The Benefits of Shea Butter for Skin and Hair

Have you ever wondered what makes shea butter so unique?

This blog post will reveal all the extraordinary advantages this remarkable ingredient offers, from skin and hair health benefits to different forms and how to choose one for yourself.

By the end, you'll know everything there is to know about shea butter!

Shea Butter

What is Shea Butter

Shea butter is an all-natural fat extracted from the African shea tree's nut. For centuries in Africa, it's been used for its skin and hair care properties.

The primary fatty acids in shea butter include oleic acid, stearic acid, and linoleic acid, giving it unique moisturizing, nourishing, and anti-inflammatory qualities.

Health Benefits of Shea Butter

Shea butter has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for various skin conditions. Shea butter's fatty acids and vitamins make it an excellent moisturizer, helping keep skin hydrated and supple. Furthermore, shea butter may effectively treat eczema, psoriasis, and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Shea butter is not only beneficial for the skin, but it can also benefit your hair. Shea butter's vitamins and fatty acids nourish and protect hair, keeping it healthy and looking its best. Furthermore, shea butter helps control frizziness - an ideal choice for those with curly or unruly locks.

Ways to Use Shea Butter

There are numerous ways to utilize shea butter to improve skin and hair health. For example, you can apply it directly onto skin or hair or add it to lotions, creams, shampoos, and conditioners - you might even find some shea butter in soaps and cosmetics!

Different Types of Shea Butter

Raw shea butter is the purest form of shea butter and has not been processed or refined in any way. It is cold-pressed from an African shea tree nut and typically has a yellowish color and nutty smell. Raw shea butter remains solid at room temperature but melts when exposed to warm skin.

Raw shea butter contains natural vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids that benefit skin and hair. These include vitamins A, E, and F and phytosterols. Plus, it's rich in stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid for added moisture retention.

Refined Shea Butter

Refined shea butter has been processed to remove impurities and increase its melting point to remain solid at room temperature.

Typically white or ivory in color, with no strong scent. While not as beneficial as raw shea butter due to this processing step, refined shea butter still offers many beneficial qualities.

Refined shea butter contains fewer natural vitamins and fatty acids than raw shea butter but still provides beneficial sources of stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and palmitic acid.

As such, refined shea butter may be better suited to sensitive skin since it is less likely to irritate them than raw forms.

Unrefined Shea Butter

Unrefined shea butter has been lightly processed to remove impurities while maintaining its natural nutrients and moisture-locking properties.

It typically has a yellowish hue with an earthy aroma similar to raw shea butter; however, the extraction of kernels from nuts may give off a slightly smoky aroma.

Unrefined shea butter remains solid at room temperature but melts rapidly upon contact with skin that's even slightly warm.

Like raw shea butter, unrefined shea butter contains all of the natural vitamins and fatty acids that are beneficial for skin and hair growth, including vitamins A, E, F, phytosterols, and stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid.

Because these essential nutrients have not been stripped away during processing, unrefined shea butter may be even more beneficial than raw shea butter for your skin and hair than its natural form.

How to Select the Ideal Shea Butter for You

When selecting shea butter, it is essential to consider its purity.

Much commercial shea butter on the market today may not be pure.

It may contain other ingredients, such as petroleum jelly, beeswax, or artificial fragrances, which may negate some of the advantages of shea butter.

Therefore, when selecting a product containing shea butter, ensure it has only 100% pure butter.

In addition to product purity, you should also consider the quality of shea butter.

High-grade shea butter tends to be ivory in color with a smooth and creamy texture; it should also have an irresistibly nutty smell.

On the other hand, lower-quality butter may have yellow or green hues with grainy textures as well as unpleasant odors.

How to Store Shea Butter

Once you've chosen high-quality, pure shea butter, storing it properly for maximum effectiveness is essential.

Shea butter can become rancid if exposed to heat or light for prolonged periods; thus, keeping your butter in an area such as a cupboard or pantry is best.

Keep your shea butter in the refrigerator to prevent melting in warm climates.


Shea butter is an ideal natural product to improve skin and hair health.

Various types of shea butter are available, so you can pick one that meets your requirements best.

Just read the labels carefully, so you know you're getting quality ingredients.

Harry Lattimore
Harry Lattimore

Hi, I'm Harry. I'm a chef and writer who lives in New York City. I grew up in the South and love to travel, so you'll often find me in one of those places—or in my kitchen, cooking up new recipes. Follow me on Twitter!