Is It Safe to Melt Coconut Oil in the Microwave? #GeekOut

Lindsay Girl asks: I have used extra virgin coconut oil in my hair as a deep conditioning treatment once a week for several years now. I melt the oil in the microwave. This morning I was reading in an article on the website that the author of the article “heard” that you shouldn’t warm coconut oil in the microwave because that will “alter the bonds” in the oil. What say the Brains? Can I safely put the coconut oil in the microwave to melt it? Or is there a better way?

The Beauty Brains responds:
When LG raised this question in our Forum we said “no problem.” But after further consideration we realized that there is some risk involved with heating coconut oil in a microwave oven.

The danger of microwaving coconut oil

Coconut oil penetrates hair because of its size and the configuration of its carbon chain. Unless you’re heating it above the point where it will decompose, microwaving it should cause no problems. In other words, “melting” it is just fine. BUT you need to be very careful when using this approach. Here’s why:

How to Detangle and Pre-Poo Natural Hair

by Jensine from Jungle Naps

Somewhere along your natural hair journey you learn the importance of detangling your curls. A necessary (and time consuming) evil! If only I could count how many frustrating hours I've spent untangling knots and asking my German/Irish husband for help.  Side note: he is now a detangling pro too.

Below are a few tips that I use in my detangle and pre-poo routine.


How To Steam Natural Hair Without a Steamer

via Nappy Naturally
By now we've all read about the benefits of using hair steamers for natural hair care. We've seen all the beautiful natural haired divas whose hair has grown down their backs. They rave about their natural hair absorbing all the goodness of whatever deep conditioning treatment was done...and we look in our wallets to decide if we're going to get a steamer or pay our car note.

The truth is that hair steamers offer a great way to open up the hair follicles to receive all the benefits of deep conditioning treatments. The reality is that everybody does not want to fork out the loot to get a steamer. The solution is found right under your nose: work with what you've got for the exact same results.

Read On!>>>

Dry Natural Hair? To Pre-Poo or Deep Treat?

 photo via Natasha Leeds

From a pre-poo to LOC to WNG, curly girls and their terms often run the gamut with acronyms and hair treatments that will do just about anything and everything to your curls. It can be somewhat difficult to figure it all out. Another issue would be when to use what and can they be in conjunction with others? Just looking at a term may not fully explain what it entails let alone what it will do, so when a confused curly girl comes across the Curly Q&A, it is our pleasure to try and help anyway possible. Curlypunk was interested in knowing the difference between a popular hair technique and an equally popular hair product.

What’s the difference between a mask and a pre-poo? Is it ok to use a mask and a pre-poo in one wash?


A pre-poo, which is short for pre-shampoo treatment, is quite similar to the traditional hot oil treatment many of our mother’s used for deep conditioning treatments that were applied prior to washing the hair. You can also cocktail or substitute the oil for a daily conditioner. They both hydrate the hair while combatting the dryness of the impending shampoo and in detangling prior to shampooing. A pre-poo can be a pure oil, blended oil, a conditioner, or even a conditioner plus oil cocktail.

Read On!>>>

DIY Luxury Hot Oil Treatment

Kavuli Nyali-Binase via TheGoodHairDiaries

I have been doing hot oil treatments since I was pretty young. I remember my mother buying these tubes of oil that was to be left in a cup of hot water for a certain amount of time. My mother would pierce the tube and squeeze wonderfully warm oil all over my head and allow it to sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing out. This was always the best part of getting my hair done.

I decided to start making my own hot oil treatments, and it seems as if the gates to some wonderfully happy place just opened up. I started with warming just plain old extra virgin olive oil and applying it to my hair and scalp for about an hour or so. I would then wrap my hair in plastic cling wrap, a shower cap or a plastic bag if that was the only thing available. After rinsing the oil out and shampoo'ing once, my hair was soft like silk and shined so beautifully. I honestly couldn't believe it. I immediately went to work researching how certain oils benefit the hair and scalp

Read More!>>>

The Art of the Pre-Poo...and How to Master It

 via the GoodHairDiaries

What is a pre-poo? 

A pre-poo is when you apply a conditioning treatment to the hair prior to shampooing / washing so as to add moisture to the follicles. 

