Hair Butter

(Q&A) Best Natural Hair Butters for All Hair Types, with Recipes

What is there to do when you have dry, damaged, thin or oily hair? Well, you can always use natural products that restore the hair’s luster and vitality. They are also very easy to apply. But oil on my hair, you say? Yes. Used correctly, butter can truly revive and restore your hair. Read on to see how and why.

In this post, you’ll be reading about:

  • The whys and the hows of hair butter (what it is, benefits, how to use it, etc.)
  • Examples of hair butters to try for your hair type and condition.
  • Simple, DIY hair butter recipes for inspiration.
  • Safety tips for the safe use of any vegetable butter on the hair.

What is Hair Butter? How, Why, and Which One to Use? (Q & A)

Hair care is a very big concern for most people. Nowadays, not only women care about the way their hair looks and feels. More and more men turn their attention toward healthy and full hair too.

We can dye our hair, just for the sake of change and novelty. We can style it however we want by using all sorts of heat-based tools.

Many still straighten their hair or use a blow drier on a daily basis. I’m one of the latter, I admit.

All these and more are meant to make us look and feel better. But, enjoying these benefits doesn’t come without a price. Ironically enough, it’s our very own hair that has to pay that price.

Too much synthetic product on the hair can clog and suffocate the hair cuticles and scalp. Synthetic substances are what we find in all commercial shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays and gels, etc.

Applying heat to the hair on a daily basis can dry it really bad. That leads to frizz, split ends, and an overall burnt-like aspect.

In time, all these aggressions and stress can weigh heavy on the hair. It can become very thin, lose its volume, and break more easily. The solution?

It’s a rather simple one. We can use natural and organic hair butter. It doesn’t require any special skills to apply it and it doesn’t take too much time either.

It’s something you can do while cleaning the house, for example. Or when you’re watching a movie, working out, etc. Check out the following sections to better understand what I’m talking about.

Hair butter

What is Hair Butter? What are Its Benefits?

A hair butter’s origin is vegetable. It’s 100% natural because it comes from the kernels, seeds, and/or pulp of fruits. These parts are full of fatty acids (fats). They give the extracted product its emollient properties.

Fat, whether animal or vegetable, nourishes the skin and hair, and forms a protective film. This applies even to furniture.

Thus, the vegetable butter is the solid version of the vegetable oil, otherwise known as a carrier oil.

They are vegetable butters that can be used in hair and skin care. Compared to carrier oils, butters are solid at room temperature.

They can, however, become liquid, especially when the room temperature rises. This happens a lot during the summer months. And of course, you can easily turn them liquid on a double boiler/ bain-marie.

So, a hair butter is a multi-purpose beauty product. Depending on its benefits, a vegetable butter can become more or less useful.

These benefits and effects come from their chemical composition, which is unique to each type of butter.

Many of them share some of the constituents, but the proportions vary. These variations usually influence the end effect of the butter.

How can fat, in general, be good for the hair, especially if you have oily scalp? You see, the human body produces oil (sebum) non-stop. Its role is important for both the skin and hair.

If the hair is well-lubricated, it’s easier to brush or style. It doesn’t break easily either. The sebum protects from external damaging factors. They can be:

  • UV rays,
  • Heat,
  • Dyes,  
  • Dirt,
  • Pollution,  
  • Synthetic substances from hair products,
  • Etc.

So, yes, it is very important to have the right amount of oil on your hair (and scalp) every day.

When you wash, depending on the shampoo you use, you can strip the hair from all its natural oils. This leaves it more prone to all sorts of damage.

Hair butter for healthy strands

What can hair butter do for you? Here are most of the benefits of applying butter to the hair:

