Read­er Caris­sa says;

Okay… So for some time now I have been buy­ing expen­sive but­ters to (in the words of Did­dy) “mois­tur­ize my sit­u­a­tion”… or should I say, “seal my sit­u­a­tion.” But the oth­er day — hor­ror of hor­rors — I unex­pect­ed­ly ran out. The only way for me to get the but­ter I want is to order online. So I was left with a tough choice — have dry hair, or use raw shea but­ter. I chose the lat­ter. I had nev­er used just raw shea but­ter to seal. So I was appre­hen­sive. I melt­ed some down… applied it to my hair and, HOLY MOLY it worked like MAGIC!! To the point that I think I’m going to retire my “but­ter bud­get”. It made me won­der why expen­sive but­ters even exist, when you can just use some raw shea.

So I thought I’d ask your read­ers… If you choose not to use raw shea but­ter, why is that? What is your ratio­nale? Before I make this switch I want to make sure I’m not miss­ing some­thing…

Inter­est­ing! Ladies, what are your thoughts?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noel­liste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop cul­ture and black beau­ty enthu­si­ast. bell hooks’ hair twin…

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139 Comments on "The rationale behind NOT using shea butter?"

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I like using shea but­ter on my face, and on my hair to mois­tur­ize, and also for my twists. But I get my 8oz Ghana Shea But­ter from the BSS for $4.89 and it works great. They also have the 160z as well for $6.79

Lol this is such a coin­ci­dence because I’ve been using shea but­ter prod­ucts like organ­ic root stim­u­la­tor shea but­ter hair lotion and sheamois­ture shea but­ter leave in con­di­tion­er and late­ly i’ve been won­derin why…it’s easy! omg am i the only one who can’t be both­ered to mix up all this stuff? just pick up a bot­tle and put it in your hair, no searchin for enhanc­ing ingre­di­ents and mix­ing and microwav­ing and putting it in bottles/dishes etc -_- i real­ize that raw shea but­ter may be cer­ti­fi­ably bet­ter though but i’ve nev­er tried it…lol maybe in anoth­er 6 months when… Read more »

I agree with you com­plete­ly Sheree! The one time I tried to be a’mixtress” I gave myself a rash that last­ed on my scalp, face and neck for sev­er­al weeks and that was it for me and I said nev­er again. It is great that so many nat­u­rals can mix up their own con­coc­tions, but I can­not, I know my lim­its and it is so much eas­i­er for me to just open up the jar or bot­tle of pre­made stuff and go LOL!


I use raw shea all the time. I think the expen­sive prod­ucts that use shea but­ter are heav­i­ly mar­ket­ed, but actu­al­ly have lit­tle shea but­ter in them. So for me, the real thing is the best deal and my hair thanks me for it!

I think ppl use the fan­cy prod­ucts for a vari­ety of rea­sons like ease of use, smell, and oth­er prop­er­ties like shine and hold. you just have to pri­or­i­tize. Yea, shea but­ter can be a bit of a pain to melt and apply the right amount, but its hec­ka cheap and mois­tur­izes well. For me, I dont get much shine with it, which is why some­one might go for a fan­cy but­ter. Also, let’s be real, shea but­ter does NOT smell like ros­es. Of course, you could buy some essen­tial oils and make it smell bet­ter, but thats what the… Read more »
The Natural Haven

It stinks! I have tried adding fra­granced oils, mix­ing with coconut oil (I like the scent!).…but that nut­ty fra­grance of shea does not agree with me.

I have refined shea but­ter which has no fra­grance.


My thoughts exact­ly. I just don’t like the smell, even after adding fra­grance oils, I can’t get away from that nut­ty scent.


1. Can’t stand the smell
2. too heavy and “oily”
3.ashy look­ing hair
4. not real­ly that mois­tur­iz­ing just oily feel­ing

Camille in Slovenia

I final­ly got my hands on about a cool 5 pounds of raw shea on a trip to Ghana this Novem­ber, and mixed with coconut oil, olive oil, and a lit­tle cas­tor it has worked like a dream. Before shea, I had a laun­dry list of prod­ucts that I planned to try when I got to the states, but now that I’ve got my shea mix, all I need to add to my arse­nal is one good styling prod­uct and I’m good to go. My wal­let is grate­ful!
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Ok, I real­ly like raw shea BUT, the prob­lem is when we don’t know what or if its mixed with some­thing or its the real thing. I know for a fact that some­times they mix with oth­er stuff to strectch the shea..How do we know that what we are pur­chas­ing is authen­tic?


