Making Whipped Shea Butter isn’t always as easy as 1,2,3. To understand how to formulate your own recipes, you need to decide how you are going to be using the Whipped Shea Butter. You will also need to have a basic understanding of how certain carrier oils work.
Whipped Shea Butters, are mainly heavy body cremes that you can use to moisturize your skin or hair. Since most Whipped Shea Butters do not contain water, there is no need for a preservative. If you add water, extracts, or any juices such as Aloe Vera Juice, you need to use a synthetic preservative in your mix.
Now, on to choosing the oils for our mix! You may be thinking, why add any oil at all? Can’t you just whip the shea butter alone? You can use shea butter alone but, keep in mind that most authentic shea butters, don’t provide much shine and don’t have much glide. I relate it to the feeling of beeswax, without the waxy coating. Adding carrier oils help make applying the shea butter easier and also gives added benefits to the hair and/or skin.
Coconut oil– This oil helps provide, shine, and moisture. Coconut oil alone, for many, just merely sits on the top of the hair and gives it a greasy feeling. Keep in mind that since this oil melts easily, the more you add to your mixture the softer your mixture will be.
Sweet Almond Oil– This oil provides shine and is very light. It does not moisturize, because it doesn’t penetrate the hair well. However, it is a great oil for skin and hair (See CurlyNikki: Benefits of Sweet Almond Oil).
Olive Oil– This oil is fairly heavy. It tends to not work well in butter for the skin but is great in small amounts in butter for the hair. This oil adds a significant amount of shine and it penetrates the hair shaft. Remember, this oil can leave the hair or skin feeling greasy or weighed down, so it should be used sparingly.
Castor Oil– This oil is a humectant, it aids in adding moisture to the hair shaft. This oil is best used in hair butters as it can be a bit sticky and hard to smooth onto the skin. But, be careful, if you live in a dry climate. This oil takes moisture from the air and adds it to your hair if there is no moisture in the air…well you may end up with dry hair.
Avocado Oil– This is a light oil, that can penetrate the hair shaft. It adds shine to the hair and skin. This oil has a lot of benefits for the hair and skin (See Healthline: What are the Benefits of Using Avocado Oil on the Hair).
Safflower, Sunflower, Babassu, Apricot Kernel, Emu, and many other oils are also useful in making Whipped Shea Butter.
Below are two basic Whipped Shea Butter Recipes you can try and also tweak to your liking!