The best kept secret in hair and skin care is coconut oil. Those who know this wouldn't dream of going without it! Adina Grigore, founder of the 100 percent truly all-natural skin care S.W. Basics, gave us the 411 on coconut oil. Adina says, "Coconut oil is like a super-skin food. It will soothe your skin instantly, leave you nice and dewy for a long time, comfort swelling and red skin and fight acne and break outs! Plus a jar goes such a long way for a very affordable cost."
Sold on the benefits of adding coconut oil to our beauty routine, we still weren't quite sure what to do with it once we had it. Luckily, coconut oil has quite a following and health and beauty experts were willing to come to our rescue with brand recommendations, prices and ideas on where to buy and how to use coconut oil! Between them, a few favorite brands emerged, but coconut oil's fabulous uses vary from deep conditioner to homemade deodorant! Get ready to fall in love with coconut oil!
For your hair
Holistic health counselor Natasha Uspensky says, "Raw, unrefined coconut oil is one of the most amazing and versatile products you can use for optimum beauty and health. When buying coconut oil, always opt for organic, raw, cold-pressed and unrefined oil — basically, the less that has been done to the oil, the more benefits you'll get for your skin, hair and body! My favorite is Live Superfoods Raw Virgin Organic Coconut Oil (Amazon, $10), which has never been heated, so it's the purest oil you can find outside of an actual coconut! It's ideal to use for cooking and for nourishing skin and hair!"
Coconut oil tip^
Natasha's coconut oil tip is to use it as a deep conditioner!
She says, "I love to use coconut oil for a weekly deep hair conditioning treatment. Take about a teaspoon of oil and emulsify it between your hands. Start by applying it to the ends of your hair and gradually work your way up, adding more oil as needed. If you tend to have an oily scalp, you may want to stop before you reach your roots. Once the oil is worked through the length of your hair, wrap it up in a loose bun and leave it in for 15-20 minutes. I like to apply it before I do my morning yoga routine! Follow by shampooing hair with a moisturizing sulfate-free shampoo and a light conditioner. And voila! Luscious, shiny hair courtesy of coconut oil!"
Kayla Jindra, a Kelapo Coconut Oil fitness blogger, loves Kelapo's own Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Kelapo, $13) because "it's organic, very high quality and is a healthier alternative when cooking and baking. And going beyond the kitchen, the possibilities are endless!"
Coconut oil tip^
Kayla's coconut oil tip is to use it in a DIY hair mask!
Kayla says, "This DIY hair mask is perfect for eliminating frizz and adding smoothness to my hair. You'll need two tablespoons Kelapo Coconut Oil, one ripe avocado, one tablespoon apple cider vinegar, plastic wrap and a hot towel. In a bowl, mash the avocado, then add the apple cider vinegar and warmed Kelapo Coconut Oil. Apply the mixture to the bottom half of your hair, concentrating on the ends. Wrap your hair in plastic wrap, then a hot towel and leave the mask on for 30 minutes. Shampoo your hair (twice!) and condition as usual. It really can't get much easier! All it takes is one application a month to kiss frizz and flyaways goodbye!"
Kathryn Sarhanis of Work Girl Problems loves Artisana Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Amazon, $18) because, "it's raw, meaning it hasn't been treated with chemicals. When purchasing coconut oil, it's important to look for 'raw' or 'extra virgin' labels as these products will contain the most nutrients. Unlike most raw coconut oils, this brand has a lighter coconut smell to it. It's also easily accessible and can be found at Whole Foods."
Coconut oil tip^
Kathryn's coconut oil tip is to use it as a stress relieving hair moisturizer!
Kathryn says, "Every one to two weeks, I massage the oil into my hair and onto my scalp. I apply it in a small, circular motion and leave it in for 30 minutes before I wash it out. This helps keep my scalp moisturized, protects against dandruff and adds shine to my hair. As an added bonus, the fragrance and massaging motion I use to apply the oil works as a stress relief for all my work girl problems!"
Licensed esthetician Angela McTair has been in the haircare industry for over 15 years. She loves Vitacost Extra Virgin Certified Coconut Oil (Vitacost, $22) because, "it consistently has a smoother, creamier texture than the other extra virgin coconut oils I've tried and there are less hard, crunchy bits."
Coconut oil tip^
Angela's coconut oil tip is to use it as a preconditioning hair treatment!
Angela says. "I saturate my hair with approximately a half cup coconut oil, three tablespoons honey, and an eighth of a cup of Nutress Hair Instant Conditioner or other water-based, lightweight conditioner that is free of fillers. Then I wear my hair in a high bun during the day or at night, and I don a plastic cap and wrap my hair with a scarf to secure it. The treatment washes out with ease and leaves my hair feeling smooth, supple, more resilient, more manageable and with less shedding, breakage and dryness. It also makes the other steps in the shampoo and conditioning process go much more smoothly!"