The Vitellaria or popularly known as the shea tree is the traditional food plant that is known to boost nutrition is also the tree that produces the so-called shea nut from which after a series of processes shea butter is extracted from it.
In sub-Saharan cultures, shea butter was used for the protection of the skin and hair from dryness. There is evidence pointing out that in ancient times Shea butter played a part in Cleopatra beauty since there records indicating that Cleopatra carried jars of shea butter in her travels.
The Benefits of Shea Butter For Hair
For those that have thin hair oils and butter film, build up might not be desirable since it will induce a lot of weight on the hair. Excess may not also be the best idea for people who already have oily skin and scalp in the case skin excess oil build-up can lead to breakouts.
Before purchasing the shea butter or oil one know first which is the necessary product for his/her needs. For thin and oily hair, shea butter may prove to be too heavy and may increase oiliness while small amounts of shea butter oil may prove to be more beneficial for looser hair
Below are some of the benefits of Shea Butter for hair:
Shea butter has proven to be great at moisturizing by having properties that trap moisture once it melts on the application. It has also been given the features of blocking UV rays and can be used as a mild sunscreen. The application of Shea butter on the hair not only maintains moisture and protects the hair from sun damage but the outer membrane will act well as protection from pollutants as well.
Shea butter has been used a natural conditioner since the 14th century, with its natural ingredient capable of moisturizing it can also soften frizzy hair since once applied it will help prevent hair from drying out due to the sealing the moisture on the hair.
Anti-dandruff and Reduced Scalp Irritation
The oil from shea butter is also good for the scalp since it will protect it from dryness much like how shea butter can be used as chapstick it will protect the scalp and nourish its tenderness. With Shea butter containing vitamins A and E, it can be thought that it will be good for the hair and the scalp. Since vitamin A is responsible for cell growth and producing the natural oil sebum from the scalp to protect it and vitamin is an antioxidant that protects cells from will help in retaining the health of one’s hair.
Shea Butter For The Skin
The main benefit of shea butter is of it being a moisturizer. It is packed full of minerals and includes vitamins A, E and F. The fatty acids in shea butter are known to improve the skin barrier. Shea butter also contains phenolic acids which act as antioxidants
Shea butter protects skin from drying out. Once applied, shea butter melts into the skin surface forming a coating that traps moisture — previously used by the Saharan people to protect them from the desert.
As a sunscreen shea butter can be good enough to be used on a cloudy day for a short period. With the rising concern over sunscreens containing cancerous chemicals, it can be a suitable replacement or alternative
Shea butter also provides benefits to the skin such as:
It is already known to trap moisture on application. Studies have shown shea butter can last until 8 hours. Shea butter protects skin from drying out. Once applied, shea butter melts into the skin forming a coating that traps moisture.
With an estimated rating of sun protection factor of 6 (SPF – 6) shea butter may be good enough as an alternative for cloudy days and short trips outside. With the rising concern on possible carcinogens contained in sunscreen lotion nowadays, shea butter can be an organic approach for sun protection.
Shea butter contains numerous anti-inflammatory agents. One of which is cinnamic acid which contains lupeol cinnamate which proves to be its most effective anti-inflammatory. Tested on edema induced rats, the reaction showed that shea butter has not only an anti-inflammatory agent but is also useful on keloid fibroblast. Shea butter can be applied under the eyes to rid of dark eye bags. Regular spot application on acne has also shown excellent results. Most people suffering from dermatitis have found relief in the use of shea butter
With the properties of holding moisture upon application, shea butter has vitamins A and E which when applied to the lips nourishes the tenders skin and promotes its health. Paired with a natural oil such as peppermint one can use shea butter instead of petroleum jelly as a base
Lessen/Prevent Stretch marks on Pregnancy
On pregnancy, the rapid expansion of the skin tissue causes stretch marks to form due to a larger baby or the excess fluids. Keeping skin moisturized can prevent or decrease the formation of stretch marks. Thanks to the fatty cells found in shea butter which helps boost collagen production. Using shea butter regularly before the expected stretching of these skin parts may help in preventing damage by minimizing the stress applied by the sudden growth
The Scent of Shea Butter
Raw Shea butter will have a strong nutty smell which to others may prove to be too strong however most of the applications of shea butter can be mixed in with different kinds of organic oil that can improve its scent and most of the organic goods from cream to shampoo that contain it have already eliminated the nutty smell of a pure shea butter.
Negative Effects Of Shea Butter for Hair?
Shea butter has many benefits not just for hair and while these benefits are indeed plentiful there is still a lack of study on whether shea butter in excessive amounts can be harmful since most of its benefits are from actual application from people’s everyday lives. So it can be said that using moderate quantities will not likely cause issues we still need to be wary of how much of it we use and apply.