The recent Feelin’ Feminine interview drew a lot of inquires about our beauty solutions and going NO-POO (Haven’t used soap in my hair going on 2 years now. I still wash my hair. I just use apple cider vinegar (ACV) instead– but that’s a topic for yet another post).

Folks have often commented (positively) about our skin and hair, curious about our “beauty secrets.” The secret really is keeping your beauty products and routine simple – the simpler the better. Like we said in the interview, beauty starts on the inside with good food, lots of water and exercise.

Healthy hair naturally

We are going to kick off the series with….

Coconut Oil

In our natural beauty journey, a question we ladies asked ourselves,  “is there a way to have beauty but without the “beauty products” that are marketing us to in magazines, radio, tv, etc?”  Taking that question a few steps backwards,  “what would Grandma do?”  Looking good doesn’t have to cost you your health or your wallet.

One of our favorite kitchen cosmetics is coconut oil. We use it for skin care as it absorbs well into the skin and leaves it dewy looking. It helps fight blemishes too. Putting a small amount in your hair before washing will condition your hair nicely. It also conditions your eyebrows and lashes.

Another use, besides using it in cooking or as a butter substitute, is for brushing your teeth or for oil pulling to thoroughly cleanse your mouth.

Virgin coconut oil is loaded with antioxidants, protects against free radical damage and keeps the skin smooth, supple and deep conditions hair.

Coconut oil is a multi purpose product you can use it

1. Stimulate hair growth. Applying coconut oil particularly virgin coconut oil on hair has been said to work wonders on hair loss conditions. It also strengthens hair and prevents dry scalp. In addition, coconut oil is a great and cheap conditioner and hot oil treatment because it leaves the hair smooth and shiny.

2. Smoothen the skin. Coconut oil can be used as a lotion and facial moisturizer to smoothen the skin and remove rough and dry patches. You can use it as an after-bath lotion, facial moisturizer, or massage oil.

3. Treat damaged skin. More than beautifying, many people claim that coconut oil can actually treat damaged skin by relieving eczema symptoms, preventing fungal infections and body odor, and protecting against age spots and blemishes.

4. Gray hair. Massage your hairs with coconut oil and Lemon everyday for at least 15 minutes. There are instances of people having black hairs even up to the age of 60-70 years by using this method.

5. Coloring gray hair. Apply henna to restore the dark color of your hair. Boil coconut oil with henna leaves till the oil turns dark. Apply it on your hair after cooling it down. Wash it off after 30-40 minutes. You will find your gray hair turned into brown

Since using coconut oil we’ve noticed that our hair is silkier, eyelashes have gotten thicker, nicer nails/less hangnails, skin softer and more radiant. Not bad results for a relatively cheap product.  It’s a multiple use product and even better we can pronounce the ingredient list!

From what we’ve read from our readers comments in our kick off post of the ‘Natural Beauty’ series, seems like many of you use coconut oil too. What have positive changes have you noticed using coconut oil, care to share?

:: Resources ::

Here’s another helpful link to help you uncover the ingredients in cosmetics : Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database

Coconut Oil for Beauty

Coconut Oil for Hair, Skin and More

Beauty Secrets from India: Oiling Your Hair

Indian Head Oil Massage

Affiliate Program

For vitamins and other products (like the coconut oil) we order from iHerb – click on their button and enter the below referral code during checkout

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  1. Cynthia says:

    I just recently purchased a jar of coconut oil…but had no idea how to use it! Thank you, Anais, for all these great recommendations! I can’t wait to use it on my hands tonight – as a potter I haven’t found a sensitive skin friendly/non perfumed cream that helps repair the damage to my nails/skin at all, but I’m more than willing to try this natural product!

  2. Kendra @ A Sonoma Garden says:

    I gave up shampooing my hair about two years ago too. While the past two years have been a ‘hairy’ journey I can honestly say now that I will never go back to shampoo. My hair is so much better without it.

    I’ve recently discovered coconut oil, I use it in lotions and soaps and directly on my skin (I’m pregnant and it’s great on my growing belly). But I haven’t tried it on my hair yet. I will! Thanks for the good info.

  3. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for the information on coconut oil and its uses. I brought back 2 litres of oil from India last summer while visiting our daughter there. Our African children here at home have LOVED it for their hair and skin. I suppose I should give it a try myself and maybe ward off the hints of grey creeping in….

  4. Nihal says:

    Care to share where to get coconut oil -especially for international fair trade sellers?

    • Kristina says:

      Alpha has a fair trade Coconut oil

  5. April says:

    Your link above-Beauty Secrets from India: Oiling Your Hair,
    It is not taking me to the article. I was quite interested in reading it. I found this page ( through facebook. I have used coconut oil in my hair from time to time for therapeutic uses. I use coconut oil for many health & medical issues. Thank you for posting your article. I know it has benefitted many people.

