You have endless options when it comes to improving the health and appearance of your hair. There are shampoos and conditioners, gels and serums, treatments, and even masks. These products claim to make our hair shinier, softer, or more voluminous. But if you want to take the natural route and are interested in knowing how shea butter can help your hair look its best and be stronger then read on!
What is shea butter
Shea butter is extracted from the shea nuts of the Karite tree. This tree is most commonly found in West Africa. It's an amazing ingredient for our skin that also does wonders for hair. This nourishing ingredient, which is rich in moisture, is often called "mother nature’s conditioner".
Shea butter has been a popular ingredient in African households for centuries. It was used in traditional medicine, food, and for treating beauty concerns. Shea butter is loaded with beauty benefits due to which it is readily incorporated in many skincare and haircare products.
Benefits of shea butter for hair
The haircare benefits of shea butter for hair are numerous. Thanks to its moisturizing property, shea butter keeps the hair intensely hydrated. The high level of essential fatty acids such as oleic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid, attributes to its hydrating property. Let’s dig deeper into the haircare benefits of shea butter.
1. Hydrating property
Shea butter for hair is known for its hydrating property. It locks the moisture inside and keeps your strands hydrated for a longer time. Curly, coily, and kinky hair is more prone to dryness, hence experts recommend shea moisture for curly hair, as it seals the moisture within and helps with moisture retention.
2. Provides relief from itchy scalp
The anti-inflammatory property of shea butter is beneficial for providing effective relief from dry and itchy scalp. Its rich, creamy texture has a soothing effect on inflamed scalp conditions. It gets absorbed into the scalp and provides hydration and nourishment while providing relief from dandruff.
3. Protects hair from heat damage
Shea butter for hair acts as a heat protectant. Apply shea butter on your strands before heat-styling your hair. It creates a thin coating over the surface of your hair, protecting your strands from heat damage.
4. Conditions your hair
Shea butter is especially beneficial for curly hair as it helps to tame frizzy curls. The shea moisture for curly hair is known to condition dry curls making them soft, smooth and more manageable.
5. Prevents split ends
The tip of your hair is more prone to damage and dryness. Shea butter restores the hydration level of your strands especially the tip of your hair, preventing split ends.
6. Protects your hair from sun damage
Long exposure to sunlight can damage your hair. The SPF in shea butter is known to protect the tresses against UV rays.
How to use shea butter for hair?
Less is more when it comes to shea butter. You must use shea butter in moderation because unlike oils, shea butter does not spread evenly. Shea butter is beneficial for people with curly hair which is prone to dryness and frizz. It is not suitable for people with thin hair as it can weigh down your hair. Experts recommend doing a patch test if you are using it for the first time.
If there is no adverse effect on your skin, you are good to go.
1. Shea butter for itchy scalp
Melt shea butter using a double boiler and apply evenly on your scalp. Massage it for 5 minutes. Cover your head with a shower cap and steam for 5-10 minutes. Shea butter gets absorbed into the scalp, and hydrates it, reducing itchy and irritated skin.
2. Shea butter for sun protection
Melt a small quantity of shea butter and fill it in a spray bottle. Before going out spray the melted shea butter all over your hair to form a thin protective coating.
3. Shea butter for heat protection
Shea butter can be used for protecting hair strands from the damaging effect of heat while heat styling the hair. Mix shea butter with your hair serum and apply throughout the length of your hair before heat styling it.
4. Shea butter for hydrating the strands
Wash your hair with shampoo and add shea butter to your conditioner. Whip it up and apply it to your strands from the roots to the tips. Brush your hair for even distribution. After 5 minutes wash it off with lukewarm water.
5. Shea butter for deep conditioning hair strands
Take 1 tablespoon of shea butter in a clean glass bowl. To it add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt it and let it cool. Now add a few drops of argan oil and lavender oil. Mix well so as to attain a creamy texture. Apply this mixture evenly to your scalp and hair. Run a brush through your hair for ensuring even distribution. Let it rest for 30 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water.
How to choose shea butter?
Unrefined shea butter is the best choice if you're looking for hair-care benefits. It retains the most bioactive ingredients. Unrefined shea butter is often free of any preservatives and chemicals that could harm the tresses in the long run.
Other ingredients it is compatible with
Shea butter works well with natural butter, bio-oils, and essential oils.
Side effect of shea butter
When used in moderation, shea butter is generally considered safe for topical application and oral consumption. However, shea butter is known to contain a trace amount of latex and allergic reactions can trigger if a person is allergic to latex.
So, let's drop the stereotypes and put shea butter to work for our hair and enjoy its ultra-moisturizing and nourishing benefits for hair.
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