Why Coconut Oil ISN’T working for you.

Over the last few years, coconut oil has been the go to product for naturalistas for both hair and skin. It’s the one product that all naturals probably have in their cosmetics cupboard!

Some people swear by Coconut oil for everything including their skin, hair, and health needs. When I moved back to Nairobi last year, I decided to try it as a moisturiser on my body, as well as for my hair as a friend had raved about how well it worked for her. So I started using it after showers in place of lotion or other oils and butters.

After doing this for a month, I noticed that my skin felt dryer and would almost instantly suck in every bit of coconut oil applied, going from glowing to ashy real quick! It was frustrating having to reapply it every hour and still not have supple glowing skin like I expected to have. Due to Coconut oil’s unique chemistry which makes it high in natural fat and protein and comedogenic in nature, it may not suit dry, acne prone skin. 

I realised I needed to switch to something else that worked better for my skin and that came in the form of Shea Butter, specifically the one from Awali Shea Butter (Buy Here). My skin was back to staying moisturised and retaining that glow all day within a week!

I briefly used coconut oil on my hair for pre-pooing purposes, which made my hair feel quite “crunchy” and dry but I didn’t use it regularly enough to monitor its full effect on my hair.

Make no mistake, I may not use coconut oil on my body as a daily moisturiser, and I’ll avoid overusing it on my hair, but I use it as a make up remover, for homemade coconut & sugar scrubs, deodorant, for oral care (DIY toothpaste and oil pulling) and it’s great for putting in smoothies, the list of its uses is endless! So it is still a must have cosmetic and general household item (make sure it is extra-virgin, cold pressed and organic- Buy Here or Here).

It is really important for us to monitor how a product works for us and not ignore what effects something might have on us, despite it working for other people or being praised as an amazing product. There are many amazing oils available for us to test out on our hair and skin, the following are my three favourites:

1. Avocado Oil (Buy Now)

Avocado oil is like the holy grail for my hair and skin so of course I had to list it first. It’s thick and luxurious and my dry skin and hair are super thirsty. It’s almost creamy in it’s thickness yet, it doesn’t feel heavy on the hair. Avocado oil has a very high fat content, second only to jojoba oil. It’s full of nutrients and vitamins and essential fatty acids to protect your curls, especially your ends.

2. Jojoba Oil (Buy Now)

If I could pick only one oil to always use for beauty, it would be jojoba. I love it as a facial moisturizer and I love it even more for hair. it’s a little on the pricey side since demand for it has skyrocketed in recent years, but you can still buy a little to add to your DIY products as well as your regular product purchases for an added boost of decadence. Jojoba oil is the most similar oil to your sebum – the natural oil  that your scalp and skin produces. It’s rich in vitamins B,C, and E and is also antibacterial. It can be used to treat dandruff and other scalp infections.

3. Castor Oil (Buy Now)

Your edges will thank you for grabbing a bottle of castor oil the next time you’re stocking up on beauty supplies. Try and  get black castor oil for hair, regular castor oil is good for skin and body. It is famous for helping to regrow hair, long and strong. Use castor oil at your roots or your ends and edges for protective and root stimulating qualities. Castor oil is a great addition to any DIY hair product or naatural hair care regimen. Bonus: Castor oil can also be used to help reduce cramping!

Other oils to try:

  • Grapeseed oil
  • Hempseed oil
  • Argan oil 
  • Rosehip oil
  • Marula oil

These oils may or may not be best for your skin type, but they sure do work for me! A mixture of some of these oils together with coconut oil is something that I’ll be looking to try soon and see if the outcome will be better than coconut oil on its own. I don’t have experience with exclusively using it on my hair, but I know there are many naturals who have mentioned it doesn’t work for them and are going “protein-free”. Tell us about your experience with coconut oil, or about how some of these oils mentioned above have worked for you below!

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