10 Hair and Face Mask Recipes for Shea Butter
Shea butter is an awesome oil or fat harvested from the seeds of the Karite tree. The oil is rich in vitamins A, E, K, and F, and is said to not only moisturize but also help prevent hair loss. While shea butter has not yet gained the same popularity as coconut oil, it is becoming more available in the United States. When purchasing shea butter, look for organic unrefined shea butter. The less processing the butter undergoes, the higher the nutrients in the butter.
1. Easy Oil Treatment for Hair
One of the first things I started doing when I got my first container full of unrefined shea butter was giving myself oil treatments on my hair. I have naturally curly hair and, because I sometimes straighten, it can get very dry. At night, before going to bed, I put about a tablespoon of shea butter onto my hands and melt it. I run my hands through my scalp and hair, top to ends. I then go to bed with the oil in my hair and in the morning I wash it out. In the summer, I prefer to use coconut oil on my hair, but during the dry winter months, I will alternate between coconut oil and shea butter.
2. Avocado Hair Mask
To promote hair growth and eliminate dry hair, wash and cut an avocado in half. Wrap and refrigerate on half of the avocado and scrape out the other half. In a blender, add half of the avocado mash, one tablespoon shea butter, and one tablespoon olive oil. Blend. Apply the hair mask to your hair, from top to tips. Cover your hair with plastic wrap and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse out hair, gently wash, and condition. Dry and style as usual.
3. Deep Hair Conditioner
If your hair is super dry and damaged, use this deep hair conditioner once or twice a week until your hair has recovered. This recipe is also great for a dry, itchy scalp and dandruff. Put two tablespoons of coconut oil and one tablespoon shea butter in a double boiler and heat until just melted. Let cool until just warm to the touch and add one teaspoon of rose hip oil. Whip ingredients until well blended and then apply the mixture to your hair and scalp. Leave the conditioner on for 30 minutes and then wash and condition hair. Dry and style as usual.
4. Whipped Shea Butter
If you plan on using shea butter as an after shower moisturizer, but find the raw unrefined butter difficult to use, try whipping it into shape. Mash 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of shea butter in a bowl with a fork. Add two tablespoons avocado or olive oil and 10 drops essential oil (if desired). Mix with an electric mixer for about five minutes. Scrape the whipped butter into a jar or container and store it out of directly sunlight. Use whenever needed.
5. Lotion Bar
I started making and using lotion bars about 12 years ago. My son had eczema on his elbows and I wanted to make something for him that would ease the pain. Oddly enough, his eczema went away after about two months of using the bar. To make a small bar, melt together two tablespoons of shea butter, one tablespoon unrefined coconut oil, two teaspoons grated beeswax, and two teaspoons olive or avocado oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat. If desired, add 10 drops of essential oil. Stir and pour into a mold. I have a set of cheap plastic measuring cups that I use as molds for my bars. For this recipe, I use the 1/3 cup as a mold. Allow the bar to cool and then remove from the mold. To use, rub the bar on your skin whenever needed.
6. Lip Balm
You can simply use your raw shea butter as is for a lip balm or you can tinker around with this basic recipe and fill your own lip balm container. You will need one tablespoon grated beeswax, one tablespoon shea butter, and one tablespoon apricot kernel oil. Melt the beeswax and shea butter together in a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix in apricot kernel oil. Pour into lip balm contain and allow to cool completely. Cover with lid and use when needed.
7. Face Mask
Moisturize and hydrate your face with this easy face mask. Simply measure out 1/2 teaspoon shea butter and 1/2 teaspoon raw honey (Manuka honey works best) onto a small plate and mash the ingredients together with your fingers. Apply the mix to your face and leave on for 10 to 30 minutes. Wash off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry. Your skin will feel great.
8. Cellulite Scrub
Ground coffee is the newest trend for helping reduce cellulite. What you do is mash together two teaspoons of shea butter with 1-1/2 teaspoons ground coffee. In the shower, massage this mix onto your cellulite, wait a minute, and then rinse off with warm water. The caffeine in the coffee helps reduce the appearance of cellulite and the shea butter moisturized the area.
9. Sugar Scrub
Here is an easy, all over sugar scrub you can make for your face or whole body. The scrub will help remove dead, dry skin and moisturize your skin at the same time. Mash together one tablespoon shea butter and two teaspoons brown sugar. Wet your skin for a few minutes before using the scrub. Scrub in a gentle, circular motion and then rinse.
10. Dry Elbows and Feet Repair
For dry elbows, knees, and feet, blend together two teaspoons of shea butter and four drops of either rose hip oil or argan oil. Apply this to your toughest dry spots. If you apply this to your feet, put on a pair of socks afterwards to hold in the moisture. For elbows, I like to apply this mixture a few times a day and keep my elbows covered with a sleeve-tight shirt.
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