teaspoon in my hair once a week and go to bed with it in, giving it a good couple of washes the next day. Seems to be doing my hair a world of good! Glad you have found success too.

      March 6, 2013
  7. LaLa #

    I have a tip when you get into the shower dont get your hair wet first! Just apply the shampoo to the CO in your hair and make sure you rub it in good wash out then wash one more time. Then i have stash of conditioners that came with my hair dye that i havent used and i use that to condition my hair after. Don’t get discouraged if your trying it for the first time and your hair doesnt seem to look different it took mine to the 2nd time using it! Everyones hair is different! I’m on the 3rd treatment and my hair already looks 80% better! Cant wait to see what happens after a month of using it. (I use it every other day by the way)

    March 15, 2013
    • Well that’s an interesting tip, thank you. I only wash my hair twice a week and pop my CO in on Sunday nights. I now only add about a heaped teaspoon of CO to my hair so I’m not sure it’d soap up without water?? I’ll try it and see what happens!

      March 16, 2013
  8. Kate #

    I love this treatment. I wash my hair twice… I only use TreSemme moisture shampoo and conditioner… (uni student on a budget — but it works well for my hair! WIN!)… and I put my hair in a bun, wrap in glad wrap or shower cap (to keep warmth in) and sometimes chuck a warm towel on my head, or sit in front of the heater (if its winter). My hair has never felt so good! 🙂

    April 11, 2013
    • Great Kate, love hearing about other CO lovers! My hair is desperate for one, it’s been a couple of weeks between treatments, naughtily!

      April 15, 2013
  9. Excellent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic

    April 12, 2013
  10. Michelle #

    What would you say would be a ‘good quality shampoo’? I use Tre Semme?

    April 25, 2013
    • Hi Michelle, I use only 100% natural and typically organic shampoo. There are hundreds out there. I buy my shampoo from a reputable organic salon in Melbourne. It’s expensive but it’s great in my hair – I really notice the difference.

      April 26, 2013
  11. tiffany #

    Thanks So much for writing this post. I am a first time CO user and I decided to try it out with my 7 year old last night. Because I didn’t find much about washing it out just how to apply it we washed it once and left it. We woke up this morning and my daughter was freaking out because her hair was so greasy. We had another shower to wash it out but not sure what it will look like come morning. My daughter has really curly hair and we are always having to cut it because it gets so naughty and gross. It made her hair feel amazing. I will have to remember for next time to wash out at least two times. How often should we do the CO treatment?

    May 27, 2013
    • I try and do mine every Sunday night! I find it needs 3 washes, without a doubt. Good luck!

      May 28, 2013
  12. Linda Edwards #

    I have not tried this, but I will & appreciate this post. What works wonderfully for me is what’s called co-washing. I wash 6 days a week with just conditioner and only use shampoo on Sundays. My hair has improved tremendously. I also use a small amount of heat treatment rubbed from my hands (not sprayed in) and when I blow dry my hair, I leave it just slightly damp. I feel the heat is what damages it. I knew a few people who don’t use any heat & their hair is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen!

    June 10, 2013
  13. Linda Guzman #

    Hi Amy, I live in Savannah Georgia. We have very humid weather most of the year. I get frizzy hair because my hair is soft and wavy. I have the coconut oil in my dry hair right now and I am hoping it will help tame my frizzies. Thank you for all your suggestions. Linda

    June 29, 2013
    • Oh it should definitely help, just a very small amount tho!

      June 29, 2013
  14. Karen #

    Try rubbing your shampoo through your hair first, before getting it wet. After you work shampoo in, get it wet. I didn’t have any trouble with a greasy look trying this.

    July 14, 2013
  15. Don’t use shampoo that contains SULPHATE!!!! … which is most to allll shampoos including the big salon names! You’ll actually be stunnnnnnned.

    Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS),
    Sodium Laureth Sulphate (SLES)
    Ammonia (Laureth) Sulphate (ALS)
    TEA Lauryeth Sulfate (TEA)
    Sodium Myreth Sulphate (SMS)

    “Sulfates are cleaning agents (detergents) and you’ll find them in most industrial and home cleaning products, such as”:

    Engine Degreasers
    Floor Cleaners
    Car Wash Soaps
    Your shampoo

    An inexpensive shampoo/conditioner is “Oil of Moroccan Oil Argan” shampoo & conditioner by Marc Anthony. It’s about 7$ at Walmart each or 18$ at Costco for a mass bottle of shampoo and regular size conditioner. They’re sulfate free. When I jumped on the band wagon to use sulphate free shampoo – I was disgusted with how EVVVERRRYYYY shampoo contains it… second/third ingredient.

    + coconut oil = GREAT HAIR! I have permed straight hair dyed black and past my breast in length. i use a pump of moroccan oil on my ends daily and coconut oil about twice a week. i wash my hair 2-3x a week maxxxxxxxx leaning on the twice a week – Thurs night or Fri and Mondays .. so its fresh for the wknd and fresh for the week 😉 😉 😉

    November 28, 2013

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