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Years ago, while spending a Saturday afternoon with two of my besties, who are both of Ethiopian descent, I sensed a sweet yet strange smell permeating from their hair which had ben wrapped up in a plastic shower cap. Apparently the strange smell was a result of a natural butter they use as a hair conditioner known as ghee butter. Normally this butter used this is cooking but they also use ghee butter as a hair treatment. They explained to me that niter kibbeh, or ghee butter, is used widely in Ethiopia to deep condition and strengthen their hair strands.
Fast forward years later, long after I had gone natural but dealing with issues of severe hair dryness that comes with rocking natural hair, the memory of the strange smell and the ghee butter crossed my mind and I was desparate to try anything that could possibly work to alleviate the dryness. I decided to revisit te idea of ghee butter and possibly give it a shot.
What is Ghee Butter
Ghee butter is basically a form of clarified butter that originated in South Asia. It is prepared by melting butter from milk fat until the solids and water separate. The water portion which is the ghee is drained and stored for future use. Normally, ghee butter is used in cooking and baking but some cultures might use for other purposes as Ethiopians use in hair treatments.
Using Ghee Butter for hair conditioner
I purchased Purity Organic Ghee Butter from a local grocer and for my first use, I simply mixed it with a little bit of my traditional conditioner and applied all over hair and scalp. Since I was using it for a deep conditioning treatment, I left it in for a couple of hours and then washed off.
Some things I liked about ghee butter.
- It left my hair incredibly soft and moisturized more so than when I just used my traditional conditioner and the softness lasted a few days which is not a norm for my extremely coarse hair.
- It is super cheap
- The initial scent of the Purity Organic Ghee was actually pleasant. It reminded me of freshly baked almond cookies.
Some things I could have done without:
- It is super oily and left a greasy feeling on my skin, towels and shower stall.
- The scent after several hours was not pleasant at all and even after a couple days the putrid scent still followed me everywhere.
Overall I think it did a good job as a conditioner, next I’ll probably mix it with a natural oil for a deeper conditioning treatment and perhaps some essential oils to tone down the scent. I’m curious to hear your experience with ghee butter if you’ve tried it, let me know what you think.