  • It’s a natural moisturizer for the scalp. The scalp hosts the roots of the hair. There’s a complex network of thin blood vessels underneath. They deliver blood (oxygen and nourishment) to the roots. Through blood, the body can also send chemical signals to the hair. It tells it to grow, rest or fall. Natural hair butters can also be stimulant. They stimulate the blood so it can supply the hair roots faster. You can add a few drops of an antifungal essential oil in your mask, and get rid of dandruff for good. A moisturized scalp can also mean less dandruff.
  • Boosts hair growth. Oxygen and nourishment are what every cell needs to grow and live. More blood to the hair roots can lead to faster growing hair.
  • Provides nourishment for the hair cortex (the middle structure of the hair). It is here where the outer aspect and health of the strands “are decided”. The stronger the hair cortex (middle), the stronger the whole strand is. The healthier this cortex is, the brighter and fuller your hair color will look like. Hair butter is full of vitamins (antioxidants) and other minerals. Studies show that some hair butter varieties have a very good affinity to the hair. This means they can reach the cortex and work their magic. Others simply can’t do that. They’ll remain in the cuticle, where they’ll fill in any gaps and play the protection role.
  • Slowly reverse or prevent more damage to the hair. Depending on the butter type, it can coat the hair with a thin protective film. That’ll keep harmful substances from penetrating the hair cuticle. It’ll also minimize the sun damage and contribute to a healthier natural color.
  • Keeps the hair elastic and prevents thinning or breakage.
  • Using hair butter for natural hair can also tame some wild hairs and revitalize split ends. This also helps with the frizz.

You must keep in mind that any type of oil can give shine to your hair. That doesn’t mean it’s necessarily good for the hair. Mineral oil, for example, is not and doesn’t have any affinity to the hair whatsoever.

Sunflower oil is another one without affinity. This means it’ll not get to the cortex but remain stuck in the hair cuticle. It can fill eventual cracks in the cuticle though.

Sunflower oil is still better than mineral oil. Any type of natural butter or oil is better than mineral oil.

Some of the general fears of using hair butter addressed:

  • Hair butter can weigh heavy on the hair. That can be true only if you use too much hair butter or the wrong butter for your hair type and condition.
  • Hair butter can dry out the hair. Not at all. When it gets into contact with water, the hair swells. Applying butter when it’s still damp can seal that water in and prevent dryness. The water will then evaporate slowlier. The protective film of the butter on your hair strands can also prevent hygral fatigue. That’s when the hair swells up with water from the atmosphere and then dry. This process can happen on a daily basis and can lead to faster weathering. You can imagine how hair weathering leads to thinning and breakage.
  • Hair butter can suffocate the hair and pores, and cause build up. Whether it’s a light hair butter or a thicker one, it can be removed with shampoo or handmade soap. I recommend the latter because you can wash the hair several times to get all the fat off. This is recommended for all hot oil masks. The buildup may occur only if you apply hair butter in excess. You only need to apply the butter a few times a week, from a wash to another. Your hair will get better in time and you won’t need to use it as often. This will remove the risk of buildup.

If you’ve still got questions about using a butter treatment for hair, ask away in the comments section. I’ll try to give you the best answer I can. I can see why this would be a sensitive topic, as I myself, have been skeptical at first.

Afro hair is dry hair. Hair butter for dry hair
Afro hair is a very dry hair.

Who Can Use Hair Butter?

To avoid unnecessary difficulties, you should know how to choose your hair butter. Pay attention to how your hair looks and feels.

Are you using styling products and tools often? Do you treat your hair chemically? All these are important factors that help you choose the right organic butter for your hair.

The best hair butter is the one that meets your hair’s needs and your expectations. You can use several butters that you like, depending on mood, season, need, etc.

As a general rule, thick hair butters are very good for curly, dry and/or damaged hair.  For natural hair (oily or thin), the best hair butter is a light one. Colored hair can benefit from thick or thin butters.

A bad hair (really damaged, dull, frizzy, thin or afro) looks lifeless. It can look oily or it can look dry. It usually is fragile and breaks easily.

What damages hair so bad? It can be any of the following causes:

  • Repeated or excess chemical treatment.
  • Harsh grooming habits (brushing, straightening, drying, etc.).
  • Exposure to a certain environment (very hot or humid air, strong winds, freeze, pollution, etc.).

While we can avoid some of these causes, not many can change their environment. We can only find ways to protect the hair from all these external damaging factors.

It mostly depends on your goal, but anyone can use hair butter. Those rainy days, for example, they mess up your hair in a very bad looking manner. There’s too much humidity in the air that gets absorbed by the hair and swells it.

Well, by applying a very small amount of butter to your hair, you could prevent that tangled and swollen hair look.

Natural hair butter for all hair types

How to Use Hair Butter?

As with anything in life, applying too much hair butter or too often, is not a good idea. If you don’t wash it well enough, it can lead to oil buildup.

This will weigh down on the hair and take away its volume. Fortunately, with a bit of care, you won’t ever have to get there.

