This DIY Shea Butter Hair Conditioner Outshines Store Brands

July 16th, 2015

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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Dana PobleteDana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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