How shea butter is traditionally used in West Africa

Storyteller Juliet from Ghana tells what shea butter was, is and how it is traditionally used in Ghana.

Shea butter is a very common ingredient in Ghana and has been so for many many years. Centuries ago men and women used this amazing natural butter from the shea fruit for both beauty and medicinal purposes. That has not changed much. In almost every Ghanaian household shea butter can be found either in its raw state or naturally processed.

Even though shea butter is used by a lot of women to keep their skin radiant and beautiful it is used by men too! Shea butter packs in a lot of moisture that has over the years been the number one choice for dry skin. This hasn’t changed much over the years. It’s very common to have shea butter becoming scarce during the dry season. In Ghana the dry season can be very brutal leaving people with cracked lips, pale skin and breaking hair. Shea butter is that supernatural ingredient that clears it all.

One fundamental use of shea butter that has not changed much over time is its use in the hair. Many years ago shea butter was the number one hair pomade. Women used it to keep their natural hair shiny and healthy. It was and known to make hard hair more manageable. Fast forward to today its still used in the same way. In modern day Ghana you will find a host of hair products containing shea butter like shampoo, conditioner, heat treatments and many more.

Another great use of shea butter is on very delicate baby skin. This has also remained relevant even today in Ghana. Babies are prone to all types of skin conditions like rashes, eczema and blisters because their skin is very sensitive. Raw shea butter has over the years been used on baby skin to prevent it from some of these conditions and also allow their skin to look radiant and beautiful. For this particular purpose most mother opt for raw unscented shea butter. As the babies grow into toddlers they can then be moved into other types of shea butter products.

Sheabutter in Calabash in Ghana
Gelbe Sheabutter in Calabash Ghana

In a nutshell, these are some of the uses of shea butter and how it has evolved over time. Even though there are many more options of products to choose from on the market today as opposed to many years ago many men and women are faithful to shea butter because it really is that natural product that never fails.

One Love. Shea Love.

x Juliet

Leave a Comment