If you’re wondering about the benefits of Shea butter on natural hair, then you’ve come to the right place! Hailing from the tropics of East and West Africa, shea butter is a product of the shea-karite tree, and it’s probably the only tree in the world that is packed with an abundance of hair and skin nourishing properties.
This is no wonder why it has received its global reputation of a hair and skin conditioner. Shea butter has been found to contain high contents of vitamin A, vitamin E, and essential fatty acids which helps to nourish the hair and scalp.
Though Shea Butter has a plethora of benefits, here are 5 major benefits of shea butter
1. Hair Softener
I can attest to this superior quality of shea butter, and this is why shea butter remains a staple in my hair and skincare regimen. The essential fatty acids in shea butter deeply penetrate into the hair shaft to smooth and soften the hair strands.
When used often and consistently, shea butter can turn your hard hair into a silky soft head of hair that you’d want to play with all day long. Rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter soothes dryness, repairs breakage and mends split ends.
To create a silky smooth effect, I would apply pure grade A shea butter on wet hair before twisting or flat twisting it. Then, I would loosen the twists a few days later after the shea butter has had the time to work its way through the hair.
Since there are different grades and quality of shea butter, you might not get the same results as someone who uses the highest quality of shea butter.
2. Hair Sealant
The thick consistency of shea butter makes it an ideal sealant, which ensures that your hair holds on to moisture for a longer period of time. Shea butter is best used on medium to coarse hair, as these hair types are better able to handle a thick butter such as shea butter without weighing the hair down.
Shea butter is also an ideal butter for highly porous hair because it creates a thick barrier which reduces the speed at which the raised cuticles lose moisture to the environment.
The thick consistency of shea butter makes it a great sealant to use in cold environments, particularly in the wintertime.
3. Protection against damaging hair manipulation treatments
Many chemical treatments such as perms and color treatments tends to dry the hair out. Heat appliances such as blow driers, curl wands and straighteners also strip the hair, particularly curly hair of its natural oils.
To minimize damage, dryness and breakage, it’s best to incorporate shea butter into your hair regimen, as shea butter provides a protective layer to the hair to protect it from excessive damage.
4. Soothe Itchy Scalp
Shea butter is effective in soothing a dry itchy scalp or dandruff. It has anti-inflammatory properties that absorb into the skin without leaving a greasy residue or clogging the pores.
Essential fatty acids in shea butter such as oleic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid help to provide relief against dry scalp, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis.
5. Heat and UV Ray Protection
Shea butter has been found to contain low levels of UV protection (around SPF-6) and so it makes for a great “sunscreen” for your hair in a hot climate or during the summertime. When applied on the hair, shea butter will coat the surface of the hair, acting as a barrier against the damaging effects of heat, heat appliances, and even chlorine in a swimming pool.
If you happen to have colored or chemically treated hair, you want to make sure that shea butter remains a staple in your summer hair regimen.
What other ways do you use shea butter on your natural hair?