DIY Shea Butter Hair and Body Souffle

Since beginning on that natural hair journey, I’ve read more on this topic than I’ve read for studying for the LSATs (sike). Well, pretty close to that much reading. I’ve been all over the Internets (yes, with an S); YouTube, Blogs, Amazon, Facebook, locker room chats, all of it. There is a lot of information about natural hair, but the common thread I found is, it depends.

It depends on your hair type, your hair needs, your hair length, your hair care regimen, your time, your skill, your patience, your diet, your fitness regimen, how you care for your natural hair all depends on YOU!

Now that we have that out of the way, I stumbled upon shea butter mix recipes several times on my journey. Since many naturalistas are also part-time chemists, making their own hair products seems like the norm. Well, I decided to give it a whirl.

For my first batch, I order a pound of shea butter from Amazon and raided my oil collection, then purchased some essential oils. Then I got to mixing. My first batch was half a tub and it was very stiff. I didn’t have enough supporting oils in it. I took the dud batch to the gym locker for after shower moisturizing. It’s too stiff for my hair as it leaves a thick haze in it. I took the other half of that batch and added some more oil. I was moving in the right direction. My huzzband even started using it and he liked how it felt on his shaved head and dry skin.

For the second batch, I purchased a pound from a Muslim stand near Broad and Girard Avenue and this time I made sure I added an ample amount of oil. This batch turned out PERFECT!

Here is my recipe for my second attempt at it:
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  • 1 pound of shea butter
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2-4 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 2-4 tsp avocado oil
  • 1-2 tbsp jojoba oil
  • 2 tsp Vitamin E oil
  • Any essential oil 20+ drops

Mix with a hand blender until butter softens and blends. Add more oils to soften and mix until it’s light an airy. Add essential oils until you’ve reached your desired scent.
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This will yield twice as much butter than you started with.

I keep some everywhere:

  • bathroom
  • car
  • purse
  • gym bag
  • nightstand
  • desk

It can be used in your hair, body, lips, hands, feet, elbows.. EVERYWHERE! This batch is like a fluffy heavenly balm. You can even by some really cute containers, make some awesome labels and gift some to your fellow curlfriend. She’ll love you for it.

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Cornrows in an updo bun

I’ve always admired women in braids and cornrows. I’ve had them done before, over 8-9 years ago, but they were painful and took my hair out in a nice little patch in the front. I swore never again. I went natural this year and my TWA was in need of something else. I’ve tried coils, wash & go’s and even rocked a fro with a headband. I wanted something else.

After asking around for recommendations from friends, I settled on a shop here in Philly called Mumy Awa at 5th & chew. I spoke to a lady named Fama and she put my mind at ease. I decided to give her a try. I settled on the updo, said a prayer and went in. She called her sister in to do my hair since she was busy. Bad sign!!! I should have ran out the door. Alas, I stayed. Sister wasn’t my cup of tea. She came is late, didn’t blow dry my hair and didn’t even introduce herself. I showed her a picture of how I wanted my hair styled and she was off & running. She talked either on the phone or to her girl friend in Senegalese the whole time I was there. I kept telling her she was to leave the “baby hair” out and not to braid it so tight. Needless to say, I now have an $80 facelift. I was so distraught. I texted my husband and sent him a photo. He liked it and said he hoped the pain was tolerable, for the sake of my sanity. He knows me oh so well.

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Hotter than fish grease right here

The cornrows got tighter as the day wore on. Steam, hot towels, showers, pain medication, sprays, oils, leave-in. I did it all, all day, everyday. I’m on day 4 and it still hurts a bit. I look amazing, but it wasn’t worth it. I’m what they call “tender-headed” and should probably never have tried to get my hair braided.

The moral of the story: beauty is pain.

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You guys can keep this cornrow stuff, I’m good.

Going Natural

I am my hair (at times), but other times, I am NOT my hair. My choice to go natural was probably one of the hardest things I’ve chosen to do and it’s not for why you think.

I’ve been wearing my hair short for years now. The difference now is I don’t comb relaxer through it. My go to look was blonde hair that was laid like Little Richard’s and I rocked the heck out of it. No muss, no fuss. Just wet and go. I always got complements and I felt really good about how I looked. There are not very many hairstyles where you can wake up cute!  About 2 years ago, I started hearing more about natural hair, not from anyone in particular, just smatterings of talk on social media, on public transportation and in black magazines especially.  Mostly what I gleaned from it was that natural chicks LOVE talking about “I don’t have a perm”  or “I haven’t had a perm in 3 years”. It was spoken as if it was a badge of honor. I really didn’t understand all the hoopla.

Continue reading “Going Natural”