Is Shea Butter an Effective Moisturizer?

Shea Butter is a HOT commodity in natural hair care. SheaMoisture, Jane Carter, Karen’s Body Beautiful, Carol’s Daughter, Shea Radiance, Cantu and more and more companies are using shea butter in their products.

I know for a fact that my hair loves Shea Butter because when I use Shea Butter my hair feels soft, luscious, and has a great sheen. But I know that many naturals have complained that Shea Butter is too heavy and seems to just sit on top of the hair. If this is the case for you, you may be using too much. Sometimes we are heavy handed and feel the need to use ample amount of product on our hair, but in reality, with many butters and products in general, a little goes a long way.

Does shea butter work magic on your hair and scalp?


Here are some of its chief benefits:

Shea butter provides moisture to dry and damaged hair from the roots to the tips, leaving it healthy and shiny. Because it’s rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter soothes dryness, repairs breakage, and mends split ends.

Shea butter absorbs quickly and completely into the scalp without clogging pores, leaving a greasy residue, or causing a buildup of oil or dandruff.  Shea butter helps heal a variety of scalp problems, including dry scalp, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis.  Shea butter protects hair from weather damage caused by wind, humidity, and extreme dryness, and repairs such damage.

Because it’s rich in moisture and can shield against harmful ultraviolet radiation, shea butter protects hair from sun damage.  If your hair has endured chemical treatments, hot irons, and blow-dryers, shea butter can restore its moisture and vitality.

Why Use Shea Butter for Hair Care?

As it is full of minerals, vitamins, moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, shea butter’s benefits for hair are many. Its anti-inflammatory properties heal damaged scalp and help clear any infection. It works well against dandruff too. It can do wonders for hair that has been damaged by excessive coloring and blow-drying. It also helps to de-stress hair that has been affected for too long by pollution. Damaged and brittle hair can be conditioned and revitalized by its moisturizing properties. It soothes and softens dry hair. As it is light and non-greasy, it can also be applied as a leave-in for hair. This will help to shield hair by locking or concealing hair moisture. Besides being great for dry hair, it helps to nourish normal hair and it’s non-greasy, easy spread property helps to control excess moisture in oily hair. Its use for hair growth is quite popular due to its rejuvenating minerals and vitamins.

Try this Shea Butter Recipe

100 gr Shea butter (I used refined shea butter, if you have unrefined shea butter it’s even better!)
20 gr Apricot kernel oil (or any light and easily absorbing oil)
40 gr Corn starch (this helps in feeling little bit less oily on the skin, but of course, since this butter is made 100% by butters and oils and there is no water inside, the buttery feeling cannot disappear)
20 drops Lemongrass essential oil
10 drops Rosemary essential oil
(this was my own choice of essential oils: lemongrass to feel fresh and rosemary for the antibacterial properties that, since this butter was meant for foot, were quite needed for a good results)

- Simply melt the Shea butter in a double boier (not completely, just melt half of it and let the remaining heat melt the rest. This way all the good properties of Shea butter won’t fade away!).
- Add the apricot kernel oil
- Whip the oils, as if you were whipping some cream
If the oils are too hot you can whip them, put them in the fridge for few minutes, whip them again… until you are satisfied with the consistency.
- When the oils are properly whipped and they have cooled down you can add your essential oils and the corn starch!
- Mix all the ingredients with a spoon
- Put them in a jar

Source¹ Source² Source³

About Jenell

Jenell Stewart, is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of www.KinkyCurlyCoilyMe.com. Jenell has a MS in special education and dedicates her time to educating and uplifting women with kinky, curly, coily hair. She big chopped on March 26, 2010 and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and baby boy.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=697955933 Undine NapturalBeauti Hunt

    My hair loves Shea Butter, and I love that I make my own whipped Shea Butter mixture now!! I’m truly loving my natural hair journey and I’m also a product junkie, especially if the product has Shea Butter in it, I’m definitely buying it! :)

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      I love me some shea butter too! Exactly why my favorite product line is SheaMoisture!

