How to Use our Unrefined Shea Butter
Pure, unrefined shea butter has a myriad of uses. We have outlined a few for you below:
How to Apply Shea Butter
For direct application to the skin, take a small amount in the palm of you hand. Rub your hands together to warm up the butter until it is smooth and liquid. Then apply to your skin.
If you are concerned about an oily feeling, use only a small amount or apply the shea butter before going to bed. Shea butter absorbs quickly into the skin, but there will be a few minutes that it feels oily.
Shea butter can also be applied to your hair. Some people apply it before washing to protect the hair from harsh shampoos. It can also be applied after washing as a conditioner. Apply it in the same manner as to the skin.
Melting and Pouring Shea Butter
There are important techniques to learn in order to keep the shea butter from becoming grainy when it is melted and re-crystallized. In our research we have come across various suggestions for preventing and "fixing" grainy shea butter. We have included two here as well as the method that we use. We suggest trying out the various methods to find the one that works for you.
1. Temperature Control Method: Heat the butter to 170-185 degrees F and keep this temperature steady for 10-15 minutes. The steady heat will eliminate the fat crystals that are causing the graininess. Rapid cooling may help stop the crystals from reforming.
2. Cool Down Method: Melt the shea until it has just melted, and stir to remove melt any remaining small pieces and to mix the shea thoroughly. Let the shea sit uncovered until it reaches room temperature, but is not solid. Pour into individual containers and place them in a cool location.
3. Agbanga Method: Our method is very similar to the second one. However, to ensure the absolute creamiest butter, we recommend stirring it as it cools down to room temperature. For small batches (a few pounds), continue stirring occasionally until the butter has the consistency of thick porridge. The more you stir at this point, the creamier it will be. When the butter has become solid (no longer liquid, but still soft), put it into a large pastry bag and squeeze it into your containers. Hold the tip of the bag near the bottom of the jar so the shea butter will fill in the jar completely. For large batches, we recommend using a paint stirrer with a hand held drill to mix the shea butter. Mix the shea with the paint stirrer for a few minutes after it has cooled, but is still liquid. It will still be slightly warm to the touch, but not hot. Pour the shea into your containers and place in a cool location to crystallize. This will need to be done quickly, as the shea butter will crystallize rapidly.
Copyright © 2003-2011 Agbanga Karite/Alaffia ~ all rights reserved. | Updated Sunday, March 9, 2014