Red hibiscus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hey y’all I promised in my post here that I would share my herbal coconut oil concoction. I did videos on my YouTube channel earlier last year but forgot to blog about it here.
The inspiration to make my own herbal oil came from hearing about Vatika Coconut Oil, Nyle Herbal Hair Oil and the Profectiv Hair Strengthener. The Profectiv was given as a present to all the ladies at my husband’s family reunion in 2009. I was already using Tropical Traditions Gold Label Coconut Oil so I thought what if I could make my own Vatika, Nyle/Profectiv type oil using coconut oil.
The inspiration for the choice of herbs I used are from some of the ingredients listed on the jar of Profectiv Daily Anti -Breakage Hair Strengthner I had and the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil I had researched after hearing about it on YouTube. Back then the Profectiv was not an oil but a…well, I really don’t know how to describe it. It was a milky color with a slight pink tint and had a loose gel like texture. They were listed as extracts however I was impressed by the number of natural things in it like horsetail and sage . Glycerin was and still is in the product… but pretty high on the list back then. Nice for attracting moisture but I really dislike the sticky feeling it leaves on my hair. For me, it also attracts dirt, something I definitely did not want to do for my locs. And you were supposed to be using this stuff daily. I never bought the Nyle Herbal Hair Oil but it’s ingredient list showed it had hibiscus and fenugreek extracts along with coconut oil.
This was three years ago as I see now at the time of this post, the list of ingredients for the Profectiv has changed quite a bit. Currently, Propylene Glycol is quite high on the list of ingredients with silicones following close behind. I’m not sure but I don’t think it was like that back then and if it was on the list it was close to the bottom. Otherwise I would have never used the product. It also has Lanolin, Olive oil and silicones that I don’t remember being in the product either. I think I’ve mentioned before that my hair does not like Olive Oil nor silicone.
That’s another reason why I wanted to make my own product because I know how companies for various reasons, will change the formulation of a product by adding cheaper chemicals. I wish that I would have kept the label on the jar of Profectiv so that I could see changes at the time of this post vs when I first did my concoction oil. I also think Nyle Herbal Hair Oil has changed their formulation as well because I don’t remember seeing mineral oil listed as an ingredient. No surprise really but…Wow!
The other inspiration was from research done on Anita Grant’s old website and other websites for information on herbs for dry hair.
Now, the trouble was I had no idea how to get the herbs into the oil. Thanks to a YouTube friend and subscriber and also Annie’s Remedies, I learned how to do herbal oil infusions. I would give y’all the link to her channel but I recently discovered she’s no longer on YouTube. 😦
OK, here’s what I came up with.
Virgin Coconut Oil – of course right?! However use whatever oil you like.
And the following dried herbs:
Benzoin Gum Powder
English: Flower of a Yellow Chamomile (Anthemis tinctoria) Français : Fleur d’Anthémis des teinturiers (Anthemis tinctoria). Português: Flor de Camomila-dos-tintureiros (Anthemis tinctoria). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Fenugreek Seed Powder
Calendula (Marigold) Flower
Rose Buds and Petals
Sage (Photo credit: lord_bute)
Slippery Elm Bark
Citric Acid for preserving and
Glass jars w/lids (recycled ones are awesome) to hold all of the goodies.
Keep in mind if you want to follow the actual Vatika Oil or the Nyle oil ingredients, by all means do so. I wanted to use herbs that were readily available to me at my local health food store.
For those of you that have been with me for a while already know the answer to the question “How much of each do you use?” 🙂 For those of you who don’t, the answer is… I don’t have a set measurement amount. Heck, I hardly ever measure anything. lol However I will use the same spoon or whatever device I’m using and add more of some herbs like sage, rosebuds and nettle. I add according to what I feel like my hair needs. It’s also dependant on the size of the glass jar you choose. Ok here are the intricate instructions: 😉
- Put one round of all the herbs into the jar.
- Melt the oil getting it nice and warm. You can do this while you are putting your herbs in the jar.
- Pour some oil into the jar making sure to cover the herbs and mix very well. It helps to use a folding method like you’re mixing ingredients for a cake or pie and a pumping motion. This insures that the herbs at the bottom get mixed in with the herbs at the top. It also helps to get any air pockets out. See the note below.
- Add another round of herbs, then oil again covering the herbs and mix well.
- Repeat step 4 until your jar is full and screw the lid on very tight.
See… It’s pretty easy but a little bit time-consuming. If you’ve already scrolled down and watched the video you might have noticed that I’ve changed the instructions a bit. I remembered from the last batch I did ( the video is the filming of it) that it’s a little difficult to mix the oil and herbs when the jar is full of herbs. I’m thinking doing it in the way I have listed above should be easier.
Also it should help in making sure that you have the most amount of oil you can get in to be infused with the good stuff from the plant material. I guess because you are dealing with oil and not water it takes a bit longer for the oil to penetrate the plant material and absorb the oil. Heating the oil helps with this and so does the mixing.
***Note: be careful when mixing with a metal utensil as constant tapping on the bottom of the jar can cause it to crack!***
You’ll want to make sure that the finished jar has oil covering the herbs as this helps to keep the herbs from going rancid (spoiling).
To heat the mixture in the jars, I use an old crock pot, the kind with the ceramic insert. I put the jars in and fill it with water then turn it on the lowest setting of heat. I do this for 8 or more hours per day for 2 weeks. Then I label the jars with the date and put them aside to set for at least 6 months.
When that time has passed, strain out the plant material using a strainer to get the big stuff out. Re-strain using a knee-high stocking to get the smaller particles into your storage jar. You can add essential oils like lavender for further preserving and others for additional benefits for your hair or fragrance.
The resulting oil will be dark green almost brown in color. This will vary of course depending on the combination of herbs used to infuse into the oil.
In the next post I’ll cover why I chose to use this method. If you want to see how I do the infusion check out the videos below.
The same videos are available on my YouTube channel here, here.