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  • Unrefined Shea Butter ... How Can You Tell If It's

     

    Hey... I was just wondering if the best (or rather 'truly' unrefined ) shea butter should be smooth and creamy or chunky? I've purchased from a few different places, and it looks and smells different depending on who I purchase from.

    I went to a festival, and the people there were actually taking the shea butter out of a huge nut right there on site, and packaging it. I purchased some, and really liked what it did for my hair. It was kind of expensive though. It was a beige color, slightly chunky, and had a nutty smell. The funny thing is that when I read about how unrefined shea butter is processed, it looks like they extract it from smaller nuts. I was thinking that the huge nut they had was a fake to bait people into think that it was all natural. But it was very moisturisng, and not greasy at all. Anyone else ever see this and wondered if it's really unrefined shea butter?

    The next place I purchased from another place was online. Theirs was smooth and grayish in color. It has a faint smokey smell to it. I didn't give the same results as I did with the one I previously purchased, and I don't really care for the smokey scent.

    Last place I've purhased from it was beige in color, and smooth. Still need to melt it in my hand in order to apply it to may hair, but no chunks. This one has a faint nutty smell. I like this kind better than the one that was greyish in color, but the very best is 1st batch that was pulled out of the nut. Having said all that...how can you tell if your buying quality shea butter? Share your experiences...

    Thanks,

    Monica,

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    I hope somebody has an answer b/c I've been wondering the same thing. I bought some unrefined shea butter from a west indian market and it was yellow. The smell was kinda nutty I guess, but when I melted it down it didn't smell all that great to me so I stopped using it. I think the color and smell varies depending on where the shea nuts were grown but I'm really not sure how to detect the real thing...Anyone? op:

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    As far as I can tell, the softness of the shea butter is a key way to tell. If it's hard or doesn't melt in your hand when you touch it, then it's either refined or damaged in some way. It should be mushy and melt easily. Also, the smell is a dead give away for me. I've found that those selling refined shea butter or shea butter of poor quality have odorless types or types that don't have the earthy smell that shea butter does. Shea butter in its raw, unrefined state smells kinda like regular butter mixed with peanut butter and grass. It's hard to explain but those who have had unrefined shea butter before should only buy brands that have that smell.

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    Hey...* I was just wondering if the best (or rather...

    Pure Shea Butter is a thicker butter with a distinct fragrance and ivory/yellowish color and tends to be a rich thick butter. Pure Shea Butter is also referred to as "unrefined" Shea Butter. Refined Shea Butter has been processed such as to become white in color and thinner in consistency. The process of refining Shea Butter causes it to lose some of its natural moisturizing and conditioning properties for both hair and skin...but even with some loss, excellent properties and benefits remain.
    Both pure and refined Shea Butter come in solid form but will liquify in your hand. Both have advantages for hair and skin care use. Pure Shea Butter is a much richer butter than unrefined Shea. The rich heaviness of the pure Shea makes ideal for use on skin. Some people find it too heavy to use on their hair. Unrefined Shea Butter is lighter in texture and has no fragrance. This is an advantage to some people who want to add essential oils and other butters for their properties and for their aroma.

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    When I was looking to buy shea butter, I found this site to have very useful information:

    http://www.nasabb.com/nasabbnew/hairquest1.htm

    Scroll down for the "Unrefined Shea Butter" section.

    The site included this:
    "Shea Butter in the big brown shell-like container at some fairs & festivals, is that the Shea Butter Nut?
    No! That is not the shea butter nut. It is merely a calabash. It is just a container that some traditional shea butter makers store their shea butter in."

    And this link has pictures of the natural variations of shea butter.
    http://www.nasabb.com/nasabbnew/factssheablack.htm

    ...the calabash is made from the round, large gourd of a tree. It is split in half or at the top, dried out, and used as a bowl for water and other items. It is about the size of a small, seedless watermelon.

    GS

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    Thanks for your replies! Ghanaian_Sister, thanks for the links too. They were very helpful. I was wondering about that big brown shell.

    Monica,

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    This is good to know because the unrefined shea that I bought had a smell but it definitely was not soft and mushy. It was actually pretty solid until I melted in the microwave.

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    Depending on the time of year, your shea could be chunky (there is naturally occurring stearic in shea) or slightly soft to the touch.

    mlduvall - The brown big shell could be a "calabash" - a gourd which is traditionally used to package unrefined shea.

    HTH

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    ghanaian

    thanks a million for the links....very helpful indeed!

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    Well what online companies would you guys recommend? Nasaab seems really expensive at $8.00 for 4 ozs. Has any body tried them? How do they compare with other unrefined shea butters you've brought form online sellers? Has anyone tried the unrefined shea butter from Oregon Trail Soap Supplies and More?