How does the pre-poo affect your hair?
Yes, it's true that everything that put on your hair before a shampoo will be washed away. It may be hard to see the point of doing this step in the first place. Let's remember that the process of washing the hair can be very stressful on the hair, especially if you are still using a sulfate shampoo. In fact, there tends to be a ton of manipulation during the washing, deep conditioning and styling routine. Doing a  pre-poo conditions the cuticle and gets it prepared for the manipulation to follow.

Read More!>>>

Why I Stopped Deep Conditioning Overnight

by Shelli of

In the past, I would deep condition overnight in a minute … shoot, in a millisecond. But, over the course of 2011-2012, I learned about the importance of protein, protein/moisture balance and that I could, in fact, over-condition my hair. I realized that the very soft feeling that my hair had for most of 2011 was because my hair was over-conditioned and that the crazy shedding that I was experiencing in fall 2011 was likely my hair breaking, because it didn’t have enough tensile strength.

Read On>>>

Hot Oil Treatments for Natural Hair Awesomeness


There’s just something about a hot-oil treatment that is so soothing. I remember there was a time when hot-oil treatments were an absolute must for me! I actually looked forward to them and trust me when I tell you, these treatments did wonders for my hair; leaving it manageable and full of luster. For some reason, I can’t even remember the last time I had a hot oil-treatment. In the process of thinking about my next hair-style, I realized I had given up something vital to hair length retention  and strength. With that being said, tonight I’ll be revisiting the hot oil-treatment life and making sure to stay consistent.

Check out the list of oils you can use for hot oil treatments and their benefits. You’ll find that some oils may work for you better than others or you may even have to mix some oils to find the perfect fit:

Read On!>>>

A Hair Growth Pre-Poo Recipe!

Many curlies enjoy using the ingredients that we find in our kitchens to create or improve hair products. Kitchens are spaces that help us become more creative and find more solutions that can be affordable or improve the overall health of our hair and bodies. DIY recipes and hair cocktails are not strangers to the natural hair community. We are always on the lookout for new ingredients to use in our mixtures to help promote the health of our curls. Looking for a new ingredient? Look no further. This herb may surprise you just like it did for me. Coriander is an ingredient that can improve the overall health of hair.

Read On!>>>

The Coconut Milk Treatment for Soft, Humidity-Resistant Natural Hair

by Veronica of

Deep conditioning with coconut milk, honey, olive and rosemary oils has helped my hair to maintain moisture until the next wash day. Now, for some reason, I'm unable to use coconut oil as a deep conditioner or pre-poo because it dries my hair out something fierce. Coconut milk is another story, and it contains iron, fatty acids, and proteins to help reduce breakage and strengthen hair. So if you're having issues with thinning and breakage, coconut milk can help with this.

Read On!>>>

The Best Oil PROVEN to Reduce Hair Breakage

by Susan Walker of

Quite possibly one of my favourite foods because of the distinctive, nutty flavour it gives to dishes and smoothies (yum!) is coconut. It seems to be en vogue these days as consumers are realizing the benefits of this wonderful superfood and food companies are meeting the demand to provide it in various forms. We have the whole food coconut; but now we’ve been introduced to coconut flour, coconut sugar, coconut milk, coconut yogurt. You name it, the food companies have created it. And that may be not such a great thing. But that’s another post for another day.

What I really want to discuss is the application of coconut – and more specifically the oil – to hair care.

Is Your Hair Still Dirty? This May Be Why.

As a transitioning and natural hair blogger, I love to observe (and sometimes participate in) the waves and trends that roll through the natural hair community. First, it was all about growth, length retention, and proving that textured hair could be just as fab (if not moreso....but hey, I'm biased) as straight hair. Now, some of our favorite bloggers and YouTubers are doing second and third chops, and tapered cuts are taking the reins. Coloring natural hair used to be met with the side eye, but now bright and bold colors are everywhere -- with only a marginal few claiming that hair dye strips you of the title of naturalista. What used to be a race for the most complicated regimen is now met with "ain't nobody got time for that" and a supreme side eye. The current trend in minimalist/lazy natural hair care has ladies looking to eliminate the fluff from regimens, focusing only on what's necessary.

Which brings me to this point: is pre-pooing a necessary step in your wash day regimen? Could that 30 minutes to an hour be better spent, or eliminated to truncate wash day?

