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The Science Behind Raw Shea Butter

• Mar 10, 2013

Via The Beauty Brains

The number 6 best selling beauty product on Amazon.com this week is 100% Pure Unrefined Organic Raw SHEA BUTTER. (The one pound size for $7.00!) How pure is this stuff? Let’s look at the label.
Shea butter ingredients
Here’s the ingredient list for Pure Unrefined Shea Butter:

Shea (Butyrospermum parkii) butter

That’s it. (Apparently the Shea tree is now officially called Vitellaria paradoxa but the cosmetic ingredient name is still Butyrospermum parkii as far as we know.)

Not much of a label to look at, is there? That’s because this is a pure natural material (or as close as you’re going to get) and therefore it doesn’t have any of the standard extra ingredients you might find like solvents, preservatives, etc. Since there aren’t any other ingredients to review, let’s take a quick look at the components of shea butter.

It’s primarily made up of fatty acids including palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and arachidic. The stearic and oleic acids make up about 85–90% of the total fatty acids and their relative proportion controls the butter’s consistency. Higher stearic acid means it will be more solid than liquid and the higher the oleic acid, the harder that solid is. Both of these vary depending on the growing season and location.
Uses for shea butter
You can use shea butter on your skin and hair as it is and it will make a fine moisturizer. However, it won’t necessarily replace all your lotions and conditioners because it’s not as spreadable and it doesn’t contain other ingredients you would want in a skin lotion (like humectants) or in a conditioner (like anti-stat agents.) Still, if you want a natural product that will soften hair and skin, shea is a good way to go. And you can’t beat the price. Plus, it has a whole stadium named after it!

Ladies do you use raw shea butter? Why do you love it? If you don’t use it, why aren’t you feeling it?

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74 Comments on "The Science Behind Raw Shea Butter"

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Tamara
Guest

Hi, I like to use Raw Shea Butter in my lip balms but I also add cocoa butter, beeswax, coconut oil and a variety of other oils. Unfortunately, as the article stated, shea butter alone does not fully moisturize my lips alone. Tamara

Mahalia
Guest

I absolutely love shea butter for my hair and skin. Does wonders!!

eve-audrey
Guest

i started using african shea butter mixed with aloe vera on my hair and it really softens my strands i wait to see the long term effects of it

NewlyNat
Guest

I thought Shea butter was in an ivory color ? I heard the yellow one was fake ?

Christina
Guest

That why you so your own research. I had to learn

Vanessa
Guest

No, it isn’t always ivory. I’m nigerian and I make shea butter with my grandma all the time. It can range from ivory to a pale yellow.

Lori
Guest

My mom and I use shea butter on our joints when they ache from arthritis. I helps instantly.

I also mix it with coconut oil, aloe vera gel and olive (or some other) oil and saturate my scalp with it when I wear braid extensions. Love it.

Maggie
Guest
I use shea mixed with jamaican black castor oil (with some scented natural oil for fragrance) for my hair and body. I use this mix on my hair after I rinse out my conditioner but while my hair is still pretty damp. Even try to twist it up right away. The conditioner + water is my moisture — the shea/castor oil mix is added moisture & sealant. My hair is superbly healthy. In between, I have a mister filled with distilled water and some of the same shea/castor mix. I spray a little on my hair night and morning (after… Read more »
Precious
Guest

Where did you buy your Shea butter please?

Nicole
Guest

Sheabynico.net Top Grade Nilotica Shea Butter, no additives, no fillers, 100% Shea Butter

Kristin
Guest
Hi. I was glad to see this article. I use Shea butter for my hair and body. I just recently started using it about 5–6 wks ago but love it! I also use it on my two daughters as well. They both have eczema and that’s great on their skin. I mixed the Shea butter with cocoa butter, jojoba oil and almond oil. I melt it down a little so it’s easier to work with then blend it with a hand mixer. As far as our hair I use Shea butter, sesame, grape seed, tea tree, coconut and olive oils.… Read more »
Pinkie
Guest

You blend it with the oils for the eczema? My baby has it too and I may mix it with coconut oil and apply it to her skin to see if it works better than Aquaphor.

ItaRay
Guest

Isn’t the one in the picture African butter? Thats the one I use & I love it. Mine is scooped from the seed just like It is shown in the picture… So it can’t be fake… Right?!? Lol

Daniel
Guest

raw sheabutter for sale +233266630725
Packaged from 1/2 kg to bulk 25kg in export worthy paper carton.
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Sunni
Guest

I would love to purchase a pound for $7. What seller has it listed at this price? Thanks in advance.

Tamara
Guest

Shea Butter is the best!

