Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I <3 SHEA BUTTER
Oh, how I've missed you!
I hope you've been thinking of me, too. Where have I been? Well, for starters, I've been falling in love with Shea Butter.
Shea butter or shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory colored natural fat extracted from the fruit of the Shea tree which grows in 19 countries across the African continent. Shea butter is a remarkable moisturizer and emollient. Shea butter is effective at treating the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretchmarks, wrinkles, and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis. Shea butter also provides natural ultra-violet sun protection, although the level of protection is extremely variable, ranging from none at all to approximately SPF 6. Shea butter absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. Shea butter is known for its skin softening effect, and when applied to kinky/curly hair, it adds moisture to dry brittle hair, and helps retain softness and prevent breakage. WOW!
This Atlanta Curly buys her Shea butter locally. If you can't find Shea butter in your area, here are some great on-line sites recommended by my cyber sistas over at naturallycurly.com.
Shea butter, how do I use thee? Let me count the ways...
My absolute favorite recipe is whipped Shea Butter. Shea butter is a semi-hard butter. When allowed to soften slightly (using a microwave or double boiler), Shea butter can be blended with oils and whipped with a hand mixer until creamy. You can use this heavenly cream from head to toe. I like to add Coconut Oil, Olive Oil, Almond Oil, and Vitamin E Oil. Sometimes I add Aloe Vera Gel. The combinations are endless! I've also read where others add coconut milk. Yum! You can add a few drops of your favorite essential oil for fragrance. Rosemary and Peppermint oils encourage hair growth. You control the ingredients so you know that what you're using is 100% natural. Here's a recipe that you can adjust to suit your needs:
8 oz. tub of Shea butter
1/2 C Coconut Oil
1/3C Aloe Vera Gel
1/4 C combined oils
Other ways this kinky girl enjoys her Shea:
2. Straight from the tub, I emulsify a liberal amount between my palms and apply it to freshly washed hair after I apply a lighter leave-in conditioner
3. The best eye cream
4. For lips, it's the balm
5. Cuticle and hand cream
6. Melt 2-3 TB with 2-3 TB of coconut oil and add to 4 oz. of your favorite body moisturizer (in another container) to kick it up a notch. I use Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Lotion
7. Smoothed over dry hair to lay down those edges
8. Mix 2 TB melted Shea butter, 1 TB coconut oil with 8 oz. alcohol-free hair gel ( one with moisturizing aloe works well). This cream gives the most ridiculous waves and springy coils without the crunch. I like Fantasia IC Hair Poilisher Styling Gel with Sparkle Lites
9. I use the smallest amount on my dry skin (face) before I brave the low morning temps
You must try this wonderful moisturizer for yourself. Leave a comment and let me know what new ways you find to use it. Until next time...