By Veronica Jacobi of NaturalBella
Shea butter is a natural conditioner for hair. It is produced from the Shea-Karite tree nut, which is native to East and West Africa. For centuries it’s been used for its skincare benefits; healing burns and injuries, removing surgical marks, dermatitis and stretch marks, etc. But it is also highly effective for hair. Here are 5 ways you can use it;
1. Sooth irritated scalp
Shea butter can sooth dry itchy scalp or dandruff due to its anti-inflammatory qualities. It absorbs easily into the scalp and does not clog the pores.
2. Sealant for the hair, to retain moisture
Kinky/coily/curly hair has the tendency to be drier than other types due to its texture. The natural sebum from the scalp has a hard time sliding down the shaft to the ends because of the bends and coils. Shea butter is frequently found in curly hair treatments because of its emolliating qualities. It is excellent for locking in moisture without leaving hair greasy and heavy. This is particularly useful in extreme cold/dry weather.
3. Protection against heat styling
According to NaturallyCurly.com “shea butter is considered a great heat protectant because its thermal conductivity is almost as good as popular silicones used in most heat protectants, namely dimethicone and cyclomethicone.” Rake whipped shea butter through your hair to prep it for blowdrying, flat ironing or any other heat treatment.
4. Shield against sun damage
Shea butter has a low measure of SPF to help protect your hair from sun damage. This is particularly beneficial for processed or color treated hair.
5. Soften strands
Shea butter is great for softening hard , dry hair. Apply it directly to dry hair before styling, or rake it through damp hair as a base before applying styling products.
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*This article was edited for length and clarity.