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View Full Version : Tell me about shea butter!



Gwen
May 18th, 2011, 07:05 PM
I keep coming across people who use shea butter. What is it? How do you use it?

I've seen it on the shelf in stores, but I don't know if it's any good. Have you tried it? What were your results... Softer hair? Length?

Thanks!
Gwen

MissManda
May 18th, 2011, 07:52 PM
I've never tried plain shea butter, but I'd like to sometime. :) I'm currently using a conditioner that has shea butter as one of the main ingredients and my hair absolutely loves it, especially as a leave-in. It definitely increased the softness of my hair.

Sundial
May 19th, 2011, 03:59 AM
I have tried it on it's own and find it too heavy for me. My hair doesn't seem to absorb it well and it makes my hair oily and stringy. Also, I find application hard because Shea butter is somewhat sticky in its solid form. I did try whipping it into a cream form but it is still a challenge to apply compared to oil, so I just applied it to my hair ends.

Since I didn't like it very much on its own, I used it in other stuff that requires shea butter (like caramel treatment and fox's conditioning cream) just to use up the stuff. Not something that I intend to repurchase

Firefox7275
May 19th, 2011, 04:07 AM
Shea butter is a solid sticky oil somewhere between cow's butter and coconut oil in texture, and my eczema loves it! :D You can get refined or unrefined, the latter containing various compounds and nutrients with healing properties and has a low SPF. I find it difficult to distribute on hair, easier if you combine with a light conditioner or a liquid oil tho, it melts well with the warmth of skin. Nothing you apply to the ends is going to increase growth rate.

jasper
May 19th, 2011, 05:55 AM
I like it because it will stay solid in warmer temperatures than coconut oil. Coconut oil on a shelf in my house is liquid in the jar unless it is the dead of winter. I have used it on hair and skin, and I don't find it heavy and I do find it well absorbed. My results are softer, smoother hair and skin. I think it can help retain moisture as a sealant, if that makes sense.

I use it by warming a small amount in my hands before applying it. Small amount for hair is about a fingertip worth: just enough to feel a film on my palms as I warm it up. I have also used a larger amount as part of a mixture when doing a deep treatment like the caramel treatment.

Gwen
May 19th, 2011, 06:05 AM
So... Is the stuff in the stores (for example, if Pantene made it) be the same?

CrystalStar
May 19th, 2011, 06:22 AM
So... Is the stuff in the stores (for example, if Pantene made it) be the same?

You'd have to check the ingredients! The shea butter many people round here use is pure, often unrefined shea butter. You might find if pantene made it they'd put in some chemicals and whatnot that might not favour your hair as much as pure shea butter. :)

I use it myself on my ends when my ends are feeling rebelious!

Dina L.
May 19th, 2011, 06:42 AM
I use unrefined shea butter on my eczema and on my very dry skin. Sometimes I also put (a very little) on my face, my skin just loves it! :)

jojo
May 19th, 2011, 07:40 AM
Its way to heavy for my fine hair, makes it greasy and lank :(

Juanita
May 19th, 2011, 08:09 AM
I love it. use it on my hair ends and on my dry skin. Keeps me beautifly moisturised. Did I say I love it.

Delila
May 19th, 2011, 12:27 PM
The shea butter I have is pure shea, nothing else. Very thick and rich.

Shea butter and camellia oil are the only two my hair and skin seem to like. Because it's kind of thick, I find it best to use it sparingly, or mixed in with conditioner.

Most recently I've been using it just for skin, in winter it's a nice treat.

Becky Safari
May 19th, 2011, 12:39 PM
Shea butter is great at first for my hair but then it builds up really easily.

EmiliaF
May 19th, 2011, 01:54 PM
I just got my first jar of shea butter last weekend. My skin loves it and is actually the first thing that has kept it moisturized for the entire day.
I have tried it on my hair, but it makes it stringy and weird. I am planning to try mixing it with different oils/AVG/glycerin to make a nice leave-in, once I get my new order of supplies... hopefully sometime next week.

So, I am not giving up yet, just need time to experiment....:stirpot:

Intransigentia
May 19th, 2011, 03:04 PM
I find straight shea butter is a bit heavy for my hair. But for skin!!! I mix it 50-50 with lotion, or use it straight, on my heels and elbows and dry cracky bits, and it does wonders.

littlenvy
May 19th, 2011, 03:12 PM
What everyone else said.
Shea butter has to be pure. In its pure form its solid and it contains loads of good things including vitamins. :) It is amazing on skin.
On hair it depends on your type and how you use it. It does not absorb but it does smooth the hair shaft.
I use it mostly on my skin and sometimes as a smoothing treatment for dry ends or frizz control.

Intransigentia
May 19th, 2011, 03:54 PM
Oh that reminds me, if you're buying shea butter in the hair aisle, be sure to read the ingredients!

In my grocery store's Black/African haircare section, there are a number of products that say Shea on them. One is pure, unrefined organic shea butter. The others do contain some shea, but also stuff like mineral oil. Buyer beware.

Viscountess
May 19th, 2011, 04:10 PM
I can't use shea butter on my hair, as many others have said, its just too heavy

BUT I love it on my cuticles! I put shea on my cuticles at night and my fingers just drink it in!

Jean Stuart
May 19th, 2011, 04:34 PM
I love shea butter. A little goes a long way. It makes my ends feel smooth and healthy. I use it plain or mix up some Fox's conditioning cream. It blends well with coconut oil too. Of course if I go crazy it can make my hair look greasy.

