Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin & Hair

100% Pure Shea Butter is centuries old. It has been used in Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso and other parts of Africa for centuries.

Shea Butter is only found in the tropics of  Africa. It is extracted from the nuts of the Shea-Karite tree which begins to bear fruit after about 15 years; and it can take up to 30 years to bear a quality crop of nuts with a high content of irremovable fatty acid. It is this irremovable fatty acid that gives shea butter its unique healing properties and makes it far superior to other butters.

The list of shea butter benefits does seem almost endless with new uses and benefits discovered frequently. One of the more remarkable claims is that you can attain younger looking skin, as raw shea butter works to reduce wrinkles (many say they notice a difference within 4-6 weeks).

Shea Butter For Your Skin

Shea butter benefits for the skin are because of the moisturizers that are present in it that are highly similar to those produced by the sebaceous glands. Shea Butter has superb moisturizing and healing capacities for the skin. The application of premium grade shea butter has shown to help with wrinkles, eczema, blemishes, rashes dermatitis, wounds and other skin complaints.
Shea Butter nourishes the skin with vitamins A, E and F. Vitamins A and E help maintain the skin and keep it clear and healthy. They are particularly helpful for sun damaged skin. They help prevent premature wrinkles and facial lines. Vitamin F acts as a skin protector and rejuvenator. It soothes rough, dry or chapped skin. Shea butter is high in unsaponifiables (a type of fat).  Shea butter has between 7-12% unsaponifiables. For comparison, avocado oil, a well known skin conditioner, has between 2-6%. This high level of unsaponifiables is one of the properties that makes shea butter so invaluable in treating the conditions listed above. Also, shea butter easily penetrates the skin allowing the skin to breathe and not clogging pores. Shea butter has a high level of cinnamic acid, a natural sunscreen. So, it provides some degree of protection from the sun. It is found in many sunscreens for this reason. Shea butter is also anti-inflammatory making it useful in treating rheumatism. 

Shea butter has been clinically shown to provide benefits. Here are some of the 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

Differences Between -
Refined & Unrefined Shea Butter

The differences between raw, refined and highly refined shea butter lie in how the shea butter is extracted from the nut and how it is processed after that. Manual extraction processes leave more of the raw ingredients in the Shea Butter. After it is extracted, it can be further refined removing color and impurities that some people don't like. This further refining can also remove some of the smell. You can think of the difference between raw shea butter and refined shea butter as being similar to the difference between wheat bread and white bread. Truly raw shea butter can even be unfiltered.  That is one end of the spectrum. On the other end, there is shea butter that is extracted using chemicals that is pure white, has no smell and has lost a lot of its healing properties in the process.  

Shea Butter Benefits for Hair

Shea butter provides moisture to dry or damaged hair from the roots to the very tips, repairing and protecting against weather damage, dryness and brittleness. It also absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp to rehydrate without clogging pores. It is particularly beneficial for processed and heat-treated hair. It is an excellent treatment for dry scalp. It restores luster to damaged hair. Its anti-inflammatory properties heal damaged scalp and help clear any infections. It works well against dandruff too. It also helps to de-stress hair that has been affected for too long by pollution. Damaged and brittle hair can be conditioned and revitalized by its moisturizing properties. It soothes and softens dry hair. As shea butter is light and non-greasy, it can also be applied as a leave-in for hair. This will help to shield hair by locking or concealing the moisture in. Besides being great for dry hair, it helps to nourish normal hair and it's non-greasy, easy spread property helps to control excess moisture in oily hair.

Directions for hair use: For a dry scalp, massage a coin sized amount of shea butter on scalp and in damp hair, after shampooing it. It is recommended to do it on a clean scalp. Wrap hair with a warm towel for 15 minutes. Remove towel, hand comb first, and then style as desired. This treatment will revitalize hair. 

For normal to greasy hair, take one part melted shea butter and mix it with a quarter part of extra virgin olive oil and stir thoroughly. Pour the content into a jar, and massage in scalp and hair, at least six hours before shampooing hair. One can add 5ml of shea butter into a 50ml shampoo bottle, to get its moisturizing goodness every time you shampoo hair.

What Color Should Shea Butter Be?

Since shea butter is an all natural product, it can vary widely in quality, appearance and smell depending on where it is produced from and how it is refined or extracted.  The color of unrefined shea butter depends on the shea nuts used. Because unrefined shea butter is extracted traditionally or cold pressed, the color may vary between beige to medium yellow. Therefore, refined Shea Butter will vary in color too. You will not be able to determine the authenticity or quality of shea butter based strictly on its color.  There is even a naturally golden yellow colored shea butter. Shea butter should never be green, extremely hard or greasy though. Shea butter that is pure white is highly refined and bleached and may or may not have its healing properties intact depending on how it was refined. The texture of refined shea butter is different than unrefined.

Processed shea butter does not deepen in color over time and retails at very high prices. Raw, unrefined shea butter is recommended.

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  1. Thanks for sharing beautiful information. shea butter contains moisturizing fatty acids and is rich in vitamins A, E, and F. It also contains cinnamic acid which provides a small amount of UV protection (the equivalent of an SPF6). The combination of all of these factors make shea butter very useful for treating skin conditions ranging from dry skin to eczema to stretch marks. Find here Yellow Shea Butter | Beauty Blender Dubai

  2. nice info, your article very helpfull

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  3. In my personal opinion you have really won the heart of the people. The way you have written this blog is very impressive. As Raw shea butter products are always very good products for healthy skin and hair.

  4. Take out the inner flesh and throw away the skin of the fruit.Add salt or sugar on top of it and have it as salad or make a smoothie out of it. L-theanine