Shea butter is an oil rich fat that is derived from the karite tree (shea tree), which is native to Africa. The karite tree, also known as “The Tree of Life”, is considered sacred by many tribes in Africa and is still extensively used there to protect the skin and hair from harsh sun and dry winds. The nuts from the fruit of the karate tree are crushed, boiled and then a light colored fat is gently manipulated into Shea butter. Neil Naturopathic uses only unrefined shea butter, which is its purest, most natural and least processed form. As it is extracted manually it is able to retain its vitamins, minerals and other natural beneficial properties. Shea butter contains five principal fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidic acids. In addition to these fatty acids, Shea butter contains high amounts of Vitamin E, F, & D, phytosterols, provitamin A, allantoin, UV-B absorbing triterpene esters such as cinnamic acid, and hydrocarbons such as karitene. Shea butter also contains 10 phenolic compounds known for their powerful antioxidant properties. All of these nutrients essentially make Shea butter a superfood for the hair and scalp. The combination of nutrients in Shea butter makes your hair follicles stronger and reduces hair fall and hair loss. This strength also reduces breakage and mends split ends. Shea butter also has proven to improve collagen production, the youthful scaffolding protein in the scalp, maintaining the scalp’s elasticity, suppleness and reducing aging. For those people shaving their heads, Shea butter can moisturize and reduce razor bumps and irritation and if applied prior to shaving proves easier, faster, and leaves no irritated spots behind.