The Case for Crisco

Yep, you read that write this post is all about Crisco.  Crisco is well known for frying up chicken, making pie crusts and now for natural hair.  I know many of you are probably looking like o_O and I get it because when I heard about it recently I had the same confused face.  I remember back to my childhood and my cousin’s friend Ki-Ki put Crisco in her hair because she was out of grease, we called her “fried-chicken-head” the entire weekend.  But passed the ad Hominem let’s look to the facts about Crisco.

Crisco was developed by Procter & Gamble back in 1911 as the first vegetable shortening as an alternative to lard.  Crisco is hydrogenated vegetable oil which is the process used to make oils a solid at room temperature (this process was originally developed for use in soap making). Crisco is specifically comprised of soybean oil, palm oil, mono- and diglycerides, tbhq and citric acid; so basically its oils, emulsifiers and preservatives.  Hmm doesn’t sound so bad, right?

Crisco can be used in the same manner you would use any solid state oil or butter (coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, etc) for natural hair which would be as a sealant to seal in moisture.  You can also use a pad of Crisco as a pre-poo to help soften the hair though I have to admit I imagine it looks something like this :  –its better if you don’t ask why exactly this video exists or look at any others on this channel.

All jokes aside I do live by the motto if it’s good enough to eat, it’s good enough to put on your hair.  As on overall reminder oils/butters do not moisturize hair, rather they are used to seal in moisture as part of the layering process.  If you are interested in using Crisco it is fairly cheap to try and if you do not like you can always whip up a batch of cookies.  Below is a hair recipe for Crisco hair pudding:

Vannesa’s Crisco Cream

  • 1/2 cup Crisco (or any vegetable shortening)
  • 2 Tablespoons Castor oil
  • 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera gel

Place ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well blended.

And there you have it folks, the case for Crisco.  I must admit even after knowing all this I still cannot bring myself to use it, but you never know what I might do in a pinch.  What about you, are you convinced?

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27 thoughts on “The Case for Crisco

  1. nope, i’m not convinced. i’ve had a hard enough time keeping bee’s out of my daughter’s hair due to all of the natural ingredients in some products. i can’t imagine what insects/animals crisco would attract. surely all the neighbourhood dogs would find a new interest in her for sure! LOL

    • Two things: First, Crisco will never be on my head. Olive oil, sure, but I just can’t get over the idea of slapping shortening on my head and I don’t know why. @ Rory I’m so glad you said something about bees because ever since I started to use more natural products (especially Aubrey Organics) bees love to float around me and that’s just not cool!

  2. I cosign with you ladies. I won’t lie, I did read where Crisco/Veggie shortening was good for the feet and I tried it (yrs ladies, it worked wonders! Lol) however, I am not ready to slap it in my head. I just picture major buildup and an itchy scalp but there are several lovely naturalistas that I know who swear by it and their hair looks simply gorgeous. Oh well, I say it all the time, “To each his own”…

    • Right. I’m not knocking anyone who does I use a lot of food products in my hair but I just can’t with this one. Never heard of Crisco on the feet but I believe it. I think maybe if it didn’t have the flavoring in it I would be more open minded.

  3. I will admit, I do use Crisco on my hair, have been doing so for years (since the mid 90’s). Similar to Vanessa’s Crisco Cream, I combine Castor Oil, Crisco, a bit of Wild Growth Oil (just cuz) and Aloe Vera Gel. For me, it works great and it’s cheap…and no fried chicken smell ;)

    • Thank you for stepping up MCWCM I know their are people out there using this and I am not trying to alienate anyone. I love you for being Crisco and proud. I can be a bit of an ingredients snob, and while I know that the ingredients in this are not harmful i just can’t lol. I am glad it is working for you and you do not smell like fried chicken :)

  4. I am actually entertaining this thought. It’s just hydrogenated oil, soybean mostly, and Hairveda has a butter – NoiNah Butter – just like Crisco…I think we as consumers are obsessed with packaging and heavily influenced by marketing. It is a more than affordable alternative…but some essential oils would greatly enhance the appeal…

    • #pow abby you are so right! I check the ingredients of the NoiNah butter and the first listed is hydrogenated soybean oil which is just like crisco. I am always telling folks not to believe in marketing hype, but I don’t always practice what I preach ;) so thanks for keeping me honest. I am sure I could whip up a concoction very similar to Hairveda butter using Crisco that folks would love.

      • NoiNah (no-ee-nah) Butter
        Hairveda NoiNah Butter:
        Airy whipped fluffy thai apple butter packed with botanical & fruit ingredients. Leaves a silky feeling to skin. Perfect for after the shower. Great for hair too. Pleasant & Sophisticated Apple scent. Goes on oily then miraculously dries to leave soft, supple skin.

