African Shea Butter
African Butter - 100% Pure and Unrefined
Many consider African Butter Shea Butter. Here in the United States, it is often marketed and known as yellow or golden Shea butter. African butter derives from the African Nut Tree (Pentadesma butyracea). Its texture is thicker than actual Shea Butter, which derives from the Shea Nut Tree (Vitellaria Paradoxa). The consumer often compares Shea and African Butter. The consumer ultimately chooses the yellow (African Butter) over the actual naturally colored off white/ivory/slightly cream (Shea Butter). The Shea Nut color is just a hint darker than the macadamia nut.
Most will find that Shea butter has a creamier texture and is not as heavy as the African butter. Shea butter also melts faster on the skin. Shea Butter also absorbs into the skin more quickly for some. Some have noted compared to Shea Butter that African Butter sits on the surface for a while before penetrating the skin. Others swear by the yellow (African) butter having no real reason why they like the product other than its yellow hue. Be mindful when purchasing African Butter; it should have a direct connection to a Ghana or African source, and a fair trade item that is organic, unrefined, and pure. Some will have it labeled as raw, but if the yellow butter adds a yellow tint to your hands, body, or clothing then, unfortunately, it has been mixed with something foreign and should be returned to the seller.
Some Ghana Natives state that often African Butter and some Shea Butter has turmeric root mixed in the base. The yellowing takes place during the cooking process when the nut is being broken down to create the butter. Even with this process, there shouldn't be a yellow run-off.
Turmeric is said to have medicinal properties; however, some Ghana Natives conclude that the turmeric is added to increase sells.
African Butter - The Many Uses
African butter can be a moisturizer. It is soothing and packed full of vitamins and fatty acids the skin deems beneficial. Certain hair types will also benefit from this butter. African and Shea butter use are the same. It is just as conditioning and helpful and is really just a matter of preference. However, there is a subtle difference, especially with long term use.
This product has proven to be a good source for locking in moisture. We have mentioned the cons. Now, a drawback for this product is when using in hair. This product can be very heavy on hair causing it to be limp and lifeless. If you have hair type 1 and or 2, which is generally straight or has a slight wave, avoid this product. It is better suited for hair type 3 and or 4.
For curly and coiled hair that tends to be dry, this product can be used paying close attention to the ends. This product can be cumbersome for your type curl. Without adding the needed moisture to the type 4 curl, this product can dry your locks. This product should be used to lock in moisture. It is best served on wet hair that can be allowed to dry naturally or under a sit under dryer where the hair can fall and set without further manipulation.