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Shea Butter Benefits and Recipes for Hair

Shea butter is very popular in hair care. Shea butter is a versatile butter that aids greatly with moisture retention. It is also used as an ingredient in lip gloss, body creams, moisturizers, and soap making. 

Back home, we use shea butter for cooking and on the skin to prevent stretch marks especially while pregnant.

It’s also used to treat conditions such as eczema and dermatitis and even as a cream for babies bottoms. 

Make Your Hairstyles Last Longer with Shea Butter and Natural Oils

Shea Butter for Hair

Shea butter is odorless and excellent for twist outs and braid outs. Shea butter is extracted from the nut of the shea tree, which is found mostly in West Africa.

In its raw state, shea butter is usually yellow while refined and ultra-refined shea butter is ivory or white. 

Shea butter contains essential fatty acids – oleic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, palmitic acid, linolenic acid, and arachidic acid. It also contains vitamins A, E & F.

Shea butter is an excellent emollient for hair and skin, helps prevent premature wrinkles, and maintains the suppleness of the skin. 

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Shea Butter Benefits for Hair

1. Seals in Moisture

With the right mix of natural oils, shea butter seals in moisture and keeps strands supple and moisturized for longer.

2. Defined Hair Styles

Shea butter acts as a great styling aid helping your twist-outs and braid outs turn out even more defined. This improved definition will also make the style last longer.

3. Promotes Length Retention

Using shea butter as sealing butter ensures your hair remains moisturized at all times.

Enhanced moisture means your hair will be less dry so hair breakage is kept at bay. Without hair breakage, you retain most of your length. 

4. Improves Damaged Hair

Shea butter is a boon to brittle and damaged ends brought on by my chemical coloring, heat styling, and other harmful hair treatments.

The essential fatty acid content helps rejuvenate your strands and improve hair texture provided you give up the hair care practices that led to the damage initially.  

Mixing natural oils with shea butter and using it in the LOC method can lead to seriously moisturized hair.  

Shea Butter Recipes for Hair

Shea Butter Recipe for Sealing Hair



  1. Leave the shea butter out until very soft then pour into a clean plastic bowl.
  2. Whip it lightly with a fork or mixer like Bella Hand Immersion Blender with Whisk Attachment.
  3. Add in the coconut oil, EVOO, and castor oil, and whisk some more.
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk until you have a smooth mousse texture. 
  5. For a pleasant fragrance, you can add 5 drops of lavender essential oil or vanilla essential oil.
  6. Pour the shea butter mixture into the cosmetic jar and place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set. 
  7. Remove and store in a cool area.

How to Use

Whenever you want to seal your hair, apply a bit to your palms until liquefied then seal. This works for very for the LOC (Liquid, Oil, Cream) method. 

Bella Hand Immersion Blender with Whisk Attachment

Bella Hand Immersion Blender with Whisk Attachment

Shea Butter Recipe for Braid Outs and Twist Outs 



  • Follow steps 1 – 6 laid out in the recipe above.

How to Use

  • Wet your hair slightly with your moisturizing spray.
  • Section your hair and grab a portion, rub the shea butter mixture between your palms then apply to the length of that portion.
  • Smooth through and make sure the section is covered then proceed with the braid out or twist out.
  • Do not take out the braids or twists until your hair is completely dry. 

The results from using this shea butter recipe should last for a few days without the need to retwist at night but wear your hair in a pineapple bun to bed to keep the hairstyle longer.

Can Shea Butter Make Your Hair Grow?

When you apply shea butter to your hair, it helps your hair retain moisture. When loss of moisture is prevented, your hair doesn’t dry out which means less damage and better length retention. 

The shea butter recipe for braids outs and twist outs contains 2 hair growth oils that will help aid in hair growth as well. 

Want to learn more about different kinds of hair butters? Have a look at Natural Butters for Hair: A Guide for Creating Recipes for Healthy Hair.

Can Shea Butter Go Bad?

While shea butter has a long shelf life, it doesn’t last forever and the older it is, the less effective it is. Its optimal shelf life is 12 – 18 months. 

Can Shea Butter Be Refrigerated?

Shea butter can be refrigerated. However, it hardens and when you take it out, you will have to wait for a few hours until it softens.

If you buy it in bulk, you can store it in the refrigerator and take out the portion you need whenever you make a recipe. 

If you buy retail shea butter in smaller jars and you use it every day then there’s no point storing it in the refrigerator but store in a cool area like the cupboard. 

Where to Buy Shea Butter?

The best shea butter is 100% natural butter. It shouldn’t be altered or modified in any way to make it smell nicer or have a different color as this will compromise its integrity. Best recommendations below:-

Better Shea Butter Unrefined Shea Butter

Better Shea Butter Unrefined Shea Butter

raw apothecary unrefined shea butter

Raw Apothecary Unrefined Shea Butter

Plant Origin Shea Butter

Plant Origin Shea Butter

Sky Organics Unrefined Shea Butter

Sky Organics Unrefined Shea Butter

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Related Content

Shea Butter Hair Products


Shea butter recipes for defined hair styles

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Sunday 28th of December 2014

Do you have any pictures of braid out or twist out results with the recipe?

Natural Oils for Hair

Tuesday 30th of December 2014

Yes I do. I'll try to upload them as soon as I'm back from vacay next week :)


Sunday 28th of December 2014

I haven't mixed up any shea butter recipes yet. I use it as a lotion every once in awhile, but I have my usual SheaMoisture lotion, where the main ingredient is that butter. I love it, especially in the winter time.

What's the shelf life on Shea Butter that's been mixed up? I keep seeing different numbers on different sites. Also, have you heard of the white spots in the yellowish shea butter being mold spots? It could be incorrect information, but it would be interesting to heard if anyone else had input on it.

Natural Oils for Hair

Tuesday 30th of December 2014

It depends on what it's being mixed up with. I use shea butter from Ghana and always add in Vitamin E oil as a preservative. It usually lasts up to 6 months. I've never heard about the white spots in the shea butter though.