Ingredients 101: Shea Butter Benefits for Hair
What is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is a natural conditioner for hair. It is produced from the Shea-Karite tree nut, which is a native tree found in the tropics of East and West Africa. It provides extraordinary moisturizing properties and is therefore known as “mother natures conditioner”.
It’s been utilized for decades in areas of Africa not only for the hair but also because of its skincare and therapeutic qualities. It has been utilized in restorative healing burns and injuries, to get rid of surgical marks, dermatitis, and stretch marks
Benefits of Shea Butter
Sooth Irritated Scalp
Shea butter has been used for centuries to sooth dry itchy scalp or dandruff on African Hair. It’s also a great source to provide moisture for dry or damaged hair. It is usually utilized like a foundation for health-related creams, and it has been believed to possess anti-inflammatory qualities. It absorbs easily into the scalp and it does not clog the pores. It provides moisture from the roots on down to the ends. It is therefore extremely beneficial to hair that is relaxed, colored, or heat-treated.
Sealant for the Hair
Black hair has the tendency to be dryer than any type of hair due to the texture. The natural sebum from the scalp has a hard time sliding down the shaft to the ends because of the bends or coils of black hair. Shea butter is frequently found in curly hair treatments because of its emolliating qualities. This makes it excellent for locking in moisture without leaving your hair greasy and heavy. Since it aids in fastening moisture into hair it’s fantastic for keeping your hair protected against the weather.
You can use it alone or you can add it to your favorite conditioner to give you extra moisture. It’s also a great additive for shampoos and hair creams.
Protection Against Heat
Shea butter does not sit on the hair, instead it absorbs into the hair strand/shaft without leaving a greasy or heavy feel. However it does coat the hair shaft so that it is protected against damage from the heat tool being passed along the hair.
Shield Against UVS
Shea butter is believed to have a low amount but sufficient SPF to protect your hair against the damage from ultra violet rays of the sun. This is definitely beneficial for processed or color treated hair.
Softener for Hair
Shea butter is great for softening hard brittle hair. It’s an excellent moisturizer, and therefore offers that advantage for dried as well as fragile curly hair.
Is all Shea Butter the Same?
There are two types of Shea Butter refined and unrefined. Unrefined Shea butter means it has more of its natural goodness. One of the reasons shea butter is refined is to eliminate it’s natural aroma which may not be liked by some. However the odor does absorb fairly quickly. If you want to use an unrefined Shea butter with less of an aroma, its been recommended to use Shea Butter from Uganda or East Africa. It cost slightly more, but it is also known for being able to make your hair a little softer and it’s slightly better at moisturizing.
Where can I buy Shea Butter?
Shea Butter is a very popular moisturizing supplement for the hair and therefore most beauty supply stores that cater to black hair should carry refined and unrefined Shea Butter. You can also purchase it from online retailers that are focused on natural black hair care.
Are you on the Shea Butter Bandwagon?