Whipped Hair and Body Butter

I don’t often get the chance to make whipped body butter because I really don’t have any patience for the cleanup. If you have never heard of a whipped body butter, you are not alone šŸ™‚ I’m surprised how often I’m asked to explain what it is.

Hard and soft oils are combined and whipped till its the consistency of frosting (depending on how hot it is where you are, in my experience)

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Whipping in progress. Picture courtest holosticsquid via Google

Its best to start whipping when the mixture is firm and cold but if that’s not possible, you can still impart beautiful fluffy melty texture to your whipped butter. It can be used all ovev the body and also in the hair based on the oils you add to the butters.

Here’s half of a very recent custom order I made. I can’t tell you exactly what’s in it because the client supplied the recipe. But I can tell you its goooooood.

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Custom order of whipped butter. Melty goodness ā¤

Would you believe you are looking at just under 4kg of whipped butter?!! Thank you beautiful lady customer šŸ˜‰ for the opportunity to serve your business.

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Aloe Vera Hair Styling Creme

I harvested 3 large leaves from one of my aloe vera plants to make soap with but somewhere along the line, that plan was totally abandoned for a styling cream.

What I did different this time is that I allowed most of the aloin (the bitter part of AV, also used as a laxative) in the plant to mix with the gel because I’ve read many research papers that showed that topical applications of aloin for skin issues and wound healing have been documented for decades.

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Aloe vera turned purple gel ā¤ ā¤

I added a little preservative becsuse the strong enzymes in AV start to break it down very quickly once its cut, and stuck it in the fridge while I sanitized my other utensils. One hour later it had turned this lovely purple gel colour.

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Emulsifying with a stick blender

The colour didn’t make it through the emulsion stage though. This hue is mostly from the unrefined shea butter and unrefined PKO. I used conditioning emulsifier because its essentially a very thick cream for hair and while you can actually apply this mixture to skin, using a regular emulsifier for body lotion in my hair has not been a hit. Ask me how I know šŸ™‚

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Just what my dry hair ordered šŸ™‚

The resulting creme is thick and fluffy with good non-sticky slip, just what my dry kinky hair ordered. Essential oils of rosemary and tea tree add the final touch to what is now a staple for my family’s daily hair care.

{Rapid} Hair Thickening Growth Serum

Last year I shared a picture of my hair with some friends in a discussion group. Everyone asked how I kept my thick kinky hair manageable. The truth is that it’s taken a while for me to settle on a ‘keeper’ hair product(s) and I’d also not taken the time to precisely measure my concoctions.

Washing is simple enough: I use liquid black soap with honey added. Sometimes i dilute the black soap with fresh aloe vera gel. I spray on diluted Apple Cider Vinegar afterward in place of conventional conditioner. I use a hair oil mix and sometimes hair butter {oils added to unrefined Shea butter} to moisturise my hair and scalp. That’s it!

I challenged myself to document my oil mix and the result is this golden all natural oil that I call my hair thickening/growth serum.

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This serum is a blend of three carrier oils {castor bean oil, coconut oil and palm kernel oil} and three essential oils {rosemary, lavender and tea tree oil} that have been touted to do wonders for hair care/ thickening/ growth.

Coconut oil is said to be one of the oils that penetrates the hair shaft for effective delivery of nutrients to the hair.
Castor bean oil targets regrowth of thinning hair due to excessive pulling and heat damage. Many people have reported success in regrouping their hairline and slowing down balding within 6 months of just castor oil applications alone. Lots of people also use castor oil to lengthen their eyelashes but I’ve not personally tried that out yet.

Palm kernel oil is the main oil in a very popular ‘O’ hair care line and they claim the long shinny luscious locks of the women of the amazon forest can be attributed to this oil alone. Judging from their popularity and price point, their customers agree šŸ˜€

Rosemary essential oil has been used in hair care to stimulate hair growth and slowing down/ reversing greying. It helps to darken hair (to your original colour) with regular use. Tea tree essential oil is my go-to EO for dry itchy scalp problems. It’s stimulating effect also improves blood flow to the scalp. Lavender is one of those oils that shows up often. In hair care, it is used to stop hair loss, promote regrowth, and healthy shinny hair.

