Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Wonders of Virgin Coconut Oil

We are HUGE fans of Virgin Coconut Oil. I (Steph) knew pretty much nothing about it before learning that it could be useful as a scalp and hair oil. Then my love affair began! 

First, it smells heavenly. Like...well, COCONUT! Hints of the old suntan oil smells from the 1980's waft through my memory. If you have coconut oil and it smells like nothing, you don't have VIRGIN coconut oil. Only the virgin actually smells intensely like coconut. This is the stuff you want.

This oil can be incredibly versatile in your home if you are going to use it on the hair/scalp. Katie uses it while styling V's hair, and I apply it liberally to G's locs, her scalp, her skin, and she also eats it by the spoonful, and we cook with it. Even the dog knows it's good for him and he always gets to lick the spoon or the empty container. Add the oil to the water you boil your rice in....delicious! Instead of popcorn oil, use straight coconut oil in the pot on the stove! You might find you don't even need butter.

Coconut oil has a very low melting point and you will frequently find that it has melted if your home gets warm inside. It will look like a clear liquid in the jar, and, when solid, it will appear more or less snow-white. If it's cool in your house and you reach in to get some oil, and find that it's solid as a rock, don't worry....just dig hard with your finger and scrape some up, or use a spoon, and it will melt instantly in your hands. Some people find it a bit wet and oily on the skin for their taste, but a little goes a long way, and it will always soak in given time. It is a light oil that is going to seem more wet than greasy. Just don't plop your freshly oiled child down on your suede sofa or anything.

Tons of info, pretty much all of it I think :-), can be found at Coconut Connections. They discuss all the science of the medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil and why it's a myth that this oil is unhealthy for you...quite the contrary, in fact. They also talk in depth about why it's so good for your skin.

Last year, I had a dreadful bout of buildup on G's hair (I'll be blogging about that later). After much ado, I finally got the locs clean. Since then, coconut oil is one of the ONLY things I will freely put on her hair. I have never had a buildup issue with it. It has always soaked in really well. 

You can also melt coconut oil with butters like shea, cocoa, mango, etc to make your own body butters. The coconut oil will soften the harder butters.

Virgin Coconut Oil can be found at most health food stores and sometimes even in big box stores like Walmart or Target. Just make sure you are getting VIRGIN. If it doesn't say it on the label, it's not it.  It can easily be ordered online, as well. You can purchase some in our Amazon store in the sidebar on this blog.

If you are new to VCO, as we say for short, give it a try and let us know what you think!


  1. It works nicely as a pre-poo treatment, too! It makes Q's hair soooooo soft! and skin, too! She likes applying it herself, so we use alot around here. :) lol I do hesitate to use it as a leave in on loose curls, tho - it's just too heavy for her hair. (if I'm braiding it, then it works great and her hair is so soft the next day!)

  2. Oh Step, PLEASE hurry with the post on build-up! DJ's 9 month old locs are suffering just in the past few weeks since swim lessons started. In the past I have used Jamaican Mango and Lime Gel or Organic Root Stimulator Twist and Loc Gel but for a few months have been exclusively using Aloe b/c I read you won't get build-up with it. I only use clear shampoo (neutrogena anti-residue) and clear spray-on conditioner, and clear oils to spritz -- so where oh where is the white/grayish gunky build-up coming from? Maybe the leftover old gels from a few months ago? I have done ACV rinses which may have helped a little......
    Looking forward to the build-up post and advice!

  3. I love coconut oil too but I hate trying to use it in the winter. It doesn't melt all that well in my hands as I have a circulation problem and my hands are cold all the time!

  4. @Lee - that would make it a bit less convenient....but any bit of warmth would melt it. What about warming a small mug or bowl in the microwave or by dloating it in hot water (or the jar of oil itself) and some will melt for you?


  5. Great post! We love coconut oil, much so that we buy it in 5-gallon buckets! We use both virgin and refined coconut oil because we cook with it and there are some foods that we just don't want to taste like coconut. :) It's possible to get organic refined coconut oil that hasn't been bleached or deodorized and is manually extracted and steamed in a safe, healthy way. Both Wilderness Family Naturals and Tropical Traditions sell it.

  6. Hey, i have recently just ordered and receiving coconut oil after a long hiatus, i decided to try it again as J's hair texture has changed since now she is 2 yo. I noticed that J's scalp was becoming itchy and flaky and so i am thinking it is lacking moisture, It's Organic Coconut Oil from Sri Lanka and smells wonderful, so i think i got the good stuff too. The place where i order it is where i get my Shea Butter too which i have no problems with, so far so good and no greasy residue, sounds like her hair needed it. I really wanna boil some rice now just to use the oil to see how it tastes, thanks for the info guys x

  7. I started using coconut oil on my five year old daughter...her legs have often been "ashy" by the middle of the day, but not now! Everyone has been commenting on how soft and glowing her skin is! We are both so happy! I use it in her hair too, and have not had any problems with build up of any kind. It always soaks in nicely. Thanks for the post!

  8. My little N has beautiful locs but a really bad funky gunky problem as well. Looks like light grey lint. When i combed a one year old loc out it was full of this stuff. It really bothers me. So much so that I am considering taking all of her locs down! Please help!


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