The answer isn't as cut and dry as one would think. The real answer depends on what you're using to prepoo your hair, whose advice you trust, and what has yielded the best results for your own head of hair. Let's explore the two most common pre-poo methods, and what folks have to say about them:

Read On!>>>

Deep Conditioning Natural Hair for Elasticity and Preventing Breakage

hair therapy wrap for heated conditioning treatments 

by Susan Walker of DrWalkerWellness

So I’ve gone blonde. Well not entirely blonde but there are some blonde hi-lights in my hair. And I absolutely love them. However the lighter I go, the more damaged and dry my hair becomes. So I have to make an extra effort to ensure I deep condition my hair.

This is a practice that I preach to so many women; yet I admit that I don’t have the time to do it much myself. And I could get away with it before because my hair was as natural as it could be.

Not anymore. Not I have some serious colour and a higher chance of breakage, dryness and brittleness due to that colour.

So now I have to DC – deep condition.

There are many different ways women deep condition their hair. But what is the proper way to get the most benefit to the hair? Why are some methods more important than others and what is a complete waste of time. The purpose of this post is to sift through all of the information to give the real truth about this process, and how to get the results your looking for.

So let’s start with…

What is conditioning?

Read On!>>>

How Much Coconut Oil Does Hair Absorb? #QuestionsThatNeedAnswers

via TheBeautyBrains

Here’s more good news for lovers of natural hair care products.

Coconut oil penetrates hair

I'm sure you already know about how coconut oil is one of the few natural oils that has been proven to penetrate deep inside the hair where it can strengthen from within. The problem has been there has been no way to quantify how much oil actually gets inside the hair. A 2012 research paper documents a new method involving radioactively labeled coconut oil that can now measure how much oil actually gets inside hair.

Read On!>>>

3 Steps to a Drama-Free Wash Day- Natural Hair Care

by Christina Patrice of ManeObjective

Not to brag, but I've been having some ridiculously easy wash days. And while I'm sure my methods don't exactly work for everyone, there are some key points that will help you have a drama-free wash day as well.

When followed, these points help alleviate some of the stress and tension around wash days.

Read On!>>>

Q&A: Reducing the Stress of Wash Day

Q: Nikki, I have such a hard time when I wash my hair. Sometimes it seems I do more harm than good, experiencing more breakage than I assume is considered normal. My favorite style is the wash and go so I'm constantly re-styling and re-wetting. Help! 

CN: Here are three additions to my natural hair routine that have changed the game and not only made wash day easier and less stressful, but also changed my hair for the better.

Read On!>>>

5 Reasons You Should Pre-Poo Your Natural Hair

What’s a Pre-poo?

A “pre-poo” is usually an oil treatment applied to hair prior to shampooing or conditioning. While most of these treatments can be oils of your choice, some women create other treatments from household pantry items.

Popular Pre-poos

olive oil
coconut oil
homemade blends
store bought treatments and masques

Whichever treatment you decide to use for your hair type is, of course, what works for you. And though this may take some extra time, here are five good reasons as to why pre-pooing does wonders for your hair:

Read On>>>

Why You Should Add Pre-Pooing to Your Routine

As a reminder...


Water, The Great Frenemy?

…by Susan Walker of Earthtones Naturals

Before discussing what may be the most important step in your hair care regimen, I want to touch on an important practice that could make a huge difference in how your hair looks and feels after it’s washed and conditioned.

The reality is that if you want to have beautiful natural hair, you need to invest the time upfront to do what is necessary to take care of it. Your hair cleansing and conditioning process is not to be done hurriedly and without attention. You do need to make time for this because if it’s not done properly, dry brittle hair with resulting breakage could ensue.

Read On>>>

Protein "Pre-Poo" Treatment For Strong, Healthy Hair

by Tina Minzu of MissT1806

Understanding the balance between moisture and protein goes a long way in retaining healthy, strong, long hair!

With natural hair, your protein needs are a little less compared to someone with chemically relaxed or colored treated tresses, but nonetheless it a necessity in a healthy hair regimen. When I have talked to people about protein, many have proclaimed,  'my hair doesn't like protein! It left my hair so hard". I must confess that I thought the same thing at one point until I did further research.

