My Staples: Virgin Coconut Oil/Vatika Oil


So, I thought you all might be interested in a series of posts about my staple and Holy Grail (HG) products. I figured I’d go through the items in the order that I use them on wash day as that provides a pretty logical sequence.

Let’s begin with my pre-poo staple(s): virgin coconut oil (VCO) and Dabur Vatika Enhanced Coconut Hair Oil. If you read my post on Mineral Oil v. Coconut Oil and the linked article from, you know about the many benefits of virgin coconut oil for hair. Although I’ve been using Dabur Vatika Hair Fall Control Styling Cream as of late, I always have VCO and Vatika Oil in the cabinets and will return to them. In fact, as I write this post, I have had a Vatika Oil pre-poo in my hair for two days (thank goodness for banana clip buns and flowers;-).

I began incorporating pre-poos into my regimen last November after seeing this post on and the accompanying video by Youtuber whatgetsonmytits below (I feel funny writing that, but have to give her credit!!).

The information that indicated that coconut oil is the only oil that actually penetrates the hair cortex and can moisturize hair from the inside out, as well as the scientific evidence supporting its ability to prevent hygral fatigue, were all it took to sell me. I hit the grocery store and got myself some VCO and started pre-pooing my very next wash day.

After some additional research on various site, such as Mop Top Maven, and spending time in my local Indian grocer’s hair products aisle looking at henna (PJ heaven, I tell ya!), I also learned of Dabur Vatika Oil. This is what has to say about this product:

  • Premium coconut hair oil enriched with henna, amla, lemon and five other trusted herbs
  • Provides natural nourishment to your hair, giving it body and radiance, taking care of the critical balance of nutrients
  • Ensures deeper oil penetration to give your hair and scalp complete nourishment for problem free, healthy hair
  • Strengthens the roots of your hair, to help maintain their health and natural thickness
  • Astringent action of lemon controls sebum flow helping to prevent dandruff

Turns out that not only does Vatika oil claim coconut oil as its first ingredient, it’s significantly cheaper than the VCO I was purchasing at my local grocery store. I am able to get 10.14 fl. oz. (or 300 mL) of Vatika oil for $3.99 at my local Indian grocer, whereas a 14 oz. bottle of VCO costs me more than $10 a jar. Don’t get me wrong, I still purchase VCO (the SO uses it on his skin;). However, the Vatika oil is a more cost-effective alternative for my pre-poos where I use a decent amount of product. I save the VCO for my SO and for adding to my DCs. Since I’ve incorporated pre-poos into my routine, I’m able to do some light, dry finger-detangling prior to my shampoo and conditioning session. I would have never imagined trying a dry detangle prior to this (though detangling a stretched TnC is far easier than detangling a WnG). However, given that hair is at its most fragile when it’s wet, I welcomed the idea of doing some of the “heavy lifting” on dry hair in order to reduce mechanical damage. Another effect that I attribute to coconut oil is shinier and more moisturized hair. I generally find that I don’t need to rewet my hair during the week (though I do tend to apply some product(s) – oil, butter and/or gel – 1 or 2 times during the week).

One thing I will advise is that though my hair LOVES coconut oil for pre-poos and added to my DCs, it hates it for sealing. They start out playing nice, but a fight inevitably breaks out the next day and my ends are left dry and crunchy. A lot of people seem to experience the same altercation! So, that is something that you should keep in mind when using coconut oil. It may be good for one thing, but not for another and you should pay attention to your hair’s reaction to products, even the same product, when used in different ways.

  1. Coconut/Vatika oil is solid at normal room temperatures and should be melted in its closed container under or submerged in hot water (not the microwave). If it’s kept in a warmer location (like my condo during the summer – I hate AC!), it will liquify.
  2. Pour an inch or two of melted coconut/Vatika oil into a dye applicator bottle for easier melting and convenience of application.


Have you tried pre-pooing? What type of oil(s) and/or conditioner(s) do you use and what results have you experienced, if any? Would you recommend pre-pooing as a regimen building block?