Angelic Messanger
Guest

I like shea butter alright, but I’m not crazy about it. A vendor told me shea butter turns yellow when palm oil is added. Of course, she was selling the off-white type which I bought. Having tried both, I do prefer the off-white because it’s silky, smooth and easy to apply.

Monique
Guest

You have to be careful with where you buy your sheer butter some people will mix it but the yellow one does not turn because of palm oil . Although its extremely greasy

Viv
Guest

I used shea butter religiously for a while, using it raw for my feet and elbows, and mixed/whipped with oils for my hair. Even when mixed it sat on top of my low-porosity 4c hair, so now I only use it to seal my ends after twist/braid-outs.

I still have a lot of shea butter left and don’t want it to be wasted. Have any other low-po 4b/c hair types had my issue and, if so, do you have suggestions on what I could maybe mix it with to use on my hair? I’m grateful for suggestions. Thank you.

Tiff Dizzle
Guest

Just mix it up with a oil you like and use it on your body, I mix mines with coconut and olive oil and use it for hair and body… I have low porosity hair as well but I braid mines up so I don’t mind if it sits on my hair cus eventually it will soak in and it leaves my hair so soft and manageable

JaNelle
Guest

I have 4c hair, and after washing my hair, I use a mix of shea butter, olive oil, and aloe gel. It does“sit” for a while because it takes time to absorb into the hair shaft. However, after I take out my twist out, it is shiny, soft, moisturized and more manageable.

Dani
Guest

If you live in Ny theres a brand called Madina who sells raw shea butter (not sure how much it costs in ny since i never bought it there before but it shouldnt be alot). If you live in philadelphia, pa i buy my shea butter from Shop Rite. Its the same brand by Madina and i get 1lb for $6 plus tax. Otherwise you can purchase from there website at Madina.com 🙂

Lauren
Guest

I’ve used Shea Butter for years now, but I’ve noticed that every time that I wash my hair after two weeks of using shea butter consistently, I wind up sneezing furiously in the shower and have really awful nasal congestion. Do you think I could be allergic to the shea butter? I’ve switched my shampoos and conditioners several times, and the only time that this doesn’t happen is when I haven’t used much (or any) shea butter in my hair. :c

Cris
Guest

Laren, are you at all allergic to nuts, peanuts/tree nuts. My son is and I sell shea butter and realized it is from a nut and he has a allergic reaction to it so I can not have it around him.

Karissa Wilding
Guest

Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying. Butter consists of butterfat, milk proteins and water.-

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Devon
Guest
I have long curly hair, which means I have dry hair at the ends. I use shea butter every day after I shower, but only at the ends where it is driest. It really helps to maintain long hair, and makes it soft and shiny. I also have very dry, fair skin so it helps with sunburn. I only use it at night after cleanser and do not re-apply it in the morning, or else my face would look ridiculously greasy. Letting it soak into the skin for hours moisturizes my skin all day. I also had superficial scars from… Read more »
FIFI
Guest

please how do i use the sheabutter to work effectively,do i apply it to my hair and wash it out after a while??

Tyra
Guest

I have been using shea butter for a while now on both my hair and skin and love it.

Fifi, the way I use it is after I wash and use a leave in conditioner I apply the shea butter to add more moisture and seal it in.

Make sure you buy raw certified organic shea butter because some companies put chemicals and additives in it that are bad for your hair and skin. If you buy organic, none of that is in there.

I get mine here and it’s ivory colored,

http://www.amazon.com/Shea-Butter-Unrefined-Certified-Excellent/dp/B00CBNK74I

Monique
Guest

I Love sheer butter but its so heavy on my hair but it does wonders on dry skin and people use it in Nigeria if they have back pains . It does wonders

Kourt
Guest

Is Shea butter supposed to be washed out after use?

Linny
Guest

No you dont need to

Adewumi Adeniyi
Guest

shea butter is very nice to the xtent dat it even added more beauty to the skin and hair also.when i started applying shea butter on my scalp i discoved my hair grew longer,shinny and black,and even softer.Not to mince words shea butter brings out hair more faster…my hair is now longer and softer.

Kela
Guest

I just bought some Shea butter. How do I use it to grow my hair do I need to melt it dwn to use in my hair? Do I need to melt it dwn to use on my skin? Please email me at kelaboo82@gmail.com plz anyone that can help me out with this.

Tamara
Guest
Hi, I believe you can add the shea butter to your hair naturally. I like to make a mixture of shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil. I put all of these in a double boiler, and let it melt down. Once everything melts down, you can pour the mixture into a glass jar and let it solidify. Once it gets solid, gently rub some of the balm into your scalp and through your hair. Also, if you serve the internet (youtube, in particular) you should be able to find some videos that will show you how to do it. Good… Read more »
Kela
Guest

Thanks Tamara I have been looking up different techniques for it but thanks because I’ve tried it different ways. I appreciate it though if you have anymore ideas about it please let me know and again thanks.

