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What Are the Differences Between Babassu Oil and Coconut Oil?

While babassu oil and coconut oil are similar in a lot of ways, there are some subtle differences between them that will help you determine which type of oil is best for your hair needs.

I break down the similarities and differences between babassu oil and coconut oil in this article.

Babassu Oil vs Coconut Oil. Which is Best for Hair Care?

I’ve written about babassu oil and coconut oil previously in separate articles and you can catch them at:-

Babassu oil is made from babassu palm trees, which grow in Brazil. When the nuts from the tree ripen and fall to the ground, they are cracked open.

Afterward, the meat is extracted and cold-pressed for Babassu oil. Coconut oil is made in a similar manner from the kernels of mature coconuts.

What Are the Similarities Between Babassu Oil and Coconut Oil?

1. Solidifies at Room Temperature

Both babassu oil and coconut oil are capable of solidifying at room temperature.

They can be liquified by placing them in a bowl of warm water or rubbing between the palms.

2. Excellent Moisturizers

Babassu oil and coconut oil have excellent moisturizing properties making them a great sealing oil for all hair types.

3. Extensive Shelf Life

The shelf life of babassu oil and coconut oil is extensive and both can last up to 2 years when stored properly.

4. Non-Drying Oils

Babassu oil and coconut oil are non-drying oils. A non-drying oil is an oil that doesn’t harden when it’s exposed to air.

5. Packed With Fatty Acids and Vitamins

Babassu oil and coconut oil are full of fatty acids and vitamins. Both contain up to 70% lipids; essential fatty acids that are insoluble in water.

Though babassu oil and coconut oil have a similar profile, they are best for different hair goals.

Babassu Oil vs Coconut Oil

Babassu Oil

  • Babassu oil has no scent and comes with a neutral smell.
  • Babassu oil makes a more effective emollient oil and has a lower clog factor than coconut oil.
  • Because of its emollient properties, babassu oil mixes very well in DIY formulations.
  • Babassu oil helps smoothen the hair strands and keep away flyaways.
  • Babassu oil also promotes elasticity and is easily absorbed into the hair.
  • Babassu oil is great for all hair types as well as low porosity hair.

Mielle Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner and Mielle Babassu Conditioning Sulfate-free Shampoo are my favorite babassu oil products.

Coconut Oil

  • Coconut oil helps reduce protein loss from the hair during washing and handling.
  • It has the ability to penetrate the hair shaft.
  • Coconut oil also helps rid the scalp of dandruff effectively.
  • Type 3 – 4 hair types might prefer coconut oil and it’s also great for high porosity hair.

There are a lot of hair and beauty products with coconut oil as their primary ingredient so a bit hard to pick a favorite here.

How to Choose Between Babassu Oil and Coconut Oil

If you don’t like coconut oil, you can substitute babassu oil instead and if you like both, you can use it in combination to get the best of both oils.

For instance, you can use coconut oil in a pre-poo treatment and then use babassu oil as a sealing oil at the end of your regimen.

This is also a great combination for people who don’t like leaving coconut oil in their hair due to the smell or the way it feels afterward.

I love both and my usage depends on what’s available at my local beauty supply store.

Where to Buy Babassu Oil and Coconut Oil?


Piping Rock Babassu Oil


Trader Joe’s Organic Virgin Coconut Oil

You can find both brands as well as similar alternatives online at Amazon and iHerb (worldwide shipping).

How to Grow Your Hair Healthy & Long With Natural Oils

If you would like to know more about how to use natural oils for specific purposes to get more effective use out of them, check out How to Grow Hair Healthy & Long with Natural Oils.

The guide goes in-depth into which specific oil (s) works for each hair issue for optimal length and health.

Subscribers get a discount code on the guide as well as other guides. Learn more HERE.

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. Read full disclosure HERE.

Benefits of Kokum Butter for the Skin | Natural Oils for Hair & Health

Monday 16th of October 2017

[…] butters and other DIY formulations. It especially plays well when mixed with natural oils such as coconut oil, tamanu oil, emu oil and sweet almond […]


Tuesday 10th of January 2017

I love babassu oil. It's so soft and keeps moisture in my hair for a long time.