Oily gel hair mask with berry wax

Sep 21, 2022 | Formulations, Hair care

I am probably biased but I am in love with oil masks for hair. Whenever I see that my hair needs some pampering, I am getting an oily mask. This does wonders for my hair and even when I am not really using them consistently. So, let‘s make an oily gel hair mask with berry wax!

Oily gel mask with berry wax

1. INGREDIENTS FOR oily gel mask for hair

Today’s formula is pretty easy, we just need several ingredients. This time I wanted to make an oil mask for dry and dyed hair, so my go to ingredients were shorea (sal) butter, macadamia nut oil and avocado oil.

However, I had a lot of graininess with the initial formula – I have tried lots of other ways to make it, but it never stayed completely grain free.

This is where my secret ingredient came in – berry wax. It is a low melting vegan wax that can create gels. It is a very unusual thing to see and I was just mesmerized by this fact. And in my initial hair oil formula it worked wonderfully.


Want to take better care of your hair?

Join an Oily Hair Mask Challenge and learn how to make natural oils suited for your hair!


Sal (Shorea) butter is obtained from Shorea robusta tree also known as Sal tree. It is a native tree found in North, East and Central India. This butter has a faint vegetable scent, it is light beige in color and hard when compared to shea or mango. It reminds me a bit to cocoa butter.

Shorea butter has a high amount of stearic fatty acid, a bit of palmitic and arachidic fatty acids. This is the reason why this butter is so hard. It also has around 2% of unsaponifiables such as phytosterols (beta-sitosterol, campesterol and stigmasterol), terpene alcohols, squalene and phytol.

This butter is nourishing to the hair and brings shine to hair fibers. It also helps with frizzy, hard to detangle hair and is a must for dry hair.

Shorea (sal) butter


Macadamia nut oil is fairly dry oil with a faint scent (at least mine does not really have a distinct scent). It has high amounts of oleic and palmitoleic acids which are mono-unsaturated fatty acids.

In hair care it is mainly used to help preserve hair color and protect from extreme weather conditions such as wind, cold and sun exposure.


Avocado oil has a wonderful sweet scent and a rich dark color. It can also sometimes become cloudy as it has palmitic saturated fatty acid.

As this fatty acid has a higher melting point, it is usually seen as some cloudiness or sediments in the bottle when the temperature is low. I frequently see it crystalizing as my room temeperature is around 18°C (64.4°F).

Avocado oil is usually used in haircare for bringing shine to hair fibers and hair growth. These properties come from the composition of the oil – it has quite high amount of vitamin E (natural antioxidant), phytosterols and carotenoids.

Phytosterols are responsible for microcirculation of the skin and they could improve the barrier function of the skin. Carotenoids are also antioxidants and mainly responsible for the color of the oil.



Berry wax is a vegan wax with a low melting point. It is used in a lot of formulations such as lip balms, mascaras, gels and more.

Here the main purpose of this ingredient is to make a nice thick oily gel for hair. If you want to know more about this wax, you can read it here:



Phase A

9 g | 30 % Shorea (Sal) butter

13.35 g | 44.5 %Macadamia nut oil

6 g | 20 % Avocado oil

1.5 g | 5 % Berry wax

Phase B

0.15 g | 0.5 % Vitamin E

This makes 30 g of the product.


3. How to make an oily gel mask for hair?

  1. Weigh shorea butter, macadamia nut oil, avocado oil and berry wax into a glass beaker.
  2. Put the beaker in a water bath and heat it until the shorea butter and berry wax are molten.
  3. Stir occasionally to ensure that the oils are heated evenly.
  4. When everything has melted add vitamin E, stir until everything has mixed and pour the oils into a container. Put the container in a fridge or freezer until hardened.
  5. Get the container out of the fridge/freezer and let it get back to room temperature.

4. hair mask ingredient substitutions

  • Berry wax is a must in this formulation if you want to get this gel texture. If the texture is not important to you, you can replace it with more butters. However, you will probably get graininess in your final product.
  • You can use another butter if you like – cocoa butter, kokum butter, shea butter.
  • You can try adding other oils that you like, just make sure, they are heat stable.

5. A note on graininess

This formula is very dependent on the room temperature. If you live in hotter weather, you can increase butter amount up to 30% with a good product stability. However, if the temperature drops, you will get a grainy mask. So, in not so hot temperatures use no more than 10% of butters in your formula.

To get a more clear view what happened to the oily gel when the temperature dropped to 18°C (64.4°F) take a look at the photos below.


Oily gel with 30% butter content when the temperature is 30°C (86°F).


Oily gel with 30% butter content when the temperature is 18°C (64.4°F).

To see how much of the butter can still be in a formula and still get a gel, I have tried this simple experiment.

The amount of the berry wax remained the same (5%). I have tried 4 different amounts of the butter – 10%, 15%, 20% and 40%. The remaining of each formula was macadamia nut oil. 

Each beaker was heated about 10 minutes until everything has melted. Then all of the beakers were placed in a fridge and left for about 5hours. After this all beakers were put on the counter and left to reach a room temperature of 18°C (64.4°F).


Oily gel with 10% butter content when the temperature is 18°C (64.4°F).


Oily gel with 15% butter content when the temperature is 18°C (64.4°F).


Oily gel with 20% butter content when the temperature is 18°C (64.4°F).


Oily gel with 40% butter content when the temperature is 18°C (64.4°F).

It can be clearly seen that the higher butter content results in more small grains forming in beakers. It is also worth to mention that these grains were not seen after a day. It started to develop after 3-4 days.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *