December 5, 2022


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Adding Water-based Ingredients to Your Whipped Butter Mixes

5 min read

Recently I was asked a question about adding water to a shea butter mix for better usage.  It’s a topic I thought other people may have questions about too, hence this blog post.

To add water to your whipped butter mixes, you’ll need a helper ingredient which will force the water and shea butter mix to stay mixed.  This magical ingredient is called an “emulsifier”.

An emulsifier is an ingredient which binds the oil portion to the water (or aloe vera or tea) portion without it separating for a long long time.  Its the ingredient which stabilizes your mix and keeps the water from pooling.

Here’s a list of typical emulsifiers (and places where you can buy it):

# Emulsifying Wax

# BTMS (also adds conditioning properties)  –

# NatureMulse (Lactylate system) – (called EcoMULSE)

# OliveM 1000 (non soaping emulsifier) –

TIP: Remember that certain emulsifiers will work better depending on the type of mix you want to create.
*Oil inside water (o/w) emulsions means you want more WATER than oil. (Oil in water)
*Water inside oil (w/o) emulsions means you want more OIL/BUTTER than water. (water in oil)

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Adding water to your whipped butter mix

Since you want to add water to your mix, I would suggest to go ahead and turn it into a water based mix.  Meaning, you’ll be adding more water than the amount of whipped shea butter mix you have.

I suggest doing it this way because water is what really moisturizes the hair. The butters/oils help to lock in that moisture and help to improve hair elasticity so that the hair breaks less easily.

So, for example, say you want to create a hair cream based on your whipped shea butter mix.  You can do something like this:

78% Water
15% Shea butter (or shea butter mix)
6% BTMS (adds extra conditioning properties which help soften the hair)
1% Preservative  (use real preservative or keep it in the fridge for less than 2 weeks)

Both the shea butter and the BTMS will help keep the mix a little firm, but it will certainly be more spreadable than your raw shea butter.

When I create this one, I get a slightly firm mix that is spreadable and feels good on my hair.  Experiment with the percentages and the butters!

On the flip side, if you want a mix mostly made up of your shea butter mix with a small amount of water added, it can be slightly more difficult because these types of mixes can be very dependent on the type of emulsifier you use.

Try something like this:

70% Shea butter
21% Water
1% preservative

I don’t typically make this type of DIY mix where there’s a tiny bit of water and a bunch of oil/butter.  It reminds me of a regular whipped butter. So why not just make a whipped butter instead? And if you need water, just spray your hair down with water before using it.
There was also a question about creating DIY conditioners.


How you make a conditioner is really left up to what you want to use.  Its not that different from what I posted at the beginning of this blog.

If you want a Shea butter conditioner, you’ll use about the same ingredients.  However, you’ll also use other ingredients which are good for conditioning the hair like: DL Panthenol (the stuff that’s in Pantene),  Vitamin E, Silk Amino Acid, Aloe Vera Juice, Chamomile extract, Nettle Leaf extract or other types of extracts and humectants.

Typical Conditioner Recipe (as so wonderfully put by arcamp83 on youtube)

6 ounces water

2 teaspoons BTMS  (conditioner, emulsifier)
2 teaspoons Cetyl alcohol (thickener)

4 TABLEspoons of any oil or combination of oils of your choice
Essential oil or fragrance

She even made a video showing how to do it.  I’m assuming you don’t already know, so forgive me if you’ve already seen it:

I’ve actually made this before and it feels very good on the hair.

For a more advanced conditioner recipe, you can add stuff like Beet root sugar extract, Panthenol, Hydrolyzed Quinoa, and other things.

Go to youtube and search around for DIY conditioners.  Also, go through some of those manufacturer’s websites.  Some offer actual DIY recipes made from the ingredients they sell.  You’ll see them listed under “Formulary”.

Lotioncrafter Formulary

IngredientsToDieFor Formulary

The Herbarie Formulary

Start off making small 2oz testers until you find a good recipe. Happy formulating and DONT BE INTIMIDATED.

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