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

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?

Gen

Gen

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    • 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.

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