coconut hair oil

Padma Lakshmi reportedly uses oil to get her oh-so glossy tresses

According to Elle UK, Kate Middleton swears by pricy Kerastase hair treatments for keeping her hair supple and soft, but for mere mortals there’s another solution: coconut oil. My boyfriend, who is from South India, always keeps a bottle of Vatika hair oil in his cupboard, which he massages into his scalp every so often. He told me that on any given Sunday in India, women can be found relaxing at home with a headful of coconut oil. They believe it prevents hair loss, greying and keeps the hair strong, shiny and soft; and South Indian-born Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, as well as numerous studies, agree. At $2.99 for a 175 ml bottle of regular coconut oil, or $6 for 150 ml of Vatika at a little market on Jean Talon in the Indian neighbourhood in Montreal, I decided to give it a try. Here are the instructions my boyfriend gave me:

1) Place the bottle of coconut oil in a sinkful of warm water for a few minutes to melt the oil (it solidifies at room temperature).

2) Pour about one tablespoon of oil into your hands.

3) Massage oil into damp or dry hair, from root to tip.

4) Place a shower cap over your head and let the oil do its magic for a few hours, or overnight.

5) Shampoo hair once or twice, condition and style as usual.

6) Repeat weekly.

The verdict? After my hair dried, my normally damaged, straw-like tresses were noticeably shinier, softer to the touch and easier to style. Not only did the coconut oil conditioning treatment smell amazing, feel exotic and cost very little, it was also  comforting to know that I was putting something completely natural on my hair. I’m definitely adding coconut oil to my list of beauty staples.

Have you ever used oil to condition your hair?


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