Homemade Hair Butter

Several years ago, while we were waiting to adopt our first baby, the popular topic of conversation in our adoption classes/forums was “ethnic hair care.” We quickly became familiar with a popular pink-colored lotion.

However, by the time our little girl was a year old, we realized the wheat germ oil (plus the other chemicals, probably) in the ingredients was causing rashes and other issues. So, as an alternative, we switched to coconut oil.

After awhile, I’ve also made my own version of a hair butter/cream, too, which contains coconut oil, but is easier to apply. I’ve had many adoptive mamas over the years admire our daughter’s hair, and ask what product to use!

Here is our hair butter recipe:

Homemade Hair Butter

1/4 Cup Shea Butter
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
3 Tbl Jojoba Oil or Apricot Kernel Oil
20-30 drops Sweet Orange Oil

(I think some people add in a little beeswax, too, for a bit more “texture” effect, but we haven’t needed it.)

In a double-boiler, soften Shea butter and coconut oil. (Do not melt; just soften enough so you can whip it up with the mixer.) Pour the softened oils into a mixer bowl, and use the whisk attachment to beat until fluffy.

Add in the jojoba oil, and continue mixing for about 5 minutes. Then, put into the refrigerator to cool for about 5 minutes. Continue alternating these five minute increments for about half an hour (cooling, then mixing, then cooling again).

You want a nice creamy, fluffy mixture, and the cooling helps the oils to solidify to firm up the hair butter.

Stir in essential oil.

Scoop the hair butter into a jar. Apply by combing into wet hair. (I’ve also used a tiny amount on the ends of my straight hair on occasion to reduce static frizz.)

Makes about a half pint

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12 comments to Homemade Hair Butter

  • Jessica

    Perfect timing! I live overseas (military wife) and was browsing the internet earlier today for a styling cream for my adopted daughter. I was not eager to spend the money for most of the natural hair butters…….Can’t wait to give this a try. Do you have any other posts about caring for your daughter’s hair?


    Michele Reply:

    @Jessica, I don’t think I do… have any questions for me? :)


    Jessica Reply:

    I am always interested in hearing what other’s routines look like…and what products they use. My daughter is 6 and has very long, very thick hair. She is full AA. We wash once a week, use Aubrey Organics conditioner, detangle with Kinky Curly, moisturize with Alaffia and style with Darcy’s Botanicals. They are all pretty pricey and I would like to find alternatives….especially the style cream. I am not as impressed with that. Any favorites?


    Michele @ Frugal Granola Reply:

    @Jessica, Our daughter is biracial, so her hair is a bit different than full AA hair. It is really curly, though. We comb this hair butter into her hair when wet (usually every other day) to moisturize and detangle.We don’t use soaps on her hair (just a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner’s if there is something really icky). For styling, I use coconut oil or this hair butter. :)

  • Deborah M

    Thank you for this! My brother & his wife are in the process of adopting 2 babies from the Congo & I will definitely make up some of this to send them.


    Michele Reply:

    @Deborah M, Great idea! You probably don’t want to mail it in hot weather though, so it doesn’t melt (maybe add in the beeswax, too, to thicken it up a little more for shipping).


  • RE: We quickly became familiar with a popular pink-colored lotion.

    Pink Oil Moisturizer is the devil! :) I’m glad you did research to meet your child’s needs!


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