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Shea Butter: What are its benefits for the beard?

Just like hair, a beard needs regular maintenance to minimize the occurrence of imperfections and promote its growth. Beeswax and shea butter are among the ingredients frequently used in the composition of beard balms. Let's explore their benefits together.

Summary
Published January 31, 2024, by Manon, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

Why should you take care of your beard?

Maintaining your beard is necessary to remove impurities and soften the hairs. Indeed, the beard can be a real breeding ground for bacteria. That's why it's essential to clean it daily. This practice will help limit the appearance of imperfections on the jawline and cheeks, and reduce skin inflammation and irritation. Indeed, the facial skin beneath the beard dries out, it's no longer sufficiently hydrated and causes itching.

Another inconvenience of an unkempt beard is the appearance of the hairs, which become coarser and duller, due to repeated shaving. Damaged and brittle hairs hinder the growth of the beard hairs. Therefore, it is necessary to nourish both the beard and the skin. Natural treatments like shea butter possess such properties and thus provide a natural alternative for beard care.

What does shea butter bring to the beard?

It should be noted that to maintain a healthy beard, it is crucial to start by taking care of the skin underneath. Rich in vitamins (A, D, E, and F), fatty acids (oleic acid, stearic acid...) and phytosterols, the shea butter hydrates and nourishes the skin, as well as the beard hairs.

  • The nourishing aspect of shea butter.

    Rich in fatty acids, shea butter helps to maintain skin hydration. It strengthens the skin barrier, thereby reducing insensible water loss, to maintain hydration. Hair takes root in the hair follicle, which is located about 4 cm below the epidermis. By taking root on well-hydrated skin, the hair follicle is healthy, beard hairs grow properly, are robust and shiny. Moreover, with well-hydrated skin, there is no risk of dandruff forming.

    A study conducted by a Swedish company in 2009 highlighted the nourishing power of shea butter. Moisture levels in the skin were measured using a corneometer. The application of shea butter resulted in a steady increase in skin water content over a four-hour period. Thus, the use of shea butter on the skin serves as an alternative against transepidermal water loss.

    Shea butter not only nourishes the skin, but also the hairs of the beard. These hairs absorb the nutrients provided by the shea butter, which is rich in both vitamins and fatty acids. As the beard grows, it uses more sebum. Shea butter contains a majority of fatty acids: stearic, linoleic, palmitic, and arachidic. Among them, oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is part of the composition of sebum. It stimulates the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. The application of shea butter thus helps to preserve the protective barrier of the skin: the skin is then better hydrated and the beard is more supple.

  • Shea butter to promote hair growth.

    Shea butter enhances beard growth through a comprehensive action on the skin and hair. By moisturizing and nourishing the skin as well as the hair fiber, shea butter helps to prevent the occurrence of split ends and protect against hair fall. Moreover, the vitamin D present in shea butter promotes hair growth and contributes to its strengthening. Hair follicles have vitamin D receptors (VDR for Vitamin D Receptor) that play a role in hair renewal and growth. A deficiency in vitamin D weakens the hair fiber and makes it brittle. Therefore, thanks to shea butter, the beard is soft, shiny, and robust. Its application also provides protection against external aggressions such as the sun, wind, or even coloring.

How to incorporate it into your daily skincare routine?

Warm a small amount of shea butter between your hands and apply it to your beard, which should be previously cleaned and brushed. Gently massage from the root of the hairs to the tips to allow the butter to penetrate.

Sources

  • KONG J. & al. Targeted expression of human vitamin D receptor in the skin promotes the initiation of the postnatal hair follicle cycle and rescues the alopecia in vitamin D receptor null mice. Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2002).

  • ALANDER J. Shea butter with improved moisturisation properties (2009).

  • MYSORE V. & al. Role of vitamin D in hair loss: A short review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2021).

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