Making a Whipped Shea Butter & Coconut Oil Mixture: 4 DIY Tips
Raw shea butter is a popular as DIY natural hair product ingredient and for very good reasons. This natural nut butter is beneficial for sealing moisture into the hair. It also helps to define coils, kinks and curls without making the hair feel hard and without a flaking effect. You can buy raw shea butter in a variety of stores including beauty supply stores, natural food stores and supermarkets. If you’re not sure where to find it, call around ahead of time or buy it online. For my latest whipped shea butter and coconut oil mix, I bought my ingredients at Raisin Rack, a local natural foods store.
Below are five basic tips to keep in mind when making a whipped shea butter/coconut oil mixture:
Making a Whipped Shea Butter Mix: Tip #1- Soften, Don’t Cook It
Raw shea butter needs to be softened before it’s whipped with other ingredients. You can simply scoop out as much as you want to work with into a cup/bowl and place it in into hot water or use a makeshift double boiler on a low heat setting. To do this, warm water in a pot then place another pot inside that one and soften the shea butter. If you want, you can also melt the coconut oil this way although you probably don’t need to. Coconut oil melts at about 76 degrees Fahrenheit which is why it quickly turns from solid to oil when it touches your hands.
Making a Whipped Shea Butter Mix: Tip #2- Remember the Scent
If you’ve never worked with raw shea butter, you may or may not be too thrilled with the way it smells. The smell will change depending on what other ingredients you mix it with and in what amounts. Also, if you mix it with refined/expeller pressed coconut oil (instead of virgin, unrefined) then the shea butter scent will be more pronounced since only virgin coconut oil retains its scent. I don’t mind the scent of my mixtures but my daughter doesn’t care for it. If you feel the same way, add a drop of your favorite essential oil to your mixture, whip it then smell it. Then add more essential oil drops if you need to.
I polled the audience on our How to Go Natural Facebook page to find out which essential oils they recommended for my usual shea butter mixture which includes coconut oil, castor oil and aloe vera gel. Here’s a list of the essential oils they thought would smell the best in that shea butter mixture:
Making a Whipped Shea Butter Mix: Tip #3-Add Other Items That Work for You:
In addition to coconut oil, mix other ingredients with raw shea butter to suit your needs. I like the combination of shea butter,coconut oil, castor oil and aloe vera gel, but you can experiment with other ingredients. You might like other oils such as argan, grapeseed, sweet almond, jojoba or olive. Keep in mind that certain organic ingredients affect the shelf-life of your mixture. For instance, I use a store-bought aloe vera gel that is made with a preservative. However, you may use fresh aloe gel (which can go bad) or a store-bought aloe gel that does not contain a preservative (the label will indicate if it’s preservative-free or not).
Making a Whipped Shea Butter Mix: Tip #4- How Much to Use
One rule of thumb when whipping raw shea butter is that it can double or triple in volume when it’s whipped. For that reason, I only mix about 2-4 ounces at a time but you may need more or less depending on how much hair you have or how many heads there are to style in your house (there are 3 natural-haired ladies in my house). Also, think about what you’ll use the mixture for when deciding how much is enough.
I use it to seal moisture, define braid-outs and as an additive for homemade deep conditioners. You can also use it to control frizz and lay your edges flat instead of using gel. That said, in addition to the 2 ounces of shea butter, I use about 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, one tablespoon of aloe vera gel and one teaspoon of castor oil. After the shea butter is softened, whip it with a hand mixer on medium-high until it’s about as fluffy as a mousse or until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Don’t worry that it seems soft, though. It will harden as it cools.