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Shea Butter For Natural Waves, Curls, Kinks

Introduction - Shea Butter For Natural Waves, Curls, Kinks

Raw Unrefined IVORY Shea Butter Grade A from Ghana 2 Lbs Raw Unrefined IVORY Shea Butter Grade A from Ghana 2 Lbs

Naturally wavy, curly and kinky tresses need lots of hydration.

While there are several ingredients which are known to infuse thirsty strands with much needed moisture, not all waves, curls and kinks respond equally well to all ingredients.

One very popular hair product ingredient for use on textured tresses is {{asin=B003B9DWMA,text=shea butter}}. Shea butter for natural waves, curls, kinks is definitely a beloved ingredient for many.

Many natural texture-centric products incorporate a little or a lot of this magical elixir to provide an amped up moisturizing punch.

What Is Shea Butter?

A slightly yellowish or ivory-colored fat, shea butter, also referred to as Orj, is extracted from the nut of the African shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa).

Besides being utilized in a wide range of hair and beauty products, shea butter is edible and used in food preparation in Africa.  It is sometimes used as an ingredient in the chocolate industry which uses shea butter mixed with other oils, as a substitute for cocoa butter but with a slightly different taste.

Preparation Of Shea Butter

Shea Butter In Soft Form Shea Butter In Soft Form

The English word "shea" comes from s'í, the tree's name in the Bamana language of Mali. The French name karité comes from ghariti, its equivalent in the Wolof language of Senegal.

The traditional method of preparing unrefined shea butter consists of many detailed steps ranging from separating of the outer pulp of the fruit and cracking of the nuts to the eventual shaping of the finished creamy butter into balls.

Industrially, a mechanical sheller such as the Universal Nut Sheller may be used, although there is controversy over its usability.  The refined butter may be extracted with chemicals such as hexane, or by clay filtering.

Shea Butter Uses

Shea butter is mainly used in cosmetics, such as lip gloss moisturizer creams and emulsions, as well as hair cleansers, conditioners and styling products for dry and brittle hair.  It's also used by soap makers, typically in small amounts (5-7% of the oils in the recipe), because it leaves a small amount of oil in the soap.

In Africa, shea butter is used for cooking oil, as a waterproofing wax, for hairdressing, for candle-making, and also as an ingredient in medicinal ointments. It is also used by makers of traditional African percussion instruments to increase the durability of wood (such as carved djembe shells), dried calabash gourds, and leather tuning straps.


Phytokarite Deep Conditioner With Karite (Shea Butter) Phytokarite Deep Conditioner With Karite (Shea Butter)

Shea butter is used as a base for medicinal ointments. Some of the isolated chemical constituents are reported to have anti-inflammatory, emollient and humectant properties.

This rich butter has been used as a lotion to block sun exposure and reportedly has a limited capacity to absorb ultraviolet radiation.

In Nigeria shea butter is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion. It is also massaged into joints and other parts of the body where pain is experienced.

Top Hair Care Products Infused With Shea Butter

Shea butter is heavy, dense and rich. It's a great emollient and has slight sunscreen properties.  It's a great ingredient for multiracial curlies.  It softens hair which has been chemically processed.    If your hair is chemically processed, it’s really good for that, too, because it’s so moisturizing.

It’s very rich and is always best when mixed in a conditioner. Even with the kinkiest thickest hair, though I wouldn’t put straight shea butter on the hair.

Shea Butter Should Be Avoided For Some Thin Or Fine Hair

Jessi Curl Deep Conditioning Shea Butter JessiCurl Deep Conditioning Shea Butter

Products with fine or thin hair may not respond as well to products with shea butter since it may tend to weigh down strands. The higher the content of shea butter the higher it will appear on the ingredient list.  The lower it's found, the less amount of shea butter.

Top Hair Care Products Infused With Shea Butter

Listed below in no specific order are some of the top hair care products infused with shea butter to tame and clump curls while reducing frizz.  Products which contain shea butter are ideal for use with dry, thick natural textures such as found in 3B, 3C and Type 4 curls.