    • http://www.naturallycurly.com/ blessed_coils

      This is definitely me…lol. I love Shea butter, I first got introduced to it in 2005, I had a terrible dog bit on my leg and it left this ugly scar. So I used raw Shea butter and it has blended the scar into my original complexion n

  • http://yepthisishowifeel.blogspot.com/ ahutton61

    I love it also and have created my own hair and body butters from it. I ordered a butter trio shea-mango-coco and will soon be making even more wonderful butter products as Christmas gift for my Mother, Daughter and Sisters this year. My favorite is a mix of shea, coconut oil and castor oil. I call it my coco-shea mix and it is wonderful. I have stopped using curl gels because a little aloe water spritz to my hair in the morning and followed by a leave-in and my coco-shea mix gives me the same results and I have 4b-c hair!

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful

      You go girl! I love when people learn their hair.

  • Elaine B.

    How do you store your mixes? Great article by the way.

  • Danielle Benson

    I use shea butter as well. Not just on my hair but my skin as well! Its just an all aorund great product :)

    • http://kinkycurlycoilyme.com/ Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful


  • http://www.facebook.com/glamshelly Shelly-Ann Elizabeth Cameron

    I suffer from eczema and gave up on doctors. Shea butter mix with coconut oil and aloe Vera gel is my savior. Visit my blog http://www.glamnaturallife.com

    • 1Sewwhat

      Omg, seriously? I had a really bad allergic reaction that triggered my eczema. Eczema that hasn’t reared its ugly head since I was a child. I am running out to get my shea buter NOW! Thank you!

  • Kendra

    Man this post makes me want to become a mixtress in the kitchen!!! I have made some cool recipes but for some reason I haven’t really tried any of them yet :( I am a 4a with really springy, very fine and very porous curls and I know my hair LOVES Shea butter. I got some unrefined Shea butter when I was in Nigeria with my family and I’ve used it a couple times on some twist outs and I definitely use SheaMoisture products as well.

  • Kendra

    Jenell, where do you buy your refined Shea butter from? Or do you know of any good stirs/websites where I can stock up?

  • cb

    mango shea butter mix is good for the skin…my hair is extremely thin, fine for shea butter…but mango is perfect

    • Kameeka Burke

      mango butter is nice, i whip it with shea and illipe butter. its a very good mixture

  • Anita

    I am currently using a shea butter mix, it works great on my hair but my face will break out…can suggest any other moisturizers?

  • shenika

    I love shea butter! it is something I will always have around in my collection of hair goodies. Thanks for suggesting corn starch to make it less oily, I never thought of that! Check out my post on how much I love shea butter and the new butter in my life lol x


  • http://www.ugochi-jolomi.com/ Ugochi

    Thanks a lot Jenell, but I have a few questions. Is Shea butter a good product for hair conditioning as in steaming? Have you written any post on various ways we can use the product?

  • SistaWithCurls

    Thanks for the infor.

  • queenbee9


    Moisturizers are water suspended in oils and conditioners so that the water in them is released at a slower rate along with things to soften hair or skin (emollients and conditioners)
    Does Shea Butter contain water? NO? Then it is not a good moisturizer.

    Shea Butter is a good emollient (hair softener) , a great sealer, and a great conditioning oil but it is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER a moisturizer. Use it mixed with other oils or conditioning products to impart luster or sheen or softening agents but NEVER try to use it to replace water–it is not possible.

    • Marcia Lissemore

      I used it after spraying my hair with water to hold the moisture in.

    • itsallinmyhands.com


  • Marcia Lissemore

    Thanks for the recipe Jenell, I’ll have to give that a go one day :-) . It’s totally different to the one I make, as I make them custom tailored to my hairs needs at the time.

    • itsallinmyhands.com

      This is not a good recipe.
      The recipe is mine and she posted it without even checking the mistakes which I mentioned at the end of my post.
      It takes some days and then it becomes solid again because it is not well balanced with oils and butter.
      The thing is that after this recipe I started making real creams and that’s why I never corrected it (because, as queenbee9 underlines just under this post: shea butter alone is not a moisturizer. Water and butters need to be emulsified, therefore making a cream, to actually be moisturizing).
      Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • https://www.facebook.com/yasmine.amaya Yasmine Amaya

    Just bought some shea butter , I’m going to try this next

  • itsallinmyhands

    Sorry but you think that copying a recipe of someone else and post it as if it was your own (just adding it as “third source” and without even mentioning whose recipe you are using) is ok?
    This is not a correct behavior.

    You even used the picture without asking.
    Shame on you.