By Choya Randolph
For most of my natural hair journey, I slept on hair butters. Don’t be like me because hair butters are that girl. For my naturals with high porosity hair, you may want to put the oil down and pick up a hair butter. Even if you don’t have high porosity hair, hair butters are great for the winter to give your hair an extra boost to retain moisture.
So what are hair butters? Hair butters are an organic blend of unrefined butters and natural oils. When doing the LOC or LCO method, you can replace your oil with a hair butter. If you don’t know about the LOC method, it’s an ideal method for naturals to moisturize our hair. The name is an acronym representing the order of products to put in your hair. The LOC method refers to using a liquid, oil, then cream and the LCO method refers to using a liquid, cream, then oil. Both methods work, it’s about finding what works best for you.
When it comes to the LOC or LCO method, each product has a job of its own. The liquid is usually a water-based leave-in conditioner meant to condition and moisturize the hair. The oil locks in that moisture and the cream prevents the moisture from leaving. Because hair butters are a combination of oil and butter, it can be an oil alternative.
Hair butters are more than just an oil but a butter as well. Its thick consistency can give your hair a much needed boost, especially during the winter. Hair butters can not only seal in your moisture but also prevent breakage. One of the great things about hair butters is that it’s all natural and organic. However, when going to the beauty supply store, the hair butters may have a bunch of ingredients that aren’t organic at all. In fact, can you even pronounce all of the ingredients? If you can’t pronounce it then it probably isn’t all natural. For those who want to know exactly what they’re putting in their hair, let’s break down hair butters.
Again, hair butter is just oil and butter. If you’re a seasoned natural, you probably know the tea on oils but butters can be a little complicated. There are three butters that you can use in your homemade hair butters: shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter. Of course there are more butters out there but let’s focus on these three.
Shea butter is probably the butter you’ve heard of. Sis is popular. It is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It’s known for providing moisture to the hair while absorbing into the scalp without clogging the scalp. Cocoa butter is something we’ve all probably used on our skin. If it can benefit our skin then it can probably do a lil something for our hair. Cocoa butter is extracted from the cocoa bean. It of course gives us the chocolate we all love but it can also moisturize our hair and combat frizz. Then there’s mango butter which is extracted from mango kernels. It can reduce breakage, soften the hair, and smooth split ends.
All of these butters smell amazing and moisturize natural hair but, they do have their cons. Shea butter tends to be thick so it can be harder to use. Cocoa butter can lean on the greasy side. Mango butter can be expensive and perhaps inaccessible. However, finding what butter works best for you is part of the natural hair journey.
Now that you know what butters you can use, you can start mixing and blending as you please. Once you add an oil of your choice, you have officially made your own hair butter. What’s great about making your own hair butter is that you can add additional ingredients for that razzle dazzle. A recipe I like to follow is using a cup of mango butter, about two tablespoons of olive oil, a chunk of aloe vera gel, and a couple drops of peppermint oil. If you don’t feel like chopping up an aloe vera plant, you can use about a tablespoon of organic aloe vera juice.
I like this recipe because olive oil is my oil of choice. I use extra virgin olive oil because it’s unrefined and reduces scalp irritation. I like mango butter because its consistency tends to be easier to apply to my hair. Aloe vera gel works as a great conditioner, reduces dandruff, combats hair loss, and defines my curls. Peppermint oil is my favorite essential oil because it gives my scalp a cooling sensation that increases blood circulation which promotes hair growth. If you already have a preferred oil or butter, mix it up and add what you’d like. Not only will this save you money, it’s all natural just like your coils and curls.