JessiCurl Deep Conditioning Treatment

{{asin=B00684AC82,text=JessiCurl - Deep Conditioning Treatment - No Fragrance}}

This very popular conditioning product infused with Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) and hydrating Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil has the consistency of soft butter cream icing.  It's most often used as a deep treatment (with or without heat), but some rave about the benefits of using it as a leave-in conditioner. A little bit goes a long way.

Avocado Provides Hydration To Dry Tresses Avocado Provides Hydration To Dry Tresses

Available in three aromas (No Fragrance, Citrus Lavender and Island Fantasy) this protein free product should be combined with heat (diffuser, hood or bonnet dryer) for use on dry, damaged or chemically treated strands.

It's appears to be very hydrating, especially for 4C natural textures, leaving hair super soft and extremely moisturized.  It's known to help strengthen fragile tresses and provide great slip.  Except in rare cases the product can be spot applied or to just the edges of the hair.

Not all shea butter products work equally well for all types of hair.  Complaints about this product include the fact that it leaves hair feeling rough or dry and makes detangling more tedious.  There are also notes about how difficult the product can be at times to squeeze out of the bottle.

Although this product is Glycerin, Paraben, Protein, Silicone and Sulfate Free it does contain Cetearyl Alcohol which may be drying to some types of textures.


Water (Aqua) infused with Equisetum Maximum Lam (Horsetail), Mentha Piperita (Peppermint), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Laurus Nobilis (Bay Leaf), Ocimum Basilicum (Basil), Arctium Lappa (Burdock Root), Althaea Officinalis (Marshmallow Root), Origanum Vulgare (Oregano), Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass), Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme), Salvia Officinalis (Sage) and Urtica Dioica (Nettle); Behentrimonium Methosulfate (and) Cetearyl Alcohol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Soy Lecithin, Citrus Sinensis Var. Dulcis (Orange) Oil (and) Lavandula Officinalis (lavender) Oil (and) Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Oil; Diazolidinyl Urea (and) Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Carols Daughter Tui Carols Daughter Tui

Carol's Daughter Tui Moisturizing Hair Sheen

{{asin=B000WJ5XOM,text=Carol's Daughter Tui Moisturizing Hair Sheen}}

This iconic detangling product can be used on either wet or dry hair.  It can also be used as a balm.  It's  a non-greasy, lightweight oil spray with properties of both a mist and serum.  A few spritzes leaves hair with a delightful aroma.  It adds a natural healthy shine while lightly nourishing strands.

Although it works well on naturally wavy, curl and kinky tresses, it's renowned for its success on 4 a/b textures by softening and sealing in moisture for days.  It also is soothing to the scalp and helps minimize breakage.

Some users prefer using this product as a detangler, others prefer utilizing the product as a fine mist to help scrunch or shape natural textures.  It offers similar but less expensive benefits of Moroccan and Macadamian oil.

This unique glycerine, paraben and protein free product also includes shine enhancing jojoba oil, wheat germ to fortifies the hair's structure and black vanilla for an uplifting fragrance.


Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Cyclomethicone, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Butyrospermum, Parkii (Shea Butter), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil.

Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo Hair Products

{{asin=B00021AQCY,text=Fekkai Shea Butter Moisturizing Shampoo Hair Products}}

Fekkai Shea Butter Fekkai Shea Butter Shampoo

This shea butter infused shampoo by iconic hairdresser Frederic Fekkai is designed for dry, brittle, fragile strands which need to be gently cleansed and conditioned.

This product works to gently remove oil and product build-up from strands while also providing nourishing hydration.  The light cleansing product also helps to strengthen strands and add softness.  It's suitable for ultra dry, thick or unruly strands.

Although the shampoo wins rave reviews for a fabulous aroma and it's ability to soften hair, some users complain about the cost of the product which can tend to be on the high end of the scale.

This may or may not be true depending upon where you buy the product.  Others find the product may be too heavy if used on a daily basis.  It contains cones which could build up on some types of hair.

Again, while this product works fabulously for some, it doesn't for everyone and there are some who find the product to cause strands to become greasy and tangled.  Remember, do you own homework before purchasing any shea butter infused product.


