But recently I was introduced to Calvis “The Crisco Kid” Williamson on a natural hair forum. I was astonished to see so many women cosigning with her about Crisco as a hair conditioner… dozens of women were raving about the great results they achieved using shortening in their hair. Of course dozens of others made cracks about smelling like fried chicken about the head and refused to have anything to do with it, but they just ain’t up on thangs!
Initially I found the concept to be somewhat distasteful. However, I am a brave soul and don’t mind experimenting with my hair if I deem the ingredients I’d be testing to not be harmful, so I thought I’d give the Crisco hair conditioner a shot. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.
I began by investigating the ingredients in Crisco. Soy oil… palm oil. Hmmm, not bad. When you think about it, the soy oil in the Crisco makes it low in saturated fat and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. It is also very high in linoleic and linolenic acids – the same essential fatty acids found Argan oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil and apricot kernel oil. Its mono-saturated fat profile puts it on a par with almond, avocado, olive, carrot seed, macadamia nut oils, and Shea and cocoa butter.
Though Crisco is used primarily for cooking vs. most of the other oils listed above, its very similar in structure with the exception of whatever chemicals are used in the processing of Crisco to make the fats hydrogenated (solid) instead of liquid.
Now Calvis “The Crisco Kid” has a recipe which I didn’t find out about until AFTER I’d whipped up my own version of a Crisco hair conditioner, and the results I will show you are from my own mix. However, Calvis just recently (October 2, 2012) uploaded a new video demonstrating how to make and use the Crisco hair conditioner which is attached to this post.
Someone that uses Crisco as a hair conditioner frequently sent me the recipe she uses, which is:
- 1/2 cup Crisco (or any vegetable shortening)
- 2 Tablespoons Castor oil
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera gel
A woman on a natural hair care forum on Facebook posted her favorite styling cream recipe which is:
- 3/4 cup Aloe vera gel
- 1/4 cup Crisco vegetable shortening
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
- 1 Tablespoon castor oil
- 1/4 cup leave in moisturizing conditioner
Use a stick or hand mixer to whip ingredients together.
As you can see, you can play around with ingredients and probably come up with a mixture that works really well for your own hair. The concoction that I whipped up consisted of some of my personal favorite ingredients plus some I thought made sense:
- 2 rounded Tablespoons of Crisco
- 2 Tablespoons Shea butter
- 1 tsp Coconut oil
- 1 tsp. grapeseed oil
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable glycerine
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Eco Styler Gel
- 3 Tablespoons Giovanni Direct Leave in Conditioner
Whipped it all together and put it on dampened (spritzed) hair. I twisted it up, left it to dry overnight, then took down a section for the photo. This is how my hair looked at right.
Now like I said, women all over the web are talking about how they’ve used Crisco vegetable shorting for flat ironing, hot combing, and the Crisco hair conditioner for twisting and braiding natural hair. Many report having had it used on their hair in childhood. It’s not really as weird as you might think; the ingredients in Crisco are nothing to be afraid of – if you try it and you don’t like it, feel free to wash it out. There is nothing in the can that will permanently change your hair.
The results I got from my Crisco hair conditioner experiment were pretty amazing. My twist out was very defined, very moisturized and had great body. Crisco is a fabulous sealant for dry natural hair, and it costs pennies when compared to high priced commercial styling products. If you don’t want to use Crisco for fear of preservatives or other chemicals, look for an organic vegetable shortening at your local health food store.
I think “The Crisco Kid” is onto something! Check out her video, give the Crisco hair conditioner recipe a try, then report back with your results.
About the Author (Author Profile)Blogger, writer, relationships/dating expert, fitness trainer and natural hair enthusiast since 1997. Sharing information from grandmomma, books and scientific journals, as well as my personal discoveries and experiences with natural hair as we journey from relaxers, flat irons and weaves together.
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- What should I do about dry frizzy hair? - Your Natural Hair | 10/13/2012
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