  6. Jeni says:

    wow I had no idea there are so many uses for this wonderful product! I am just getting into soap and lotion making and I can’t wait to try the other ways you have listed!

  7. Mary says:

    Thanks so much for this post. I love everything about your site and I always post about your urban homestead. My husband and I are very into green living and we are in the process of turning our NJ home into an “urban homestead,” thanks a great deal to the motivation of your family. Question- if one has somewhat oily hair already- does this make it more oily? How much do you use on long hair? Also when you apply it to your lashes, do you just use your fingertips along the base of the lash line or a mascara wand?

    Thank you very much.

    • Anais says:

      @Mary: That’s a good question. I’m not sure adding oil to already oily hair would be such a good idea. Suggestions, thoughts anyone? When I apply the oil I just dab a bit (LITTLE) on my fingertips and run my fingers on my scalp and a little on the hair ends. For lashes you can use a wand.

      • Mary says:

        @Anais, Thanks so much.

        • Kelly Land says:

          @Mary, my cocunut oil is in solid form, is this the right stuff? Thanks!

          • Belinda says:

            Coconut oil is solid when refrigerated. It should be soft at room temperature. In Summer time it should be liquid.

      • Ireande says:

        My hair used to be really oily. I don’t use shampoo anymore but I used to use very harsh shampoos since nothing could remove 100% the oiliness. 3 weeks ago I stopped using shampoo. I now clean my hair twice a week with 2 tbsp of baking soda dissolved in a cup of warm water. Use one of those condiment/ketchup plastic bottles to get it really close to your scalp (don’t use on the rest of your hair). Massage it and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse well and then use 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water. Same process as the other mix but this one is for all over your hair. Eventually your hair will stop overproducing oil. I’ve never had my hair so clean and curly. Dryness is starting to go away. Now that my hair is not oily anymore is a good time to start using the coconut oil. I would recommend to use this process. First time I washed it didn’t work out very well. I went out and bought the bottles and that seemed to work perfect 🙂 Coconut oil is solid at room temperature too but if you put in in our fingers it will melt right away.

  8. Linda says:

    I have been using extra virgin Coconut oil for awhile now as a all over body oil. I also use it in “pulling”
    My mother uses in also, and uses it in cooking.
    We love the benefits from it…I know I can’t live without it!

    • Anais says:

      @Linda: Thanks for sharing. Good to know that others know about the “oil pulling” bit. Pretty neat stuff.

  9. Cindy (FarmgirlCyn) says:

    I make deodorant using coconut oil, and also use it as a make-up remover. Especially good for raccoon eyes after showering! The mascara just wipes right off without pulling at the tender, under-eye skin.

    • Anais says:

      @Cindy (FarmgirlCyn): Ahh coon eyes. I got them. Yessiree. Stress does it to me and when that happens I look like I got socked in the eye.

  10. Frank (HGFood) says:

    Not sure if beauty tips would ever help my mug ;*) LOL
    Glad you brought up the links to your affiliates it is a win-win-win. I just noticed that I was running out of my Omega oil vitamins, you passed on a $5 off coupon and most of all it helps you guys keep going on all your great sites. iHerb has good products, prices and shipping everyone should take a look.

    Thanks for all you DO!!
    Have a Great Day!!

    • Anais says:

      @Frank (HGFood): Thanks for the positive feedback, appreciate that and glad you liked iHerb. We know we can’t always grow what we need – yep, we are human after all and proudly support these two companies when we do need certain supplies.

  11. Rhonda says:

    I’m fortunate enough to be able to purchase Extra Virgin Coconut oil at our grocery. I buy a container just about every time I do my weekly shopping. This way I will have a lot of it on hand because you just never know when times will get tough. I love to cook with it (It has a super-long shelf life) and I’ve been using it on my elbows and knees for a while. It truly is a wonder item!

    • Anais says:

      @Rhonda: Ditto about great on elbows and knees – especially in winter when you have long sleeves that rub your elbows dry!

  12. Diane@Peaceful Acres says:

    Alright you got me! I’m going to try the gray hair colorant….just wondering where to find some henna leaves??? I remember in India henna was everywhere…but in Maryland, not so. I recently made a hair wash with St John’s Wort which is also suppose to be a colorant. I’m not sure what color, but I’ll let you know! Perhaps I’ll need to wear a hat for a few weeks! I use to use coconut oil on my skin, but I had trouble with getting it to absorb well. I guess it’s time to try again. Thanks for all the great info. I’m really looking forward to this adventure with you girls!

