Shea butter is a natural fat extracted from the karate tree in Africa. The extraction process that takes place today takes days as opposed to the days, weeks, and months of old. Extraction of shea butter is a very labor-intensive process. The unrefined and untreated shea butter is usually used for cooking and soap making. The white color of shea butter is due to the presence of fatty acids such as palmitic, stearic, and oleic fatty acids. The stearic acid content in shea butter is high. Depending on its color, the melting point ranges from 80-105 C (176-221 F). It is recommended that you melt the shea butter in a microwave oven because it doesn’t take too much time.
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The extraction produces a smooth and un-greasy texture that can be easily molded, rubbed into the skin, and made into a deodorant or lotion. You can buy shea butter from your local pharmacy or health food store where it is normally sold as a solid block. You can also purchase it online in many different forms; it is usually sold in small glass jars with screw top lids with an expiration date on them (usually 6 months). In the following article, we will tell you how to melt the shea butter so that you can make homemade body creams and lotions at home. It also requires a more expensive pressing process than that of other oils like coconut oil or olive oil.
How To Melt Shea Butter At Home?
Below are two ways to melt this wonder butter at home:
Method 1: Put the desired amount of shea butter in a microwave-safe container with very little water and nuke for one-minute intervals until it’s completely melted.
Method 2: Put the shea butter in a double boiler with very little water. Make sure not to overfill your pot and don’t let it boil dry. It is recommended that you use plastic containers for melting the butter in a microwave oven as glass may shatter from the heat. It is best to use small glass containers such as baby food jars or similar containers when using a double boiler to melt the shea butter as they are easier to handle than larger plastic or metal bowls and pots.
How To Melt Shea Butter For Hair?
- Shea butter is used to soften hair. Take a generous amount of shea butter and rub it within your palms to warm it up before applying.
- Make sure that your hair is free of any buildup before you use this butter for your hair.
- Make sure to wash your hair with a mild shampoo to remove all oils, silicones, and other chemicals from the hair.
- Wash well and then apply shea butter on the hair from the root to the very tip of the hair.
- Don’t forget to cover your eyebrows as well if you have them.
- For long or thick hair, divide it into two sections and apply shea butter in each section.
- Tie up the two sections with a satin scarf while sleeping overnight or for a few hours so that the shea butter penetrates deeply into your hair follicles.
How To Melt Shea Butter For Lotion And Body Creams?
- Add a small amount of water to the shea butter and then put the jar or glass container in a microwave oven and nuke for one-minute intervals.
- If you are melting the butter in an oven, wrap the metal bowl with a tea towel and put it in preheated oven on medium heat to melt the butter. The cream will be ready 2 – 4 hours later.
- You will know if the butter is too hot by holding your finger above it. It should be soft, but not hot to the touch.
- You can also use a double boiler approach to melt shea butter as shown in the above photo.
- If you would like for your lotion or cream to have a higher melting point, you can add shea butter to some other oils such as coconut oil or olive oil before melting them in a double boiler.
How To Melt Raw Shea Butter?
Step 1: Melt raw shea butter in a double boiler. Add a small amount of water to the pot and then put the glass container in preheated oven on medium heat. The cream will be ready after about 2 – 4 hours depending on the weather outside and how much time your food was exposed to heat. If you are doing this indoors, make sure to keep an eye on your cream so that you don’t overheat it.
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Step 2: When the butter is ready, pour it into a bowl or small jar and add essential oils, herbs, or other additives of your choice.
DIY Shea Butter Recipes For Skincare And Haircare:
Recipe 1: Hair Mask For Dry Hair
- 1 tbsp shea butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
- 1 egg
- Take a bowl and put in the shea butter, olive oil, and essential oils if you are using them.
- Put the bowl in a double boiler or a microwave oven and warm it until it melts.
- When done, take out the heat source and allow cooling at room temperature.
- Mix the egg, apply it to your hair, and wait for an hour before washing it off.
Recipe 2: Homemade Shea Butter Lotion
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
- Take a jar or bowl and put shea butter, coconut oil, aloe vera gel, and any other additives of your choice.
- Melt in a double boiler.
- Let it cool off at room temperature and pour it into the jar or dish before applying it on the skin.
Recipe 3: DIY Shea Butter Roll-On For Sensitive Skin
- 1/3 cup shea butter melted until liquid
- 2 tbsps beeswax pellets melted until liquid
- Apply to your hands and rub in a circular motion on your face, neck, and chest area to create a soothing effect on your skin.
Recipe 4: Shea Butter Lotion For Dry Skin
- 1 cup shea butter melted until liquid
- 2 tbsp coconut oil melted until liquid
- ½ tbsp sweet almond oil
- 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix.
- Let it cool at room temperature.
- Use on your skin to moisturize and heal dry skin.
1) What are the precautions to be taken while using shea butter?
Shea butter has a high content of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fatty acids. However, it is still very sensitive to heat and high temperatures can damage the shea butter. You should always use shea butter in small amounts on your skin. For essential oils that have a higher concentration of essential oils (such as lavender), make sure to dilute them with a carrier oil before applying it to your skin.
2) How long does it take for the Shea butter to melt completely?
It depends on how much water you add when you are melting the shea butter. If you are melting it in a double boiler, allow 30 to 40 minutes for the butter to melt completely. In the microwave, just make sure to use a plastic bowl or jar and wrap it with the tea towel so that it doesn’t break because of the intense heat source. Never use glass containers as they may shatter from temperature variations resulting from mixing two metals.