Babassu oil aka cusi oil is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm aka attalea speciosa.
The tree grows up to approximately 20 meters tall and can be found in Brazil, South America.
In this article, I’ll be covering:-
- What is babassu oil?
- Benefits of babassu oil for hair
- DIY babassu oil recipes
- Where to buy the best babassu oil
- Babassu oil vs coconut oil
- Best babassu oil hair products
What is Babassu Oil?
Babassu oil is obtained from the babassu palm. It is a clear light yellow to nearly white.
Babassu oil is a non-drying oil used as an ingredient is lots of skin and hair beauty formulations (list below).
In February 2008, Virgin Atlantic flew a Boeing 747 from London to Amsterdam using a combination of babassu oil and coconut oil.
Babassu Oil for Hair
Babassu oil contains a wide variety of fatty acids such as lauric acid, myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid.
It is an excellent multipurpose oil that works wonders on hair and can be used in place of or mixed with coconut oil.
Babassu Oil Benefits for Hair
1. Emollient Oil
Slightly heated before applying it to hair, Babassu oil forms a protective, soothing coating around it. It is an effective emollient for dry, brittle, and/or damaged hair.
2. Penetrates Quickly
Babassu oil penetrates quickly into the hair and doesn’t leave behind a greasy feel to your strands.
3. Complements DIY Products
Babassu oil is an excellent addition in body butter recipes, massage oils, and shampoo and deep conditioner recipes.
It is also a suitable replacement for coconut oil and can be used in beard oil recipes.
4. Antibacterial Properties
Its antibacterial properties help treat a range of ailments such as eczema, dry and itchy patches, and inflammation on the scalp although I prefer coconut oil for this treatment.
5. Promotes Strength and Elasticity
With a profile similar to coconut oil combined with its emollient properties, babassu oil can strengthen hair and improve elasticity.
6. Long Shelf Life
If stored in a tightly sealed container in a cool corner, the shelf life of babassu oil should extend well into 1 -2 years.
You can also use this oil to extend the shelf life of other less stable oils.
Babassu Oil vs Coconut Oil
Babassu oil and coconut oil have very similar profiles. However, there are a few differences between them.
Read an in-depth breakdown of babassu oil vs coconut oil here – What Are the Differences Between Babassu Oil and Coconut Oil?
Babassu Oil Recipes for Hair
Babassu Oil Whipped Butter
- 1/3 cup babassu oil
- 2 teaspoons vitamin E oil (above 70,000 IU)
- Shea butter or mango butter (eyeball amount as per the size of the container)
- Ylang-ylang essential oil or lavender essential oil for fragrance (optional).
- Melt the shea butter or mango butter over boiling water
- Add in the babassu oil and whip together thoroughly. Then add in the vitamin E oil and whip some more until you achieve a smooth consistency and it looks light and fluffy like a mousse.
- Add in the ylang-ylang or lavender essential oil if using.
- Pour into an airtight jar then leave in the fridge for a few hours to set.
- Alternatively, you can blend the ingredients if hand whipping is too much work. You can also use a piping bag to get it into the jar.
- Apply as needed to seal in moisture.
DIY Babassu Oil Shampoo Bar
- 100 grams of babassu oil
- 100 grams of olive oil
- 75 grams of avocado oil
- 50 grams of castor oil
- 25 grams of sunflower oil
- 30 grams lye (sodium hydroxide)
- 95 grams of distilled water
- 3 teaspoons of essential oils (ylang-ylang, lavender, patchouli, rosemary or tea tree)
- Gloves and goggles for protection.
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- Measure and weigh out all the ingredients before you start.
- Add all the oils into a crockpot and heat on low to medium heat. Ensure the temperature doesn’t go over 150F.
- Set the pan away from you to protect from splashing then pour in the distilled water followed by the lye. Wait until it is completely dissolved (the mixture will be clear).
- Remove the oils from the stove once it is at 150F, then slowly pour in the lye and distilled water mixture them mix together with a hand blender taking care of splashing. Mix until you achieve a trail like consistency when you drizzle the mixture.
- Put the crockpot back on the stove and cook for 2 – 3 hours. If the mixture starts to bubble over, stir it gently.
- Wait until the mixture has thickened then test with ph strips to check if ready.
- Add in the essential oils and color if you like then scoop the soap into the molds.
- Cover molds with plastic wrap then let the soap sit for 1 – 2 days.
- Remove from the mold, and cut into pieces if desired. Your DIY shampoo bar is all done.
There are also several other oil combinations to make your own shampoo bar. I will explore this in a comprehensive article later on.
If you’re not up to making your own shampoo bar, you can get your ready-made shampoo bars such as:-
- Cush Cosmetics Mango Babassu Shampoo Bar
- Dakota Free Babassu Soap
- Elegant Rose Boutique Babassu Shampoo & Body Bar
- Pink Grapefruit Babassu Shampoo Bar
Where to Buy Babassu Oil?
Babassu Oil Hair Products
- Mielle Babassu Oil & Mint Conditioner
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil Conditioning Sulphate Free Shampoo
- OBIA Naturals Babassu Deep Conditioner
- Obia Naturals Babassu Detangling Conditioner
- Nexxus Oil Infinite Frizz Defying Shampoo, Babassu, and Marula Oil
Interested in finding out 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, a guide that goes in-depth into which specific oil (s) works for each hair issue for optimal length and health.