        Ingredients: Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower Seed Oil, Calendula Officialanls Flower Etract. Helian Thus Annus (Sunflower Extract Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Chanrus Crispus (Carageenan Extract) Althaea Officianalis Root Extract.

  5. stumbled across this looking for something else, but… i started using it in my hair in college because there was no bss store in the area that carried products designed for black hair (other than relaxers and brown gel- ew). and it worked fine. it’s no different than any other veggie-based hair product i used. and ummm… yeah crisco doesn’t smell like fried chicken until you actually… you know… fry chicken in it. as for bees and insects- when you are using natural herbal products, you do realize they contains natural herbal ingredients that bees and insects are naturally attracted to? some contain pollen, others honey, crushed seeds, nut oils, etc, etc, etc. sooo if it has something in it that an insect would be attracted to if it were still in it’s natural state (pollen in a flower, honey on a comb, seeds on a stem/plant), then why wouldn’t the insect be attracted to it while it’s in your head? crisco doesn’t contain pollens, herbs, seeds, etc, so there would be zero correlation to a bee chasing someone with a hair full of honey extract and someone with a head full of altered vegetable oil.

    • @ Sakura *no judging* seriously on the use of Crisco. I know its just hydrogenated vegetable oil but I just can’t bring myself to use it. I do use cooking oils like safflower, olive oil and others on my hair but my I just can’t cross the Crisco line. As for bees and insects I use natural products all the time and have never had and issue -knock on wood. My mantra is always if its good enough to eat, its good enough to put on your hair so I know vegetable shortening isn’t harmful. While I am still not convinced to try it, you never know what I’ll do when placed in a situation where I did not have access to my beloved staples. Thanks for sharing your experience with us :)

  6. Lol ha! I love the comments :) I have been using my beloved crisco for almost 2 years now. It works very well for me as a sealant, I retain tons moisture & I’m happily approaching MBL. I was questionable of it as well in the beginning, but hey I had to shake it off because its is just oils & there are many other things some put in their hair that others don’t agree with (beer,eggs,mayo,shea butter,grease,castor oil, etc) so this to me will be just another thing that people may not agree with. And that’s ok, :) to each their own. Thanks so much for this feature! God bless

    • Nessa I am so glad you commented. I love hearing other women’s stories and how you went from questionable to fan of Crisco. You are so right we are known for using a lot of “wacky” remedies: mud, honey, flax seed slime, are just a few I use myself which may seem strange to others. LOL its all about being natural your way :)

  7. Pingback: Have You Tried Crisco in Your Hair? | NaturalReview|Natural Hair. Natural Living. - This site is about all things natural…join in the discussion

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  9. I’ve been using crisco now for months and it’s a miracle discovery. For everyone that thinks its weird just remember that it’s just vegetable oil, if it’s safe to eat it safe for the hair. Essential oils give it a nice smell. It won’t attract bugs because it’s OIL! I used olive oil and Shea butter in my hair for years and I’m liking crisco more. Plus we cook with all the other oils and don’t bat an eyelash when we put it in our hair. My background is Ghanaian and a lot of people cook with Shea butter. That is normal. So you see, your stereotypes are the only thing keeping you from trying it. But I believe it will become a major trend for people that like saving money. :) I get Shea for free but I’m switching over.

  10. You ladies are all FABULOUS! I watched a YouTube video last week and the vlogger broke out the Crisco– I hollered out loud; then started thinking “hey, wait a minute…..”. So I headed over to the Crisco website to check out the ingredients list and have been thinking about using it ever since. For some reason I have not been able to make the jump, even after admitting to myself that I use other “cooking oils” on my hair so what would be the big deal about Crisco????? I typically will try anything once, so yeah, a date with the Crisco is on the horizon:-)

  11. Wow, I tried it and love it, had some Crisco on hand since I don’t use it much. I mixed some with some olive oil and put it in one of my small containers. My hair is just gorgeous and not dried out, I always use small amounts of oil after washing. I will definitely continue to use this!!

  12. I’ve been using it for several months ever since I started straightening my hair. I put it on after I blow dry it. Then I blow dry it a bit more to make sure it’s evenly distributed – not sure if it’s even necessary. Then I straighten/curl my hair with a curling iron. I’ve done this since I was young when flat irons didn’t exist. My hair is smooth and not too greasy. Any greasiness that I have is gone in a few days. No build up at all.
    Ditto on what other have said. It’s just vegetable oil and there’s no scent. When you read the ingredients on a lot of hair products, particularly the old school ones, that’s all that it was vegetable oil.

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