More about the miracle of coconut oil

So, as I said I would in my last post about the oil-as-facewash thing, I decided to give my hair a coconut oil treatment recently. I forget which day I did it, but about four days ago, I’d say. I really need to remember to take a minute to photograph stuff I might write about before I do my little experiments.

Basically, I scooped the coconut oil in small handfuls and warmed it up between my hands before rubbing it into my hair. It might be easier to do if you fully liquefy it, but since I’m lazy and the bathroom is on the second floor, I just used my body heat to make it more spreadable. I actually think I would have made a bigger mess if I had melted the oil, because globs are easy to pick up, droplets, not so much. I concentrated on the ends of my hair, which is the part that is actually dry enough to need some kind of conditioning anyway, but I did eventually work some of it up into the scalp area. I hit it a little with the ol’ hair dryer just to make sure it got good and heated through (not sure if “hot oil treatment” is really necessary but just in case) and wrapped a towel around my head to keep the mess down to a minimum. Then I set about finding music to listen to that would take an hour and a half. Turns out that Nothing’s Shocking by Jane’s Addiction only lasts about 45 minutes. For some reason I needed to hear “standing in the shower, thinking”…and then I turned to my random disco/funk/party mix because nothing passes the time like some good old fashioned seventies funk. Well, I have a little ’80s and modern dance music mixed in there, too, and definitely realized that I don’t need “tenderness” by general public anymore. However, The Smith’s “How Soon Is Now” stands up remarkably well.

Next I decided I would not use shampoo because I have only used shampoo a few times in the past oh, seven years or so, and only when out of town…I do the baking soda/vinegar hair wash because, among other things, I have chemical sensitivities to fragrances and shampoos and conditioners are full of harsh chemicals that I don’t want to put right on top of the old brain pan where they can seep into my head. I will add at this point that yes, I know hair color is dreadful, but I only use that every several months, not every day. Besides, my brain is probably purple by now anyway.

After the first washing with baking soda and vinegar, my hair was still fairly oily, but I just left it and wrapped a towel around my head, and slept with it wrapped up, figuring that more exposure to the oil probably wouldn’t hurt, and might even help condition my hair. Next morning I used the hair dryer just because oily hair doesn’t dry very well, and I was going to go out. I just put the hair up in a clip and did whatever it was I was up to that day. I washed my hair again that night, and that time blew it dry-ish instead of sleeping with it wet. Fast forward two more days of the same, and my hair’s ALMOST completely un-oily (how else would you say that? It’s not like the oil really made it dirty, just oily), and I don’t look as much like professor crazy hair as usual because the oil is keeping my hair from sticking out in every direction. I have very fine hair and the lack of conditioner makes it really static-electrical and insane looking. Which I actually like because I’ve had flat, super straight hair for most of my life, until I discovered the baking soda/vinegar wash. Turns out all those conditioners that say “extra body” are big fat liars, because if you have super fine hair like mine, the teeniest bit of extra weight makes it lay down and play dead. But regular shampoo strips everything from your scalp and hair, so even if you use conditioner, your scalp over-produces oil in response (the same thing that happens if you use something with alcohol in it on your face, over-producing oil to protect the skin from over-drying). When I used regular shampoo and conditioner, my hair was always flat and got oily by the end of the day, but with baking soda/vinegar, I only need to wash my hair about once every 4 days. I do usually rinse it with hot water at some point between washings. The bonus is that vinegar also gets rid of dandruff, I used to use dandruff shampoo, for YEARS, because chunks of my scalp would dislodge and look all nasty if I did not. Also it would itch. Not anymore.

I think I may try using just a teensy bit of oil in my hair more often, rather than periodically soaking my hair completely. I will also take pictures when I finally get the excess oil washed out so you can see the magic. Right now it just looks like the ends are wet.

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