Natural Shea Butter is collected by extracting it from the nut of the Shea tree. It has many uses in cosmetics as it is very moisturizing. You may have noticed Shea butter being sold in a bright yellow or soft ivory color and wondered; what’s the difference? There is a slight misconception concerning the two butters. In fact, yellow and ivory butter are not both from the Shea tree and are similar but different.
The butter which is a bright yellow color is actually called African butter, and grows from a completely different tree in a different climate. African butter comes from a tree from dense forest that requires moist and shaded conditions, while Shea butter comes from a tree in the open savannah and is drought tolerant. This alone goes to show there are differences between the butters.
Although the butters are different they do contain similar properties. Confusion erupted between the two butters when one began to be marketed as “yellow Shea butter” in America and Europe. Some companies will even dye Shea butter to look like the African butter, because of consumer demand.
|Yellow African Butter|
Depending on whom you are asking the ivory or the yellow butter is the best. Some may prefer the ivory Shea butter because it is creamier and has a light smell. The African butter has a strong earthly smell that some may not like, but it’s easy to get used to. Both have great moisturizing properties for your hair and skin.
So if you happened to purchase a yellow tub of “African shea butter”, you really have African butter. But it’s ok, because it’s just as beneficial. Both can help you on the road to healthy strands.
Quick Fact: Coco Butter can be substituted for Shea butter as well. They are basically the same thing.