BeLeave-In your leave-in with this recipe for dry, curly hair!
The perfect natural care for your curly or kinky hair!
Everyone with curly, coily, or kinky hair knows “bad hair days” all too well, and they ALWAYS come at the worst possible time. When you’re at home all day alone, your hair is shampoo-ad perfect; when you have a big meeting or a night out planned, it goes wild and pretends it’s never known how properly hold a ringlet. But rest assured: your days of hair despair are over, because we have a recipe you can BeLeave-In for dry, curly hair!
This DIY leave-in conditioner hydrates, softens, protects, and nourishes your mane. It’s specially formulated for curly, kinky, and coily hair but can be adapted to the needs of every hair type. It’s quickly become an essential part of the hair care routines of many people on our team, and we’re sure it will soon find a place in yours too!
Get ready to BeLeave-In your homemade conditioner—and your own curls—like never before!
How to make leave-in conditioner for curly or kinky hair
Before you begin
You may notice that at the beginning of this recipe, we ask you to heat the demineralized water to 70°C for 20 minutes. And you might be wondering why! This step allows you to get rid of as much bacteria and fungi in the water as possible, which will increase the final product’s shelf life. This step is especially important because this leave-in recipe is high in sugar, due to the maple syrup, which encourages bacterial and fungal growth.
- 69 g (69%) demineralized water
- 5 g (5%) maple syrup
- 3 g (3%) kokum butter
- 5 g (5%) jojoba oil
- 4 g (4%) castor oil
- 5 g (5%) ECOmulse emulsifier
- 1 g (1%) vitamin E
- 5 g (5%) elderberry extract
- 3 g (3%) essential oil or aromatic essence
- Squeeze-and-pour measuring cup
- Two small stainless steel bowls
- Components to make two double boilers
- A lid that fits one of the double boilers
- Small silicone spatula
- Scale, accurate to 1 g
- Mini-mixer with frothing attachment (the small wheel)
- Components to make a cold water bath
- Ziploc-style bag
- Pair of scissors
- Tottle-style bottle, 120 ml
Good to know!
- Maple syrup is rich in antioxidants and allantoin, which softens your hair. This compound is present at higher concentrations in end-of-season and darker maple syrups.
- Kokum butter is nourishing and protective. It’s quickly absorbed by your hair and doesn’t leave a greasy film.
- Jojoba oil is a dry oil, which also helps keep this product from having a greasy feel.
- Castor oil nourishes, strengthens, and sheathes the hair fibre.
- This recipe is formulated for dry, curly, and kinky hair. You can adapt it to your hair type by replacing the oils and butter with those of your choosing. It’s very important that you replace a butter with another butter, a dry oil with a dry oil, and so on. Here is a non-exhaustive list of products you might choose:
- Normal hair: baobab oil, hemp seed oil
- Very dry hair: shea butter, mango butter, sweet almond oil, avocado oil
- Tired, dull hair: avocado oil, argan oil
- Colour-treated hair: sesame oil, macadamia oil, argan oil
- ECOmulse is the emulsifier in this recipe. You cannot replace it with another emulsifier without changing the proportions of all the other ingredients.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which helps prevent the oil phase from going rancid.
- Elderberry extract is the preservative for the aqueous phase.
- You can choose an essential oil based on the needs of your hair type:
- Normal hair: ylang-ylang, true lavender
- Dry and very dry hair: ylang-ylang, true lavender, rose geranium
- Tired, dull hair: pink grapefruit, ylang-ylang, Atlas cedar
- Colour-treated hair: ylang-ylang, sweet orange
- To make your DIY leave-in even more softening, you can add 1% marshmallow root powder (1 g if following the quantities in this recipe) and reduce the demineralized water to 57% (57 g) from 58%. Weigh your marshmallow root powder with the maple syrup in step 4.
Steps to follow
- Prepare and disinfect your equipment and workspace.
- Weigh the demineralized water in a bowl and heat it on the first double boiler to 70°C. Keep it on the heat at 70°C for at least 20 minutes, covering it with a suitable lid to keep the water from evaporating
- Weigh the oil phase ingredients in the second bowl. Heat on the second double boiler until the oil phase reaches around 70°C.
- Weigh the maple syrup in the squeeze-and-pour measuring cup.
- Weigh the cooling phase ingredients in a ramekin.
- When the demineralized water and the oil phase have both reached 70°C, pour the demineralized water into the measuring cup from step 4 on top of the maple syrup. Set aside the oil phase (which should remain at around 70°) until step 8.
- Mix the water and maple syrup together with the mini-mixer until homogeneous.
- Pour the oil phase (which should still be around 70°C) into the measuring cup. Mix with the mini-mixer for a few seconds, until the mixture turns milky.
- Place the measuring cup in the cold water bath. Continue to mix with the mini-mixer.
- When the temperature of the mixture has cooled to 45°C, remove the measuring cup from the cold water bath. Add the cooling phase. Mix well with the small spatula or mini-mixer until homogeneous.
- Transfer the mixture to a Ziploc-style bag. Cut off a small corner of the bag and squeeze your leave-in conditioner into the tottle bottle.
Use and conservation
This DIY hair cream is formulated for dry, curly, coily, and kinky hair. To use it, just apply a small dab onto the tips and mid-lengths of your hair while still damp, style your hair, and dry it naturally or with a hair dryer. Ta-da! Your curls are cared for.
When made in optimal sanitary conditions, this homemade leave-in conditioner will keep for two to three months.
Hello, i would really like to try this recipe, can i add a broad spectrum preservative to extend the shelf life?
As we explain in this article, as long as you don’t make your products in a lab with very strict sanitary conditions, you won’t be able to make a product that’ll last longer than 3 months.
Have a great day!