All Coconut Oils Are Not Created Equal

by West Parsons on August 18, 2013 · 6 comments

in hair care, my hair

coconut oil natural hair

Not all coconut oils are created equal. This became painfully obvious after last week’s kitchen adventures making my homemade coconut oil. I realized I’ve been religiously spending my hard earned dollars on coconut oils which were less than. In my home, coconut oil is used for everything — from beauty to cooking. When it came to its use in my hair, there was always the assumption that I could only use it as a pre-poo (which it is awesome for), because most often than not, no matter the brand chosen, it did not completely absorb into my hair. This was a problem considering coconut oil is one of the few oils that moisturize. My hair’s final product would often be oily and hay-like.

READ MORE: How To| Make Fresh Coconut Oil at Home

Then I made my own coconut oil. I actually did this only for the experience and never expected there to be a noticeable difference, yet there was! I immediately realized there is a slight difference in the scent, which isn’t bothersome, but different. I used a little on my skin and saw that it absorbed quite easily with with minimal rubbing. Then the true test came when I used it seal one-half of my hair for a braid-out that night.  The next day, I was quite shocked to find that there was much more shine, smoothness, and definition when I removed the braids set with coconut oil than the control side.  The best part of it all is that the oil completely absorbed!  For the next 4 days I used the oil exclusively each night to re-braid my hair and experienced similar results each time. Even today, I still have not washed my hair, but I’m not a grease ball.

READ MORE: Benefits of Coconut Oil on Black Hair

The research. I found that most coconut oils are mass produced using dried coconut meat called copra. The oil is extracted using methods which are not safe for consumption, in-turn the oil must be processed to make it consumable, resulting in it being refined, bleached and deodorized. But the process I completed when making the oil at home using fresh meat is called wet-milling:

Wet-milling. With this method the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. “Coconut milk” is expressed first by pressing. The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge.”                                                              – Tropical Traditions [+]

Wet milling is also the process used in the production of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil and I’ve always wanted to try it. Each time I’ve been turned off by the price point + shipping, considering the readily availability of other inexpensive coconut oils. Now that I am educated on the differences in production and the results, the price of the Virgin Label Coconut Oil is not too daunting, granted that it performs similarly or better than my homemade coconut oil.

The moral of the story. Like anything else, when it comes to coconut oil, you get what you pay for.

What brand of coconut oil do you use?  Have you noticed a difference when using other brands?