    • Anais says:

      @Diane@Peaceful Acres: Sage, rosemary, tea and even coffee can be used to darken hair. Bet you can find those in Maryland. 😉

      • Diane@Peaceful Acres says:

        Oh yes, I have those and now I know what to do with the leftover coffee. I tried the SJW rinse today and rubbed some Coco oil in. BTW, how often do you use a colorant rinse? I’m gonna give the ACV a try again. I was really miffed at that video you showed bc I had now idea that Organic labels on hair products means squat. Blah!

        • Anais says:

          @Diane@Peaceful Acres: Oh, it depends once or twice a month. Here’s a helpful link about using coffee to color your hair
          Yeah, pretty upsetting about the organic industry. Talk about greenwashing!

    • Laurie says:

      @Diane@Peaceful Acres, St John’s wort makes a beautiful deep red color when the flowers/leaves are infused in oil. I use this in ointments. Do be careful though, because I think it has been shown to potentiate sunlight and may lead to sunburns. I have never used it on hair, so if you do, I am curious!

  13. Chris says:

    I really love these “girlie” beauty posts. I’ve just discovered coconut oil and have been using it in cooking. I’m a confessed “beauty product junkie” a la “organic” products, but SO love that I can downsize and simplify to the basics. Anais, I was wondering what “no poo” meant. Never heard that lingo before. You can imagine the questions swirling around my newbie homesteading brain! Thanks for clarifying!!! Great post! Great info!! I’m excited to try some of these wonderful suggestions to simplify and save so much money! Can’t wait for the Apple Cider Vinegar post!

    • Anais says:

      @Chris: Happy to clarify. 😉 Working on the next installment. Thanks for your positive feedback.

  14. Brianna says:

    I turned to coconut oil after breaking out with not just severe acne over my entire face, but also severe eczema. Frantic, I broke down and broke out my wallet to go to a dermatologist who prescribed me some pills and creams that I’m sure destroyed every good and bad bacteria in my body… but didn’t fix a thing. Finally, I just started slathering myself with coconut oil and FINALLY after months I’m looking normal. During the day I’ll apply to my face, leave for a few minutes, then wipe the excess to avoid clogged pores. Wrinkles are diminishing, the texture feels young again… godsend.

    • James Newton says:

      @Brianna, I also suffer from an occasional severe rash that affects the areas of my face with a concentration of sebaceous glands; the chin, between lip and nose, behind the ears, and most distressing, around my eyes and eyebrows. For me, the worst part was trying to find something to use around my eyes; every commercial product I could find carried a clear warning not to apply anywhere near the eyes.

      Coconut oil, after much research, doesn’t appear to do any damage to the eyes, and I slather it on regularly all over, hair, face, eyelids, etc…

      Many thanks to you guys for getting the world out about this awesome, natural, frugal, and very powerful conditioner.

  15. booksb4bread says:

    Coconut oil on the scalp will cure dandruff or keep it away if you use it regularly. Thanks so much for the great tips!

  16. Paula says:

    Why not order the coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs? I started buying their extra virgin unrefined coconut oil by the gallon bucket and it is wonderful and the best price I’ve found -$37- even with shipping! Theirs is from the Phillipines.

  17. ariella says:

    I learned about coconut oil from Indian friends originally. I find that it works better in bread products than any type of oil. Something about it makes my breads fluff up like cake!

    After cooking with it, I would wipe the excess on my hands, and it always felt so silky and nice, so I started using it as massage oil.

    That led to moisturizing my skin with it. I haven’t noticed any huge differences, but I prefer something natural anyway. I usually buy a jar at the Indian store for $3. I only use the organic one for cooking, since it’s pretty costly. This winter, we’re going to make some into lip balms with essential oil of mint for some zing.

    I recently came across an Ayurvedic practice called “oil pulling” where you swish it in your mouth first thing after waking up. It is supposed to remove toxins from your saliva. There are a lot of claims online to the benefits, so I decided to experiment on myself. Nothing to lose!

    I’m really interested to hear about your no poo wash Anais! It’s not the first time I’ve heard of it, but if that’s what you’re doing on your gorgeous locks, then I’ll give it a shot!

    • Anais says:

      @ariella: Wow, another reader who knows about oil pulling. I’ve tried it a few times… forgot what for. Ha. But I’ve heard it works. Ah, yes the no poo topic is quite the popular one. That will be featured in an upcoming post so stay tuned.

  18. abbyiherb says:

    Hello. I just wanted to say “Thanks so much” for recommending iHerb! We truly appreciate your shopping with us and also for being a part of our Rewards Program. 🙂 By the way, if you’d like some additional tips on how to get your coupon code out there, please email me anytime at

    • Anais says:

      @abbyiherb: Thanks!

  19. Miss Shelby L'Rae says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I’ve just now attempted to condition my hair with the coconut oil – I was needing something, (I’ve gone no-poo recently) and I really wasn’t that pleased with the results of the ACV. I have a very oily scalp, but because my hair is so long, my ends are pretty dry and frizzy… I really like the fact that you apply the coconut oil BEFORE you wash… maybe that will help rinse any excess from my roots.

