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Curly Nikki

Wash Day Preparation- The Coconut Oil Bun

By January 27th, 202150 Comments

Wash Day Preparation- The Coconut Oil Bun

Hola Chicas,

We made it, y’all!  I’m back, safe and sound in Happy Valley *grabs tambourine*.

But after the second 13 hour drive in less than 4 days, I’m in no mental state to unpack, let
alone do my hair… which is now fire-hazard dry and frizzy, as I’m on day 6.  You
know when you’re feeling extra lazy, but also incredibly guilty ’cause
of the gross negligence… your hair is screaming for attention but you have
none to give?  Well, when those days descend upon me, I rock my pre-wash
day ‘do– a greasy ass bun.  It’s the perfect option for wash day procrastinators like myself.

I heavy-handedly apply coconut
oil… like ‘oil slicks on the headrest, pillowcase and headboard’
greasy… like, ‘forehead, or in my case, fivehead shining’ greasy. And pull it up using a Goody Ouchless Band (pulling the hair all the way through once and only halfway through the second time).  The oily bun
makes me feel better about myself because I’m, (1) now somewhat
presentable, (2) doing something good for my hair that didn’t take much
time or effort, and (3) can put off wash day for at least one more day. So why
coconut oil, you ask?

Well, according to the BeautyBrains

 “…it’s one of the relatively few oils that are able to
penetrate deep into the hair. Coconut oil is special because it has the
right combination of molecular size and shape (it’s small and has
straight line structure that allows it to slip into hair) and the right
chemical structure (it’s derived from lauric acid which has an affinity
for protein.) So while most conditioning oils (like silicones and
mineral oil) just sit on top of that hair, coconut oil is literally able
to work from the inside.

What’s the best way to apply coconut oil?

One of the best studies we’ve seen on this subject was conducted in
India is in 2002. Researchers found that coconut oil reduces damage both
as a pre-wash and post grooming treatment. However, results showed it
worked better as a prewash which makes sense since that’s when a lot of
mechanical damage occurs during the washing and drying process.

Does this sound too good to be true? Well there is a slight catch, at
least based on the methodology used in this particular test. The
coconut oil was applied to hair and allowed to soak in for 14 hours
(overnight). Despite the usage instructions for many regular
conditioners you don’t have to let those sit on your hair for very long.
However, if you want good penetration (and who doesn’t?) you have to
allow coconut oil to soak into your hair for quite some time. Maybe 14
hours isn’t the magic number but that’s the timeframe that researchers
used in this study.

The Beauty Brains bottom line

We wouldn’t want to over emphasize the results of any single study,
however, based on the research we’ve seen you should apply coconut oil
to your hair at night before going to sleep. In the morning wash it out
and you should see significantly less damage.”

And according to Hairlicious

“Since coconut oil is able to bind to the natural protein structure
of the hair, this helps the hair retain its natural moisture content
and reinforces the hair fiber, making it stronger.

form of protection helps preserve the cuticle layer and keep it in
tact, thus allowing the cuticle to remain closed and hold on to
moisture. In addition, it smooths raised cuticles reducing tangles,
enhancing shine, and softness. Only use a finger tip amount, nothing
more, or your hair may feel stiff.

Retaining moisture and lowering the pH level of your products (4.5 level) is key in eliminating porosity issues.

oil’s ability to prevent protein loss and reduce hair porosity makes
it valuable for those who relax, color, blow dry, brush hard, sun
exposure, and regularly flat iron their hair.

Still want more? Check out THIS ARTICLE and THIS ONE.    

So yeah, I apply my coconut oil (Spectrum’s Organic & Unrefined) the night before wash day and then the next morning, I apply full fat yogurt on top of that, don a plastic cap, let it marinate for 15-30 minutes and then wash and style as usual.  I find coconut oil a bit too heavy to use regularly between washes, but it works perfectly for my pre-wash day treatment.

Later Gators,

p.s. Coconut oil is the only thing I use on my face too… besides water and a little Cetaphil Daily Facial Moisturizer.  That’s it. Clear skin.  It’s also the only hair and body oil I use on Boogie!

How do you prepare for wash day? 


  • CurlyNikki says:

    So cool! What an awesome memory… sounds like mommy/daughter spa day!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Just posted an article on low porosity hair. She recommended using a lighter oil like grapeseed. No matter the product, you should apply in sections, to dry or damp (not wet) hair, with the 'praying hands' method…smoothing the product in thoroughly.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    that's not a silly question! I've heard both sides… some folks say it begins to harden in cold weather (be it an air conditioned room or walking around outside in winter), while others don't seem to have that issue. This will be my first winter using coconut oil, so I'll keep you posted! I can say that sometimes Shea butter had a tendency to go rigid on me…

  • Curliestyles says:

    Awe! That's exactly what I'm doing now with my 2 year old! So cute.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    OOOH! If only I could french braid! They're so chic… two fat ones on either side… *swoon*. One day.

