Shea butter is a very luxurious and prized butter that is very thick and solid at room temperature but has a buttery rich consistency that makes it ideal for use as a natural eye cream, lip balm, or body butter. Many studies show that it is especially good at penetrating the skin and contains 60% fat, making it highly emollient. Using shea butter on your body, especially your face, can condition, tone, and for soothing the skin.
Shea butter also contains certain components that make it possible for it to provide more than just moisture, shea butter has the ability to provide important anti-inflammatory and anti-aging fatty acids directly to the skin. It also has a long history of medicinal use, such as in wound care and even in treating leprosy.
In some parts of Northern Nigeria, it is very common to see individuals eat Shea butter or using it as an oil for their cooking. But from all the differing opinions on whether or not it is healthy to eat, some studies have shown that ingesting shea butter may interfere with the digestion of other proteins. Therefore, it is advisable to use it externally only.
But apart from its usefulness to the skin, shea butter has also been used in Africa and many other locations for years to improve the hair. High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening and moisturizing the hair.
Beneficial Effects Of Using Shea Butter On The Hair
Shea butter is useful not only for skin maintenance but it also provides some amazing benefits when used as a hair cream in caring for the hair. Some of the uses of shea butter in hair treatment and maintenance include :
#1. Prevention of Hair Breakage
A study that involved humans was able to discover that the fatty acids and oils produced by shea butter is easily absorbed by the hair and scalp in its oily form and this makes it easily penetrable and helps to prevent hair breakage.
The vitamins such as Vitamins A and E as well as the essential fatty acids contained in shea butter which gives it the emollient and healing properties for the skin snd which also moisturizes the skin, have been found out to have the same effect on the hair. These components of shea butter are believed to add moisture to the hair, thereby keeping it healthy and hydrated. This definitely leads to a reduction in hair dryness and prevent split ends. Fatty acids also help increase shine and reduce the frizz of your hair. It may also help protect hair from heat damage caused by flat irons and blow-drying.
#3. Effective Natural Conditioner
Vitamins A and E present in shea butter make it a great and more preferred choice as not just a moisturizer but also as a natural hair conditioner. It works effectively in locking in moisture in the hair, without leaving the hair greasy or heavy.
#4. Maintains Stubborn Curls
Shea butter has a great impact on making stubborn hair soft and revitalizing brittle hair. Because shea butter is non-greasy, it is best for controlling how excess oil spreads into the scalp.
When the hair is massaged with enough amounts of shea butter, it leads to soft, silky, and luscious hair strands. This benefit of shea butter is applicable for dry as well as fragile, curly hair. Shea butter should be applied twice a week for hair growth. This will improve the hair texture and moisturize the hair. It has wide usage in curly hair treatments due to its emollient qualities.
#5. Prevention of Hair Loss
The fatty acids of shea butter condition the scalp and hair. It also provides many essential nutrients that improve both scalp and hair health. These, in turn, will make your hair follicles stronger and reduce hair fall and hair loss. Another important property of shea butter that can prevent hair loss is its anti-inflammatory properties. Scalp conditions can be treated by these compounds, thus reducing hair loss. Your hair will grow thicker and have a natural shine when you use shea butter.
#6. Reduces Scalp Irritation
Shea butter contains amazing anti-inflammatory properties which are very effective in reducing redness and scalp irritation by providing healing effects without clogging the pores. Also, since shea butter is a natural product, it is very safe to use on all types of hair, even on damaged, dry, or color-treated hair.
#7. Repairs Damaged Hair
Often a tikes, we take some risks without hair and at other times we just can not avoid using some harmful things to our hair such as hair straighteners, perms, and curlers as well as some chemical substances such as hair dyes. Most of these are responsible for stripping off the natural moisture from the hair. But the good news is that shea butter can help restore this lost moisture. Apart from that, it also protects the hair from harsh weather conditions and the harmful free radicals in the air and water.
Moreover, shea butter has a low SPF that is sufficient to protect the hair from sun damage caused due to exposure to ultraviolet radiation. It repairs the damage that has already been caused by the harsh weather and the sun. This is largely due to the fact that once absorbed, shea butter coats the hair shaft so that it is protected from a heat tool or any other damaging material being passed along the hair. This is particularly beneficial for processed or colored hair. It also protects the hair against salt and chlorine when applied before swimming
Effects Of Shea Butter On Different Hair Textures
Shea butter becomes oil when applied to the hair and this can leave a film on your hair. For those with thin and fragile hair, this is often an issue because it becomes an extra burden on the thin hair, weighing it down. After all, it becomes heavy and flat or greasier.
Also, those with oily skin have to be careful when applying shea butter to their hair because when the oil is applied in excess to the hair, it might get to the skin on the face, neck, and back and lead to breakouts of acne.
Therefore, it is very important to know and understand individual hair needs and characteristics before making use of shea butter