I’ve used the maximum recommended amount for topical application of this EO blend so its potent stuff. This oil mix can be used daily and for a hot oil steam. The steam activates the essential oil fragrances and its like a mini aromatherapy session ā¤

Here's what I like best: although the virgin carrier oils all have distinct smells {the PKO is a dark smoky/nutty smell but reminds me of my great grandma so I find it strangely comforting} and the essential oils also have strong character, after a few days the blend is mild. This is important because I don't want the smell in my hair overpowering my sinuses as I go about my day in hot steamy Lagos!

I’ll take 10kg of that please

I took the plunge last week and ordered 10kg of freshly made organic unrefined Shea butter, and 10ltrs of freshly made virgin coconut oil. Both products are from local sources, which is important to me. I was a little nervous because I’ve only ever bought smaller portions but I have bath and body treats to make that almost all include Shea butter and coconut oil in the recipes.

I’m going to experiment with infusing the Shea itself with botanicals – the idea won’t rest till I try it out – to see if I can keep it as a single ingredient product or not.

Herbal Tincture for Hair

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Herbal tinctures – also known as extracts – are used to harness the benefits of plant material in a fairly potent format. Used internally for all manner of concerns, topical applications are now becoming more and more common.

What’s in my jar? Consumable alcohol {vodka} Rosemary, thyme, basil {African blue and Thai}, calendula, orange peel. I’ve chosen these herbs because they are what I have available, and there’s loads of anecdotal evidence that they contain properties that clean and stimulate blood flow to the scalp, thereby boosting healthy hair growth, volume and shine.

When it’s ready in 4 weeks, I will be adding it in my ‘scalp rescue’ formula {which I already have some success with} for tackling heavy buildup and dandruff on the scalp, with the added bonus of making hair feeling loved šŸ™‚

African Black Soap

It makes me smile when read the way ‘Westerners’ describe African black soap. It’s currently one of the most talked about soap in beauty blogs with many soap makers interpreting their own versions based on a basic ingredient list.

For me, using black soap as a pre-teen was like punishment because it was so sticky and stained everything! But I had a skin condition and that was what was prescribed.

In my teens I started mixing it with honey and lemon juice because intuitively I new it would be good for my acne :D. It was. As soon as I could though, I dumped the black soap and began my ‘use anything I can lay my hands on’ skin uncare routine.

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My issues not withstanding, black soap is quite amazing. For eons, it’s been used to bathe new born babies and everyday by everyone in West Africa. Whether it was the intention or not, it’s simple formulation of burnt plantain skins, coconut husks, palm kernel/ palm oil/ Shea butter mix is brilliant for clearing up almost every named skin disease!

I’m probably never going to make black soap from scratch because its available in abundance where I live, but I have and am going to continually customize it for different types of applications.

For a cleansing root boosting shampoo here’s a quick recipe:

200g raw African black soap (the brown crumbly type)
2 tbs dried rosemary
1 tbs dried sage (if you have it)
1 tbs dried thyme (I’d be shocked if you don’t have it šŸ˜€ )
500g boiling water

Break up the black soap into small chunks and place in a large jug. Break up the dried herbs a little in a mortar and pestle or however you can crush them lightly. Add the herbs to the black soap.
Cover the mix with boiling water, stir very gently and leave to steep covered overnight.
Stir the mix to break up any final clumps of soap and strain the herbs out in a fine mesh sieve. Pour into a shampoo bottle and enjoy not more than once a week.

***Please note that as there’s no preservative added, you’ll want to use this up within a couple of weeks. Water provides a friendly environment for bacteria to grow so a general rule of thumb is to make small batches that you will use up quickly.

Baking Soda vs Dandruff

I like multi-purpose products and baking soda is in the top 5. I’ve read repeatedly that its beneficial for removing buildup on the scalp especially amongst people who have shunned shampoo.

I have dry scalp and I’ve long stopped harsh stripping products on my head because although they provided temporary relief, they didn’t help to improve the condition.

I’m now trying a concoction of baking soda and honey to scrub my scalp for gentler exfoliation and to reap all the benefits of honey for my scalp. I follow this scalp massage with a gentle shampoo then must my hair with ACV and water in place of a leave in conditioner.

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Here’s my recipe:
2 tbs honey
1 heaped tbs baking soda {more for thicker paste}
1 tsp coconut oil
5 drops of rosemary extract

I mix everything in a little container, leave to rest for about 30 mins {no scientific reason for this…it just seems like the right thing to do ;)} before section ing my hair and massaging my scalp.

Results? A clean scalp that smells faintly holeylicious. Hmmm