Monday, June 28, 2010

A Staple Product: Shea Butter

If you are familiar with the natural world then, I am sure you have heard a lot about the benefits of Shea Butter. Even before I was fully natural, I bought a thing of Shea Butter. Many people use shea butter for their hair, but some also use it for the skin.

The definition of Shea Butter: Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the seed of the African shea tree by crushing and boiling. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and salve. (source:

These are some of the known benefits of shea butter: Daily skin moisturizer (face and body),Dry skin relief, Dry scalp, Skin rash- including diaper rash, Skin peeling(after tanning), Blemishes and wrinkles, Itching skin due to dryness, Sunburn, Shaving cream to reduce razor irritation, Small skin wounds, Skin cracks, Soften tough skin on feet (especially heels), Stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, Minor burns, Eczema, Sun and wind protection, Even skin tone, Reduce blemishes and scarring, Eliminating scalp irritation from dryness or chemical processing, Preventing bumps after shaving, Reducing acne (especially in combination with African Black Soap), Absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy residue, helps restore elasticity to skin, Restores luster to hair (source:

Now here's my take (experience) on shea butter: I have tried in the past to use shea butter on my skin because I have eczema. However, the shea butter has made it even more irritated. So, I use shea butter solely for my hair. Shea butter has a very thick texture and has to be melted down in order to use it on the hair. In the past, I would transfer some to a microwaveable safe bowl and just melt it down with no added products. Now, I add olive oil to it and then melt it down and mix the two together. The benefit of adding olive oil is that it softens the shea butter so that I may use it again without having to melt it down. Adding olive oil also gives me the benefit of having even more moisture and sheen.The pros of this product are: (1)it provides a great sheen/moisture to the hair (2) it softens the hair (3) its thick texture allows for me to control frizzy hair--like around my edges. (4)it works wonderfully for sealing the ends of my hair. The cons of this product are: (1)it has a hard texture that must be melted down or mixed with other products in order to make it soft. (2)the smell is not the best (not the worse either).

This is a staple product for me and it is very beneficial to the hair. Additonally, shea butter is growing in popularity so much! You can walk down the hair product aisle at any store and find so many shampoos, conditioners--even relaxers--that boast about having shea butter in their product. However, I have always felt it best to eliminate the middle man and go straight to the source. That is why I buy shea butter in its pure form. This way, I can gain all the nutrients of the product without it being diluted with other ingredients that I know nothing about.

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