Water, Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate, Disodium Laureth Sulfosuccinate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Cocamidopropyl Hydroxysultaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Glycol Distearate, Fragrance, Glyceryl Oleate, Coco-Glucoside, Quaternium-91, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Polyglyceryl-3 Laurate, PEG-60 Almond Glycerides, PEG-150 Distearate, Isosteareth-200 Linoleate, Diglycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Honey, PEG-8 PG-Coco-Glucoside Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Benzyl Alcohol, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil/Sebacic Acid Copolymer, Sodium PCA, Sodium Benzoate, Cellulose, Panthenol, Tetrasodium EDTA, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cellulose Gum, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Cinnamidopropyltrimonium Chloride, Yellow 5, Red 40, Green 5.

Blended Beauty With Shea Butter Blended Beauty With Shea Butter

Blended Beauty Soft Curls & Swirls

{{asin=B008BK7LLM,text=Blended Beauty Soft Curls & Swirls}}

This daily leave-in conditioning cream is enriched with shea butter, aloe and chamomile.  Apply directly to clean, damp, detangled hair in small sections.  Smooth through completely. Style with fingers, not a comb, to reduce poof.

This light, gentle, leave-in hydrating formula receives rave reviews for leaving hair soft, smooth and in control.

It's designed to moisturize and condition waves, curls, swirls, kinks and a combination.  It's also pH balanced for tender scalps, and tames unruly tresses.


Aloe, Chamomile Water, Rice Bran Oil, Shea Butter, Natural Conditioners, Vegetable Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Capryl Isostearate, Perfume, Natural Preservative Optiphin, Rosemary Leaf Extract, Soy Lecithin, Silk Powder.

Miss Jessie’s Super Sweetback Treatment

Miss Jessies Super Sweetback Treatment Miss Jessies Super Sweetback Treatment

{{asin=B003FJ6HP0,text=Miss Jessie's Super Sweetback Treatment}}

An ultra-rich hydrating conditioner, this popular shea butter infused natural texture treatment is glycerin and paraben free.  It's emollient properties will soften tresses while  helping to define and elongate every strand.

The product with the consistency of custard is thought to help accelerate natural hair growth cycles due to the inclusion of centella extract along with the shea butter.

Although this product (used with or without heat) wins raves from some users for his candy color and scent, others complain about the strong bubblegum aroma which is likened to strong cherry cough syrup.

Rumored growth stimulants like shea butter and centella extract may actually help accelerate the natural growth cycle, although there is no conclusive evidence.   It's recommended this treatment be applied at least once a week on newly cleansed hair which has been towel blotted.

The treatment's results are amplified when used during a steam treatment or under an overhead dryer on a heated setting.  To steam, apply the Treatment before a shower.  Allow the steam from the shower to completely penetrate all of the strands.  After 15 minutes, rinse and style as normal.


water, behentrimonium methosulfate and cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, behentrimonium chloride, cyclomethicone and dimethiconol, lauryl alcohol, cetyl alcohol, cyclopentasiloxane, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), fragrance, dimethicone, DMDM hydantoin and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, ceteareth-20, hydroxethylcellulose, hydrolyzed soy protein, liposome (centella asiatica), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, EDTA disodium, tocopheryl acetate, mangifera indica (mango) seed butter, D&C red #33, citric acid.

While some users literally rave about this product, others are put off by the ingredients which include alcohol and cones. It may be too heavy for fine and/or thin tresses.  Regardless, a little bit goes a very long way.

Rene Furterer - Karite Intense Nourishing Mask - 3.4 oz

Rene Furterer Karite Mask Rene Furterer Karite Mask

Karite nourishing mask revitalizes very dry and damaged hair.  Utilizing ethical shea butter this intense nourishing mask deeply nourishes the keratin fiber, leaving the hair full, lustrous and alive.

For many this is their ultimate hair hero during the times of the year when the seasons change and leave hair dry, crunchy and damaged.

