We’re back with anoth­er com­pi­la­tion piece! Last week four BGLH writ­ers shared how they went from TWA to back length. Now we’re talk­ing about oils and but­ters! Over the next two weeks our writ­ers will share how they incor­po­rate oils and but­ters into their reg­i­men. First up is Geniece.

Mini Twists
Mini Twists
Hair Blown Out
Hair Blown Out

On the rare occa­sion that I wear my hair in one of the styles above, styles that clear­ly dis­play my length, I am asked how long it took to grow my hair to that length. In 2009, after about 2 years of a TWA and 3 more years of being stuck between neck length and shoul­der I final­ly fig­ured out to care for my nat­u­ral hair.  The prod­ucts I used, com­bined with help­ful tech­niques, helped me to retain my length and main­tain my hair’s health.

Let’s Talk Ingre­di­ents

Often, peo­ple ask about the prod­ucts I use on my hair. I have no prob­lem shar­ing but the real­i­ty is that when I am on the mar­ket for a con­di­tion­er or mois­tur­iz­ing cream I don’t look for speci­fic prod­ucts, I look for cer­tain ingre­di­ents. I can throw away every one of the won­der­ful smelling prod­ucts under my bath­room sink and still main­tain my hair’s health by using the below key ingre­di­ents.

Jojoba Oil

It takes me quite a while to fin­ish a 6 oz. bot­tle of jojoba oil because I only use it for a speci­fic pur­pose: my scalp. My scalp is prone to dry­ness, espe­cial­ly in the win­ter, and jojoba oil allows me to oil my scalp with­out clog­ging my pores. Heav­ier oils lead to build up and often just set­tle at the base of my scalp. Jojoba oil by con­trast nour­ish­es my scalp, as well and the 2–3 inch­es of new growth clos­est to my scalp.

Ayruvedic Oils

The­se oils, which I typ­i­cal­ly pur­chase from an Indi­an gro­cer, are strict­ly for my pre-sham­poo treat­ments. I use amla oil along the length of my hair, con­cen­trat­ing on my ends, which helps sig­nif­i­cant­ly with detan­gling. The NUMBER ONE cause of break­age for me has occurred dur­ing detan­gling so using oils that help to sep­a­rate my tan­gled strands is key in length reten­tion.

Cas­tor Oil

I affec­tion­ate­ly refer to this oil as shea but­ter in liq­uid form. It is heavy, thick and it seals my mois­tur­ized hair in a way that no oth­er oil does. Now, I won’t use cas­tor oil for a twist out because the heav­i­ness of the oil isn’t con­ducive to such styling, how­ev­er it works won­ders for retain­ing length when wear­ing pro­tec­tive styles. I could wash my hair on Sat­ur­day and feel the cas­tor oil still work­ing its seal­ing mag­ic on my hair on Wednes­day. That’s pret­ty impres­sive con­sid­er­ing my hair often needs mois­tur­iz­ing every oth­er day with most prod­ucts.

Shea But­ter…in Mod­er­a­tion

For me, the best way to use shea but­ter, and most but­ters for that mat­ter, is to apply a small amount to my hair after using a mois­tur­iz­ing pro­duct or ingre­di­ent. The awe­some thing about shea but­ter is that it can seal mois­tur­ized hair for up to three days (at least my hair), which is espe­cial­ly help­ful in cold­er cli­mates. The one word of cau­tion I would offer about shea but­ter is to make sure it is pure and unre­fined. I now buy my shea but­ter online from a ven­dor that dis­trib­utes shea but­ter from Ghana. The shea but­ter is smooth and pli­able. If your shea but­ter is rock hard when pur­chas­es it’s like­ly not unre­fined.

Ladies, how do you use oils and but­ters in your reg­i­men?


Island girl raised in the most roy­al of NYC’s bor­oughs. Proud nerd, social sci­en­tist, edu­ca­tor and recov­er­ing awk­ward black girl. When not lis­ten­ing to NPR, try­ing to grow spir­i­tu­al­ly, or detan­gling my fro, I’m search­ing for the best shrimp and grits in the Queen City.

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5 Comments on "How I Use Shea Butter and Jojoba, Ayurvedic and Castor Oil in my Waist Length 4B/4C Hair Regimen"

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Martina Swift

What is 4c, 4b, TWA, BGLH ?

oth­er­wise a very help­ful site. Thanks for being will­ing to share your secrets.


4c, 4b are hair types the pat­tern of the curls are usu­al­ly zig zag. TWA means Tee­nie Wee­nie Afro. BGLH means Black girl long hair.


I use coconut oil on my ends direct­ly after wash­ing then add Africa’s Best herbal oil and last­ly shea but­ter to seal it all in. It might seem like a lot but this mix works won­ders and my dry ends are dry no more!


I would love to try jojoba oil. But I already have cas­tor, olive, Coconut, almond. Im try­ing not to look like a pro­duct junkie…well I guess it’s too late for that.

But I am real­ly inter­est­ed in ayurvedic oils.

Kay's Ways

I’ve been want­i­ng to try some raw Shea but­ter for a while now. I’ve tried Jojoba oil before and thought it was good, don’t know why I haven’t restocked yet. Great list of oils