Only after being natural for more than a year, I discovered this wonderful stuff called shea butter. At first, all I knew was that it was an ingredient in a product that made my hair feel softer and smoother. When I did a search on natural hair care, shea butter showed up so many times and caught my attention. Each and every page was talking about the anti-aging, soothing, healing and moisturizing qualities of this butter. Of course nothing new on product labels. They all promise the world but there was more to shea butter. The history behind it was intriguing.
Africa’s beauty secret
Shea butter was Africa’s beauty secret long before we found out about it. For centuries it has been used to protect and smooth the hair and skin of African women. And not only is it still used for dry skin, wrinkles, sun protection, stretch marks, diaper rashes and such. It is also used as a soap basis, as a cooking oil and the French are using it to make chocolate.
Even more interesting is the fact that it’s called “women’s gold” because the making and trading of this healthy butter is in women’s hands. African women from Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Togo, manually gather the nuts from the shea tree, dry, crush and heat them to make them into this wonderful moisturizing butter.
Different kinds of Shea
Needless to say that I went on a search to find this “magical” shea butter to protect and moisture my natural naps. The first couple of shea butters that I bought were a little disappointing. I found out there are different kinds of what they call “pure” shea butter. There is a yellow kind, mixed with palm oil, hence the color, there is the refined kind and then there is real pure shea butter.
The yellow kind didn’t work for me. The butter was just sitting on my hair and gave it a greasy feel but the strands would not really absorb the stuff. The refined shea butter was white, odorless and grainy and didn’t do much for my hair either. Now I think vendors rather sell the yellow and the refined kind to people unfamiliar with pure shea butter to be safe. They know that most people are not familiar with natural scents and refined shea butter and the yellow kind are almost odorless.
When I finally found the real thing I knew what I had been reading about instantly. Pure shea butter is creamy, in between gray/white of color and has a nutty smell. Only this pure naturally prepared butter has all the qualities the web pages were raving about. The minute I rubbed it on my hand to try it, my skin felt smooth and soft and the smell evaporated almost immediately.
At home I rubbed it on to my freshly washed hair and o what a difference did it make. My wide tooth comb went smoother then ever through my naps and pure shea butter is a staple ever since. I use it on my skin, to moisture my strands and to protect the ends.
Now you can shop Shea Butter products at WhatNaturalsLove.com