Why I Stopped Using Shea Butter…

December 18, 2015

For the better part of two years, I strictly used Shea butter to style my hair.

It worked well at locking in moisture and keeping my hair soft and shiny for DAYS. My hair always came out well-defined, and the style would last as long as the moisture would. It also isn’t very expensive: I can usually catch it on sale at Whole Foods. One tube, mixed with oils, can last me months. Shea butter is the real MVP. This topic is tried and trusted. But, after months and months of using it to maintain healthy hair, it left me bored and looking for a different look.

My main objective for using Shea butter as a styler has always been to get maximum curl definition and hair elongation, which was perfect when my hair was shorter to get more of a rounded look rather than a shrunken look. Now that my hair is longer, I need a lot more volume to achieve the full, rounded fro. Pure shea butter can’t give me that. I also have grown tired of waiting for my hair to dry when using Shea butter (because the longer my hair gets, the longer it takes to dry), which is a minimum day and a half on my highly porous hair. Its almost useless during the winter months because, along with the harsh weather conditions, it leaves my hair lifeless and over-moisturized.

When the cold weather started to roll in, I started experimenting with different products that would leave my hair (1) moisturized, (2) full in volume, and (3) defined. I stayed away from butters and pomades and leaned towards creams and light gels. From the products I attempted, I compiled is a list of the ones that gave me good results. I start with the best first.


 

Entwine Creme Jelle Styler 

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This styler is my go-to styler at the moment. It leaves my hair soft, defined and volumeFULL, hunty! I have tested this product in warm and cold weather, and it works great in both scenarios. It is one of the more expensive stylers I have: $18 for 4 oz. 🙁 but it’s totally worth the money. It is the first Entwine product I have tried, and it has made me want to purchase the whole line. I can’t put this product down and will buy my next jar before the new year.

DevaCurl Styling Cream

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I tried this styler AFTER trying the Entwine styler. After untwisting my hair, I was almost ready to throw the Entwine styler in the trash. This styler left my hair feeling like butta! Almost as butterlicious as Shea butter makes my hair feel, which may be the reason it didn’t leave my hair with as much volume as I would’ve liked. I was able to achieve a certain “height” that I wasn’t able to achieve with shea butter, but my hair didn’t feel as full as I knew it could be. My curls were very defined, and I think the curl definition overshadowed the volume. The best thing about the styler is that it makes my hair smell delicious! The styler in the bottle smells like the pink Starburst candy, literally! It currently sits at number two under the Creme Jelle Styler.

HelloCurlies Hello Coily Curlique Custard

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I originally used this product for a wash and go and completely hated how it felt on my hair. This product just didn’t feel right on my hair. Months later, and also with healthier hair, I decided to pull it out from the back of the shelf. I like the definition it left on my hair, but I had to be wary of how much product I used. You can’t use too much of the gel because it will weigh your hair down if used improperly. It works the same as a cream styler, except the moisture doesnt last as long as I’d like. This is expected, seeing that the product is sold as a W&G styler. W&G’s only last 2-3 days and requires daily remoisturizing. The moisture lasted longer when it was combined with the Hello Coily Buttermilk Moisturizer. I like using this leave-in conditioner by itself, with other styling products. This LIC, along with the Hello Tight Curly Daily Moisturizer have made it onto my list of favorite leave-ins. I think the curling custard will be used later on for a W&G, one day..

Curls Creme Brule

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This is my favorite semi-lightweight styler to use for rod sets. I have used it for twist outs in the past, but it looks better, and holds better, with rod and roller sets. This product is my alternative to styling mousse, which I normally use for rod sets and is very drying. It is best when combined with Curls Goddess Curls Botanical Gelle. The gel provides just the right amount of hold on top of the cream styler. This combination makes my hair super fluffy and gives major volume to my curls when rodded and rolled. I have repurchased both of these products multiple times.


 

Please understand that I am not swearing off shea butter forever. It is and will always be a staple in my natural hair product collection. I will use it again, but it won’t be for the same purpose. I will most likely use it exclusively in protective styling and updos for moisture retention and high shine. I still love it as much as the day I bought my first jar. But. until I decide to put my hair in a bun for the week, or some crown braids, it will stay in the back of the shelf.

 

Merci beaucoup!

To see what shea butter I use, click here.

For more on natural hair, click here.

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