Shea Butter for Hair: 5 Ways To Use It

Shea Butter for Hair: 5 Ways To Use It
by Benny Quinto

Dry hair? Split ends? Locks that won't grow past your shoulders?

There's a reason why people use shea butter for hair. It's because this stuff works. Really well. Largely because of all its vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter is a moisturizing masterpiece that's excellent for nourishing hair. Your hair care routine should definitely include it if you want super soft, healthy hair. 

You can use it as a conditioner or a mask. Either way, your hair strands will love this stuff!


Shea butter, also known as karite, is a healthy fat obtained from the nuts of the shea tree in west Africa. Africans have been using this stuff for centuries - in food, skin products, traditional medicines, soaps and shampoos. It has only recently gained popularity throughout north America for its slew of beauty benefits. 

Rich in vitamin a, vitamin e and vitamin f, as well as essential fatty acids and antioxidants, African shea butter offers both hydrating and healing properties, making it super effective at alleviating dry hair and soothing itchy scalp. 

While coconut oil is also great for hair care, not everybody reacts as well to it as shea butter. For some people, coconut oil can simply be too greasy and in some cases, too irritating for the scalp. Raw shea butter, on the other hand, can serve as a powerful, yet gentle moisturizer that nourishes the hair and scalp. 


Shea butter is commonly used to treat skin care complaints. However, it is just as effective at combating hair complaints and promoting hair health. Thanks to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, unrefined shea butter can treat a variety of issues such as dry hair and irritated scalp. Let's take a look at the top five uses of shea butter for hair.


Softens hair

With its high content of vitamins and essential fatty acids, shea butter offers emollient properties to lock in moisture, acting as a sealant to keep your tresses hydrated. By coating your natural hair in a generous layer of fat, the butter keeps the hair shaft and strands smooth, soft, and healthy. If you've used hair products that claim to soften before, you'll already know that the softening effects are temporary. With regular use of shea butter as a conditioner, the results can be permanent. And the best part is, it won't result in product build up. 

Apply a small amount of raw shea butter into your palms and rub it between your fingers until it becomes more like a liquid. Coat your hair strands with the natural oil on either wet or dry hair, then use a comb to ensure it is dispersed evenly. 


Tames frizz

All those fatty acids in shea butter are excellent for taming frizz and increasing shine. So if you're struggling to keep your frizz at bay, this nourishing nutty butter can help significantly in smoothing down your hair. It kind of acts like a lotion for your hair. You know how you slap on lotion to ease dry skin? Well, you can also slather on shea butter like a lotion to tame frizz and dryness. It's also great as a styling ingredient to get rid of flyaways and secure a beautiful, well-kept mane. Frizzy hair can be really difficult to manage, but this diy nut butter conditioner works wonders in keeping your mane manageable.


Prevents breakage

In order to help hair recover, you're going to need to use a deeply hydrating conditioner packed with omega 6 and omega 9. Shea butter contains both. The best way to use it is like an overnight hair mask. This way, all its goodness can soak into your strands and promote strong and healthy hair while you sleep. 

Apply two tablespoons of unrefined shea butter into the roots and ends of your hair. If you have very thick hair, add another tablespoon. Massage the butter into your scalp and all the way down to your ends. Cover your hair with a shower cap, keep it in overnight and wash your hair the next morning using a gentle shampoo. You can also mix shea butter with coconut oil and rosemary essential oil to make an extra moisturizing hair treatment.


Soothes scalp

As a natural product with anti-inflammatory properties, shea nut butter can be used to treat dry scalp, dandruff and irritation without clogging the pores. It's suitable for all hair types - even if it's color treated. You can also mix it with avocado oil, castor oil or jojoba oil for added hydrating effects.

Using room temperature shea butter, massage the natural oil into your scalp for 3-5 minutes. Leave it on overnight if you have severely dry scalp. If you just want to perk up your hair and soothe any irritation, leave it on for 15-20 minutes before washing off with a gentle shampoo followed up by a conditioner. 


Stimulates hair growth 

Sick of your hair staying at that outgrown bob stage? Shea butter rejuvenates weak hair follicles, hydrates the scalp and strengthens strands to promote healthy hair growth. It can also prevent hair loss. This is all thanks to its high vitamin content and essential fatty acids that quite literally feed the hair. 

Mix a few teaspoons of shea butter together with 1 tablespoon or jojoba oil and a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil. Coat your hair and scalp with the mixture and massage it in well. Keep it in overnight before washing off the next morning. For best results, do this 1-2 times per week. Your hair should make it past your shoulders in no time!


As wonderful as shea butter is for the skin, we also shouldn't miss out on its helpful hair benefits. From diminishing dry hair to speeding up hair growth, there are so many benefits of using shea butter for hair. To ensure you get the most out of this nut oil, make sure you make it a regular part of your hair care routine. If you're only going to use it once every few months, you're not going to get the results you desire. It's definitely more effective if you use it regularly. 



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