JM | Mar 2, 2023

Give life to your hair with shea butter

Mikala Johnson

Mikala Johnson / Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

You’re probably use shea butter-infused lip balms, body lotions, and hand creams on a daily basis, right? But did you know that the luscious nut butter also appears in quite a number of hair products?

Yes, it does! In fact, if you were to check most moisturisers you’ll see that shea butter is a common ingredient as it is known to moisturise dry strands and soothe a flaking scalp.

Shea butter, also called karate butter, is a byproduct of shea nuts that are harvested from a tree that is native to Africa

As a beauty ingredient, specifically in hair care, shea butter is thought to have superior moisturising properties compared to other kinds of vegetable butter.

Benefits of Shea Butter for hair

At this point you’re probably wondering, what can shea butter actually do for your hair? Truth be told there are several benefits associated with this natural butter. Here are three golden reasons why it’s touted as a gift from Mother Nature.

1. A natural moisturiser for dry hair

Because of shea butter‘s high fatty acid and vitamin E content, it’s a strong emollient that functions as a natural moisturiser for your hair and scalp.

Studies show that shea butter has good water-binding properties to help your mane attract water into its fibers – awesome!

So, say goodbye to dry hair, and count on shea butter to maintain and improve your hair’s hydration levels.

Even better is the fact that shea butter easily sinks into hair shafts without leaving behind a greasy residue.

What it does leave behind, though, is a thin moisturising sheet on the hair cuticles that acts as a sealant. This helps your hair strands keep in moisture, a boon for those with high porosity hair that tends to suffer from extremely dry hair.

2. A defense mechanism against hair damage

One of the primary culprits that cause hair damage is raised hair cuticles.

Raised hair cuticle is a condition that occurs when the protective outer layer of a hair follicle becomes damaged and lifts up.

This can be caused by a number of factors, such as excessive heat, chemical treatments, and mechanical stressors like brushing and combing.

When this protective layer is damaged, the hair is left vulnerable to further damage and loss of moisture, leading to dryness, frizz, and even the dreaded split ends. 

Your first priority, in such a situation, is to fill in the cracks in your cuticles so that you can nip hair damage in the bud.

As explained earlier, shea butter for hair does a splendid job of blanketing your cuticles with its moisturising film. This protective layer achieves two important functions when acting as a defense mechanism against hair damage:

  • It reduces friction to minimise split ends and hair breakage from mechanical forces like hair brushing
  • It enhances shine and luster to improve the appearance of dead hair

It is believed that the high fatty acid content in the shea butter reduces hair breakage and is a great defense against damage hair.

3. A balm for scalp irritation 

With its high moisturising level, it should come as no surprise that shea butter is used to tackle dry scalp issues as well.

Because shea butter naturally contains triterpenes (plant-derived compounds with strong antioxidant activity), the butter is a soothing balm against common scalp irritations like flaking, dryness, and itchiness.

Research shows that shea butter can accelerate the recovery of a damaged skin barrier and significantly boosted hydration levels.

So, in a nutshell, shea butter is an all-powerful haircare ingredient for dry, thick, and natural hair types. Whether you want to smooth out frizzy hair or fend off breakage, shea butter is your go-to hair treatment.


What To Read Next