Oils (or liquid butters/fats) have very few saturated fats and a lot more unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats have a lower melting point so the fat remains liquid at room temperature.
Butters (or solid oils/fats) have a lot of saturated fats and fewer unsaturated fats. Saturated fats have a higher melting point so the fat remains solid at room temperature.
Although we call it coconut oil it's actually a butter as it is almost entirely composed of saturated fats.
How does this matter for your hair?
You should think about fats as falling into three categories when it comes to your hair:
If you are doing a hot oil treatment you may therefore want to use more penetrating butters. This explains why I use a lot of solid butters in my hot oil treatment recipes.
If you are sealing your hair you might want to blend your butters with an oil because the polyunsaturated fats in liquid oils coat the outside of hair and may therefore seal for longer. Most butters usually only have 3-5% polyunsaturated fats.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx