Why we only use Organic Unrefined Shea Butter in our shampoo bars
It’s not a myth that Africa’s best kept natural secret - shea butter protects damaged hair, increases thickness and has a positive effect on overall smoothness of hair shaft. It has been proven by scientists who did relevant tests.*
However, shea butter can be found in refined and unrefined forms which are very different in texture, scent and active properties.
The United States Agency for International Development and other companies have suggested a classification system for shea butter, separating it into five grades:
- A (raw or unrefined, extracted using water)
- B (refined)
- C (highly refined and extracted with solvents such as hexane)
- D (lowest uncontaminated grade)
- E (with contaminants).
Raw Unrefined shea butter is the highest quality and simply means it is extracted and prepared without the use of chemicals or preservatives. That means it is produced the same way African people have been doing it for centuries. Although it doesn’t have any preservatives, the unrefined butter tends to remain fresh longer as it has naturally protecting elements and healing properties.Is it amazing how nature is so inspirational and always finds a way to protect itself?
Refined shea butter, on the other hand, has been chemically altered (with things like petroleum solvents) to remove shea butter's natural nutty scent. It also gets bleached to be white in colour, antioxidants and preservatives are added and therefore the amazing shea butter moisturising and healing properties are significantly reduced or completely removed in this process. Also, over time, refined butter also develops a sharp unpleasant smell, because many of the protective unsaturated elements have been removed.
As you can see, lower the butter grade, less great properties it contains and shea butter is one of its kind when it comes to great properties.
Shea butter has been used widely for hair treatment. It has vitamins A, E that makes it a good moisturiser for hair. Fatty acids (like oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid and linoleic acid) also help increase shine and reduce the frizz of your hair. Unrefined shea butter is great at restoring moisture lost in hair due to a number of chemical treatments like straighteners, perms, curlers, blow dryers. We all know that these treatments cause the loss of natural moisture from the hair. Using products with shea butter in it helps reduce dryness and prevent split ends. It serves as a good source of protection for the hair against the harmful free radicals in the air and water and harsh weather conditions.
Shea butter’s anti-inflammatory properties might also help reduce redness and scalp irritation by providing healing effects without clogging the pores. Additionally, as a natural product, it’s safe to use on all types of hair, even hair that’s damaged, dry, or colour treated
Hair protection and softener:
You can also use it by itself as a great protector. Shea butter when applied to the hair and absorbed, it coats the hair shaft and hence protects it from heat. This protective activity is particularly beneficial for hair that has been processed or coloured hair. When Shea butter is applied to the hair before swimming it protects the hair against salt and chlorine. For damaged and brittle hair shea butter has a softening and revitalising ability. Shea butter has a non-greasy texture hence can control and spread the excess oil in the scalp.