Nowadays, hair specialists recommend using so many products at once. There’s no wonder so many use the hair butter wrong.

There is the moisturizing conditioner, then there’s the leave-in conditioner. There’s also the oil and only then, in the end, you have the hair butter.

I mean, your hair will do fine with just the hair butter. It can act as a leave-in conditioner and moisturizing conditioner. You don’t have to use a carrier oil when you’re using natural hair butter.

How do you use hair butter?

  • Add it to your shampoo or conditioner and use normally.
  • Use it pure and organic (like it is in its recipient) or mix it with other butters and oils. You can also add a few drops of essential oil in it. It can be for certain benefits or for the smell alone.
  • Apply it as it is, directly to your ends, to treat or prevent split ends.
  • If your scalp is very dry or you have dandruff, you can massage some hair butter into it.
  • Apply hot oil masks twice a month or more often, if the hair is really damaged. Oil masks tend to saturate the hair very fast and that may lead to oil buildup. Once your hair improves, keep the mask to a minimum (once or every other week).
  • Add the hair butter to all your homemade hair products, including shampoos.

Fortunately, for those who want to make their own hair butter for natural hair from oils, they can do it.

There are natural ingredients you can add to your favorite carrier oil and turn it to butter. Check out this article here to get the details about this process.

Which Butter is Best for Hair Care?

There are lots of commercial hair butter products out there. They contain various amounts of different hair butters that target certain hair problems.

However, they are not 100% natural like a butter is. Using just one ingredient on your hair will be just as effective as a commercial hair mask.

The mask gets enhanced only when you use more natural ingredients. Each of them add something new to the end result.  

I realize there are a ton of hair butters you can pick from, and it can get overwhelming fast. For that, I’ll give you the details about some of the most common hair butters. Hopefully, this’ll help you decide which one to pick first.

Mango butter is extracted from the very delicious mango pulp.
  • Shea Butter (or Karité in French) – Does Shea butter moisturize the hair? Shea butter is very thick and rich in fatty acids. The hair can feel greasy after you apply a thick layer. It can maintain the hair strands moisturized by not letting the water evaporate from it. The protective film will keep the water inside and not let it absorb more from the air. This prevents hygral fatigue (further damage) to the hair. It makes the hair soft and shiny, and can deal with dandruff. You will want to use raw Shea butter for your hair. It is the best because it’s pure and untampered with.
  • Ucuuba Butter – This exotic hair butter can soothe an itching scalp and help to manage dandruff. It nourishes the hair and strengthens the hair roots. Ucuuba also keeps the hair moisturized and gives it volume.
  • Mango Butter – Using Mango butter for hair can help repair it. It’s great for sun-burnt hair or if you have split ends. It is also great to revive your hair if it’s been dyed.
  • Cupuaçu Butter – Another one of the many Brazilian butters, Cupuaçu is great for hair care. It gives shine, volume and makes the hair easy to style and brush. You can use it to protect your hair color and prevent sun damage.
  • Cocoa Butter – This butter has a hard consistency and a faint cocoa smell. Cocoa butter needs to be melted on a double boiler before use or mixed with a softer butter/oil. It protects the hair very well from external damage. It’s also nourishing and softening. Cocoa is best for damaged, dry, and dull hair.
  • Murumuru Butter – This is another exotic (Brazilian) natural hair butter. Murumuru is great at keeping the hair elastic so it won’t break anymore. It can define curls and, of course, help to restore damaged hair. You can use it in your DIY hair butter for natural hair to prevent sun damage too.
  • Kokum Butter – This is a great hair butter. Its most impressive qualities are the non-greasy feeling and the regeneration properties. It can restore your hair to its natural, healthy glow. It also has a hard consistency, but it melts faster when it gets in contact with the skin. Think about Coconut, how fast it melts on your fingers.

All these hair butters are creamy and give the hair shine and luster. Some of them have a great affinity for the hair.

This means they will penetrate the hair cuticle and reach the cortex. Nourishment to the hair cortex can influence the aspect and texture of your hair.

Other hair butters will not reach the cortex but remain in the cuticle. This one is the thickest layer of the hair. It’s what we see and call hair. This hair cuticle can crack because of many reasons.

