If you wear your hair natural and want nothing more than to have it moisturised, healthy, and shiny, then you should definitely include Shea butter in your beauty arsenal. From the dawn of time, Shea butter has been transforming dry and frizzy hair into soft, smooth heads of hair. Beyond its beneficial hair growth and maintenance properties, Shea butter has also been used traditionally to prepare food, skin balms, soaps, shampoos, and lamp oils for thousands of years. Documents dating as far back as the 14th century list the uses and benefits of Shea butter.
Derived from the seeds of the karite or Shea tree (with the scientific name of Vitellaria paradoxa), Shea butter is farmed primarily in Africa, with African counties such as Burkina Faso, Sudan and Gambia leading the global list of producers of the butter.
Shea butter contains catechins, minerals and vitamins, as well as beneficial fatty acids such as linoleic, oleic, and stereic acids.
So, how is Shea butter beneficial to you?
Shea butter has so many benefits for the human skin and human hair, including anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and moisturising effects. This article will, however, concentrate on the benefits of Shea butter to your natural hair.
A great hair moisturiser:
With its high content of vitamins E and A, Shea butter has been found to be highly effective as a sealant that helps to lock in hair moisture and increase softness. This is especially beneficial to people who have coarse or curly hair textures.
It prevents breakage:
The very oiliness of Shea butter makes it a great anti breakage agent. This is because the oiliness reduces dryness and helps to prevent split ends. Another way Shea butter helps to prevent breakage is because it protects your hair from any probable heat damage caused by blow drying and flat ironing.
It helps to ease scalp irritation:
The anti-inflammatory properties of Shea butter also helps to reduce scalp irritation and redness by offering your scalp healing effects without clogging your pores. It also helps to fight dandruff.
It smoothens fizzy hair:
Shea butter acts as a smoothing cream for frizzy, dry, or coarse hair. If your hair falls into any of these categories, Shea butter will help your hair become more manageable, and will give it a healthy sheen in the process.
It works for all kinds of hair:
For most natural oils, you have to consider your hair texture. This is because most butters and oils leave a film on the hair, and using such butters and oil on thin hair can be counterproductive, weighing down the hair, and not allowing it to breathe properly. This is not the same for Shea butter. It doesn’t matter what your hair type or skin type is, Shea butter will do you good. For people with oily skin and scalp, Shea butter actually helps to dissolve stale oil. It also has a zero comedogenic rating despite its buttery consistency, meaning that your pores will not get clogged at all.
It will help to repair your damaged hair:
If you have had chemical treatment in the past that has stripped your hair of its natural moisture, Shea butter can help you to restore this lost moisture. What more, it has a low SPF that acts as a protection against ultraviolet radiation from the sun and harsh weather. And if you are a regular swimmer, Shea butter will help to protect your hair against chlorine damage.
It prevents hair loss:
The very many essential nutrients found in Shea butter help to improve both scalp and hair health, and this will make your hair follicles stronger, thereby reducing hair loss.
So, what else should you know about Shea butter
Just before you apply Shea butter to your hair, I want to share with you a few important tips about this great natural product so that you can get the best use out of it.
What is the quality:
The first question to ask yourself is how qualitative is the product you have at hand? While products containing Shea butter offer some form of benefit, the best way to derive all of the benefits of Shea butter for your hair is to use the raw, unrefined type. This one has the highest quality and it delivers this quality every time you use it.
How does it smell:
I personally do not find the smell of Shea butter to be off-putting, but some people do not enjoy its nutty smell. If you are not too crazy about the smell, you may want to add essential oils to change the smell.
How do you store it:
Always make sure that you store your Shea butter at room temperature. If it is properly stored this way, rubbing it into your hand will cause it to melt and be absorbed into your skin. Stored in a too warm place, and it will melt and stored in a too cold place, and it becomes solid and hard to use.
How to use Shea butter
It is best to apply Shea butter to hair two to three times a week. To include it into your hair care regimen, please follow these steps:
Scoop out a tablespoon of raw Shea butter.
Rub it in your palms until it is melted. If you stored in a cold place and it has become hard, melt it in the microwave for half a minute (or a little longer).
Portion your hair into small sections.
Apply the Shea butter to the scalp and your hair.