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    I went to my local beauty supply yesterday its run by Ethopians...I asked her for Shea butter and she brought me to an isle that had Palmers and other brands, which is fine....then I asked her for pure shea butter she said Oh Shiiya(sounded like) butter! I said yes, she said it imported from back home. She gave me this lump of stuff about the size of an apple, looked like lard almost was white with some yellow mixed in...cost me only 5 dollars Canadian. It was soft and got softer as I held it, smelled nutty and reminded me of playdough. I was so happy. I said ok....what do I do with it? she said just wash and put on as lotion. I took it home and Oh My goodnesss why didnt anyone tell me about this stuff years ago. My skin and hair never felt so good ever. I no longer have to put vaseline on the bottom of my feet *blushes* My scalp feels real good. I mixed it with some honey and my hair feels and looks wonderful.

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    Well what online companies would you guys recommend? Nasaab seems...

    I've seen a lot of people recommend the following sites with good results:

    http://www.natureswildchild.com/
    http://www.agbangakarite.com/

    You can buy it by the pound from these places.

    Monica,

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    I like the second link and both accept money orders

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    I just bought a pound from http://www.agbangakarite.com/
    last month. It is VERY heavy, but I like it for the most part. I just don't like the smell!

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    For those that don't like the smell of shea, you CAN add eo's or other fragrance oils after softening in the microwave. Be sure to cover your shea before you let it begin to harden. This will help prevent it from developing a grainy texture. I also read that if you are buying shea that is grey and stinks REALLY badly, you may be getting shea that has been extracted from the nut using chemicals. I forget the names of the chemicals. Basically she butter should be soft, biege to yellowish, and have the "faintly nutty smell" that has been mentioned here.

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    I also read that if you are buying shea that...

    The chemical used in extracting shea butter is HEXANE (fortunately, Sheabutter Cottage does not source such shea butter).
    Yellowish shea normally has the root of a plant added to the shea.
    Depending on the season and temperature, your shea could be soft or hard.

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    All the information is really useful here.. Just wanted to know-I purchased some shea butter this weekend and its a deep yellow.. Its really soft too... I haven't mixed it or used it yet but will. Is it the real thing?

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    i have used shea butter for about 3 years or so and the nasabb i have used for a while but i always get the butter that comes right out of the nut which is wonderful for my skin that is the one that has the faint nutty smell and melts right into your skin with the light yellow color.

    creativity i have some that is deep yellow and really soft and it melts somewhat quickly in your hands i like the product but go to www.nasabb.com and they sell a wonderful shea butter and they even have baskets that have the black soap in it. for you Naps who want a wonderful that you can wash your hair and your skin with and it makes you feel wonderful afterward try the black soap!!..

    not the bar that is BLACK!! the natural black soap is a oatmeal color that comes in a ball of different ounce sizes. i have 6 to 8 inch locs and i can take a small jawbreaker size amount and wash my scalp twice and still was my body afterward leaving me with about a nickel size left. you can shower with it every day or use it as an exfoliator because of the tiny pieces of kernal mixed with in. the soap is all natural made of shells and skins of different fruits making it a natural sudsy piece of work!!!

    the soap is wonderful for smoothing your skin and evening out you skin tone and eliminated your blemishes.
    just with all products you try if you have very sensitive skin use in moderation so that your skin can get used to it.

    peace and NAPPY blessing to all i hope i gave some helpful tips to anyone in need. again go to the nasabb website i highly recommend that store.

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    i have used shea butter for about 3 years or so and the nasabb i have used for a while but i always get the butter that comes right out of the nut which is wonderful for my skin that is the one that has the faint nutty smell and melts right into your skin with the light yellow color.

    creativity i have some that is deep yellow and really soft and it melts somewhat quickly in your hands i like the product but go to www.nasabb.com and they sell a wonderful shea butter and they even have baskets that have the black soap in it. for you Naps who want a wonderful that you can wash your hair and your skin with and it makes you feel wonderful afterward try the black soap!!..

    not the bar that is BLACK!! the natural black soap is a oatmeal color that comes in a ball of different ounce sizes. i have 6 to 8 inch locs and i can take a small jawbreaker size amount and wash my scalp twice and still was my body afterward leaving me with about a nickel size left. you can shower with it every day or use it as an exfoliator because of the tiny pieces of kernal mixed with in. the soap is all natural made of shells and skins of different fruits making it a natural sudsy piece of work!!!

    the soap is wonderful for smoothing your skin and evening out you skin tone and eliminated your blemishes.
    just with all products you try if you have very sensitive skin use in moderation so that your skin can get used to it.

    peace and NAPPY blessing to all i hope i gave some helpful tips to anyone in need. again go to the nasabb website i highly recommend that store.

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    Member
     

    i have used shea butter for about 3 years or so and the nasabb i have used for a while but i always get the butter that comes right out of the nut which is wonderful for my skin that is the one that has the faint nutty smell and melts right into your skin with the light yellow color.

    creativity i have some that is deep yellow and really soft and it melts somewhat quickly in your hands i like the product but go to www.nasabb.com and they sell a wonderful shea butter and they even have baskets that have the black soap in it. for you Naps who want a wonderful that you can wash your hair and your skin with and it makes you feel wonderful afterward try the black soap!!..

    not the bar that is BLACK!! the natural black soap is a oatmeal color that comes in a ball of different ounce sizes. i have 6 to 8 inch locs and i can take a small jawbreaker size amount and wash my scalp twice and still was my body afterward leaving me with about a nickel size left. you can shower with it every day or use it as an exfoliator because of the tiny pieces of kernal mixed with in. the soap is all natural made of shells and skins of different fruits making it a natural sudsy piece of work!!!

    the soap is wonderful for smoothing your skin and evening out you skin tone and eliminated your blemishes.
    just with all products you try if you have very sensitive skin use in moderation so that your skin can get used to it.

    peace and NAPPY blessing to all i hope i gave some helpful tips to anyone in need. again go to the nasabb website i highly recommend that store.

    #
    Member
     

    i have used shea butter for about 3 years or so and the nasabb i have used for a while but i always get the butter that comes right out of the nut which is wonderful for my skin that is the one that has the faint nutty smell and melts right into your skin with the light yellow color.

    creativity i have some that is deep yellow and really soft and it melts somewhat quickly in your hands i like the product but go to www.nasabb.com and they sell a wonderful shea butter and they even have baskets that have the black soap in it. for you Naps who want a wonderful that you can wash your hair and your skin with and it makes you feel wonderful afterward try the black soap!!..

    not the bar that is BLACK!! the natural black soap is a oatmeal color that comes in a ball of different ounce sizes. i have 6 to 8 inch locs and i can take a small jawbreaker size amount and wash my scalp twice and still was my body afterward leaving me with about a nickel size left. you can shower with it every day or use it as an exfoliator because of the tiny pieces of kernal mixed with in. the soap is all natural made of shells and skins of different fruits making it a natural sudsy piece of work!!!

    the soap is wonderful for smoothing your skin and evening out you skin tone and eliminated your blemishes.
    just with all products you try if you have very sensitive skin use in moderation so that your skin can get used to it.

    peace and NAPPY blessing to all i hope i gave some helpful tips to anyone in need. again go to the nasabb website i highly recommend that store.

    #
    Member
     

    i have used shea butter for about 3 years or so and the nasabb i have used for a while but i always get the butter that comes right out of the nut which is wonderful for my skin that is the one that has the faint nutty smell and melts right into your skin with the light yellow color.

    creativity i have some that is deep yellow and really soft and it melts somewhat quickly in your hands i like the product but go to www.nasabb.com and they sell a wonderful shea butter and they even have baskets that have the black soap in it. for you Naps who want a wonderful that you can wash your hair and your skin with and it makes you feel wonderful afterward try the black soap!!..

    not the bar that is BLACK!! the natural black soap is a oatmeal color that comes in a ball of different ounce sizes. i have 6 to 8 inch locs and i can take a small jawbreaker size amount and wash my scalp twice and still was my body afterward leaving me with about a nickel size left. you can shower with it every day or use it as an exfoliator because of the tiny pieces of kernal mixed with in. the soap is all natural made of shells and skins of different fruits making it a natural sudsy piece of work!!!

    the soap is wonderful for smoothing your skin and evening out you skin tone and eliminated your blemishes.
    just with all products you try if you have very sensitive skin use in moderation so that your skin can get used to it.

    peace and NAPPY blessing to all i hope i gave some helpful tips to anyone in need. again go to the nasabb website i highly recommend that store.

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    I remember a time I bought Shea butter for a friend (I havent used the sutuff for years!) and the place I went to was selling it in bright yellow lumps!

    I was a bit suspicious but I bought it anyway, cos my friend really needed it. But it makes me wonder...was it artificially coloured, or processed in any way?

    anyone seen bright yellow shea butter?

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    scratch that, I asked my mum and she told me some shea butter is yeallow, so no worries there!

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    I am in the process of ordering so I've visited lots of sites that sell unrefined. I'm going to purchase from Agbanga Karite. Theirs is a fair trade company that does not exploit or underpay the Africans who make the products...Anyway, I wanted to post a link to a site that shows detailed pictures of how natural shea butter is made by the people in West Africa. It's very interesting...

    Making Shea Butter

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    I am in the process of ordering so I've visited...

    Wow, really interesting.. Thanks Charise!

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