  • Tameka Downing says:

    I have mine in coconut oil french braids right now. Love it!

  • Darnice Monae' Graham says:

    Thank you, this is perfect, I already use the Cetaphil, but I will try it with the coconut oil…thanks so much for responding!! 🙂

  • Lisa Williams says:

    OK, so here's a silly question…does the greasy bun stay greasy in cold weather? I think this would be a perfect solution to prep myself for wash day but I got a little nervous that as soon as I hit the cold, the coconut oil would start to solidify. (I'm in Detroit, and it's coooold in the morning right now) Thanks!

  • Princess Di says:

    I looooove^10 coconut oil, but how should a person with low porosity hair use it???

  • Kerissa Keri Rosales Khan says:

    Coconut oil has been a staple for since I was a baby. My mom always put coconut oil in my hair and her hair every friday night as an overnight pre poo after I loosened my braids. Then in the AM we would take turns sitting under the heat cap. Afterwards she wash my hair and her hair in the sink and apply some DC and back to take turns under the heat cap, rinse and dry. Her hair was set with rollers, mine put into a million box braids.

  • cincinnati girl says:

    Just started trying the coconut oil and agree…it can be heavy for a non wash treatment but its super effective. Not too keen on the smell so havent tried it as an all day/night conditioning treatment. Any ideas?

  • ss says:

    @CurlyNikki:disqus – I really really really want to try the yogurt this weekend, but I recalled your August post where you said yogurt made the hair and scalp smell like @ssvomit! I almost peed myself laughing at that one! Have you tweaked your regimen to prevent this from happening again? Thanks so much!!

  • lolo says:

    i started doing this accidentally last year lol. what happened was i was trying to style my hair to go meet someone, so i put HELLA coconut oil in my hair in an attempt to style it (because at the type i only styled my hair with coconut oil, i still do from time to time) but i got the date for the meet wrong so i just went to bed with all that oil in my hair. the next day was wash day and i noticed quite a difference during the detangling process in the shower and after i finished styling.

  • LBell says:

    Spectrum's refined coconut oil has no scent and there really isn't that much of a difference between it and unrefined coconut oil. This past summer I started using unrefined coconut oil on my body in place of lotion and after about 6 hours I'd start to smell like something burnt and this was WITH the addition of EOs. I replaced it with refined coconut oil and all's good in the 'hood…

  • melbelle says:

    do you spray your hair with water before you apply the coconut oil or do you apply it to dry hair?

  • hairscapades says:

    Girl, you know I'm MEAN with a greasy ol', Vatika Oiled up, banana clip bun!!!! LOL!! I have rocked that many, many, MANY a time when I don't feel like washing my hair … going out to events and everything. I just wipe my ol' eighthead and neck off, throw a flower clip in it, do the brows, throw on some glass and keep it moving! LOL!!!


  • Megan M. says:

    I love coconut oil. I use to let it sit for 2hrs, but then when I went on CurlyNikki I started letting it sit overnight and so far I like it, with a conditioning cap on underneath my satin bonnet. My two year old nephew, when he is over just looks at me like he wants to say what is that on your head! lol! It really does keep my hair stronger especially when I pair it with an egg for a protein treatment once a month.

  • Alex says:

    Hey Curly Nikki, do you heat up the oil or just apply it room temperature?

  • Landry says:

    I prepoo and finger detangle with Votika Oil and a VO5 Contioner. I tried a shampoo bar recently after having difficulty finding a good shampoo and I was blown away. My hair was clean without being stripped at all!

    P.S.–I can't stand OIL STAINS. LOL!!! I have had to invest in sooo many pillow cases since going natural!

  • hunnybun says:

    it's probable cause it can act like a protein at times so if you are protein sensitive then this may be it

  • Gail says:

    Nice article.

  • ChakaKhanian says:

    I prepare for my wash day by alternating between cassia/protein/moisturizing deep conditioners. I use the cassia and protein treatments every other month, but the deep conditioners are mostly used prior to. I place a plastic cap over my head with the product of choice used, workout or clean up for about 30 minutes to 1 hour, then I wash.

  • Katrina M. Logan says:

    Loved this post…I am a HUGE fan of coconut oil. I love the fact that my hair "drinks" it up in seconds although I can't say the same for my pillowcase or my satin scarf, but they don't complain"O)…I have never used it on my face, because I have such sensitive skin, but I may just give it a chance. I usually get the Whole Foods brand of Organic Coconut Oil, its cheap ($5.99) and always readily available. Thanks for the great information…your site is my "hair bible"!!!