36 responses »

  1. My hair doesn’t really love coconut oil either. I’ll try it as a pre-poo and see what happens though. Me and Extra Virgin Olive Oil became fast friends and have been riding ever since. My hair loves it, wet or dry. That’s pretty much all I use. Throughout the week, I spritz my hair and some parts of my scalp with my olive oil mix, which is olive oil and H2O to give it moisture, but not a lot of grease.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like olive oil a lot too. I add it to some of my DCs but have never tried it as a sealer on dry hair. I have a feeling that one may be too heavy for my hair. I also have grapeseed and hazelnut oil in the kitchen cabinet and I’ve yet to try them on my hair (got them for the Oil Cleansing Method [OCM], which was a massive fail). I love JBCO so much, I’m for once not trying to mess around with a good thing! However, in regard to coconut oil as a pre-poo, I’d definitely suggest giving it a try once because of the molecular difference between it and other oils. If it doesn’t work for you when used in that fashion, back to the olive oil!! =)


      • try using castor oil for the OCM if ur using it for your face. i used to have VERY oily skin, and using castor oil has helped to balance it and reduce the oiliness.


        • I was using castor oil too Kissie … castor and grapeseed oil. My face broke out horribly and I tried OCM for about 3-4 months. Took another 6 months of using the prescription cleanser and spot treatment to get it to return to normal. I think it’s wonderful that others have had such great success with it, but I’m not willing to go that route again as I had bad, sebacceous acne and dark marks from it. So, won’t chance that again. But thanks for the suggestion!!


  2. I use the Shea Moisture Deep Treatment masque as a pre-poo and it works well. Using it as a leave in, ehh, not so good. It leaves me the same as coconut oil leaves you. I’ve tried to use olive oil, but it just sits on my hair (too heavy). When I had a caesar, I pre-pooed with hot oil and honey. That worked great. I always do a pre-poo on wash day. I will never skip it. It has really helped my hair (how it feels and looks)


    • I’ve never tried a regular conditioner/DC as a pre-poo though I read that a lot of people do this. I’ve also seen a lot of good reviews on the SM DTM as a leave-in, but I’ve only used it as a DC. I love it except that it provides little to no slip. I alternate it with Darcy’s Botanicals Pumpkin Seed Conditioner and JessiCurl Weekly Deep Tx. The pre-poo with honey and oil sounds great! Why did you stop using the honey and olive oil? Did it not work as well when your hair grew?


  3. It’s not for me. I don’t think my hair even needs pre-pooing. I did it because everyone else was. Then I realized that it was not doing anything for me. I tried to prepoo with Vatika and my hair hates it. The hair was so tangly when it was time to wash it out. I’ve done it also with olive oil and it was not tangled but didn’t really see the reason for doing it. So, I just go straight to shampooing with either WEN, As I Am Naturally or Shea Moisture Thickening shampoo. All seems to be fine this way so if it aint broke I won’t try and fix it (shocker)


  4. I pre-poo with coconut oil. It helps me finger-detangle before shampooing. I also think it gives my hair more sheen and helps keep my moisture levels up.


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  6. The coconut oil I used, I had to heat up to make in a liquid form. It made my hair really soft and shiny when I straightened it but it didn’t work for cold weather. My hair was a hard as a rock!


  7. Can you please share your recipe for the modified Kimmay leave in conditioner? How do you apply it? I tried using the Kinky Curly Knot Today leave in for the first time — mad slip! I love, love, love it, but found that my hair took forever to dry following (used blowdryer on low setting to stretch my hair). The product was not as moisturizing and wanted to know if you have any suggestions for moisture? I have type 3c hair all over with the exception of the nape and sides which are 3b. Thanks!


    • Hi Ronda! I just reduce the oil. I use the KCKT (2 tbsp), Aloe Vera Juice/food quality (2 tbsp) and then 1 tsp of JBCO and 1 tsp of jojoba oil. The last time I made it, I reduced the oil to only 1 tsp of jojoba (I think that’s the one I decided to use as I use JBCO to seal my ends). So, the oil should help seal in the moisture of the KCKT and aloe juice. As to the taking forever to dry, I can’t help you with that because I suffer with the same issue *sigh*. Without product, my hair will dry fast. But this leave-in really slows it down. I reduced the oil so my hair wouldn’t be as weighed down and more fluffy. But, it still takes a while to dry, even with it loose!


  8. So I co wash on Monday, applied coconut oil, and pulled my hair back in a bun with the intention of washing my hair with shampoo, doing a deep condition, apply kimmytube leave (I’ve never used it before but I can’t wait to try it) and two strand twisting on Wednsday. Well the lazies got hold of me and I did not do a thing on Wednsday, but took my bun down. My hair was so lush and silky. OMG I am in love with coconut oil. It is my new fave!!!!!!!


    • I really wish there was a like button on here sometimes! Since there isn’t, “LIKE!!!” LOL!

      Coconut oil doesn’t work for everyone in every way, but it seems to find its way into the regimen of many! I think Vatika oil pre-poos (and now EVOO) have been an invaluable addition to my regimen!


