Mongongo (a bit of a mouthful to pronounce) oil is a new one I’ve been looking at for a while. The manketti nut the oil is derived from can be found growing in Southern parts of Africa like Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi & Zimbabwe. The nut is also part of the staple diet in those areas.
The oil is used as a skin moisturizer in the areas where it’s produced. It is also used as a moisturiser to protect the hair from the harsh elements in those regions. Mongongo oil is a fantastic oil for hair if you live in a dry and/or humid environment. Additionally, the oil also provides intense hydration and regenerative properties, all the good things we want to hear when it comes to the oil we use on our hair.
Mongongo contains significant amounts of linoleic acid as well as alpha eleostearic acid, which acts as a protective film when applied to the hair. In addition to this, it also contains calcium, iron, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, magnesium, copper, nicotinic acid, and vitamin E.
The antioxidant content of the oil gives it a stable shelf life, which means it lasts longer than a lot of other natural oils.
You can use mongongo oil for hydrating treatments in the following ways:
- Warm up 2 tablespoons of mongongo oil.
- Add it to ½ cup of your favourite deep conditioner. I found it works wonders when mixed with Trader Joe’s Tea Tree conditioner and Jessicurl Deep Conditioning Treatment Conditioner. Mix together.
- Apply to clean hair and cover with a shower cap, then sit under a steamer for 45 minutes or leave in overnight.
- Rinse out the next morning and style as usual.
- If you are going to blowdry, spread 3 – 5 drops of mongongo oil across your palms and work through your damp hair before blowdrying. It makes a great protective oil not to mention adding some shine.
Another method I’ve found that works is after applying my leave in such as Kinky Curly Knot Today Detangler, I apply a few drops of mongongo oil then air dry in pinned twists. The results were lovely when I took down the twists. See pic below:
You can buy mongongo oil on its own or a product that already contains it. Ouidad also has their own brand of mongongo oil, which is a bit on the pricey side. However, all you need is a few drops so the 4oz bottle should last for a while. I have also read some good reviews about the oil. Below is a video from Ouidad talking about what the oil does: