African Shea Butter
African Butter - 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, and for some, absorbs into the skin more quickly. Some users of African Butter and Shea Butter have noted in comparing the two that African Butter sits on the skin’s surface much longer 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 directly connect to a Ghana or African source and a fair trade item that is organic, unrefined, and pure. If the Butter is a yellow color that adds a tint to your body or clothing, 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 occurs 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 turmeric is added to increase sales.
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 pros. Now, a drawback of this product when using it in hair. This product can be weighty 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 types 3 and or 4.
For curly and coiled hair that tends to be dry, this product can be used by paying close attention to the ends. This product can be cumbersome for your type of 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 dry naturally or under a sit under dryer where the hair can fall and set without further manipulation.