    Also, I wanted y’all to know that our family has been very blessed by your ministry. My Daddy was very excited to find out about urban homesteading because we’ve always wished to be self-sufficient, but God has us in a little neighborhood right now. So, one raised garden bed at a time, we are working toward more self-sufficiency, and y’all have been such an inspiration! And thank y’all for Freedom Seeds – we’ll be purchasing for our fall garden very soon. Thanks for everything, and God bless y’all!

    Christ’s blessings,
    Miss Shelby L’Rae

    • Anais says:

      @Miss Shelby L’Rae: Seems like the “no-poo” thing is catching on. See FF is doing a challenge too! 😉 Keep me posted on conditioning your hair with oil before you wash it. Hope it helps.
      And thank YOU for the positive comments as they are greatly appreciated. I printed up your comment and passed it around to the family today – made our day! We are certainly blessed that we are able to share our journey and inspire others along the way. Love your blog BTW…. and that cute apron! Wishing you and your family on the best on your journey. Stay in touch! Blessings to all

  20. Michael says:

    Coconut oil is also very good for you on the inside. Everyday oils most people buy in the grocery store—like canola, safflower or corn oil and even flaxseed oil (which is the oil that is used in the tubes of oil paint that artists use)—basically turn into varnish on the inside of your arteries when they come into contact with the oxygen in your blood. They oxidize, just like a varnish will. Around 70% of all the plaque that is rotor-rootered out of peoples arteries during heart surgery is caused by the oxidation of these oils. Coconut, being a saturated fat, will not cause this problem, and actually help to decrease the plaque that’s already there. So eat up; goes great with popcorn.

  21. Diane@Peaceful Acres says:

    I think you’re going to be really proud of me. I am now 1 wk no poo!!! I’m using the ACV with some St John’s Wort rinse. That’s it. I scrunch my curls and my hair has never been softer…and no $$$$ on conditioner! My scalp doesn’t itch and it feels clean. BUT I do think I need to snip some oregano and basil into my pockets cause I’m smelling a bit like a hoagie!

    • Anais says:

      @Diane@Peaceful Acres: Way to go! Glad to hear you had some good results. Very funny! LOL

  22. Alice says:

    I had gotten coconut oil for my hair. I oil the night before washing just braid it up after oiling and sleep on it. I have started the no poo thing again too. I was a couple months into it a year or so ago then I stopped not sure why now. It seems to be working out well for me anyway.
    I have started oil cleaning my face now too. That seems to be going well.
    I bathed the grandkids and got out the coconut oil and oiled them down. The dog came and licked the 2 year old where I had oiled her. I guess the dog likes the taste of it.

  23. Katie S. says:

    I am new to the kitchen cosmetics area. I checked out, but I’m not sure which brand of Coconut Oil to get. Which one(s) would you recommend?

    • Anais says:

      @Katie S.: Nutiva is a good brand.

  24. jody lee says:


    I’m planning on gradually replacing all my cosmetics and cleaning products with homemade versions over the next few weeks/months… and posting my results on my blog (

    The household cleaning products are not really a challenge, I have been making those for a few years – but the cosmetics! Slightly overwhelming at first, but I’m really glad I found this post as it reassures me that my project isn’t crazy and that it’s possible to do a lot in the kitchen.

    Thanks! You have a new fan 😉

    • Anais says:

      @jody lee: Thanks and welcome. Good luck with your journey and project. All the best!

  25. Robin Feltner says:

    I love this post. There are so many simple beauty treatments right in your own kitchen. One of my favorite staples is sugar. It’s such an excellent exfoliator for dry skin.

  26. the hair experiment [a working title]. « Emanation says:

    […] using shampoo). I pretty much think everything they do is the bees knees. So, when I came across this article I was pretty inspired. And figured if the cool kids over at this blog were doing it, I […]

  27. tolsom skin-care says:

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  28. Angie Blake says:

    Personally, I think coconut oil could save the world!! 🙂 I have my own home business called Back 2 Eden and almost all of my all natural, homemade products have coconut oil in them!! I have wonderful whipped Body Butter, aluminum-free Deodorant, sea salt Scrub, natural, fluoride-free Toothpaste and many others that include coconut oil!! It really is amazing!! If anyone is interested, please check out: Thank you for such a wonderful and informative site! Love it!

  29. KELLY Hatcher says:

    I was wondering if you have a substitute for coconut oil? I am highly allergic to coconuts, coconut oil, lol in fact anything coconut either processed or organic. Any help would be appreciated.

  30. Kian Williams says:

    I’m allergic to coconut and all other nuts. I can’t find any good natural alternatives to use because of this and its making it really difficult for me to lead a more natural lifestyle. Advice would be much appreciated.

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