How to Identify Fake Shea Butter (Ori)

How to Identify Fake Shea Butter

It does not take long for good things to catch on very quickly. Just the same way coconut oil went viral, Shea butter is now the rave of the moment. From claims of its ability to get rid of stretchmarks to removing dark spots for the skin as well as promoting healthy hair growth, it’s no wonder this natural hair goodness is everyone’s favorite right now. But then, with something as good as shea butter, you need to be careful when buying so you don’t end up with a fake one. Here are some ways to identify fake shea butter:

  1. Colour: Most times, this is the first thing you see before buying the shea butter. Depending on the country of origin, unrefined shea butter comes in off ivory colour to a yellowish colour.

Woman making shea butter. Source

  1. Smell: Unrefined shea butter has a nutty smoky smell. This smoky smell comes from the roasting of the shea seeds done during the process of making the shea butter. You might want to be cautious if your shea butter smells any different from this.

Identify Fake Shea Butter – long nigerian hair

  1. Texture: Just in case, you are still in doubt about the shea butter you are about to buy, you can still check the texture. Unrefined shea butter is thick, but not rock solid. Also, unrefined shea butter should melt in your palms in seconds due to your body heat. Personally, I am skeptical about buying shea butter that is hawked while the sun is shining & it is not melted. FarmRite with Yinka confirmed my fears in his post about fake shea butter:

There are so many diluted shea butters in the market. I discovered at some point that some people dilute Sheabutter with animal fat (mansanu) while others dilute it with candle wax. You even see some women displaying Sheabutter in the sun. Original Sheabutter will not survive even the ray of sun that enters the room

  1. Taste: You are probably thinking since when did it become edible? Some people in some parts of Nigeria use it in cooking. But you have to be cautious so you don’t eat the wrong stuff. The last time I bought Shea butter, I told the woman about my suspicions that it might be fake. She scooped a bit with her index finger & licked it. Case closed. I bought several chunks from her.
  2. Mouldy: Good shea butter should not have moulds. If you notice moulds in your jar of shea butter. It might be time to buy a new jar of shea butter.

If with the above, you are still in doubt about purchasing shea butter, I will recommend you buy it from a trusted source. I know friends who will wait for someone who is coming to visit from their villages to bring them unrefined shea butter.

Tell us, how do you also identify original shea butter?

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