How to Whip Shea Butter for Smooth and Silky Hair

01
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Make Shea Butter Easier to Apply

Shea Butter
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

Shea butter is a wonderful natural ingredient that works well on skin and hair. In its natural form, it's a bit firm but easily spreadable. Whipping it makes it easier to get out of the container and apply to the hair. You can mix shea butter with a number of carrier ingredients; this tutorial uses coconut oil. The carrier keeps the whipped shea butter from re-hardening. Once whipped, you'll have a fluffy, ultra-moisturizing natural product that will give your hair a healthy sheen.

02
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Shea Butter in its Natural State

Shea Butter in its Natural State
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

As seen here, shea butter scooped out of the jar is firm and thick. Place it in a glass or metal bowl.

03
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Place Bowl Over Pot

Bowl Placed Over Pot
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

This is a variation of the double-boiler method (perfect for those of us who don't own double-boilers!). Place a small amount of water in a pot and boil it. Once it's boiling, remove from heat and place the bowl of shea butter over the pot. It will melt very quickly, which is why you need to remove the pot from the heat. Instead of placing over hot water, you can also microwave shea butter in a microwave-safe bowl, but you may lose some of the nutrients this way.

04
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Add Coconut Oil

Adding Coconut Oil
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

This is a small amount of shea butter (approximately 2 oz.). Remove the bowl from the pot and add 1 tbsp. of coconut oil to the melted shea butter. Mix well.

05
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Mixed Shea Butter and Coconut Oil

Mixed Shea Butter and Coconut Oil
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

Once the shea butter is mixed with the coconut oil, it's ready to be whipped. It's fine if the shea butter isn't melted into a complete liquid. The whipping process will break down any chunks of butter.

06
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Begin Mixing

Mixing
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

Use a regular hand-held mixer to begin whipping your shea butter/coconut oil combination. Set your mixer to medium-to-fast speed.

07
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Consistency at 5 Minutes

Consistency at 5 Minutes
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

After about 5 minutes, your mixture will still be very liquidy. You can take short breaks between mixing if needed.

08
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Consistency at 10 Minutes

Consistency at 10 Minutes
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

After 10 minutes of whipping, your mixture should resemble Cool Whip in its consistency which is thicker than a liquid, but not very firm.

09
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Completed Mixture

Completed Mixture
Photo © 2009 D. Sandeen

After about 20 minutes of whipping (if you have a large amount of shea butter, it will take longer), your mixture should be light, fluffy and thick, almost meringue-like. Whipping shea butter will increase the volume by two to three times, so having a container on hand to hold all of it is essential. Store your shea butter in a cool, dark place in a glass or plastic container; the refrigerator is not recommended because it may become grainy. Natural shea butter mixed with coconut oil or jojoba oil can last approximately six months to one year.