Home Hair Q&A: Will Shea Butter Help My Thin Hair And Split Ends?

Q&A: Will Shea Butter Help My Thin Hair And Split Ends?

by Evenes Ruth Mafupa

Natural SistersHey loves. Hope you are well and loving your hair. Today it’s Q&A. I get a lot of emails from readers of this blog all the time. Some of the question I would have already dedicated a post to the topic in question but the other questions I have not. One of those questions is below and it is from Valery.

Valery said,

“Hi. I wanted to ask about Shea butter products. I have very soft baby hair and it has a lot of slit ends. Is the product going to help me with this problem?”

SB04-300x300Thank you so much Valery for your question and let me say, while there is no harm trying out a product that promises good results on African kinky hair and has given some sisters admirable manes, it is important to understand that growing healthy hair is comprehensive and products alone may not help you much in attaining your goals. So yes it may help you but there is more to it.

The state of our hair, to some extent reflects the state of our bodies inside. Hair thinning can be a sign of some underlying illness that may need to be addressed before topical treatments are trusted to give you thicker hair. It can also be a result of a medical procedure like chemotherapy or radiotherapy which will mean the body has to heal first before more nutrients are allowed to reach the hair follicles by the body’s system. Thinning hair can also mean a deficiency of important nutrients that help in maintaining healthy nails and hair. Eat right, exercise for maximum circulation and drink enough water to remain hydrated. This way, the health of your body will show on the outside through healthy hair and a glowing skin.

Now to the topical treatments. These are also very important as they help us retain length and thickness and protect the hair from weather elements that cause split ends and breakage. My advice is:

  • Make sure your scalp is clean and healthy as much as possible. A healthy scalp will grow healthy hair.
  • Try conditioner washing instead of using shampoo. It helps with moisture and keeps your hair soft and manageable. You will need to stay away from silicones in conditioners though and mineral oil and parafinum or petrolatum in your hair care products as these need the strong sulphate shampoo to wash out. Sulphate free shampoos are available although quite pricey.
  • Wash your hair at least once a week but not more than three times a week as this helps your hair retain moisture and keep the hydrogen bonds in your hair shaft healthier.
  • Deep condition every time you wash your hair by allowing your conditioner sit for 10 minutes or more on your hair before rinsing it out. This will help your hair retain moisture more. You can also use a ready-made deep conditioner for this purpose or fortify your regular conditioner with a teaspoon or two of olive oil or castor oil or coconut oil. Add essential oils if you have them.
  • Do protein treatments at least once a month for thicker hair. This can be a cholesterol treatment, or a deep conditioner that has protein or one you can make yourself using this recipe.
  • Always use a leave-in conditioner after washing your hair. It will help to protect your hair until the next wash day.
  • Massage your scalp at least once a day, preferably before you go to bed. You can use an oil like castor oil and coconut oil for this purpose but very little of it otherwise you might end up with very oily hair which may not be so good. Washing your hair the next morning is ideal but you can also wash it every third day. You can also just massage your scalp gently without any oil and only use oil before washing your hair. In this case, it will be an oil treatment commonly known as a pre-poo treatment. Which brings me to:
  • Do pre-poo treatments or oil treatments every time you shampoo your hair. Most shampoos strip our hair of any protection from our natural oils and adding some oil to your hair before shampooing will minimize this. You will want to wear a plastic cap with the oil on your hair and leave it overnight or for at least 30 minutes to allow the oil to seep into your hair.
  • Stay away from heat as much as possible. Allow your hair to air-dry. To keep it stretched, chunky twisting or braiding it is the best. It will give your hair some curls too.
  • Hands off. Do not handle your hair too much. Low manipulation styles are the best for thicker hair. Over handling your hair depletes the proteins on your hair making it thinner than it should. So brushing, combing or styling your hair should only be done when it is highly necessary otherwise just let it be.
  • Spritz your hair daily with a liquid based spritzer to keep your hair moisturized until the next wash day. You can use this recipe for that.


The best product that I recommend for thin hair is castor oil. This oil is well known to promote follicular activity, keep scalp healthy and thicken hair. It can be applied to the scalp as a pre-poo treatment, added to conditioner. Most people apply it around the hair line to remedy receding hairlines. Castor oil is thick so can be mixed with other oils like grape seed oil or coconut oil to make it lighter. If used on its own, just a little will do, so a little goes a long way. It may also cause your scalp to itch when applied directly on the scalp but this goes away after several uses for most people. Make sure castor oil does not touch your face though because this may give you facial hair if you are pre-disposed to it.

Lighter oils like coconut oil, grape seed oil are also good for thin hair and coconut oil in particular helps with split ends. Olive oil is thicker but can still be used on thin hair, not over doing it though as this may weigh your hair down. Do not be heavy handed on oils as this may leave your hair too oily. Just a little will do.

You need to keep your hair moisturized in between wash days and if using store bought conditioners, try and stay away from silicones on the ingredients’ list especially if you are not going to be using heat. Silicones will close your hair off from more moisture keeping the core of your hair dry. Silicones will also require a sulphate shampoo to wash out for any moisture to reach the core of your hair. So stay away if you can. Try and stay away from hair care products that have petrolatum, paraffinum or mineral oil as well. This stuff will only sit on your hair making it look moisturized and yet the core of your hair is dry because it blocks any moisture that may want to penetrate your hair. Use vegetable based oils and butters that can penetrate the hair shaft. These are, Shea butter, avocado butter, mafura butter, mango butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil, castor oil, avocado oil, olive oil, Argan oil and essential oils as well like rosemary oil, bergamot oil, and lavender oil. The list of oils, butters and essential oils that are good for our hair is long so you can use what is available to you and the one your hair likes the most. Essential oils need to be mixed with carrier oils or conditioners or spritzers.

My say is, Natural Moisture Shea butter Deep Moisturising Cream will make your hair soft, manageable, less tangled and besides Shea butter which is very good for hair, scalp and skin, Shea Butter Deep Moisturising Hair Cream has all natural ingredients which are all well known and trusted for healthy hair and skin. I encourage you to try it and feel the difference in your hair.

I hope I have answered your question Valery. All this can sound overwhelming at first. So try and do one thing at a time and soon they will be turned into habits and will become a part of you. It will however a trial and error as all hair is different. Keep a record of what you try, the dates and how your hair responded to it so that you know what is working and what is not. That way, you will know the keepers and those you don’t need to bother keeping. So listen to your hair and supply its needs to keep it happy and it will flourish.

Much love and blessings. *hug*

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1 comment

dd 21 February 2014 - 20:52


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