By Choya Randolph
So it’s wash day and you have to do your LOC or LCO method. You just went through an entire arm workout detangling, shampooing and deep conditioning your hair. After you apply your leave-in conditioner, you open your jar of cream and it’s empty. *Insert deep, heavy negro spiritual sigh* Now you regret being so heavy handed with your cream moisturizer. And you’re mad that you have to go all the way to the beauty supply store for your cream even though your hair is soaking wet. For my naturals who like to lather on products, maybe it’s time you make your own.
When it comes to hydrating kinky hair, following either of the moisturizing methods is your best bet. Cream is important because it penetrates the hair follicles to moisturize the hair. Our leave-in conditioners and oils simply won’t work as well without the power of a cream. When buying creams from the beauty supply store, you’ll find products that promise a bunch of things but have a list of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. When making your own cream, all you really need are two ingredients: shea butter and oil.
Shea butter can be bought at your local beauty supply store, CVS, Target, online, and elsewhere. Not only is it good for your hair, it’s great for the skin as well. When it comes to what oil to use, you have many options. Choose an oil of your choice. I do recommend you stay away from coconut oil. I know, what kind of natural discourages the use of one of the most OG oils? Hear me out, coconut oil is one of few oils that solidifies in cooler environments. That’s why many of us have grown accustomed to putting our oil in the microwave for a liquid consistency. When in this liquid state, coconut oil can do her job at giving you a great cream. But you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find coconut oil chunks in your cream.
Similar to your auntie when making her baked mac n cheese, I do not measure my ingredients. I focus on the consistency and chop it up to the ancestors. For the sake of the recipe, mix about four tablespoons of shea butter. Be generous. Then add about a tablespoon of oil. If your cream is looking like it needs more oil, add one more tablespoon of oil and get to mixing. Once it has the familiar smooth consistency of your favorite cream, you’re done. Refrigerate to give your cream a longer shelf life and apply as you would your store-bought cream.
What’s great about making your own cream is that you can personalize it to fit your hair needs by adding in additional products you know your hair likes. If your hair loves some aloe vera gel or honey, don’t be afraid to add it to your homemade cream for a boost of benefits. As long as the cream continues to have its creamy texture, add and experiment as you please.
Making your own homemade cream moisturizer has countless benefits. Shea butter has fatty acids that penetrate hair follicles to moisturize the hair. It also gives the cream the perfect texture to easily apply to your hair. It’s safe for all hair types and has anti-inflammatory factors that promote a clean and healthy scalp. Though diluted in the butter, the oil will still do well at sealing in that much needed moisture after a shampoo. Homemade creams are easy to make, can be personalized just for you, is inexpensive, can be used on your body and is completely organic. So next time you don’t feel like going to the store, go to your kitchen to whip up your own product.