Coconut Toil

 Photo shows A jar of coconut oil sits in the corner of the shower stall. Everyone reading this has a spa. It’s called the bathroom. Take a warm shower, use an aromatherapy soap, apply a face masque. Spend two minutes on Pinterest and realize how many ways people can waste, I mean spend, time smothering themselves with Three Simple Ingredients in the morning. Unless of course you’re in your spa behind a locked door seeking refuge–privacy please–from hyper children on a snow day for ten whole seconds. Or stale company. Or barking dogs. Deep breath. Hey breathing exercises–another pampering treat at home. And, it’s free. You never knew you had it so good.

After hearing friends not just Pinterest strangers rave about coconut oil benefits, I bought some at Trader Joe’s. Yes, my brave husband risked peril by driving us around the Trader Joe’s parking lot. He’s a champ there as I’ve proclaimed before. It was worth it, right honey?

I stand in my beautiful white tile lined spa. Please ignore the horrid floor picked by the previous owner. I twist open the lid, lift the glass jar to my nose and inhale. Ahhh. I’m transported from wintry Mayberry to tropical shores. The smell of cold-pressed fruit leads me to sunny beaches and ocean waves rolling up the shoreline. A terrier barks, and I refocus. There’s self-care work to do.

I’m brimming with ideas from a previous google deep dive. Soothe dry skin. Slather on coco rub when congested. Banish frizzy hair. Whiten teeth. Loosen plaque. Boost energy with a scoop in your smoothie. There were a lot of coconut claims I can’t verify, but they sounded so great. This stuff remedies like the healthcare version of duct tape.

First I carve out a tablespoon for my hair.  My friend Terri, who writes Blind Mom in the Burbs you should check it out, applies it to her hair regularly. Her long shiny hair is beautiful so I immediately believe her. Plus, she’s not the type to lie over a hair tip, she has a life.

I distribute the warmed oil through my hair. Since I plan to run two treatments simultaneously, I go back to the jar for a smaller spoonful for my teeth. It said–do you really expect me to remember which of the tens of pages I glanced at told me this, not today –it said somewhere to swish for ten minutes or more. Here we go.

As my hair sets, I push and pull the oil around my teeth and gums and tongue. Time saver. I start day dreaming in the humid mist, this is awesome. Suddenly I’m gagging. I try to relax, it’s not time to spit out my rinse, but my oral cavity is in full rejection mode and there’s no time to leap for a trash can. No not now oil! Ugh. I refuse to asphyxiate. Down the drain it goes. I rinse with handfuls of water to dilute the sour flavor. That went well.

At least my hair won’t let me down. I shampoo out the oil and caught a whiff of warm oil and gagged again, but the queasy sensation passed. I dress and move on. It was a mild day and I play with the dogs in the backyard. I hold the ends of my softened hair to my nose in the sunlight. The faint sweet odor of coconut greets me. Bliss.

I hear tires turn into the driveway. Stockton’s home. We all go inside to start dinner. As he stands next to me, he reflexively dips his head to sniff my hair, curious about the new product. Usually my hair will smell a little minty or fruity. He jerked backward, nose crinkled.

“What on earth happened?” he said. “Your scalp smells kind of like rancid, bad, something…awful. ”

Horrified, I sniff the ends of my hair again and it’s pleasant. I make him smell that and he nods in agreement, but leans away from my scalp. My heart sinks as I realize I used too much coconut oil or did not rinse well. I climbed the stairs with a sigh  to re-shampoo my hair.  Splendid day at the spa.

Coconut oil taught me self-care lessons. Nobody likes an oily scalp: only condition the ends of your hair or be prepared to shampoo like a madwoman. Finally, when treating teeth, don’t rush the swish. I mess up dear readers so you don’t have to. From my home oasis to yours, namaste.

What DIY beauty tricks have you tried? Do you shop at Trader Joe’s? What do you think of coconut oil? Tell me about it.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Steph McCoy says:

    Sorry, your experience with coconut oil didn’t quite pan out but this was an entertaining read. I almost bought some coconut oil a few days ago but thought better of it. This particular line had me cracking up: “This stuff remedies like the healthcare version of duct tape.”

    1. Beauty is never boring. If you try coconut oil for anything let me know, Steph!

      1. Steph McCoy says:

        I certainly will. I was thinking of using it for my skin but really is one of those multi-purpose products that I’ve not taken advantage of.

  2. Julia says:

    This one had me cracking up. Thank you! And I use coconut oil as a moisturizer and make up remover!

  3. MamaRupp says:

    I love coconut oil. We use it for everything in our house. I tried the teeth whitening swooshing, but never made it past the second day, LOL.

    1. Yeah, no more teeth treatment for me! Sticking to hair and skin.

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