Is Babassu Oil really Magic for Hair and a Substitute for Coconut Oil or Should it be Left at the Natural Food Store?

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Hi Everyone,

If you’re reading this then I know you’re here because you want to see if Babassu Oil is really magic for the hair and a great replacement for coconut oil. I personally use this a lot in my DIY products and can say that it works well as a carrier oil that provides the perfect dilution for essential oils I tend to use in my hair. Before I start talking about Babassu Oil, here are some essential oils that I use in my own hair and their benefits.

  •  Sweet Orange Oil [has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, increases collagen production and Vitamin C absorption within the scalp, in addition to improving blood circulation to the scalp to promote hair growth]
  •  Lavender Oil[promotes hair growth, produces antimicrobial properties, improves itchy scalp, and prevents dandruff]
  • Peppermint Oil  [has antimicrobial properties, promotes hair growth, and prevents hair loss
  • Bergamot Oil[ has antimicrobial properties, improves the scalp’s condition, and  promotes hair growth
  • Tea Tree Oil [moisturizes the hair surface, helps hair to grow at a steady rate, and prevents dandruff]
  • Ylang Ylang Oil [ stimulates hair growth, reduces breakage, improves hair texture, and reduces hair thinning]
  • Cedarwood Oil[ has antifungal and antibacterial properties, reduces hair loss by balancing the oil production glands, and reduces dandruff]
  • Passionfruit or Maracuja Oil [strengthens the hair shaft, prevents hair loss, enhances smoothness and volume within the hair, and has antioxidant properties]

So Let’s Talk about Its Origin

  • Babassu Oil is also known as [Attalea speciosa, American Palm Oil, Motacu and Motacuchi]. This oil derives from the kernel within the Babassu palm tree, which is located within the northern and western regions of South America, Brazil, Bolivia, Guyana, and Surinam. Babassu is seen as an evergreen palm tree that can grow up to 15-30 meters within 15-20 years after it has been planted. This tree is composed of 15- 20 large feathery leaves and at first, glance resembles a coconut palm tree.

So you may ask why is Babassu actually grown and how is it used in everyday life.

  • As its structure and look are similar to that of a coconut tree, its purpose in everyday life also resembles the uses we have for coconut oil in our day-to-day activities. For example, Babassu is used to make soap, oil, margarine, detergent, lamp oils, skin and hair products, etc.

How Babassu Oil is made and what are its Properties

  • Babassu Palm produces hard shell nuts which have an inner kernel that produces what we know today as Babassu Oil.  When looking at its composition, 80-91% of it is made out of saturated fatty acids such as:
    • Lauric Acid
    • Myristic Acid
    • Palmitic Acid
    • Capric Acid, Caprylic Acid, and Stearic Acid
  • The remaining 9% is made out of unsaturated fatty acids such as:
    • Linoleic acid and Oleic Acid

So now that we’re done with the Boring Stuff, let’s talk about why it’s so amazing for Hair and how it can be used as a substitute for coconut oil.

  • Coconut Oil and Babassu Oil both contain Lauric Acid, Palmitic Acid, Capric Acid, and Stearic Acid. Lauric Acid helps nourish the hair shaft, adds moisture to your strands, and promotes hair growth. It also has antimicrobial agents that help your DIY products fight against bacteria formation. Palmitic Acid allows the hair to retain moisture, improves hair malleability, and softens the hair without making its texture feel greasy. Capric Acid or Caprylic triglyceride creates a barrier to the hair’s surface that allows it to retain moisture, prevents dryness, and acts as a perfect conditioning agent for dry hair.
  • Stearic Acid is an emulsifying agent [i.e. which allows for oil and water to combine without separating] that protects and conditions the hair without making it look dull, frizzy, or weak. Lastly Linoleic and Oleic Acid are conditioning agents that stimulate hair growth and aids in maintaining a healthy scalp. Furthermore, Linoleic Acid is seen as a surfactant agent [i.e. an ingredient used in a lot of shampoos and conditioners] that smooth’s the hair and softens the hair texture.
  • Long story short, if you don’t have coconut oil on deck for your DIY products, just use Babassu Oil since they have the same properties. I can tell you from experience that Coconut oil definitely has a better smell but if you use fragrance oils, it will definitely take over the rubbery smell that Babassu Oil has.

Leave us a comment and let us know if you found this post to be helpful. Also, click on the link below to let us know which one you think is the better moisturizing agent.

** Please note all of these products are made out of natural components**

Is Babassu Oil really Magic for Hair and a Substitute for Coconut Oil or Should it be Left at the Natural Food Store?