    • Hi Lovez! Absolutely! If it works for you, go for it! I just don’t use it to seal as it makes my hair crispy after about 8-10 hours. But, if you like it for both, that’s awesome because it means less products to worry about buying! I’m all for multi-purposing:)!


  9. Thank you, I just started a new regimen. Also, I have another question if you don’t mind. I’m switching out between Aphogee and creme of nature shampoo and conditioning to avoid protein overload. They both have sulfate, would this mean I need a clarifying shampoo too? Someone told me something about baking soda..


    • I’m not sure I understand Lovez. But, I’ll say this, if you are using a sulfate shampoo, you don’t need a clarifying shampoo as sulfates strip the hair. If you are worried about product build up that shampoo or other products are causing, you can simply switch to a different shampoo. In the alternative, you can use an ACV rinse (apple cider vinegar – dilute it in water, you can research good ratios online) at the end of your wash cycle. Baking soda leans more to the alkaline side, if I remember correctly, and can be too harsh. I’m worried that you would overly dry your hair between protein, sulfates and then baking soda.


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  14. Thank you so much for sharing you wealth of information. With all that, I’m not sure if the deep condition should be done the same day as the prepoo. You shared you prepoo, deep condition, apply a leave in conditioner and seal with oil. Once your done you apply a water base moisturizer and seal between wash sessions.
    My question is, do you do all these in one day or one each day? After the pre
    poo, do you deep condition right after that?
    What water base moisturizer do you use?
    Thank you sooo much for your time 😉


    • Hi, I usually do these all on the same day, but I have done them on different days too, usually because I don’t feel like doing it all in one day. A pre-poo is for prior to washing and deep conditioning. So, sometimes I apply it the day prior to wash day and sleep in it (if it’s just coconut or Vatika Oil), then wash and DC the next day. But, if I’m only pre-pooing for 30 minutes to an hour, then I do it all in one day. And the pre-poo is first, then I shampoo, then conditioner detangle (regular daily conditioner), rinse and then DC. If you check out my post on “Moisture: It Starts on Wash Day” you can get a rundown of my routine. It’s linked in the right hand navigation (I think! I’m replying from a section that is not on my home page). As to moisturizer, I have used tons of different things. So anything with water as the first ingredient or just apply a cream while hair is still wet/damp. Right now, I use Kinky Curly Knot Today and Curl Prep Sweet Buttah. Neither have water in them, so I apply to damp hair. I then apply Aloe Vera Gel after that. This combo, along with my new goat’s milk DC are doing wonders! Love them!! HTH!


      • THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking the time to answer my question. I have been natural for 2 year and have not been taking care of it the way I used to. I came across your website and you have motivated me to care for my hair. My hair is fine and have a lot of breakage. I also have high porosity hair.
        If you don’t mind sharing, can you recommend products such as moisturizer, conditioners that would be great for me. Yesterday I did my first proteins treatment, should I do this every week?
        Thank you again for sharing your wealth of knowledge . Blessings and Happy Holiday!


        • No problem VM. I do try to answer all questions, but sometimes do lose track or might take a little while :). So, if I don’t answer, feel free to ask again as I might have forgotten to get back to you. As to recommendations, I really just share what works for me (and I do have sections of hair that are very porous) to help others find a starting point. Again, the post that I referenced above includes techniques and products with which you can start. You can also find my most recent regimen post here: The only thing that has changed is that I’m using a DIY Goat Milk conditioner as my DC now and I LOVE it!! I posted the recipe on here a couple of week’s ago, so you can find it by using the search feature on the right hand side.

          As to protein treatments, it depends on whether the protein is a light one or a heavy duty treatment. Light treatments can usually be used weekly. However, if you hair starts feeling hard or brittle, I’d suggest reducing the frequency of use. Heavy duty treatments should be used more sparingly, like once a month or every two months even. I have been using the Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe treatment weekly and have used Aubrey GPB weekly in the past as they are both light treatments. My goat milk DC also has protein and I use that weekly, again, because it is light protein. I’ve only used a heavy duty treatment once and that was the ApHogee 2 Step Treatment. If you are using that, I would suggest using it only once every 2 months unless you are experiencing a LOT of breakage. If your damage is very bad, that maybe once every month until the breakage subsides and then once every 8 weeks. But, again, this is dependent upon how your hair is responding. You should always temper recommendations with your own experiences. If using it more frequently works for you, do it. If it doesn’t, then don’t. Those are things only you will know.



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  16. Were you concerned about the amla in the vatika oil after your shedding experience or the henna in the vatika oil since the henna has loosened your curl pattern?


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