Ruth
Guest

Pls, what steps would i follow if i wnt to use shea butter to moisturize my hair

JaNelle
Guest

Simply apply to your hair after washing. I mix some with water in a spray bottle to moisturize when needed, but usually at night before I wrap my hair up. (I usually twist my hair out)

Rahman K. Shabazz
Guest

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omotosho
Guest

Our 1st grade unrefined Shea butter is obtained by manual and mechanical processes and by application of heat, without altering …you can contact me for samples omorttee4u@yahoo.com +2348164432801

Olu dupe
Guest

Sheabutter causes dandruf in my hair

Reanna
Guest

Shea butter is too thick to be used on your scalp. It is best used as a sealant and should not touch your scalp at all. It can clog your pores and cause flaking or dandruff.

Kim
Guest

Is shea butter supposed to be used as a moisturizing before sealing? Or do you use it to seal moisture in?

Heather
Guest

It’s supposed to seal in whatever moisture you apply.

Dayo oje
Guest

Shea butter is very good for the hair, use regularly for quick result. I have some unrefined Shea butter… As samples. Email me on doneanuwapo2@yahoo.com

shenika
Guest

I am in love with shea butter. It is my first hair love and it is the only thing I have been using for my entire hair journey. It seals in moisture so well and leaves my hair soft for a long time so I will continue to use it. Check out my post on how much I love shea butter!

http://sheni-kare.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/i-cheated-on-my-first-love-butter-love.html

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mike
Guest

Are you suppose to wash it out or leave it on until your next wash? Does it not cause build up on the scalp. I do know that coconut oil penetrates the scalp and does not leave any build up at all

Asia
Guest

Simply put–I love shea butter! I love it’s moisturizing qualities and as well as it’s sealing benefits. When I actually take my time during my moisturizing routine, after I seal with shea butter my hair stays moisturized for days at a time. Every other day (or as needed), I’ll just follow-up with honey water and seal in that moisture with an oil. I discuss various topics as such here: knotsoknappy.weebly.com
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marietta
Guest

What’s honey water?

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[…] want to do is part your hair. I parted my hair from left to right. Before I began to twist I used raw Shea butter and moisturized my hair from top to bottom specifically the ends. Now you don’t have to use Shea […]

nisie
Guest

I melted my shea butter down and added coconut oil, evoo, and glycerin. It makes my hair so much softer and really defines my curls. I love it.

Puff
Guest
WARNING: “Gold Shea Butter” is NOT UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER So I’ve been doing lots of research as I’m trying to have healthier natural hair. I was very excited about Shea butter and I used the link you have shared multiple times linking to one of the Amazon sellers to purchase my Shea butter. Sadly this led me to “Gold Shea Butter” but the truth is that Shea butter is NOT gold so if a vendor is selling “Gold Shea Butter” it is either Kpangnan (a different butter) or it is dyed which could potentially effect the quality of the Shea.… Read more »
blackgirllonghair
Guest

The shea butter we sell in our shop, http://blackgirllonghair.com, is not gold but a whitish color and is sourced from West Africa.

Decimus
Guest

West african raw unrefined shea butter from shea nut is yellow east africa raw unrefined shea butter is ivory white is bleached

Decimus
Guest

Please really do research raw organic unrefined shea butter is yellow (west africia) or ivory(east africian) I have family in ghana white is bleached and yellow one pictured above is real I have used raw shea butter unrefined should smell nutty

Andrea appa
Guest

Hey, I live in Sweden and I want to buy Shea butter but I can’t find it anywhere. Pls can someone help me?:(

lia
Guest

They usually sell them at local beauty supply stores but if you can’t find any there amazon.com sells it 🙂

Jay
Guest

I live in Switzerland and I got mine from http://www.estellaspride.com, my friend told me to buy it from the website. It took a while before I got it though, like 2 weeks. But I needed Shea butter desperately so I waited. Besides, all the types I purchased from eBay were adulterated.
You can whip it before using it, that’s what I do, cause my hair feels heavy when I apply it directly. I use it for my skin too, and a bunch of other things.

