Beside coconut oil, shea butter has to be one of the most popular (and overused) ingredients in natural hair care.
To be fair, it’s not for no reason! It’s packed with essential fatty acids and vitamins that contribute to moisturized, shiny, and defined kinks and curls.
But no matter how great it is, there’s still a whole world of plants, nuts, and fruits to extract goodness from and we’re selling ourselves and our hair short by not trying them!
In fact, there are actually a few little-known nuts and seeds that produce some of the most nutrient-packed rich butter that rivals even the best shea blend.
Check out 3 exotic butters that’ll have your curls moisturized and poppin’.
Derived from tucuma palm seeds which are natively found in Brazil, this light-colored paste is our favorite answer to dry, frizzy hair that just won’t hold onto definition or moisture.
It’s loaded with polyphenols and fatty acids which means not only does it protect your hair from some really harsh environmental factors such as air pollution or heat damage from, but also promotes strong, shiny, voluminous kinks and curls.
Because tucuma butter is such a moisturizing ingredient, it works best when layered with various, well-known hydrators and humectants such as honey, aloe, or even glycerin.
For example, spritzing your hair with water, coating it with an aloe-based cream, and then defining it with tucuma would give you the definition of your dreams.
Murumuru butter is made by extracting the yellowish fat from the seeds of a palm tree indigenous to the Amazon rainforest called Astrocaryum murumuru.
Similar to cocoa butter, murumuru is packed with fats and oils that make it great for softening both skin and hair.
It’s especially high in a particular fatty acid called lauric acid, a powerful substance that’s often found in coconuts, that is known to penetrate the hair shaft to soothe and protect it at the root.
This is an important quality because that process is what prevents breakage.
Murumuru should be applied like any other butter, but do keep in mind that it is slightly on the comedogenic side which means it can cause clogged pores (less so than coconut oil or shea butter), so make sure you wipe it from your face after applying it to your hair.
Ucuuba is the lesser-known butter out of the three, but it’s wholeheartedly one of the best ingredients you’ll ever come across. Naturally cold-pressed from the seeds of the Ucuuba tree native to Central and South America, Ucuuba is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.
This means that it can take care of whatever psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, or scalp inflammation you have going on.
Even if you don’t have any scalp conditions, using butter that ensures optimal scalp health is how you make room for healthy hair growth.
Ucuuba is on the harder side, so it’s not easily spreadable. However, you can soften this butter by sitting the container in a hot water bath so the contents will meltdown.
Add in a few teaspoons of your favorite oil to turn it into a hot oil treatment hair mask!