Shea butter: Best for hair, skin

HELLO there everyone, how are you this week? I am going to spend a week or two helping readers interested in shea butter understand it more.

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I have had many readers asking me to explain this new wonder treatment for hair and skin, so here it is:

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Shea Butter is extracted from the seeds of the Vitellaria paradoxa tree native to West Africa. It has a slightly smoky smell and silky feel on the skin.

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It is a godsend for the people of this region who have been using it for cosmetic, nutritional, and medicinal purposes for thousands of years.

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They use it to protect their skin and hair from the drying effects of Sub-Saharan climate. There’s evidence that it had played an important part in the beauty regimen of Cleopatra of Egypt in the first century BC.

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Once the America’s found out its existence and it potent results, they have popularised even beyond what anyone could have believed.

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Shea butter is still extracted manually by a painstakingly long process that involves the collection, cleaning, segregation, drying, and pounding of the dried nuts into a paste.

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The fat-rich seed paste is then mixed with water and agitated by hand to separate the butter which rises to the top in the form of curd.

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This top layer is collected, and then purified by melting it into butter oil and then filtering it out and cooling.

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The resultant butter is off-white in colour and may contain brownish specks unless the filtering process is not meticulous. This is then what we call Shea butter.

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It is best to choose the natural product over the refined ones although it may not look very appealing and may have some tiny bits of the seeds.

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But it is as natural as you can get. If the characteristic smell doesn’t appeal to you, bleached and de-scented butter may serve your cosmetic purposes.

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But such chemically extracted and refined products may not offer all of the health benefits Shea butter is known for.

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Shea butter is used as an external product for hair and skin. In hair it seals in the moisturiser by coating each strand of hair in a thin, non greasy layer of fat.

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Do not put Shea butter on the hair straight from the container. First rub it in your hands until the butter melts and then spread it over a small portion of hair at a time using both hands, making sure the whole hair is covered.

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Many people simply add an essential oil into the butter to make it more pliable and easier to use.

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For skin Shea butter is amazing especially on dry skin. The butter in its normal form is solid at room temperature. But it will melt as soon as you rub it in-between your palms. It is amazing to use after a bath or a swim.

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It works best on hair or skin after water has been applied. Many westerners swear by the way Shea butter makes their skin smooth after a bath without adding the shine.

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Simply add a little bit to your final rinse bath water. Do not wipe it off with a towel. Let your body dry naturally.

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Shea butter is also great as a lip balm because it has vitamin A and E inside of it. Of cause you will have to pre mix it with an essential oil such as peppermint oil or some edible oil.

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It has been stated but not totally proven, that Shea butter can help erase or minimise wrinkles because of its level of collagen. It is apparently great for stretch marks by softening them or preventing them.

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Shea butter is brilliant as a hair softener. It softens frizzy hair and makes it more manageable.

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It seals in the moisture by coating each strand of hair in a thin, non greasy layer of fat. It works better on natural hair, butter is also wonderful on hair that is relaxed.

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Shea butter is best used as an entire product range, from shampoo to conditioner to hair moisture and gel, especially if it is on natural hair.

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No one has an excuse now a days to have difficult to hand hair. With Shea butter hair is left soft and untangled permanently.

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I hope that helps you understand what Shea butter it and its basic use. Until next week, God bless.
Ann can be found at Kutz & Kurlies Hair Salon in Meikles Stores or messaged on 0733285730 or follow her Blog (ann-ruthenburg.blogspot.com) or email on Anastasia.africa@gmail.com.