The Pros and Cons of Coconut Oil


The other day I was having a drink with a friend and we started discussing Purim, as one does this time of year. We laughed at how cute the pictures of our friend’s children were in our instagram feed. Naturally, the discussion moved to a more general discussion of Judaism which included the ancient Jewish exodus from Egypt, this only led to the the modern, social implications tied to the splitting of the Red Sea when – just kidding, we were talking about my hair. Obviously, what else would we be talking about.

It has been a long time since I have enjoyed a full head of “dry and damaged” hair. While I am still getting used to the new texture of my recently bleached locks, there are some crispy ends I wanted to rid myself of… Another obvious notion is that everyone who can read, hear, or see knows about coconut oil and how “GREAT” it is supposed to be for any and all beauty purposes. I myself, never really tried it before. Something about it always seemed fishy. But drastic times call for drastic measures, and in this case… not so drastic times call for not so drastic measures since all I did was walk a block and buy some coconut oil.

First thing first. You need to buy unrefined, organic coconut oil.

Refined coconut oil has additives and is put through processes that remove some of the natural compounds that make it so healthy for your hair and skin. Unrefined coconut oil is complete in its natural, healthy state.

Now, almost everything I read on the internet suggested to use about 4 to 5 tablespoons for thick hair. As we learned from a professional here, I have extremely thick hair. However, I knew better than to use 4 to 5 tablespoons. I’ve read one to many sob stories online about girls spending weeks getting this concoction out of their hair. Listen, I am by no means the the coconut oil police, so do what you want, but I strongly suggest, at most, using 3 tablespoons. 

Next, after heating the coconut oil in the microwave for about a minute, I painted my hair with the oil, pretty heavily. I absolutely did not paint my scalp. The scalp has plenty of natural oils, plus those new baby hairs should be pretty healthy compared to their older brothers and sisters down near my shoulders. Again, do whatever you want, but for realz don’t put coconut oil on your scalp.

Finally, I wrapped it up in a towel and let it sit for the next several hours or what was actually half of American Hustle and most of some Louis C.K. stand up show on HBO. Washed twice and conditioned. Went to bed, and woke up with what I would consider to be much softer, much shinier, and overall much more healthy hair.





a healthy look

easy enough to do

smelled nice



super runny & pretty gross

drips all over your shoulders – use an old towel

time consuming

clearly when too much is applied it can be hard to get out


The coconut oil hair mask did exactly what I hoped it would: smoothed out all the crispy edges. I realize there are more pros than cons and I do recommend you give this a try. However, the thing is, I now know that I quite like my “damaged and dry” look. The hair reinvention was always supposed to be more Kurt Cobain, and not so much Linda Fargo.

What are your experiences with coconut oil? Good or Bad? Pros and Cons please…

***beauty always comes from within, photos taken by Amanda Teague, xoxo behind the mirror***
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  • jay Parker

    i really wish i had these positive experiences with coconut oil.. my hair seems to hate it.. i was using it for about two weeks.. i woke up one morning to do my usual curly hair wash and go to find out that my hair was extremely brittle and had lost all of its curl pattern.. i was so upset because i didnt know what caused it. after a little research i found out it was the coconut oil that was giving m hair a extreme protein overload. it literally took about 2 months for my hair to revert back to its natural state.. needless to say ill NEVER use that shit again lmaoo

    • behindthemirrorbeauty

      Woah! That is definitely a Con! That sounds horrible… I’ve heard lots of stories of coconut oil effecting different hair types differently. Thank you for your comment and bringing some different experiences to the conversation. Hope to see you again on the site. Best, Amanda

  • Angela

    I use coconut oi for SO many things…it has incredible health benefits! Want to see just how beneficial coconuts are? Head over to http://WWW.HEALTHYCOCONUT.INFO and you’ll be amazed at how many ways coconuts benefit your health!

  • Dollyrkr

    Whoa seriously? You delete my comment saying that you should show us the hair before and afters??? Uh… okay, nice fashion blog…

  • Dollyrkr

    Show Us The Hair or GTFO! :D

  • dannifred

    i’ve used it in my hair before but i prefer to cook with it :)


  • Oh, awesome! I didn’t know it was meant to be used that way. Thank you for the useful information!

  • disqus_1KX8J3NkNk

    I just did a hair mask that used coconut oil, evoo, honey, and ripe avocado- and my hair looks fantastic! Have you ever used coconut oil for oral pulling? Been doing that the past week and my mouth feels cleaner and feels better already too. Great post Amanda H. I mean T.

    • That is a capital T for you Mr. disqus_1KX8J3NkNk!!! I just read an interesting article about oil pulling. 20 minutes feels like a long time to swish around oils in my month?!?!?!? How do you pass the time? Send me the coconut, evoo, honey, and avocado DIY mask. I want to try it.

      • disqus_1KX8J3NkNk

        2 tsp of e.v.o.o., 2 tsp. coconut oil, 1 tsp. honey, 1/2 avocado. mash up all together (i used a food processor to make it smooth and not chunky). I also doubled the recipe since Dav was doing it too. I will say that it was a bit messy (the heat from your head tends to liquify all the ingredients- so use that same towel you used last time). 20 min should be ideal, but defo wash your head really good after- I didn’t and just thought a good hot rinse would be ok and IT WASN’T- was still very greasy…..After a good wash it looks great though.
        For the pulling, if you get a good oil it shouldn’t be an issue. I do it first thing and then shower, get dressed, etc and after all that’s done it’s time to spit it out so i’m not sitting around thinking about it the whole time….

      • Very Nice!!! Going to give the hair mask a try… not sure about the oil pulling yet, I am bit scared of knowing about how many toxins I have. Ignorance is bliss, right?

  • I’ve been hearing good things about coconut oil- both for beauty AND for cooking, ha! Glad it helped with your dry ends; I suffer from this, too, especially right before I’m due for a trim. Perhaps I should give this a go. :)


  • Juliet M

    My hair is doing fine by the way, a fun fact because I haven’t had a cut in… well, who knows how much time has passed since my last one.
    If you’d like to get a softer and healthier hair and not abusing of coconut oil, Tresemmé’s diamond mask is amazing.
    However thanks for sharing this! I’m sure this is going to be amazing for the summertime, I always end up with shitty scourer hair! xx

  • i really want to try this, but i might add lime to it too, i read somewhere that the combination of both can tame curly and frizzy hair which is my major problem atm. thanks for the heads up on its cons. i wonder if theres any way we can avoid this lol, like maybe wrap my hair with showercap or those plastic hair wraps.

    • Lime sounds like a great addition! Definitely wrap up your head when you are sitting around letting the oil set in… my problem was when I was applying it. That mess was dripping everywhere, haha.

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