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Coconut Milk as a Super-Moisturizing Pre-Shampoo Treatment

Avatar • Feb 12, 2014

by Shelli of Hairscapades
coconut_milk

A couple of weeks ago, I was messing around on YouTube and came across this two part series on using coconut milk as a hair treatment. I was immediately intrigued for two reasons.

  1. I love me some coconut oil! DON’T NOBODY better say nothin’ bad about COCONUT OIL. ‘Cuz that’s when Bonita goes OFF!! *teehee*
  2. The YouTuber’s hair is RIDIC!! I mean, long as all get out and so healthy looking without a broken strand visible to the naked eye (whereas I have a ton from a rough, dry winter)!

Now, I know her hair is not curly, kinky, or coily. However, I have always believed that we can learn things from a variety of sources, different textures and ethnicities as many of the practices that promote healthy hair are the same, regardless of race/texture/hair type (i.e. moisture, protein, protection). Given the benefits of coconut oil and how great it works for me, I figured coconut milk (which has coconut oil in it) might be just as awesome.

via BeautyKLove

Part I: Extracting Coconut Milk

Part II: Applying Coconut Milk

Now, though I love the idea of using fresh coconut milk, ain’t nobody got time for that.  So, I broke out a can of coconut milk that I had in the cabinet. I had picked up a couple of cans a long time ago for a post-wash avocado/coconut milk/honey deep conditioner that didn’t work out too well. Nevertheless, I was ready to put it to a new use! Before starting, I decided to research a little more to see if I could find naturals who had used coconut milk with success and I just so happened to come across these posts by my virtual curlfriend, Petra/Emily CottonTop: Coconut Milk Deep Condition and Results – Coconut Milk Pre-Poo.

In the posts, Petra shares a pre-poo recipe:

The recipe
Coconut Milk  – 4 tablespoons
Honey ‑2 tablespoon
3 of Your Favorite oils – 1 tablespoon each

… and with her awesome results. I was sold!

So, I whipped up a batch of coconut milk with Vatika Oil and EVOO, using only two tablespoons of oil instead of three. I heated the mix and applied to my dry dirty hair. Then I donned a plastic cap and my thermal heat turban for about an hour. I will say that the application process was messy and a bit sticky. But, my wash process went very smoothly and my hair felt stronger, moisturized and my twists were so plump, juicy and shiny!

So, this past weekend, I made a coconut milk pre-poo again with the leftovers from the prior week. This time, I added some Aubrey Honeysuckle Rose conditioner (I was hoping that it would thicken the mix but it didn’t really) and applied and massaged plain, warmed coconut milk into my scalp too. Though the application process was still a little messy (I think I’ll use a small dye applicator bottle in the future), I had great results again. So, I really think this will become a staple in my regimen! I will keep an eye on my hair to make certain that the coconut milk doesn’t begin to make it feel hard or brittle (due to the protein content). If it does, I will reduce the frequency of the treatment.

Finally, I don’t use much coconut milk for the treatment and it seems it’s only good to keep in the fridge for a maximum of about two weeks. Needless to say, I was worried about spoilage and wasting it. Fortunately for me, I discovered that it can be frozen into ice cubes to form convenient “serving sizes” for future use!!!

coconutmilkicecubes

So yeah, all engines are a go! Coconut milk pre-poo treatments are my new boo! Time will tell if it results in strands as long, seemingly perfectly uniform in length, and unbroken as that YouTuber!! One can only hope ;)!!

Do you use coconut milk in your regimen? If so, what’s your recipe and process? How often do you use it? What benefits to you see from using it?

Shelli is an insurance professional by day, natural hair blogger by night, fitness and yoga enthusiast, fangirl, and 40 something newlywed! She has been natural since 2000 and started Hairscapades at the urging of curlfriends who followed her “amateur” Grow Out Challenge blog on NaturallyCurly.com. She wants to share the things she’s learned and continues to learn in hopes of helping others love the hair they’re in!!
Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Youtube!
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Love JAH
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Love JAH

Nope. Haven’t tried it but I have heard of the many benefits of coconut milk…I think I even heard it works to elongate curls, kind of like a natural texurizer…

KP
Guest
KP

I’ve heard of it, too. I’ve seen some vlogers use a coconut milk relaxer of sorts. It really depends how well the hair takes it. It works for some people, but for others, it almost looks like their before shot.

I think it’s pretty neat how a coconut can used in so many different ways. I love using the oil in my hair. Smells great and keeps my hair coated nicely. 🙂

JENNID
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JENNID

Ive tried this years ago and it does make the hair very soft. I usually do coconut milk type treatments if I’m cooking with it that week. Most recipes usually leave some of the milk left over and I use it up in a hair treatment. Coconut milk is not strong enough to relax your hair lol. Oh my people actually believe this still?

SB
Guest
SB

I use coconut milk in my henna mix.

Sabrina Antoinnette < link to instagram profile
Guest

Coconut milk is a must have for me and my deep conditioning treatments — especially in the winter. Once I started, I never went back. I mix enough to last for about two weeks. It will stay for about 10 days if removed from it’s package (especially cans eew) and refrigerated. Only thing to watch out for is the fact that all coconut milk isn’t created equally!! Some have additives and emulsifiers to keep the milk from curdling or separating in the can. I’m not sure what affect that has on the hair, so i always opt for 100% organic.

