If I could only use one oil for the rest of my natural hair journey coconut oil would be a no-brainer choice for me. I consider coconut oil as my signature oil when it comes to hair care. Granted the oil does not work for everyone so it’s important to try out different ones and always go with one most agreeable to your hair. While I have deviated and tried a gazillion other oils for hair and body care, coconut oil is the only one that has been in consistent rotation.
Everything about whole coconut (solid at room temperature, not to be confused with fractionated) from its appearance, heavenly scent, ease of use, multiple functionality and effectiveness appeals to me. I decided to combine the oil with lavender to infuse not only fragrance but also the soothing and calming effects of the herb. Lavender is also a great herb for dry hair, which I definitely have. The end result was beautiful, high aroma butter with a greenish tint. Afterwards I whipped it to a fluffy luxurious texture that’s really easy to work with.
- 1 Cup coconut oil (solid at room temperature)
- 4 tablespoons lavender. Add more if you like very intense fragrance.
- Filter the oil over a cheese cloth or unused (or one reserved just for the oils) stocking and let it cool
- Use an electronic or hand-held whip to obtain a fluffy luxurious and easy to use texture
- You could also add lavender essential oil to make the fragrance more pronounced
Below are the different methods you can use to infuse the oil. You can always improvise and coin your own method. Just remember the only rule is not to let the oil overheat because this will destroy or alter vital minerals and lipids.
- Add entire mixture to a crock-pot and infuse on low for about 6 hours.
- Use pot (preferably iron but I have used stainless steel and it works) and hit the mixture gently. Stir frequently and watch the oil to make sure it does not get too hot. DO NOT EVER (yes, the caps were necessary) let the oil boil.
- Add mixture to a mason jar, put the mason jar in the crock-pot add water and infuse.
- Add mixture to a mason jar, put the Mason jar in the pot of hot water and infuse. You’ll need to change the water as it cools.
- Add mixture to a mason jar, place a flat object (I use another mason jar lid) on the bottom of a pot. Balance mason jar over the lid then add water. Heat the water to boiling then reduce heat and let the oil infuse over a few hours. This method creates a double boiler system.
- A double boiler is another great alternative.
- Place herbs in mason jar, pour oil over the herbs and release air bubbles (see this example). Cap the jar tightly and place in direct sunlight for 6-8 weeks. Shake the jar frequently and leave it inverted from time to time. In the summer coconut oil will remain liquid in direct sunlight. In the winter you can place the jar in hot water when the oil cools and solidifies. The oil needs to stay liquid in order to absorb the herb content.
The beauty of making your own products is there are no rules as to how you should make them or how the product should be used. The only real limit is our creativity. You certainly don’t have to use lavender. Try any floral herb, preferably one that has some color. Cool options could be hibiscus, rose petal or calendula (marigold). Don’t like flowers? Use a high fragrant herb like basil, peppermint or parsley. Even better? Combine as you like for endless possibilities.
As far as how to use the butter, that’s completely up to you. Just to give you an idea here are some ways I use mine:
- Directly on scalp to oil (lavender is antibacterial and good for skin. Coconut oil is very light and easily absorbed. Buh bye dry flaky scalp)
- To seal my moisturizer without weighing my hair down
- Pre-shampoo oil (similar to this post)
- Lubricant to undo twists or braids
- Oil cleansing for face and teeth
- Oil rinsing for hair
- Adding fresh ground coffee and peppermint essential oil to make an awesome body scrub. I have also used brown sugar and salt. Make sure you separate the portion you’ll be using from the rest if the bunch.
- Right after a hot shower to moisturize
- Nighttime foot moisturizer. Wear cotton socks before bed to keep all the goodness on your feet
- Face moisturizer especially for days when I don’t wear makeup. Here’s my skincare regimen
- Makeup remover
- Over a healing wound to relieve the itch
- Primary ingredient in home-made deodorant (recipe here)
- Whip with other butters for a custom blend
- Conditioner enhancer. A liquified tablespoon goes a long way
IMPORTANT: There are no preservatives in this mix so any contact with water will cause rancidity and molding. Always separate what you are using from the main batch especially if you will be using with water (like a body scrub). Even steam from the shower will eventually condense into moisture and cause molding so only take what you’ll need in the shower. Store the rest tightly closed and away from any kind of moisture.
The coconut oil in this video is from soapgoods.com ,which I bought along with other butters. They have a nice selection of butters but unless you are buying other stuff shipping is ridiculous. My other favorite coconut oil is the organic extra virgin one from Viva labs (linked below). I would recommend trying the small 16 ounce first if are unsure how your hair will feel about coconut oil. If you know your hair thrives with the oil then this is definitely a brand I really like and highly recommend.