Why does Shea butter become grainy sometimes?

Have you used Shea butter before and noticed that sometimes it gets grainy or clumpy? Although it's rare, you may even have noticed it with our hair balm if it was left in a cold place for a while. Have you seen this happen?


First the good news: This is totally normal, just warm it up and it will return back to being smooth.

The reason this happens is that when the weather is really warm, Shea butter melts. When it gets cold, it'll become solid again (just like any butter).

Here is an analogy: All the ingredients in the hair balm are like kids in a playground. There are Shea butter kids, Argan oil kids, Jojoba oil kids etc. When its cold, all these kids are holding hands. When its warm, one by one the “kids” let go of one another’s hands and start running around the playground.

Have we taken the analogy too far yet? 😊 

When it gets cold again, the “kids” run back to each other, hold hands, and the butter mix becomes solid again.

The thing is… some of these “kids” feel cold faster than others. Shea butter kids especially!

For this reason, sometimes, shea butter “kids” want to start holding hands again before the other “kids” are ready…This happens when the temperature goes down very slowly. Being extra sensitive to this change in temperature, Shea butter “kids” end up holding hands with other shea butter kids, while all the others are still fine running around.

When this happens, if you look at your product, you may start seeing little white clumps of Shea butter.

If this has happened, warm up your hair balm in your hands for a few seconds before using it, and the mix will be uniform again. Also try to keep your balm in a cool, dry place to avoid this.

YouTube has interesting time lapses of butters changing state based on temperatures. Have a look at this one: 

Have you seen natural butters change with temperature and wondered what was going on? Be sure to enter your email below to sign up for more insights on these and other cool topics!

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