Sunday, December 4, 2016

A Coconut Oil DIY Disaster

My sister gave me a good tip a few weeks ago.  She suggested that I up my oil intake.  I've used oils before while cooking, but usually only when a recipe called for it.  After hearing her share some of the benefits she's felt since adding them to her diet, she said I might want to try to use them more often - and not just for me but for Ronan, too.  

I could use it as a dressing on a salad.  

I could drizzle it over grilled chicken.  

I could even take a swig of it in a shot glass if I so desired.  

It might be a little tricky to add them to Ronan's food so that he doesn't detect them, but there are tried and true ways to get children, including picky eaters, to reap the benefits of healthy oils.  I know that they can be very beneficial, so I told my sister that I'd be sure to read up on them.    

Get in mah belly!
A dab of coconut oil, a dash of turmeric, a scoop of rice.  Yum! 
I'd already started using coconut oil more frequently and was quite familiar with its many benefits. While recalling one way I'd used it in the past, midway through a mostly serious conversation about diet with my sister, I burst out laughing.  Since she is always so very patient with me, she waited for me to be done laughing.  

"Oh, sorry.  I just remembered a funny story about coconut oil.  I think I told you about it before.  I kinda went a little overboard with it.  You could smell me for miles."

She did remember.  I was a walking, talking, stinking DIY coconut oil disaster.



A few years ago, we had a lice scare.  A friend, who'd just spent some time with us, called us mid-delousing her children's hair and said, "You might want to check your kids' heads.  We have lice." 


Those three words = a parents' worst nightmare  

I immediately got to work checking all five of my kids' hair.  Thankfully, I saw nothing unusual.  But never having experienced that kind of scare with my own children before, I wasn't entirely sure if we were in the clear.  I wanted to make doubly sure all was fine, so I took a quick peek online to see what other moms did to keep the creepy critters away.  Tons of suggestions popped up - one of them was to use coconut oil.  I already had that in the house, but I knew I needed something more.  

After reading a handful of blogs, I took some notes.  In the notes, I jotted down the name of a few products that parents said worked for them.  Then I raced out to get some shampoo, a thin comb, a bottle of tea tree oil, and a package of disposable plastic shower caps.  When I returned home, I lined the kids up and got back to work checking their hair.  

Under a brighter light and with a magnifying glass, I combed through three of the kids' hair before taking a break.  Because of how thorough I needed to be, it was taking lots longer for me to inspect their heads.  Estimating it would be another hour before I could carefully check my own head, I scooped out a generous scoop of coconut oil and slathered it on my scalp.  As the oil melted, I gave my scalp a quick massage then quickly put a shower cap on my head.  I wrapped a clean towel around my head, looked at myself in the mirror and smiled.  


I'd smother the wee lousy bastards, if I had any, while going from hair strand to hair strand with kid 4 and kid 5.  When all was said and done I'd get a nice shiny sheen from the conditioning that I'd read that the coconut oil was known to provide.  

Win win!  

An hour or so later, after I'd examined the last two of my kids' hair, I unwrapped my towel.  The kids' heads were clean - no lice!   It was finally time to check mine.  

I took off the shower cap.  

I ohhhed.  

I ahhhed.  

I smiled once more at my reflection.  

Then I got hit with it.  A smell.  A rancid, unbearably awful smell.  What was it?  OH. MY. GOSH.  I thought it might have been the towel, but it wasn't the towel.  It was me!  Something had gone terribly wrong.  My hair had a nice shiny sheen alright.  But my little experiment totally and completely backfired.  

Mistake #1 - Smothering my head.

Mistake # 2 - Keeping my hair wrapped up for as long as I did.

Mistake # 3 - Thinking I could leave my house and mingle with the general population smelling as odoriferous as I smelled. 

Holy moley, I stank!  Bad.  Like gag me with a spoon, the smell was overwhelming and absolutely disgusting.  If that wasn't bad enough, things were about to get worse.  As much as I tried, I couldn't rinse the oil out.  My hair was so slick.  Hours later, I tried again.  But the oil had started to harden.  My hair still had a gorgeous shiny sheen and my curls curled up quite nicely, but it felt like and looked like I had a head full of chow mein noodles.   

Crunchy, crispy chow mein noodles. 

That smelled like they'd been simmering in a dirty wok. 

For weeks.  

To say that it smelled offensive is an understatement.  It smelled downright awful!  I thought that maybe I could live with it, but could others?  I'd soon find out.   

Day turned to night, and I was unable to do a blessed thing to get any of that oil or the stink out of my hair.  I tried to shampoo it.  No luck.  I tried to condition it.  That made it worse.  I panicked.  That night wasn't just any old night.  It happened to be a night I'd been planning for weeks.  I was taking my husband out. But it wasn't just a night out for us...  

It was dinner out.  

With a bunch of friends.  

To surprise my husband.  

For his birthday.   

You know that expression "You can dress her up, but you can't take her anywhere"?  Well, that was me that night.  The part where it says " can't take her anywhere..." should've said, "...DON'T take Cat anywhere...especially when she stinks to high Heaven!"  

Unable to back out of our plans, I started to get ready.  But even all dressed up, the dirty wok smell that emanated from my head lingered.  

When we got to the restaurant, I sat at the end of the table praying feverishly that the night would end.  Please end.  Please end.  Please end.  Dear Lord, please make this night end!  They must've all held their noses because God bless them, no one in our party said anything about my crunchy, my shiny, and my oh-so-stinky hair.  

It took days for the oil to work its way off of my scalp.  It took weeks for it to get out of my hair.  It took months for the pungent smell to finally go away.  But bonus!  I do believe that oil kicked up some sort of detox.  The detox came with a pesky side effect - stinky armpits (holy cow, they reeked!), but the benefits?  There were plenty.  

Psst, Cat, you call stinky armpits a bonus?  

I do.  

Hear me out.  

At the end of those painfully offensive stinky months, my shiny hair stayed shiny.  My skin cleared up.  And my energy came back.  Before that coconut oil disaster, I'd started to get really sluggish.  When I wasn't running here, there and everywhere for my kids, I was napping.  Every chance I got, I napped.  With five kids underfoot, one of whom has severe special needs, I can't just nod off.  I needed energy!  And a good boost in energy is what I got.  So, yes.  Bonus to the detox and to the temporary stinky pits that came with it.

Coconut oil goes in the coffee now, not on my head. 

To make sure that I don't over do it with oils again, at the end of the conversation I had with my sister, I promised her that I'd be sure to up my intake of healthy oils.  I also promised her that I'd never let any of them touch my scalp or my hair ever again.  Some oils come with amazing benefits.  Others, not so much.  Coconut oil and my hair don't mix well.  I learned that lesson.  Hard.  The first time.  Recalling that horrific use of coconut oil makes me shudder.  It was awful, really awful.  It was humiliating, so humiliating.  But now that it's over, it's amusing.  It makes me laugh out loud when I think about it.  And just like good energy, I could use a good laugh every now and then even if I've inadvertently made a laughingstock of myself.  

xo, Cat


Need another laugh?  Here's a different oil story that still makes me giggle.  Enjoy!  

1 comment:

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