  • Sweetdrk1 says:

    I have yet to try coconut oil….*adds to my list*

  • k says:

    I take my little one swimming on wash day, should I still try a pre poo on her after swimming but before we wash? thanks!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    there's no other way to describe it… neck, forehead, everything's shiny, lol. But it's for a good cause! I love my black satin pillow case cause it doesn't show the stains… the henna stains, oil stains, lol, I only know I've made a mess when I take it off of the pillow to wash it. My pillow looks like a crime scene. I need a new pillow.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Sweet! Thanks lady! xx

  • CurlyNikki says:

    Thanks lady! and my skin is DRY! I have oily spots near my nose, but the skin on my chin gets so dry in the winter that it damn near flakes. I've never really had a problem with acne… I only get that one cycstic bump on my chin every now and again… you know, during 'that time'. What brand coconut oil do you use?

  • kay says:

    Thanks for this post. I love using coconut oil on my hair and body. I have been wanting to use it on my face but I am afraid of breaking out. Do you have dry or oily skin and did you experience any break-outs at the beginning?

    Thanks again—love your site!

  • Bookstar says:

    Good Lord this post was hilarious, Nikki–and informative!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    oh no! that sucks! Maybe try olive oil?

  • CurlyNikki says:

    great idea! thanks for sharing!

  • shadow says:

    LMAO @ "greasy ass bun"!!!

  • Mona Peters says:

    I find that coconut oil changes the texture of my hair, makes my hair feel coarse. It's not a permanent change but not a good feeling either.

  • Yasmin says:

    Thanks for the tips. Unfortunately, my skin is super sensitive to coconut oil 🙁 But, I recently started using it on the bottom half/ends of my hair before shampooing and now detangling is much easier. Just an idea for anyone with senstive skin; try keeping the coconut oil away from your roots/skin.

  • CurlyNikki says:


  • CurlyNikki says:

    finger tip amount is for my face 🙂
    I probably apply a golf ball sized amount to my hair… I don't section, I just using the praying hands method for the length and massage some directly into my scalp. I use a lot of oil, lol. My jar is half empty (or half full, lol) and I've only had it a few months.

  • moya says:

    Great article and its good to know you make it home safe after some 13 hrs driving…!!!

  • moya says:

    I have done it and like it too, the Vatika Brand is Good.. you can get frm the Indian store on line. Like the fact that it said helps with Tangle n shine…

  • moya says:

    Nikki when you said finger tip for applying on that for each section or whole head.. cuz you have a lot of hair lady.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    yup, detangling is easier and your hair is shinier since there's always a little left after a co-wash.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    I should revisit Vatika oil, thanks for the reminder!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    I apply less than a pea-sized amount (like a finger nail scrape) to my wet face (I only use water to cleanse my face!) and then about a nickle size amount of Cetaphil. Sometimes, I only apply the coconut oil. And if I can remember, I re-apply at night. That's it!

  • nola707 says:

    I'm so scatter brained right now that I don't always remember to pre-poo but when I do my hair does seem to detangle better.

  • Darnice Monae' Graham says:

    Hi CurlyNikki, whats your regimen for using coconut oil on your face? I would like to try it, thanks 🙂

  • Jas says:

    Great tips Nikki.
    I recently purchased the Vatika oil and have used it as a prewash 2 times so far. My hair looks very moisturized after I wash and condition my hair. I haven’t let it sit in my hair for a long period of time but it seems to still work. While in the shower I rinse my hair real good. Apply the oil to my hair and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse a little and add some shampoo to my hair. I wash one or two times then I proceed with a conditioner (lately it’s been Suave Shea Butter & Almond or Crece Pelo conditioner rinse). I let the conditioner sit in my hair for a few minutes, rinse the conditioner out and either wear a wash n go or blow it out and flat iron my hair. I noticed my hair is well hydrated when it comes to blow drying it. I don’t need to use a leave in conditioner. I’ve added a little bit of oil to my hair before blow drying and my hair comes out soft but not overly oil/greasy.

  • CurlyNikki says:

    No prob chica! You should try it, even if just 30 minutes before you wash… it helps with detangling too!

  • CurlyNikki says:

    the spectrum brand is pleasant enough but the NOW Healthy Food brand smells so much like coconuts that, if you're like me, you'll want to lick your hand. It's light and the fragrance dissipates quickly… it in no way smells like cooking grease. Try the NOW brand and tell me what you think. I use coconut oil on my face too… every morning!

  • Alli says:

    Great tip but I hate how some coconut oils smell (like cooking grease). Any tips for brands or types of coconut oil that will work for those of us with sensitive noses?

  • trilingual diva says:

    Wow. I wish I had enough hair to have to prep in order to wash it. My hair is thin and vey curly (about neck length) so I don't have to do anything but wash and go. But thanks for the tips on coconut oil, very helpful.

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