Curly Haircare 101: Awesome Benefits of Babassu Oil for Skin and Hair
By Jacqueline Samaroo
Babassu oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicines as well as hair and skincare treatments. It’s now made its way into the mainstream beauty industry as a coconut oil alternative with amazing benefits for both your hair and scalp. It has been shown to contribute to hair and scalp health, softness, and hydration.
Keep reading to discover the benefits of babassu oil for skin and hair. Find out what is babassu oil, what makes it such a beneficial oil, and how to use it in your natural haircare routine.
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What is babassu oil?
Babassu oil is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm, an Amazonian tree that grows in the rainforest areas of Brazil, Guyana, Bolivia, and Suriname. The babassu palm’s scientific name is Attalea speciosa. It also goes by cusi and various other local names.
All parts of the babassu palm are traditionally put to use – the trunk as timber, the fruit for beverages and flour, and the fronds as thatch for houses and material to make baskets. The shells of the nut are used to make a kind of smokeless charcoal.
Of course, there is also babassu seed oil! It is a lightweight, pale-yellow, clear oil with a slightly sweet and nutty scent. It’s often used for cooking but also gets put to use in skincare and haircare products, as well as in lubricants and cleaners.
Babassu oil is solid at room temperature but melts from body heat and is readily absorbed by the skin. This leads to it having a cooling effect on the skin.
Other wonderful oils for Black hair:
- 3 Remarkable Benefits of Baobab Oil for Hair Growth (+ Product Suggestions!)
- 5 Amazing Benefits of Ashwagandha Essential Oil for Hair Growth
- Ayurvedic Hair Care: 4 Wonderful Benefits of Brahmi for Hair
Five health benefits of babassu oil for skin and haircare
No matter the styling products you use on your hair, having hair that’s strong and lustrous with tons of lovely bounce depends on just two things – healthy hair and a healthy scalp. Nutrient-dense foods can provide your hair and scalp with the nutrients needed for healthy hair growth but there are also topical ways to nourish, protect, and strengthen your scalp and hair. Babassu oil is one of them!
Here are five of the amazing benefits of babassu oil for hair health and hair growth.
1. Babassu oil is an excellent emollient.
This fantastic oil is high in lipids. In fact, about 70% of the oil is made up of lipids which, in turn, contain several beneficial fatty acids. These include lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, and oleic acid.
These fatty acids make babassu oil an excellent emollient. They give the oil its high moisture-retention ability and help it not evaporate or break down easily when applied. The beneficial fatty acids also boost babassu oil’s effectiveness at softening the skin and improving skin texture.
2. Babassu oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are behind the traditional use of babassu oil to heal wounds and fight infection. They also give it the ability to contribute to the development and maintenance of a healthy scalp environment.
It can rid the scalp of microorganisms and help fight infection, as well as relieve redness and irritation caused by inflammation. Furthermore, babassu oil has the ability to ward off acne-causing bacteria.
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are just two of the benefits of babassu oil that make it a good choice for those with acne-prone scalps. We’ll look at another of the acne-fighting benefits of babassu oil later on.
3. Babassu oil is a good source of antioxidants.
Next in our look at the wonderful benefits of babassu oil for hair growth is its powerful antioxidant ability. Babassu oil is nutrient-rich and high in antioxidants, including vitamin E. Antioxidants help to prevent and repair the damaging effects free radicals and other stressors can have on body cells, including the cells of scalp skin.
4. Babassu oil is readily absorbed.
Because it is so lightweight, babassu oil is readily absorbed into the skin. Additionally, once absorbed, it does not leave behind a greasy feeling and there is no need to rinse it from your hair. Babassu oil also won’t weigh down your strands but will instead help to add volume while boosting shine.
Its ease of absorption makes babassu oil a very good carrier oil to use with essential oils. It helps to carry the essential oil into your skin. This is one great way DIYers can take advantage of the benefits of babassu oil for natural hair.
- The Difference between Essential Oils and Carrier Oils – 4 Really Good Things to Know
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5. Babassu oil does not clog pores.
This is another reason babassu oil is good for acne-prone scalps. It is very similar to coconut oil but is lighter and will not clog pores – an issue some persons have when using coconut oil. Babassu oil is an excellent coconut oil substitute if you are looking to get the benefits of coconut oil without the clogged pores and associated skin conditions.
Using babassu oil for hair growth
It’s quite easy to get the benefits of babassu oil for hair and skin.
- You can apply it directly to your scalp and massage it in.
- It can also be applied to your hair and you don’t have to wash it out afterward (unless you want to, that is) because babassu oil is so lightweight and easily absorbed.
- Use babassu oil as a carrier oil for essential oils. Add just a few drops of your favorite essential oil to it and apply to your scalp and hair.
- Substitute babassu oil for coconut oil in your DIY haircare products. It gives very similar benefits and behaves in very much the same way in formulations.
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Do you use babassu oil as a replacement for coconut oil? Tell us about it!