A good hair butter can fill those cracks and prevent further damage from substances or free radicals. Take a look at the following and use the information as a guideline to using the right butter for your hair:

Hair butter for dry or curly hair

Curly hair is also dry or very dry. Dry hair gets along very well with thick and heavy, cream-like butters:

  • Cocoa
  • Shea
  • Mango
  • Cupuaçu

Hair butter for normal hair

Normal hair types are among the luckiest. If you have it, you can use any hair butter you fancy at the moment. You also don’t have to use masks and direct applications of butter all that frequently.

  • Kokum
  • Murumuru
  • Shea
  • Mango
  • Etc.

Hair butter for thin, prone-to-breaking hair

Thin and easily breakable hair needs only very light butters (and oils). Thicker ones will weigh heavy on the hair and add more stress.

  • Kokum
  • Murumuru
  • Cupuacu

Hair butter for oily hair

Even oily hair needs moisturizing and protection. Especially if you tend to wash your hair more often or use harsher products. You can always go for lighter butters, just like those for thin hair.

  • Kokum
  • Murumuru
  • Cupuacu

Hair butter for colored hair

Once dyed, you can use hair butters to keep your hair in good shape. You can apply masks and use butter on the hair ends to restore its natural shine, moisturize, and keep it elastic and nourished.

  • Cocoa
  • Mango
  • Cupuacu
  • Shea

There are, of course, many other hair butters available, which you could use. All you need is a good research in advance and then some practice.

The good part is that the hair will gain a lot from your experiments. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, even if the urge is very strong. Your hair will slowly regain its luster and vitality.

Hair Butter Recipes and Safety Tips

As a woman, I find pampering moments to be really uplifting and energizing. Applying hair butter masks or treatments to your hair makes for a special moment.

If you, too, are looking to give your hair a boost of shine, volume, and life, check these recipes out. Pamper all your senses with them, not just the hair and scalp.

Simple, DIY Hair Butter Recipes

DIY hair butter recipes

Scented Hair Butter Recipe

You’ll need:

  • Macadamia: 1 teaspoon
  • Cocoa butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Ylang Ylang essential oil: 1 drop

Melt the Cocoa butter on a double boiler, then add the Macadamia. The oil will make the butter more fluid and it’ll absorb a lot faster and on a deeper level.

Apply as a mask and leave it on for 30 – 60 mins. Make sure the mask is warm, then cover your head with a shower cap. The heat helps to open up the pores and hair cuticles, so more product can get into it.   

Hair Butter for Color Protection

You’ll need:

  • Cocoa butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Mango butter: 1 tablespoon
  • Rosemary essential oil: 3 drops

Melt and mix all the oils together, and give the blend a good shake before each use. You can use this as a hot oil mask (30 – 60 minutes on, then rinse off with shampoo). Or you can use it for local, direct applications on the whole length of the hair.

This can be done every time before going out in the sun, or before going to the pool/sea/etc. It’ll prevent any of the chlorine or salted water to swell the hair, or the sun rays from damaging it.

Safety Tips for a Safe Hair Butter Use

An all natural hair butter can be extracted from the seeds, the nuts or the pulp of fruits.

  • Every person with nut or seed allergy should use hair butter with care. It’s best to seek medical advice first.
  • Also, it’s important to give the butter a skin test first. Apply a small amount on the soft inside of the forearm and massage the product in. Leave it on for a day and watch for any redness, itching or irritation.

Your body will react fast if there’s something wrong with the butter. There’s always the risk of an allergic reaction and you don’t want to find out after widespread use.

  • Make sure you find all the details about the hair butters you want to buy. Look for the Latin/botanical name of the butter on a label or document. Also, the country of origin and method of extraction are important.

Best quality hair butters are cold pressed so their properties remain intact.

If you’re not sure about the quality, always ask for the GC/MS report of the product. All reputable sellers should have that analysis done for their products.


Hair butter is one of the few natural ingredients you can use safely on your hair. Every time you use it, it feels like a special moment. Since it brings in so many benefits for the hair, it’s only natural to want to know more about hair butters.

Regardless of your hair type and situation, you’ve got plenty of options. Use the right one and you’ll feel the difference very soon. Use hair butter with moderation to avoid any unnecessary buildup, heaviness or breakage.

Are you already using hair butter, and if so, which one? How is it going so far? Which one would you like to try next and why? I’ll look forward to reading your comments.

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