Growing up in the islands, coconut oil was commonplace. People used it for cooking and for personal care, but despite its popularity I didn’t come to understand the versatility of this incredible oil until much later in life. The people I knew used coconut oil as a styling product and nothing more. But there are so many incredible uses for it beyond that. Allow me to share some of the best beautifying ways to use coconut oil and allow its usefulness to blow your mind. Here are some ways you can use coconut oil:
- As a pre-shampoo treatment. Applying some warm coconut oil to curly or afro-textured natural hair before shampooing can lead to softer hair that is easier to detangle.
- As the base of a body scrub. Purchasing a body scrub is lovely, sure – but if you knew how easy it was to make your own sugar scrubs you’d want to invest in some organic coconut oil and some coarse turbinado sugar. Add your own body-safe essential oils and enjoy an aromatheraputic at-home experience.
- As a pure makeup remover. If you’re wearing stubborn eye makeup that won’t budge, a little coconut oil on your lids and lashes can help to loosen up the gunk and reduce the raccoon eyes effect.
- As a body moisturizer. Coconut oil absorbs readily into the skin, and it can work as an excellent winter sealant. Post-shower when your skin is still wet, slather on shea or cocoa butter and then follow up with a little coconut oil to lock in the goodness.
- As a shave gel. Here’s a secret I learned from a cashier at Trader Joe’s – their coconut oil spray makes an excellent spray on shaving oil, or moisturizer. This cashier admitted that she buys two cans – one for her kitchen, one for her bathroom. Wise woman.
- As the base of a hot oil treatment. Girls with curls need extra TLC for their hair, and a hot oil treatment is a great way to give your tresses the tenderness they require. Use coconut oil as your base and add sweet almond oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil or whatever you’d like, heat it up and let your hair marinate and luxuriate.
- In your hair, for shine and moisture. They say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and coconut oil has been used as a natural hair oil for shine and styling for eons. A little goes a long way, but it can work wonders for wet or dry coarse, curly hair.
- For oil-pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Indian Ayurvedic treatment that has been claimed to cure everything from gingivitis to the common cold. Click here to learn more about the health benefits of swishing coconut oil around your mouth.
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.