This iconic mask repairs while it protects tresses.  It also helps with detangling and provides great softening benefits.  Key ingredients are shea butter, quince seed and Vitamin E.


water (aqua), diisopropyl adipate, glycol palmitate, behenyl alcohol, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), (butyrospermum parkii butter), ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, (ricinus communis seed oil), behentrimonium chloride, propylene glycol, benzyl salicylate, bht. cetearyl alcohol, cetearyl glucoside, fragrance (parfum), glycine soja (soybean) oil (glycine soja oil), glycine soja (soybean) sterols (glycine soja sterol),glycolipids. guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride.

Honorable Mentions - My Personal Shea Butter Favorites

Phytosesame Rinse Out Conditioner With Shea Butter Phytosesame Rinse Out Conditioner With Shea Butter

Listed below in no special order are some additional shea butter infused hair products which are on my own private favorite list.  These products offer a range of great hair softening and conditioning benefits:

1.  Phytosesame Express Hydrating Conditioner for Dry Hair

An intensive express rinse-out conditioning treatment to be used after cleansing.  Phytosésame detangles hair, restores the hydrolipidic film and hydrates the capillary fiber, without weighing the hair down or making it oily. Fabulous aroma.


Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract. Dicetyldimonium Chloride. Cetearyl Alcohol (Coco Oil Derivative). Water / Aqua. Acetamide Mea. Behenoyl Pg-Trimonium Chloride. Cyclomethicone. Peg-8. Amodimethicone. Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate. Butyrospermum Parkii / Shea Butter. Distearyldimonium Chloride (Colza Oil Derivative). Sesamum Indicum (Phytosesame) Seed Oil. Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter. Lanolin Alcohol. Ceteareth-20, Ceteareth-33 (Coco Oil Derivative). Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil. Peg-30 Castor Oil. Glyceryl Stearate, Stearyl Alcohol. Stearic Acid (Coco Oil Derivative). Polyquaternium-10 (Wood Cellulose Derivative). Hydrolyzed Keratin. Octoxynol-40. Isolaureth-6. Propylene Glycol. Panthenol. Fragrance / Parfum. Methylisothiazolinone. Caramel. Tocopherol. Botanical Origin.

I've personally used the Phytsesame Rinse Out Conditioner on my own naturally textured hair for over ten years with consistently amazing results.

2. Phyto - Phytokarité Intensive Treatment

Phytokarite Phytokarite

Super ultra nourishing conditioner. Ultra dry hair becomes porous, brittle and breaks easily. Phytokarite’s plant-based active ingredients restructure very dry, damaged hair deep down and provide the essential elements it lacks.

From the first application, very dry hair is regenerated and becomes softer and shinier. Phytokarite is also an excellent detangler for very coarse and curly hair.


Cetearyl Alcohol (Botanical Origin), Ceteareth 33 (Botanical Origin), Glyceryl Stearate (Botanical Origin), Water (Aqua), Dicetyldimonium Chloride, Distearyldimonium Chloride (Botanical Origin), Acetamide MEA (Botanical Origin), Dipalmitoylethyl Hydroxyethylmonium Methosulfate (Botanical Origin), Ceteareth 20 (Botanical Origin), Stearic Acid (Botanical Origin), Stearyl Alcohol (Botanical Origin), Behenyl PG Trimonium Chloride (Botanical Origin), Trimethylsilylamodimethicone, Isolaureth 6, Cyclomethicone, Octoxynol 40, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit (Botanical Origin), Lanolin Alcohol, Propylene Glycol, Anacardium Occidentale (Cashew) Seed Oil (Botanical Origin), Isatis Tinctoria Seed Oil (Botanical Origin), Polyquaternium 10 (Botanical Origin), Hydrolyzed Keratin, Panthenol, Diazolidinyl Urea (Preservative), Butylparaben (Preservative), Fragrance, Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E) (Botanical Origin)


While there are several ingredients which are known to infuse thirsty strands with much needed moisture, not all waves, curls and kinks respond equally well to all ingredients.

One very popular hair product ingredient for use on textured tresses is shea butter. Shea butter for natural waves, curls, kinks is definitely a beloved ingredient for many.

Many natural texture-centric products incorporate a little or a lot of this magical elixir to provide an amped up moisturizing punch.

*According to FTC Rules we wish to note that is a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program. Any books or materials purchased as a result of this blog may result in a commission being paid to

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