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!