Worthy Products: Shea Butter

shea butterShea butter is definitely a worthy product. Coming from the Karite Nut tree native to West Africa, it is truly one of God’s great gifts to man. This natural moisturizer and emollient (softening or soothing agent) can be used for a host of personal care needs. It is the first natural product we will spotlight here because it has become a staple in my household since starting my worth campaign. I certainly would not be as well-equipped on my journey to authenticity if I did not have it in my cabinet. So, let’s get into the nitty gritty.

Shea Butter for Hair

You have probably heard about it before but Shea butter has everything one needs for hair care. It is a moisturizer, sealant, emollient, and general dryness solver. I have been using it on my natural tresses for almost a year now  and have noticed a major difference in the texture, feel, and suppleness of my twist-outs and flat twists. Here are a few things that work for me.

First, I made a Shea butter whip as my leave-in conditioner and styling tool. Here is my recipe.

Shea Leave-in/Styling Whip:

1 cup Shea butter (8 oz.)

1 cup Shea Moisture Retention Condish

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 tbsp jojoba oil

1/2 tbsp of castor oil

Because my hair is so thick, many leave-in conditioners do little to properly moisturize my hair after washing. But, with a little pumping up, a thin leave-in or your favorite condish can turn into a valuable hair go to item. Additionally, I am able to stretch my conditioner longer by mixing it with the products above. I mix my whip after letting my Shea butter melt a bit on the counter. Then, it is malleable enough to mix freely.

Second, Shea butter is great as a sealant for ends after washing. I like to make a thicker version of my whip by excluding the condish, adding another 4 ounces of Shea Butter, and doubling the jojoba oil. And, if I am feeling spicy I will add some organic sweet almond oil. But, the key ingredient in my sealant is the Shea butter. It softens hair without leaving it feeling greasy or weighted down. The sealant is great when flat twisting to keep the twists from getting fuzzy over the week. And, sometimes I use my sealant during the week to re-twist my hair. I can’t live without the stuff.

Shea Butter for Body

Truthfully, I almost prefer Shea butter for its benefits for my skin than for my hair. I have extremely dry skin and hair. It is hereditary and eczema runs in my family (on both sides). Growing up using lanolin, petrolatum, silicones, and other non-moisturizing, chemically-based products, I always suffered with dryness and darker spots on my elbows and knees. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I discovered how great Shea butter was in softening rough elbows, knees, and feet. In my opinion, it is even better than cocoa butter. Here are my body recipes.

Shea Butter Body Balm:

2 cups Shea butter (16 oz)

2 tbsp jojoba oil (or your favorite light oil)

1 tbsp coconut oil

little bit of EVOO (for smoothness)

a drop of pure lavender oil or sweet orange oil

The key with this balm is adding the oil little by little until the balm reaches your desired consistency. For me, I prefer it a little smoother so I can use it in place of lotion.

This balm is fabulous! I haven’t had any issues with dryness since I started using it. And, my husband has started using it too. I mix his without the lavender and he has seen his old football scars fade in just a few months. I haven’t purchased a bottle of Jergen’s or Vaseline since using this homemade product. And, I have saved a lot of money on personal care products.

Shea butter works well for stretch marks, old scars, dryness, and skin irritation. I would recommend it for anyone looking for natural solutions to healthy, glowing skin.

Shea Butter for Baby

Natural organic Shea butter is THE answer for irritated, eczema prone baby skin. My daughter was born with cradle cap and tough eczema all over her body. She saw dermatologists and pediatricians and was prescribed medications to help with her skin. We tried Eucerin, specialized eczema creams, Aveeno, and just about everything else under the sun. But, when I started seeing the benefits of Shea butter for my skin and hair, I began mixing milder versions for my baby girl. She was about 8 months when I started using organic Shea butter and oils on her skin. And, within two weeks, her eczema completely cleared up. She had previously had eczema on her back, arms, legs, face and stomach. And, she literally healed in a few weeks.

I also use it on her 4b/4c afro textured hair. When styling, I frequently slick her edges down with the sealant (recipe above). And, after washing her hair, I add whip and style her hair in six little buns so that it will dry stretched and moisturized. Her hair has grown immensely since I started using it. And, the Shea butter leaves her hair moisturized for days, which is great since most 1-year-olds are not really into the hair styling thing.

She is now 18 months old and we haven’t gone back to using any store-bought products. And, we only use her medication if she has an allergic reaction to food. In all, my whole family has benefited immensely from Shea butter. If you haven’t tried it yet and have issues with hair or body dryness, I would say buy it YESTERDAY.

The key is getting high quality, genuine Shea butter. I only purchase mine from Butters-N-Bars (they are not paying me to say this). Quality Shea butter will not be gritty or overly smelly. And, it won’t be dark or golden unless it has been refined and had some other filler products added. Always use organic unrefined Shea butter to enjoy all the benefits this product has to offer. It’s worth it!worthSignature

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