Soft hair is hard to come by, but with a miracle-worker like shea butter, as sworn by the famous Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o, the search is officially off for mother nature’s conditioner.
Shea butter has recently been introduced as the main ingredient in many hair products for its unbelievable conditioning benefits for the hair.
With an extensive history, it was about time today’s hair industry recognised its potential.
The native shea tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa) itself was discovered thousands of years ago around tropic parts of East and West Africa including Senegal, Ethiopia and Sudan.
Shea butter was used for its healing properties amongst Africans all the way back to not only when Cleopatra reigned but the Queen of Sheba too.
The process of creating shea butter is a long and difficult procedure.
It begins by extracting the shea nut from the fruits of the shea tree.
The nuts are then cleaned, dried, crushed and boiled to produce a fatty paste which rises to the top and is manually manipulated to reveal the beloved shea butter.
According to a study by Healthline, the benefits of shea butter for haircare are mainly in its moisturising and conditioning abilities.
Shea butter is rich in essential fatty acids which help to restore the natural moisture that may be lost from over-use of high-heat intensive hair tools.
These fatty acids also work to tame frizzy hair and promote hair shine.
Shea butter also contains vitamin A and vitamin E which can help to strengthen hair and fix any split ends or hair breakage in general.
For dry and itchy scalps, shea butter works as a wonderful conditioning treatment as it has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the scalp’s surface without leaving an oily residue.
The BB Team took it upon themselves to road-test some of the top shea butter hair products in the market right now, and here is what they had to say.
Maui Moisture Heal and Hydrate + Shea Butter
BB Writer Anisha Rapthi said:
“After only one wash with this Maui Moisture shampoo and conditioner, I could already see a massive improvement with my hair. My hair is naturally wavy, slightly frizzy and a little bit dry. After using these products for a month my hair has never felt healthier. The shea butter helped to not only nourish my hair but tame my frizz and give it a healthy shine. The shea butter also worked to mend my split ends and has given me the softest hair I’ve had in a while.”
RRP: $44 for both shampoo and conditioner.
Shea Moisture Argan Oil and Almond Milk Smooth + Tame
BB Founder Renae Leith-Manos said:
“Multiple balayages have damaged my hair, but this product pair is getting it back to what it was. The shampoo feels enriching and moisturising when I use it, so I usually shampoo twice, and really lather it up the second time. I also leave it on the hair for at least 60 seconds each time to really soak in. My hair feels clean after two shampoos, but not stripped, as it can with other more drying shampoos. The conditioner is creamy and comes with a pump which makes it easy to measure and access when I am in the shower.
The conditioner isn’t heavy but still manages to detangle and smooth my hair, leaving it tangle-free and feeling moist on the ends. I usually use conditioner only on the ends which are dry, which at this time is the last 1.5 inches. I have also used the conditioner on my hair ends when the hair was dry and left it overnight to replenish the hair ends, which also worked well.”
RRP: $22 for both shampoo and conditioner
Oribe Intense Moisture and Control
BB Founder Renae Leith-Manos said:
“This brand is one of the industry’s most decadent hair care bards globally at this time. All of the shampoos I have so-far tried are fairly rich and can weigh hair down if you use too much, so the secret is using small amounts.
The packaging is beautiful, as is the fragrance, and the whole experience is one of luxury with any Oribe products.
My daughter has very thick, curly hair and she loves this range, which is excellent for denser hair, as she can wash her hair and still smell the fragrance days later.
It helps maintain moisture in her very long hair, even in extreme weather conditions.
The conditioner also goes a long way, and work well to detangle curly hair, always an issue for her.”
RRP: $46 for shampoo and $72 for conditioner.
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