Shea but­ter caus­es build up on my scalp so I only use it to seal my ends

Lantoinette Wise

Raw shea but­ter all the way. My hair loves it. I scoop a small amount into the palm of my hand and rub my hands togeth­er until it soft­ens the shea but­ter. I then mas­sage it into my hair and my edges. Soft­ens and mois­tur­izes my hair like mag­ic. I love it.


Although I heard a lot about her and tried to meet her, Shea is not my friend. We don’t get along. I dropped her for Glyc­erin.




I use raw shea since I can put melt it down to put in con­di­tion­ers, scoop some out and use it for my hair in the morn­ing or at night for twists, put it on my skin after a show­er, etc. More ver­sa­tile and much much cheap­er (about 6 bucks for a small tub that last sev­er­al weeks).


I love Raw Shea But­ter! I just got into it and it’s the best! I just made some Whipped Shea But­ter using Raw Shea But­ter, Coconut Oil, Avo­ca­do Oil and Sweet Almond Oil. I had sooo much fun mak­ing it that I post­ed it on my blog along with the video from Youtu­ber (Meechy­Monore) that I got it from. Def­i­nite­ly a win­ner in my book! :)


100% raw babyY I melt it down and my hair eats it up. It stays mosi­t­i­rized for almost a straight week. I love it. But­ters do bet­ter in kinki­er hair. My home­girl uses shea, but some­times it can be to heavy for her curli­er hair type.


You can get even more fan­cy and mix up the but­ter with anoth­er oil (say, olive) and apply.

I found that I pre­fer cas­tor as my heav­ier oil. If I want to turn it into a but­ter I’ll mix it with aloe and/or anoth­er oil. 

I don’t make *every­thing* at home, but I don’t both­er buy­ing much of any­thing oil-based when I can com­bine oils at home. The excep­tion may be a splurge or if it has an oil that I’d like to try but have lit­tle access to.

I’m on team #raw­she­abut­ter myself. Melt it in the micro and add a lit­tle aloe vera gel and it is good to go. This goes along with what I said ear­li­er about nat­u­rals try­ing the less­er expen­sive prod­ucts first in their quest to find the right prod­ucts that work for them. It just plain makes more sense. I think (for me any­way) I used the idea that since I wasn’t going to the beau­ti­cian as often, it gave me license to buy the expen­sive prod­ucts. The more new prod­ucts came out, the more I want­ed to try. I almost let… Read more »

All pro­ceed­ing thoughts are my opin­ion and noth­ing more…Theoretically, one could mois­tur­ize with plain water and seal with any oil that pen­e­trates and/or coats the hair shaft such as coconut, olive, cas­tor, or grape­seed oil. But­ters are mar­velous as well, as long as you emul­si­fy pri­or to the appli­ca­tion, oth­er­wise you will have “ashy”-looking hair. The fan­cy stuff…is well, fan­cy, expen­sive stuff. When the bot­tom line is reached, water+oil=moisture reten­tion


I agree. Plus, the expen­sive stuff comes “pre-emul­si­fied” mak­ing for eas­i­er appli­ca­tion.


I was using raw shea but­ter on my skin and ran­dom­ly decid­ed to use it on my hair. It works bet­ter, for me, than any oth­er styling butter/gel/mouse and con­di­tions my hair bet­ter as well for a very small price. It also lasts a very long time. Frankly, I am not sure why more curlies don’t use it. It can be kind of heavy, so there is a small amount of tri­al and error, but I swear by it. :)


Some peo­ple don’t use as it just sits on top of their hair. It doesn’t do that in my case as it absorbs in my hair real­ly well and leaves it real­ly soft, but every­thing isn’t for every­body. For me, cer­tain oils just sit on top of my hair so I don’t use them.


Me too. It was too heavy for my hair so it just sat there and made a greasy mess of every­thing I touched.

Alice in Nap­py­land


that’s pret­ty much why i don’t/can’t use raw shea but­ter on a reg­u­lar basis. it makes my hair feels super soft at first, but then it just builds up on my hair. :(


I occa­sion­al­ly use it but only in mod­er­a­tion. It makes for seri­ous build up.


I’m aller­gic to shea but­ter. It breaks me out some­thing fierce, so I avoid it like the plague!

Leonie UK

Yep me too.


Me tooo !! Has any­one that has expe­ri­enced break­outs tried “refined” shea but­ter, I was hop­ing that I could pos­si­bly replace raw shea with the refined one, but I am ter­ri­fied to try…Let me know your expe­ri­ence.