Is cupuacu on your natural hair care product list yet? If not, it should be. For naturals who have to endure dry hair, finding a natural product that can improve the moisture content of their hair can seem impossible. Cupuacu butter is a moisture-rich butter that not only improves moisture but can also bolster the strength of your precious curls.
Image Source: Bigstock Photo/JKLS Photography
Cupuacu butter, pronounced (Koo-poo-wahsoo), is a product of the cupuacu fruit tree (Theobroma grandiflorum). This tree, native to the Amazon rainforest, is a cousin to the same tree that produces cocoa( and cocoa butter and chocolate!). Both trees are of the Theobroma family. As tree cousins, Cupuacu is an ingredient of white chocolate. It is also often a component of Brazillian candies and ice cream. Not only does it make a yummy part to sweets, but it is also yummy on the skin and hair.
As with all butter, cupuacu butter contains many fatty acids, such as stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids. Likewise, it is rich in phytosterols which are plant cholesterol-like chemicals that help promote hair growth. Cupuacu butter traps moisture better than most butter, making it attractive to low porosity hair mavens and a fantastic alternative to lanolin (which also traps water) in natural hair products.
Cupuacu is wild-harvested, and the butter is derived from cold-pressing and grinding the seeds from the tree. The following are physical properties of cupuacu butter:
As usual, opting for Unrefined Cupuacu butter, which hasn’t been subject to any chemical processes, is recommended over the refined option.
Here are four reasons to add cupuacu butter to your regimen.
We opened this article by boasting about the amazing effect cupuacu can have on the moisture levels of your natural hair. Moisture is all about water, water, and more water, but we can hardly walk around all day with wet hair, plus constantly having your hair drenched with water could lead to hydration fatigue.
The practice of sealing in moisture can be the missing puzzle piece in helping hair to retain moisture.
Cupuacu butter functions as a moisture-sealing agent. It has high water absorption levels and tends to maintain it more than most butter. Translation? This butter can help to transform dry, brittle hair into soft, supple, and moisture-rich tresses. It will make a great addition to your LOC/LCO regimen.
Cupuacu butter contains polyphenols which can act as antioxidants. You are probably familiar with the benefits of antioxidants for your body, but why are antioxidants essential for our natural hair? Antioxidants play a fundamental role in eliminating free radicals which damage our hair, cause hair loss, split-ends, faded hair color, thinness, and cuticle damage. Free radicals access our strands through exposure to UV rays, excessive heat styling, chemicals in dyes and relaxers, and even keratin treatments. Cupuacu butter has the perfect mix of properties that enable it to slow or halt this devastating process.
Natural hair elasticity—the ability of your strands to stretch and return to their initial state—is a sign of healthy hair. Often, hair can lose its elasticity through rough handling or over manipulation, excessive heat styling, chemicals, etc. Hair that lacks flexibility is usually dry and brittle and may result in cycles of breakage and hair loss. The fatty acids and collagen contained in cupuacu butter have the ability to restore elasticity to natural hair, decreasing its susceptibility to snapping and split-ends.
Although shea butter is a favorite in the natural hair community, many naturalistas tend to dislike the smell or are allergic to it. Cupuacu butter has a sweet smell and can be more moisturizing than shea butter due to its hydrophilic (water-loving) properties. It is also lighter than shea butter. Hence it will not weigh down fine or thin strands.
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