Hey Madeleine, what strange things have you used coconut oil on lately?

I won’t make you guess – the answer is MY HAIR!

If you have been following me on Facebook you will, no doubt, have been biting your nails waiting to read the riveting conclusion to my adventures with a coconut oil hair masque. Here it is:

It began with an innocuous suggestion from one of my readers over at Sweet Madeleine, on a post where I lamented that my hair post-pregnancy left a lot to be desired,  and in fact, made me look like a demented badger most of the time.

Anyway, Angie B. is lovely because she took the time to leave a comment suggesting that I try a coconut oil hair mask. (she said hair mask, I changed it to hair masQUE because I am Canadian and we love to add extra u’s to things, and also just because I think it sounds quite fancy.)

As I read her comment I was kind of flabbergasted that I hadn’t thought of it myself, to be honest. I put coconut oil on everything. Seriously. It’s my diaper cream, my eye makeup remover, my body lotion, what I cook my popcorn in, and sometimes it is even a treat for Olive when she sees me holding the jar and starts signing “More, more” with a terrifyingly determined look on her face.

So,  I decided to give it a try. I got my jar of coconut oil, bid a stern GOOD DAY to my fried, frizzy hair, and started smearing my head with great handfuls of the stuff.

I saturated my head from root to tip, then combed it all through with a wide tooth comb. No, I do not have pictures of this process because, weren’t you listening? I was saturated in coconut oil! But after the process was complete I put the whole oily mess up into my signature topknot, and took an obligatory bathroom selfie:

I look bewildered already.

Anyway, I left the situation to soak in while I read to Olive and tried to ignore her giving me a hefty dose of “What exactly is happening on top of your head?!” side eye.

An hour later, Olive was in bed and I ran to the bathroom and showered, and here’s where things took a turn for the worse.

I had a dilemma on my hands, because as you may or may not know, I haven’t used shampoo in approximately five years. And standing there with a head full of coconut oil, I wasn’t sure if adding a jar full of baking soda to the mix was going to be very helpful. specifically, I was concerned about creating a Ross-leather-pants-type-situation, comme ca:
ross' leather pants on Make A Gif

So, I rummaged through my medicine cabinet until I found a teensy bottle of leftover hotel shampoo, and then headed into the shower. This was mistake #1.

I let my hair soak in the hot water for a few minutes, then started shampooing.

And shampooing.

And shampooing and shampooing and shampooing and shampooing forever and ever, amen.

First of all, it was quite strange to feel suds in my hair again. Second of all, nothing was happening. Each time I rinsed, my hair still felt oily to the touch. After the fourth round I started thinking, “Maybe it’s supposed to feel like this? Maybe it doesn’t feel oily, maybe it feels soft!”  This denial, plus the fact that I had been shampooing my hair for approximately eight consecutive minutes and my arms were ready to fall off, led to me declaring the shower over. This was mistake #2.

I dried off, wrapped my hair in one of those sexy towel turban,s and went to go get dressed. When I finally got around to looking at my hair, it was like I had never showered at all. My hair mocked me from its well-oiled perch atop my head, gleaming from root to tip in all its greasy glory. I muttered some curses under my breath as I surveyed the situation, and wondered what in the hell had gone wrong.

Seriously, how hard is it to smear coconut oil onto your head and then wash it off? Too hard for this hippie, apparently.

It was now almost midnight (because when you have a toddler all of your ridiculous experiments have to happen after they go to sleep), and I headed back to the shower. THIS time I decided to use my baking soda shampoo, because the regular shampoo was clearly not doing anything for me and I wasn’t much enjoying smelling like a Westin hotel. Anyhow this time two baking soda rinses did the trick, and I emerged doubly showered, re-did my turban, dried my hair again, then went to bed.

The next morning my hair was not only not gloriously soft and sex-goddess like, it was dry and staticky and just as fried looking as it was before (possibly due to the fact that someone had spent the night before shampooing it eight times in ninety minutes.)

I tried to figure out where I had gone wrong. I mean clearly I shampooed too much, but that amount of shampooing was necessary to rid myself of all of the coconut oil. I began to think that perhaps my body had reached some sort of critical mass of coconut oil  – given the fact that I cooked with it, used it as body lotion, and eye  makeup remover too, perhaps the molecules of my body were simply full up and unable to absorb even one more ounce of the stuff.

I mean – science, right?

The problem was that I hated to say it hadn’t worked, especially when it had such promise. I am a sucker for natural remedies, and doubly a sucker for coconut oil. So I tried again.

