That vegetable butter you choose to use on your hair depends on what you want to use the butter for:
Hot oil treatments & pre-Shampoo treatments
Use nutrient rich oils that can penetrate the hair follicle. Any vegetable butter will be very penetrating because butters (or solid oils) are very low in polyunsaturated fats. However murumuru butter or coconut oil would be especially penetrating because saturated fats are a bit better able to penetrate the cuticle than monounsaturated fats. Top 3: aloe butter (it's a blend of coconut oil and aloe juice so you get the best of both), murumuru butter, avocado butter.
Scalp massage to stimulate growth or to relieve dryness
Use oils with a high nutrient content to nourish the scalp and a lower density to avoid clogging the scalp. Using oils with a similar structure to sebum is an added bonus. Top 3: aloe butter, murumuru butter, shea butter.
Sealing In Moisture
I think any butter should be good for this function. Top 3: shea, cocoa, mango. That said, liquid oils have more polyunsaturated fats so they are better sealants of moisture overall. The only exception here is jojoba (its' very low in non-penetrating polyunsaturated fats) but it isn't actually an oil, it is a wax so we can't directly compare it to liquid oils.
If you have thin hair, avoid the harder butters: cocoa, kokum and sal. When you make hair butters for yourself use a softer blend with a little more oil and little less butter and wax so it doesn’t weigh your strands down.
Stepping back from the science for a moment: buy a few butters.
Make whipped hair butters with your chosen oils and butters and try them all out to decide which ones you want to keep buying. You can also use all the butters to make body butters, or skin lotions. You may find that the oils you don’t like on your hair are loved by your skin.
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward
I was a natural hair blogger and mixtress living between London & Chicago from 2012 to 2017. I always thought I was 4C but some say 4B; images below - you decide! Heather xx