This DIY Shea Butter Hair Conditioner Outshines Store Brands

July 16, 2015
by Dana Poblete for Thrive Market
This DIY Shea Butter Hair Conditioner Outshines Store Brands

Ah, conditioner—the miracle potion that turns your tresses from dull to divine. Try to live without it and your hair will likely turn into a tangled, brittle mess.

Then again, there are a few chemicals in your typical drugstore conditioner that you might not want so close to your head. Two active ingredients in the conditioner you buy will seriously shock you. For starters, 2-Bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol is a preservative that releases formaldehyde—yep, the chemical linked to cancer and frog dissection. But it gets worse—methylisothiazolinone, another preservative, has been found to cause nerve damage, and unfortunately they had to test on animals to figure that out.

What if you could make your own awesomely hydrating conditioner with all natural ingredients? We’ve got just the recipe for you. Bonus: It’s cruelty-free.

Shea butter works as a decadent base for this creamy DIY conditioner, while the natural lauric acid in coconut oil penetrates the hair shaft to restore its essential protein. Vegetable glycerin pulls moisture from the air and infuses it into your hair (however, this doesn’t work so well in dry climates, so just omit it if you live in a desert climate like Phoenix). Antioxidant vitamin E oil helps repair the hair follicles, encouraging those locks to grow, baby, grow. Calming lavender and intoxicating rosemary not only round out the coconutty aroma—these essential oils can stimulate the roots (also great for hair growth) and improve circulation in the scalp.

The best part: This coconut lavender rosemary conditioner is the perfect companion to our DIY coconut rosemary peppermint shampoo.

1 cup shea butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
½ teaspoon Vitamin E oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
5 drops rosemary essential oil

Heat the shea butter in a double boiler just warm enough to melt, then quickly remove from heat. Mix in the rest of the ingredients well. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then whip it with a whisk until you get a creamy texture. Store it in a squeeze bottle or glass jar with a seal. After shampooing, work the conditioner from roots to ends, leave it in for a minute or two, and rinse thoroughly.

Not ready to commit to DIY conditioning? You still don't have to settle for mass-market brands loaded with chemicals. Check out the multitude options for natural conditioners, and rest assured that your tresses will be well taken care of.

Illustration by Karley Koenig

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Natural Shea Butter

Retail Price:$9.99

Member Price:$5.69(Save 43%)

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Vitamin E Oil 5,000 IU
4 oz bottle

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Lavender Essential Oil, Organic

Retail Price:$14.68

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Rosemary Essential Oil, Organic

Retail Price:$8.29

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This article is related to: Beauty, Coconut Oil Recipes, Cruelty Free, Hair, Haircare, Natural Hairstyles

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2 thoughts on “This DIY Shea Butter Hair Conditioner Outshines Store Brands”

  • Kayla

    This recipe is so very thick and greasy, I couldn't get it "out" after putting it in. I double checked all of my quantities and they were correct, but the end result just does not seem right, could the amounts listed be incorrect? I'm bummed that I used up so much of my shea butter on something that I'm not going to be able to use. I made the shampoo as well and that recipe I'm very happy with!

    • Kelly Tyler

      I had the same oily hair result. Had to shower & shampoo again (TWICE) to make the greasy hair look go away after a failed blow dry. Mine also ended up way too thick (like dry caked up lotion) after whipping it & I had added 3 tablespoons of Jojoba to the mix. Surely there's something to add to save it & make it usable? The proportions can't be right in this recipe. I have a normal-to-dry hair type & use an organic tea tree mint "scalp normalizing" shampoo.

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