We're right in the middle of winter, and you're starting to see those telltale white flakes on your shoulders. The dry air is making your scalp feel itchy, and there's no end in sight.
So what can you do if the winter weather is drying out your scalp (or if your scalp is dry all year long)? Turn to shea butter! Seriously, it's awesome stuff, and that's why you'll find it as an ingredient in our shampoo and conditioner bars.
What Is Shea Butter?
You've probably seen shea butter listed as an ingredient in some of your products, especially lotions, but do you know exactly what it is? We think you should.
Shea butter is a fat derived from the nut of the vitellaria paradoxa tree. This tree goes by another name, karite, which translates to "tree of life." It is so named because of the healing properties shea provides.
The people of West Africa, where the shea tree is native, have been using shea butter at least since the 14th century. And now, you can add a little tree of life to your scalp, too.
If you're dealing with a dry scalp, shea butter, with its natural hydrating properties, is your new best friend. Shea butter contains multiple fatty acids, which are easily absorbed into your scalp, replenishing the lipid content of your skin.
Shea butter also acts to seal moisture in and provide a barrier between your scalp and the outside world. It's a great defense if you have dry heat that sucks the moisture right out of the air.
Tone Down The Inflammation
Dandruff may be embarrassing, but having a dry scalp can also be really uncomfortable and even painful, particularly if you have conditions like eczema or psoriasis. And if you develop sores on your scalp, the broken skin gives bacteria a way to enter and cause infection.
Fortunately, shea butter has anti-inflammatory properties. It soothes your scalp and calms the response of inflammatory cells. And it does all of that without clogging your pores or making your hair look oily.
Safe And Effective
Shea butter is one of the safest ingredients you can put on your hair. It's been used for centuries with no ill effects, and there are no documented cases of allergies to shea butter.
In fact, a 2018 National Institutes of Health study found shea butter to be as effective as ceramide precursor products for treating atopic dermatitis.
Pretty amazing, right?
A word of caution, though-- you should make sure to look at other ingredients in the products you use. That's because shea butter is often combined with more harmful ingredients, like alcohol and formaldehyde.
So, Bring On That Shea!
If you're experiencing dry scalp, whether from the winter air or from other conditions, take a look at the products you use, and try to eliminate any that have irritating ingredients. Then, consider adding shea butter.
We include shea butter as an ingredient in all our shampoo and conditioner bars. If your scalp is feeling parched, give Hidden Waterfall a try. It's every bit as moisturizing as it sounds!