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I Treated My Hair With Coconut Oil & I’m Never Going Back

If you’re anything like me, you both love and hate your hair. Some days it’s your crowning glory, and others it’s the bane of your existence. One thing is certain: even on the best days it never seems to look as shiny and healthy as it could be… until now, for me. 

A few weeks ago, my hairstylist noticed that I had a lot of split ends and my hair was looking pretty damaged. She suggested that the water at my college may actually be drying out my hair, which is obviously something that I can’t control, so I asked her for advice, and she recommended coconut oil. At first, I was hesitant. Over the years I have tried pretty much every fad beauty trend, be it in the name of fun, fashion (or science), and I honestly just didn’t think that this would provide the shine and health to my hair that she claimed it would. However, I had some coconut oil lying around so I decided that it couldn’t hurt.

I was amazed. The results were totally noticeable and the process was actually kind of fun! After I was finished with the treatment my hair looked shinier, thicker and actually felt healthier and softer. Since the secret is too good not to share, I’ve made you a step-by-step DIY guide for this easy, overnight coconut hair oil treatment. Give it a shot and be ready to experience your best hair ever.

1. Buy the (right) coconut oil 

Now, this step may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s actually a very important one. According to my hairstylist, organic coconut oil is the only way to go. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense—to obtain the best results, you’ll want to be using the best possible ingredients, and trust me, after spending almost a whole day with oil in your hair, you’ll want only the best. The good news is that organic coconut oil is not expensive, and you’ll get so much out of one bottle that you’ll have tons of treatments done before you even have to think of buying another one. The brand that I use is a pretty common one called Spectrum, which you can buy at Walmart for less than $8 dollars. However, you should be able to find organic coconut oil at most grocery stores. I am a personal fan of the Trader Joe’s coconut oil. Additionally, you can use coconut oil in recipes, as a moisturizer and as a makeup primer and makeup remover among a ton of other things, so your money will definitely not be wasted. 

2. Heat the oil 

The first step in applying the oil to your hair is heating it up. By far the easiest way to do this, particularly if you live in a dorm and don’t have access to a stovetop, is to simply place the closed jar in a bowl or sink full of steaming hot water. Allow the jar to sit in the water for about five minutes until the jar itself is warm to the touch. After that, open the jar and see if it has liquefied (it should be the consistency of baby oil or olive oil). You only need a small amount of liquefied oil for this treatment, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. For reference, my hair is thick and hits slightly below my shoulders and I used about 1/2 a cup of oil. 

3. Prepare your hair

First, make sure that you hair is tangle-free and has been brushed, as this will help the oil go on a lot easier. Additionally, your hair should be dry for this treatment, as it allows the oil to soak into your hair easier. It’s easiest to do this in sections, so putting your hair half-up (if your hair is longer or thicker) is often the easiest way to go. However, this step is really up to your preference. 

4. Apply the oil 

Here’s the fun part: applying the coconut oil to your hair! Pour your liquefied coconut oil into a small cup or bowl and simply use your hands to apply it to all the sections of your hair from the root to the ends. This can get messy, so doing this over a sink is your best bet for an easy clean up. After your hair is completely covered in coconut oil, it should have the look of wet hair. The best step from here is to throw your hair up into a high bun to avoid the oil getting on your clothes and furniture. 

5. Keep it on overnight

At this point, you’re almost done, and your next step is to simply leave the oil in your hair overnight (or for at least six hours; the longer the better). Lots of people will put a plastic shower cap (or even a plastic bag) over their bun to avoid a mess, but personally I found that the most comfortable solution for a good night’s sleep is simply to put a towel down over my pillow. 

6. Shampoo and cleanse

The next morning (or 5 to 6 hours later) your hair should be drier and less oily to the touch than it did when you first applied the oil. At this point, it is time to wash the oil out of your hair. The easiest way to do this is to jump in the shower and shampoo your hair from root to ends. The most important part of this step is to make sure that you shampoo your hair enough to remove all the oil; you don’t want residue on your locks. Personally I shampooed my hair twice and did so very thoroughly. Depending on your hair thickness you may need to shampoo a third time, but two is probably enough for most hair types. After you’ve cleaned your hair completely, jump out of the shower and brush it through or let it dry as you normally would, whether this includes a blow dryer or not. As my hair air-dried, I noticed that it looked a lot shinier and felt so much softer than it usually did. 

7. The final results

After allowing your hair to dry fully you can truly see the results of your treatment. Your hair should be shinier, smoother and feel softer and stronger than it did previously. This treatment can be done as often as once a week, and will definitely help to keep your hair healthy and lustrous. If you have a coconut allergy, this entire treatment can be done with olive oil. 

Olivia is a Journalism and English double major who spends entirely too much time watching Netflix and is not even sorry about it. She loves to sing, write feminist musings, hang out with her pets and fantasize about a world in which everything tastes like Nutella. In another life she is best friends with Veronica Mars and married to Logan Echolls (and they're both totally cool with it).