Answer: Man-shanu is milk fat that has been separated from fresh milk. From what I have been told, the Fulani and other people of Northern Nigeria, eat it and use it to soften and retain moisture on the skin and hair. Due to the fact that most Fulani people have long soft curly hair, there is a myth in Nigeria that man-shanu is solely responsible for their beautiful hair.
True or false?
I have not been able to find research done on man-shanu (or ghee) to hair growth but I have found sites that claim that it does grow hair with one claiming that it has the magical ability to open up closed follicles. Don't take my word for it but I wouldn't advise you to get your hopes up based on that.
Afro Hair Growth
According to Audrey Davis-Sivasothy's book, The Science of Black Hair: A
Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care, afro hair growth occurs through a two step process; hair growth from the roots (or from the follicles underneath the scalp) and hair retention along the length and ends of the hair (see p. 56)
One of characteristics of afro hair is that it gets dry easily and breaks off easily as a result of the dryness. That is why a lot of us assume that our hair is not growing when in actual fact it is growing but breaking off faster than you can retain length. To solve this problem, you need a lot of moisturising, sealing,and protein/moisture deep conditioning treatments for strength.
So where does man-shanu come into all of this?
|Man-shanu used as a pre poo and to detangle|
- Man-shanu mixed with eggs can be used as a protein treatment
- When melted with hot water and mixed with other ingredients, like mustard oil and coconut oil it is great as a pre poo treatment, and
- Alone, man-shanu is great for detangling dry natural hair.
Reference: Davis-Sivasothy, Audrey. The science of black hair: a comprehensive guide to textured hair care, 56. Texas: Saja Publishing Company, (2011).