Tiffany
Guest

I usually keep my hair braided but I’m trying to get it more manageable but my ends feel like a Brillo pad and I’m not understanding why and what can I do to make it more softer

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Bertha
Guest

My hair has broken off. I got Shea butter and Castor oil and olive oil please help natural

Kay
Guest
Aside from visiting a dermatologist, endocrinologist, trichologist, and/or natural healthcare practitioner, begin to develop your own natural hair care routine. Warm coconut oil on stove, and apply to dry hair in sections, braiding or twisting each section. Cover with plastic cap, and tie down for 1–3 hours. Wash hair with black soap. Deep condition (raw egg + olive oil) and rinse. Melt shea on LOW heat for a few minutes on stove then add coconut oil (2:1). Pour into a plastic container and add a dash of castor oil. To each section of damp hair, add a creamy water-based moisturizer… Read more »
Jordan
Guest

No matter what I mix & whip shea butter with my hair hates it, unless I use it on my edges for puffs. But my skin loves this stuff. My skin has never looked better.

Onyinye
Guest

Shea butter is AMAZING! I whipped mine with an oil mix(coconut oil,mustard seed oil,olive oil,JBCO and palm kernel oil)..I use it for taking down braids, hot oil treatment,pre poo( I mix it up with conditioner), for twisting and sealing in moisture! For my skin..I whipped shea butter with vaseline,olive oil,mustard oil and coconut oil. I apply this on my skin after shower while my skin is still damp and cold. It makes my skin so soft and gives me a healthy glow! No looking back

Pyemwa
Guest

Since I live in Nigeria, Shea butter is readily available. Last year, I started mixing Shea, coconut oil, palm kernel oil and a bit of Vaseline lotion for skin and hair for me and baby girl.
We both GLOW! Then our skin is soft to touch and smooth.
I just melt the shea butter, add the liquid oils and the lotion ( which is there to provide moisture) and then freeze so it produces a consistent paste.
I’m so impressed with the results that I’m thinking up more recipes for my Shea skincare.

Ciku
Guest

So how exactly is someone supposed to use shea butter? So far I know I ought to whip up raw shea and mix with the oils that I want. But do i apply this to my damp hair after moisturising or can I use it on my scalp too?? I’m confused. Please help!! You can respond or add more info via my email, cikukibe@gmail.com. I’m totally confused, with unhealthy natural African hair. :’(

Sonshine Wiley
Guest
I have been natural for fours years almost five! I’ve developed a moisturizer which includes Shea Butter and a host of other essential oils. The product is simply called “restore”! Because that’s what it does! It restores the moisture to your hair! This brings back the balance between beauty and nature! There are lots of naturalists that started using my product because it works! It’s a very simple product with so many benefits! Not to mention many of my friends have the desire to customize their own moisturizers, but really had no time or money for the trial and error!… Read more »
lindsey dugas
Guest

ive been using the PURE SHEA BUTTER for about 6 months, and I can really see a HUGE difference in my hair. I buy it at thr festival international that we have in Louisiana yearly from the African ladies. I scoop a little ouf then melt it in the microwave, then I grease my scalp. yes my hair will b greasy but TRUST IT DOES MIRACLES..my length is taking off!!
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MyCollage_42.png[/img]

Aishah Organics
Guest

I have been selling raw Shea butter imported from Ghana for over 10yrs. now. I carry amazing raw shea butter skin and hair products. If you would like to know more about my products simply look me up on Facebook @ Aishah Organics or email me @ AishahOrganics@hotmail.com
[img]http://blackgirllonghair.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/IMG_20140603_054343.jpg[/img]

Naa-Sakle Akuete
Guest

Shea butter always uses for skin and hair and moisturizer skins.
Eugeniashea.org is the best place to buy original sheat butter cream and
oil.

RAEDONOVAN
Guest

The 100% pure shea butter I use is like a pasty form initially and is kind of hard to extract from the jar if you have nails, otherwise, no problem. I just rub it together in my hands and it becomes like an oil. From there I just apply from roots to my ends. I personally don’t have any issues with it being extra greasy because I have dry hair. Makes my hair extra soft and super manageable. I’m also pregnant and it has been doing wonders for my stomach. Not a stretch mark in sight. 🙂

Rpglovetash
Guest

I have to use raw, organic Shea butter which is more pricey since I only certified organic products since, I never had any reactions to certified organic products, but other products that claim to be organic Shea butter with no certification, can have contaminants and hurt my sensitive skin and hair.

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[…] offer a few different variations of their shea butter including the everyday shea butter meant for regular use, the pregnancy strength shea butter for women who want to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, […]

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[…] For those of you who have heard of Shea butter, but have not tried it yet this article will explain how Shea Butter is harvested and why Shea butter is such a sought after health product. I use the term “health product” as Shea butter really does benefit a person’s overall health. […]

Nicole
Guest

Sheabynico.net Top Grade Nilotica Shea Butter, no additives, no fillers, 100% Shea Butter

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