Tracy
Guest
Tracy

I love Coconut Cream it has a richer consistency than milk. I purchase mine from Trader Joe’s for about $1 a can and I get three uses or so from each can…

It’s wonderful for the hair and it’s inexpensive.

Elle
Guest

I’m still transitioning, still learning and there’s SOOOO MANY things I wanna try on my hair…

Tyler
Guest

I used to mixed coconut milk in my DIY deep conditioners, but this is new for me. Thanks for a reminder on the powers of the coconut.

http://onelittleblackdress.com

Cre8ive
Guest

I use coconut milk as an overnight pre-poo (I read that it takes a long time to actually absorb into the hair) and as a base for my Moroccan red clay hair wash. Both methods are superb. As a pre-poo it really strengthens my hair and defines my natural curl pattern. Mixed in with my clay wash I find it gentler on my hair than when I make it with a water base, but it seems not to get my scalp as clean feeling as I like. When I use the coconut milk in my clay wash I will rub… Read more »

Tabatha
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Tabatha

YOU ARE A SMART COOKIE! I’m going to try it.

Trini in Colorado
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Trini in Colorado

Growing up on a Caribbean island, I was fortunate enough to learn about all things coconut. Bottom line. If you like coconut oil then you’ll like coconut cream/milk, since it is possible to make/extract coconut oil from the cream.
I might have a hard time using my coconut milk in my hair instead of my pot of pelau though, but that’s just me 🙂

Tamikah
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Tamikah

Did you just say Pelau rotfl, sounds like a fellow trini to me lol

lablooplah
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lablooplah

welp this has just prompted a trip to trader’s joes.

Jo
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Jo

Coconut milk is not only a great hair-treatment. It is also a good hunger treatment. Try it in cereal, too! 🙂

QueenEyeCee
Guest

Coconut Milk & Honey or/ Molasses is the base liquid of all my Ayurvedic Treatments (Amla, Bhringraj, Cassia, Henna, Methi)…it’s a staple I’m happily married to for 3 years now and never have I been disappointed nor let down!!!

Kimberly
Guest
Kimberly

I use a 1/2 jar of banana baby food,1/4 c of conditioner,1/4 c of coconut milk and 2–3 tbsp. of oil of your choice. my hair was so soft.

Milo
Guest
Milo

I LOVE coconut milk and have been using it in my regimen for about a year now mixed with a thickening conditioner and some essential oils, however I did encounter the same issue with the spoilage. Thanks for the great tip! Off to pre-poo now and freeze the leftovers ????
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/image-10.jpg[/img]

hairscapades
Guest

No problemo!!! Very pretty!!

linda
Guest
linda

I love all thing coconut and coconut milk has been a staple in my hair care for a while now. The brand I use has only three ingredients: organic coconut milk, water and organic guar gum. Now I don’t mind the guar gum (emulsifier and stabilizer) at all because it actually thicken the coconut milk and add slip. In fact I always add 1/2 tsp to my milk to thicken it more and have a creamier consistency when I deep condition after my shampoo . I don’t have leftover issues since I use the small can ones (5.46 Fl oz)… Read more »

Kira
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Kira

Would this work with coconut milk made from coconut cream concentrate? Or with cream concentrate itself?

hairscapades
Guest

I’m sure that it would Kira! The only thing is, I would watch for added sugars. I have never used coconut cream and am not sure if it is sweetened. If it isn’t, go for it! May be even better because it’s thicker.

Chrissie
Guest
Chrissie

I saw beautyklove’s videos on youtube 6 months ago and tried the coconut milk prepoo and I loooved the results!! I immediately adopted it as a staple in my regimen. And my hair has never been healthier and shinier!! I only use coconut milk as she does in the videos, leave it overnight and wash my hair the next day. I do this treatment every 2 weeks. My hair is 4c but I don’t care, I watch some of her other videos on youtube, she has got great advice and tutorials.

hairscapades
Guest

Awesome!!!!

JojoFree
Guest
JojoFree

I love coconut milk as liquid for my rhassoul clay deep condish and Ayurvedic treatments.
I prefer regular oils, including coconut oil for my pre poo.

Linda
Guest

Yeah coconut oil is a miracle product. Extra virgin coconut oil cab be used literally for anything as a medicine,ointment,hare care eating etc

Cici
Guest
Cici

You have beautiful hair.

Demetri Little
Guest
Demetri Little

It truly works my Sister.….…You have such beautiful hair.….….I have been using for years.……

Brittany
Guest
Brittany

For Loc’d Sisters/Brothers: Coconut milk works well for us too. I recommend using about 20 drops of Jasmine oil and two tablespoons of olive oil. The jasmine oil will make your locs smell great, because the coconut milk does have a nutty smell to it that may not fully wash out no matter how diligent you are. That’s okay though, the milk has a lot of fat and protein that can moisturize from the inside of the locs days after the treatment. It’s important to keep watch over the moisture level in your hair so you don’t overuse coconut milk… Read more »

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