THIS time, I used a bit less oil, thinking it would do better on my fine hair- we’re talking a few tablespoons as opposed to a few handfuls. I let it sit for about an hour again and then instead of using shampoo first I just went  straight to my trusty old baking soda mixture. It took two baking soda rinses, but then my hair felt clean – not oily – just perhaps a bit more dense. Heavier? I felt pleased as punch, followed up with my apple cider vinegar rinse and…


Guys, it WORKED! I was elated, and not just because I was looking less like a demented hedgehog and more like a real, life, human being, but also because my body wasn’t rejecting coconut oil like a bum heart transplant whew!

I only took the one selfie, because damn is it hard to take photos of your own hair without looking ridiculous (and as we can see above, I did not entirely avoid that predicament.) but I plan on doing the coconut oil treatment once a week to deep condition and heal this crazy mop so you will have ample time to see the results progress throughout the year.

(If you are in the market for a step by step run-through with gorgeous pictures, helpful Angie B. left a link to another tutorial here. Just imagine me instead of that girl, but with shorter brown hair instead of long red hair, and with less skillfully applied makeup and 75% shorter eyelashes. So basically a less attractive version but with equally soft shiny hair. That is the important part.)

Final verdict? Coconut oil masque= win.

Pro tips? Don’t use too much, wash twice with whatever shampoo you are currently using, don’t forget to condition and please, send me pictures if you try it!

photo (7)


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13 thoughts on “Hey Madeleine, what strange things have you used coconut oil on lately?

  1. I am a big fan of the coconut oil mask. I’ve always used just a few slicked fingers worth, a few minutes before shampooing. Also, I wanted to add, in response to your same previous post, regarding the impossibility of a yoga class, I have a yogaglo account now and I think it is wonderful. A billion online classes to choose from (including guided meditations) and a super affordable $5/month. No affiliation with them of course, but the fix that’s worked well for me. Congrats on the book!

    1. Yogaglo – I’ve never heard of it! I will have to check it out. Maybe I can get Olive to do it with me! Ha! I can’t believe how many people use the coconut oil mask, after writing this post they’re all coming out of the woodwork, you’ve all been holding out on me! 😉

      Thanks for the tips, Andrea!

  2. Think I’m going to try the coconut oil hair mask soon too 🙂 I’ve always wanted to try not using shampoo but I would never no what to do when going to the hairdressers! Your hair does look wonderful in the pic above! Liv xx

    1. It took me about three years to admit to my hairdresser what I was doing, and I only had the courage at that point because she kept exclaiming what great shape my hair was in! This was pre-baby of course. sigh.

      1. Did they use normal shampoo on your hair at the hair dressers during the time before you confessed! I really hope I have the courage to start! Thank you for being my inspiration lovely 🙂 xx

  3. Haha! I loved reading this post. I’ve planned to try the coconut oil hair mask so this post was informative. Note to self: do not use handfuls of coconut oil. I would’ve used a few handfuls myself and my fine hair would have ended up a greasy mess.

    1. Ha! Yes, learn from my mistakes! I hope it works out for you, I’m kind of in love with it. Post a picture on our Facebook page if you do it! I’d love to see results 🙂


  4. Love this post! I immediately bought some coconut oil and tried it in my hair. I didn’t notice a dramatic change but I will keep trying a few times. My hair is destroyed after baby and breastfeed and blonde highlight damage. BUT I used it in the shower to moisturize and I am hooked! My skin felt amazing after the shower. Thanks so much for your great blog 🙂 My husband thinks I have lost my mind with making my own laundry detergent this week, but I’m excited to get rid of all of the chemicals.

    1. Ha! I think the looks of disbelief and bewilderment I get from Adam when he sees my latest foray into eco-friendly shenanigans make up half the reason I do it 😉

      Coconut oil après shower massage= AMAZING. Definitely one of my musts in my routine!

  5. Hey lady! OK so i’ve been avidly pouring through your lovely blogs and I have an important coconut oil question!!! I love the idea of using it as baby lotion etc in place of sudocrem etc buuuutt isn’t is hard??? I mean I use it in cooking but it takes a while to melt it, I can’t imagine how to rub the stuff i have into a wriggly small person…?? xx

    1. It seems weird, hey? Coconut has a really low melting point though, so as soon as it touches your skin it melts into liquid. For me I usually apply directly to the skin in handfulls..er…small scoops. For Olive I would warm it into liquid in my hands, first. 🙂

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