All proteins are not equal! There are varying degrees of protein treatment depending on the condition of your hair - severely damaged hair needs something like a reconstructor, while healthy hair will benefit from simple conditioning packs, all available at your local hair and beauty supply store. Of course, there are tons of home remedies too- using eggs, avocado, yoghurt that offer great benefits as well.

Access your hair before you select a protein treatment. If you are unable to determine the state of your hair, consult a hair stylist/specialist for help. Typically I know I need a protein treatment when I've used significant amounts of heat over a short period, or if my wet hair feels limp, cannot seem to hold a style and stretches forever before breaking! I may do a protein treatment once every 2-3 months depending on the state of my hair.  For more info on selecting the right protein for your situation, click HERE.

CN Says-
I use Aubrey's GPB at nearly every wash (it's balanced protein) and often add full fat, plain yogurt to my pre-poos.  These two additions to my routine meet my protein needs in a very cost effective way!  

A Pre-Shampoo Routine Revealed- Natural Hair

by Shelli of Hairscapades

By now you know about the many benefits of virgin coconut oil for hair. Although I’ve been using Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream as of late, I always have Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) and Vatika Oil in the cabinets and will return to them. In fact, as I write this post, I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days (thank goodness for banana clip buns and flowers;-). I began incorporating pre-poos into my regimen last November after seeing this post on and the accompanying video by Youtuber whatgetsonmytits below (I feel funny writing that, but have to give her credit!!).

The information that indicated that coconut oil is the only oil that actually penetrates the hair cortex and can moisturize hair from the inside out, as well as the scientific evidence supporting its ability to prevent hygral fatigue, were all it took to sell me. I hit the grocery store and got myself some VCO and started pre-pooing my very next wash day.

After some additional research on various site, such as Mop Top Maven, and spending time in my local Indian grocer’s hair products aisle looking at henna (PJ heaven, I tell ya!), I also learned of Dabur Vatika Oil. This is what has to say about this product:

  • Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs
  • Provides natural nourishment to your hair, giving it body and radiance, taking care of the critical balance of nutrients
  • Ensures deeper oil penetration to give your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair
  • Strengthens the roots of your hair, to help maintain their health and natural thickness
  • Astringent action of lemon controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff

Turns out that not only does Vatika oil claim coconut oil as its first ingredient, it’s significantly cheaper than the VCO I was purchasing at my local grocery store. I am able to get 10.14 fl. oz. (or 300 mL) of Vatika oil for $3.99 at my local Indian grocer, whereas a 14 oz. bottle of VCO costs me more than $10 a jar. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase VCO (the SO uses it on his skin;). However, the Vatika oil is a more cost-effective alternative for my pre-poos where I use a decent amount of product. I save the VCO for my SO and for adding to my DCs.Since I’ve incorporated pre-poos into my routine, I’m able to do some light, dry finger-detangling prior to my shampoo and conditioning session. I would have never imagined trying a dry detangle prior to this (though detangling a stretched TnC is far easier than detangling a WnG). However, given that hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, I welcomed the idea of doing some of the “heavy lifting” on dry hair in order to reduce mechanical damage. Another effect that I attribute to coconut oil is shinier and more moisturized hair. I generally find that I don’t need to rewet my hair during the week (though I do tend to apply some product(s) – oil, butter and/or gel – 1 or 2 times during the week).

One thing I will advise is that though my hair LOVES coconut oil for pre-poos and added to my DCs, it hates it for sealing. They start out playing nice, but a fight inevitably breaks out the next day and my ends are left dry and crunchy. A lot of people seem to experience the same altercation! So, that is something that you should keep in mind when using coconut oil. It may be good for one thing, but not for another and you should pay attention to your hair’s reaction to products, even the same product, when used in different ways.

I had a couple of requests for a video of my pre-poo application “technique,” so I filmed it this past Saturday. As many of you may know, I incorporate pre-poos into my weekly wash day regimen and typically use VCO or Vatika oil (though I’ve used the Vatika Hair Fall Control Cream on many occasions too).

Have you tried pre-pooing? What type of oil(s) and/or conditioner(s) do you use and what results have you experienced, if any? Would you recommend pre-pooing as a regimen building block?

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