Sometimes a girl just needs a little heat.
On her hair.
Even if she stopped using commercial shampoo. Even if she wrote a post entitled, “10 Methods for No Heat Curls“.
It’s just always nice to have the option, you know?
So, I haven’t really been using heat on my hair for the last eight months or so, except for the occasional light touch with the blow dryer. I used to use high heat from the blow dryer and the highest setting on my straightening iron, every time I styled my hair, which was almost every day. Yikes! All without a heat protectant.
I was really impressed and fascinated by this in-depth post on using only water to wash your hair. Yes, you read that right, way out there in outer Hairvana is a camp of brave souls fearless enough to attempt “water only”. I wish I could pull it off, but I’ve tried and my water is just too hard. 🙁 Right now I’m using what’s called AO – Acid Only rinses, and once every week or two I wash my hair using homemade herbal shampoo. (Recipe coming shortly!)
Anywho, in this awesome write-up she mentions she uses a product that is a safe heat protectant without silicones, which makes it safe for no-poo hair. (Still don’t like that phrase.)
Silicones: any ingredients that end in -zane, -xane, -cone, or -conol. They coat the hair, and prevent heat transfer all the way to the hair, but they also prevent moisture from getting to the hair. This post by Almost Exactly gives a nice overview of silicones versus natural protectants. (She doesn’t mention cocoa butter, but that is a natural heat protectant as well.)
So, with that in mind, and wanting to keep things simple, I decided to just make my own simple mixture of shea and cocoa butter, and add some of my favorite essential oils. Here’s the recipe.
Homemade Heat Protectant for Hair
- 4 ounces shea butter
- 4 ounces cocoa butter
- up to 20 drops essential oils of your choice, optional. Rosemary and lavender are good for hair, and peppermint makes it smell like Chocolate Mint. Mmm! Click here to learn more about essential oils and the brand I recommend!
- 8 ounce glass container – canning jar would work well. (I used a leftover ghee container like this one.)
- Medium pot filled with 1 inch of water
- Medium glass bowl – the pot and bowl make a double boiler
This is very simple and only takes about fifteen minutes.
Start the pot of water boiling, and place the glass bowl on top. (This is your makeshift double boiler.) Place the shea and cocoa butter in the bowl. (I just eyeballed the amounts, you don’t have to be exact.) Don’t add the essential oils yet.
Let the water simmer in the pot, heating the mixture until it’s melted. Yes, I totally zoomed in because I didn’t want to have to clean the stove. Just sayin’.
Add essential oils to empty jar. Remove butters from heat and carefully add to glass. Remember, it’s going to be hot! Only use high quality glass that won’t crack when something hot is added. This is about what it will look like when melted.
It smells like chocolate even if you don’t add any oils…win! Allow to cool at room temperature.
When this cools, it’s very solid. I actually prefer this, since it’s not goopy and doesn’t get too much on my hands at one time. All you do is rub some onto your fingers and apply to your hair while damp after washing. You decide with trial and error how much works for you, since each head of hair is different.
This is intended to be a natural heat protectant, for gentle heat use. If you’re gonna be using mega heat to style your hair, use something with silicones in it so your hair will not get totally trashed. But for someone like me, who barely, lightly heat styles, this is perfect.
In addition to a heat protectant, I use this sometimes in between washes just to keep my ends hydrated. I also use this even if I’m not going to heat style! When you’re no-poo, you need to be making an active effort to find the right amount of moisture for your hair to keep it shiny and healthy.
So there you have it! So simple. I made some free printables to go along with this super simple heat protectant; here they are if you want them.
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