Shea butter is an amazing butter grown primarily across west and central Africa, and the east to some extent. The butter is extracted from the shea karite fruit of the Vitellaria paradoxa tree. It is a tree which can be found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, among others.
It is a tree which can be found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, among others.
Shea butter has been used in the cosmetic industry for years. From hair creams to shampoos, body moisturizers and soap bars, shea butter can be found on the ingredient list of many beauty products.
There have also been accounts of the famous Queen Cleopatra who is often referred to as the most beautiful woman in history and the addition of shea butter to her beauty regimen.
Shea butter has an off white color that is slightly yellow. Although some come white in packages, these types have been altered or bleached to get it odorless and white. It has a faint earthy smell that can be rid of with the addition of essential oils like lavender oil. However, the smell from the shea butter isn’t so pungent as it fades off after application to hair or skin.
To get the full benefits of this wonder butter, we recommend getting unrefined Grade A butter. This type is processed without the addition of chemicals and other whatnots. Some might still contain impurities but various grade A shea butter are painstakingly filtered to get rid of impurities without chemicals.
So What Makes Shea Butter Amazing?
It has healing properties
Shea butter is used for its medicinal properties. It can be used in getting rid of wrinkles, blemishes, pregnancy stretch marks, dermatitis and so on. In some African countries, it is also used to relieve nasal congestion. Different researches have also proven that it contains anti-inflammatory properties as well as the ability to increase collagen production, meaning it makes a good anti-aging product.
Hair protection against UV rays
Over exposure to the sun’s Ultra-violet A or B rays are equally damaging to the hair as to the skin. On the skin, it could cause cancer. On the hair, UV rays can cause a discoloring effect, leading to hair loss as a result of cuticle damage. It can also cause dry brittle hair that is vulnerable to split ends and other hair damages.
Although there are various sunscreen products for skin, finding one for the hair is hard to come by. With an SPF of 6, Shea butter could suffice for a sunscreen hair product.
This is the major benefit of shea butter for skin and hair. For centuries, shea butter has been used to soften Afro-textured hair. It is also used to soften the skin and get rid of dryness during the dry harmattan season in west Africa countries such as Ghana and Nigeria. It has emollient properties which penetrate the skin and hair.
With high amounts of stearic, linoleic and oleic acids, vitamins E and A, shea butter is infused with nutrients that pose great benefits to the hair. Combined with its anti-inflammatory attributes, it helps fight dry, itchy scalp, dandruff, seal in moisture and nutrients, all which will improve hair growth in one way or another.