African Shea Butter has been a staple in my journey back-to-natural from almost the very beginning. I found out early on that the ingredients in my hair grease/pomade were not the best for hair-including Petroleum and mineral oil…as well as other ingredients that I could not pronounce. My child-hood fave, Dax Pomade (green or black), was now out of the question (I later reintroduced Dax but I am better equiped to deal with its down-side).
I quickly realized that I needed an oil of some kind to keep moisture within my hair. Coconut oil is great-but the sealing effects do not last as long as I would want it to. I read great reviews about Shea Butter. I did not have any first-hand experience with Shea, I also didn’t know anyone who had. When I read that Shea was also amazing for our skin I decided to search for it. I figured if my hair did not like it, my skin may benefit from it.
I asked around and found Raw African Shea Butter at an African store in Ottawa’s South end on Bank St. This hard butter came wrapped in seran wrap and was about a hand full (a good size) for $5. I could not go wrong with that price. I also purchased Coconut oil from the same African store/grocer. I did a lot of reserach on Youtube and Natural hair websites with not 1 bad review.
A little history…..
African Shea Butter is becoming a popular ingredient now-a-days in cosmetics but it is by no means a new discovery. It has been around forever and its right at home-Africa. This butter is made in many different countries in Africa, from my research-primarily by women. Personally, what I hope is that these women who are producing this “gold” are being compensated fairly and treated with dignity. This raw resource that is common to them is being sought after and used by women of the world-I just hope they are recieving the thanx they deserve.
OK enough with my political rant.
All Shea Butter is not equal. When purchasing Shea I would prefer the yellow bundle version-what I search for is Raw African Shea Butter-or unrefined Shea Butter. The smell is stronger-more nutty. This smell is not a factor once applied to the skin/hair, in my experience, because it is absorbed by the skin/hair-it does not sit on top. Refined Shea butter is still 100% Shea but in the refining process it is probable that some of the potenial is removed.
Shea Butter has great moisturizing properties. It is great for skin and hair. Whether it is whipped with other oils or not, Raw African Shea Butter is hard to the touch but melts with body heat. This 1 ingredient can make my hair soft, defined and moisturized for days.
Just in case my love for Shea is not obvious, if I was stuck on an island and I could only bring 1 ingredient for my hair-it would be Shea Butter-the water would be there…and hopefully some fresh water near-by….but all I would need is Shea. Shea would also take care of my skin, hair AND could be used for cooking.
Ok, enough of my praise of Shea Butter….on to the whipped part.
The main reason I whip my Shea is to make the application a little easier and to add some other oils that I love. By melting the butter and adding lighter oils, such as coconut oil and olive oil, once it is whipped the consistency is creamier and not as hard at first touch. If you add too much oil to the Shea-the final result may be a little less thick and a little more greasy to the touch.
The main ingredient is the Shea Butter, it is about 75%-80% of the final concoction. I add all or some combination of coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil or castor oil. With the batch prepared below, I added Dabur Vatika oil. This oil is made up of Coconut oil, Castor oil and henna oil. (I am trying this product out to include it in my Ayurvedic regimen)
Whip with a hand held mixer and let cool. Mix again, let cool, mix some more. Once the Shea starts to thicken-I whip it until it is the consistency of yogourt. Although this may be a little too creamy/runny-once it adjusts to the rooms temperature-the Shea has the consistency of fluffy, light custard (hope that makes sense).
This did take some trial and error….luckily even when it did not come out the way I wanted-I still used it for my skin or my hair on wash days as a hot oil treatment!
So no matter what the final result is-NEVA throw this away.
I hope the captions in the pics below are clear to follow if you’d like to try this out yourself!
So do you have your own Whipped Shea mix? Have you tried this one out before?