Believe it or not, shea by itself, is not a moisturizer! You can relax, the secret is now out!
When it comes to hair products, word of mouth is not enough, I have to see it for myself. When I discovered that there was a hair product that was so versatile you could use it on your skin and in your kitchen, I began to do a little research and stumbled upon a surprise. Some call it “the miracle in a jar casting spells for hair and skin all over the world”, but it’s more commonly referred to as "shea butter."
Shea butter is a blend of the emollients/fatty acids (palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidic) extracted from the nut of African Shea trees (Vitellaria Paradoxa, Shea Karite, Mangifolia). While some women swear by it, others are not quite sure how to make good use of it. At first glance, it can be quite intimidating with its thick texture, weight and density. Here are some easy ways to use shea butter to moisturize your hair and make it work for you.
SOFTEN AND SEAL IN MOISTURE
Shea butter’s moisture-enhancing properties are unmatched, which is essential when caring for your curly locks. Technically, shea butter (alone) can’t moisturize hair–only water can do that and possibly some oils (there is debate about the validity of which ones–with olive and coconut oils being the top two), but it can help to moisturize your hair by sealing in moisture. It's smooth and rich formula lends itself to baby soft curls and compliant and pliable coils. Maintaining moisture in your hair is largely dependent on locking water in from your shampoo session. Shea butter does an awesome job at sealing moisture without leaving behind residue. It is also really good for sealing the ends of your hair, if not the entire strand for ultimate coverage.
WHIP SHEA BUTTER FOR A SOFTER CREAM
There is no denying that shea butter is thick. For most people, melting raw shea butter in your hands and applying it to hair is pretty tedious. Shea butter used in conjunction with coconut or olive oil makes a unique blend of goodness. It adds star-like quality shine and makes it much easier to scoop out and apply. Since shea butter melts at body temperature and absorbs rapidly into your skin, rubbing the product between your fingers breaks it down into oil form. We use a recipe that we've developed from our own use and feedback from our friends and family.
SOOTHE YOUR FACE AND SCALP WITH SHEA BUTTER
Shea butter absorbs readily into the scalp and does not clog pores. This lends to being of great use as a soothing treatment for dandruff and dry scalp. Whip it with tea-tree oil, peppermint and lavender to make your own batch of scalp ointment that’s both therapeutic and effective. You can also use shea butter in the winter for a night time moisturizer, or use a tiny amount as a facial moisturizer.
SUN AND HEAT PROTECTANT
Shea butter can act as low but effective SPF barrier between your curly strands and any heat element from your curling iron to the sun. Since it emulsifies quickly, and if you don’t use too much, there is no residue left on your hair and it melts into your hair quickly and effectively.
Shea butter is a genie in a jar! Shea has such a large healing fraction, in addition to moisturizing fraction, regular use of shea can treat many skin problems, including blemishes, wrinkles, itching, sunburns, small skin wounds, eczema, skin allergies, insect bites, frost bite, and other skin conditions. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help to heal us of these scalp and skin conditions and allow our scalp (and body) to re-grow hair in a healthy environment. Since unrefined shea butter has no added chemicals, it is ideal for all skin types, especially sensitive skin.