JaneinMarch
May 19th, 2011, 05:50 PM
Anita Grant has the best shea butter I've ever used. Before her I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Arya
May 19th, 2011, 05:51 PM
Smells a bit like latex, but is the most amazing thing for your skin ever. Ever ever. It's anti-inflammatory, and acts as a moisture barrier, and 100% edible (if it's 100% pure). Slap it on your skin after a shower and prepare to feel happy hydrated skin alll day. worth it's weight in gold.

aspartame gram
May 21st, 2011, 12:54 PM
I just bought some on a whim - they had some at the Walgreens - and I used just a fingertip's worth of it. WOW. My hair is a looot softer. It felt a bit course, I'm assuming, from the massive amounts of humidity and putting a little bit of this on helped incredibly. I'm thinking that smaller amounts work best since its consistency is somewhat sticky and thick. Maybe if I keep it to small amounts it won't build up too much? I also read on the naturally curly site that some women suspect that using shea butter alone can cause breakage? Anyone know about this?

misslicorice
May 21st, 2011, 10:44 PM
I love shea butter! :D I get shea nilotica, which is a less solid, easier to spread variety, from SheaTerraOrganics.com. Once a week, I leave it in my hair overnight, then wash it out the next morning. It's great for a deep conditioning treatment, and I love that I can use the same product on my skin (even on my face). They also send out 30% off coupons with their newsletter.

aspartame gram
May 24th, 2011, 11:48 PM
Oo, good to know everyone's had positive reviews (well, mostly).

Scarlet_Heart
September 3rd, 2011, 07:44 PM
Where is the best place to buy shea butter? I haven't seen it at Walmart or the drugstores. Is it somewhere other than the hair section? Maybe I should look by the lotions? :confused:

Also, what's better: refined or unrefined? Help!

Lianna
September 3rd, 2011, 07:50 PM
I have pure shea butter. I can only use a little bit, helps with softness but it's so thick it's difficult to apply. Oils are way easier, but shea butter is still good.

Didn't help me with any skin problems though, let's just say it wasn't the miracle I read about.

dRummie
September 3rd, 2011, 08:48 PM
It's a godsend for my eczema. It's the only moisturizer I've been able to use at night without waking up to horrible itching.

As for hair, mine seems to like it. I can use it for taming frizz. I tried putting it on my ends at night, too, and it seemed to be going well, but then I got buildup and some damage from that. So if you decide to use a lot of it or use it regularly, be aware that you may need to clarify :)

Viscountess
September 3rd, 2011, 09:01 PM
I can't use it on my hair but I put in on my cuticles every night and rub it in. works wonders in this dry, dry climate!!

Maktub
September 3rd, 2011, 10:00 PM
I love LOVE shea butter !!

only thing I put on my skin, works like magic and doesnt create any "dependance" compared to other creams or oils.

My hair likes it too, I'm experimenting with it right now. seems to work best for my curls on a little applied to damp hair.

it has amazing properties !

lacrymosa777
September 4th, 2011, 04:19 AM
just bought some...unrefined one.....i whipped it with some castor oil and grapeseed oil........the shea butter itself is really greasy.........but my hair liked it........i HATE the smell though

lacrymosa777
September 4th, 2011, 04:21 AM
Where is the best place to buy shea butter? I haven't seen it at Walmart or the drugstores. Is it somewhere other than the hair section? Maybe I should look by the lotions? :confused:

Also, what's better: refined or unrefined? Help!

you can get it online

like here for instance

http://www.butters-n-bars.com/

Theobroma
September 4th, 2011, 04:54 AM
I love shea butter on my ends! As people have said, it's a bit difficult to apply because it's quite hard at room temperature, but I scrape up a little bit with my fingernail and melt it in my palms, then rub it on the last 30% or so of my length. It makes my ends feel much smoother, and I seem to have the kind of texture that doesn't end up being weighed down, so I can actually use quite a bit of shea without looking stringy or greasy.

luthein
September 4th, 2011, 08:31 AM
I use Nightblooming's Panacea, which contains a shea butter blend. It really helps with my crunchy ends.

Tigermama
September 4th, 2011, 09:39 AM
Shea butter has really evened out my face wrinkles and skin tone. A very thin layer on my face and lips right out of the shower is perfect. I also use it to seal each curl as a final step in my heat free drying routine. Just a thin film on my fingers and then I coat each strand of hair. It does make it a bit greasy but I only do this when it is going up, and if it has been dry. I get great results. I order the organic type from Vitacost, one tub lasts me a year.

Scarlet_Heart
September 4th, 2011, 11:02 AM
Is refined or unrefined better?

Aredhel77
September 4th, 2011, 11:17 AM
Is refined or unrefined better?

I have used both (sparingly, on my hair and skin) and they seemed to me to have equally emollient properties. Refined is odourless (the stuff I bought looked suspiciously like lard, lol). However unrefined contains naturally occurring vitamins and a low SPF (sun protection factor), as someone else mentioned earlier. I'm currently using unrefined shea butter mixed with unrefined cocoa butter as a facial moisturiser and it works pretty well.

Scarlet_Heart
September 4th, 2011, 12:40 PM
I have used both (sparingly, on my hair and skin) and they seemed to me to have equally emollient properties. Refined is odourless (the stuff I bought looked suspiciously like lard, lol). However unrefined contains naturally occurring vitamins and a low SPF (sun protection factor), as someone else mentioned earlier. I'm currently using unrefined shea butter mixed with unrefined cocoa butter as a facial moisturiser and it works pretty well.

Thank you for the info! :)

Is the smell of unrefined unpleasant? If not, that sounds like the way to go.

Aredhel77
September 5th, 2011, 04:01 AM
I've heard the smell can vary from nutty to smoky! The stuff I tried smelled ok, more 'nutty' I'd say. Not unpleasant - and it didn't linger once I'd applied it :blossom: