Tucuma Butter for Hair: Benefits and How to Use It

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Discovering new ingredients to treat myself like a guinea pig is my favorite activity when it comes to my hair. And as a girl with textured tresses, I love my butters: shea, mango, tamanu, and now, tucuma. As it turns out, natural, plant-derived tucuma butter hails from the Amazonian Rainforest, or what I like to call, the Disneyland of magical beauty ingredients. However, while mystical origins might be enough to convince some of tucuma's claimed benefits, this beauty editor (and lifelong skeptic), wasn't so sure. That's why I turned to experts Michelle Henry, Shuting Hu, Lacy Fields, and Stacy Chimento to find out more.

Meet the Expert

  • Michelle Henry is a New York-based dermatologist, founder of the new Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan, and clinical instructor of dermatology at Weil Cornell Medical College.
  • Shuting Hu is a cosmetic scientist and founder of Acaderma.
  • Lacy Fields is a trichologist and founder of her eponymous therapeutic salon and spa.
  • Stacy Chimento is a board-certified dermatologist at Riverchase Dermatology. She is based in Miami.

Keep scrolling to find out what they had to say about the benefits of tucuma butter for hair.

What Is Tucuma Butter?

"Tucuma butter is derived from the tucuma palm seeds. Tucuma seeds are naturally found in Brazil in the tucuma fruit," says Chimento. It contains antioxidant polyphenols and a high level of moisturizing fatty acids. And like murumuru butter, tucuma butter is used to treat dry and frizzy hair, adds Chimento.

Tucuma Butter for Hair

  • Type of ingredient: Hydrator
  • Main benefits: Moisturizes, smooths, and softens hair
  • Who should use it: In general, anyone with dry, frizzy, dull, or damaged hair
  • How often can you use it: Anywhere from once a week to daily, depending on your hair type
  • Works well with: Other oils (argan oil, jojoba oil, and coconut oil)
  • Don’t use with: Tucuma butter does not have adverse reactions with any specific ingredients.

Benefits of Tucuma Butter for Hair

  • Protects: It can shield hair from damage. "Tucuma butter is chock full of antioxidant polyphenols that battle free radicals," says Chimento. 
  • Fights frizz: Because it's classified as a vegetable silicone, tucuma butter mimics the attributes found in popular silicone products (i.e. it locks out humidity and smooths strands) without the harmful effects on your hair, Chimento tells us.
  • Hydrates: According to Chimento, "The high fatty acid content moisturizes the hair without clogging the pores or weighing the hair down."
  • Boosts vibrancy: Tucuma butter contains a ton of beta carotene, which becomes vitamin A, an essential vitamin for healthy hair. "Vitamin A repairs and keeps the scalp moist by aiding the scalp in oil production, allowing growth and length retention," adds Chimento.
  • Revives damaged hair: It helps nourish the scalp, making it good for hair growth and reviving damaged hair. "Tucuma butter’s high fatty acid content increases the moisture levels and softness, which adds shine to the strands. This makes it a good option for damaged hair in need of revitalizing," says Chimento.

Hair Type Considerations

Woman with curly colored afro

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If your hair is damaged—whether due to heat styling or your recent bleach job—it can benefit from tucuma butter. And if you've got a thick mane, even better. Of course, that's not to say that those with fine strands can't also use tucuma; just keep in mind that less is more. "Depending on your hair type, you can use it daily. People with coarse, curly hair can use it more often than people with thin or fine hair," Henry shares.

How to Use Tucuma Butter for Hair

The best way to apply tucuma butter is to take a few tablespoons and melt it down. "One side effect for using tucuma butter is if you do not melt the butter, you will not get the proper benefits for your hair," emphasizes Fields. "Once liquid, you can mix in any additional oils such as vitamin E oil, argan oil, or coconut oil," explains Hu. The oils actually work to balance out tucuma's buttery texture. They will also enhance hair's shine, adds Chimento. Let your DIY concoction sit in the fridge and apply it as a hair mask, leaving it in for about 30 minutes. "I recommend using the mask before shampooing or leaving it in as an overnight treatment for extremely dry hair," says Hu.

The Best Products With Tucuma Butter

Obia Hair Care Twist Whip Butter
Obia Hair Care Twist Whip Butter $18
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If you rock natural hair, this butter—or butters, to be exact—will set and prep your locks for nearly any protective style. Its formula of shea butter, tucuma butter, and mango butter works to seal in hair's moisture and turn up the gloss factor. Meanwhile, lemongrass and lavender essential oils will give your 'do that something extra.

Triple Brazilian Butter Hair Repair Treatment
Sol de Janeiro Triple Brazilian Butter™ Hair Repair Treatment Mask $36
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While I do love me a good summertime perfume, this repair treatment works double-time by offering major hair benefits and the scent of summer. In fact, it shares the same fragrance as Sol de Janeiro's cult-favorite Bum Bum Cream. Featuring a mélange à trois, if you will, of butters—cupuaçu, murumuru, and tucuma—it fights frizz and flyaways and best of all, bad hair days.

Oslove Tucuma Butter
Oslove 100% Pure Tucuma Butter $25
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Hair will get high marks on the silky-soft meter thanks to nothing more than tucuma butter, pure and simple. Just be sure to rub it in your hands first before application (this will liquefy the solid). Then watch as the three Ds of #hairproblems—dryness, damage, and dullness—melt away.

Moxie Hair Bling High Shine Pomade
Original Moxie Moxie Hair Bling High Shine Pomade $23
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With a name like Hair Bling, it should come as no surprise that this pomade delivers on high-octane shine. With a formula boasting mango and tucuma butter, Chimento recommends it for hydrating and protecting dry, coarse hair. And if that's not enough to win you over, its intoxicating scent will.

Devacurl Supermousse
Devacurl Supermousse $13
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If humidity has got your curls in a tizzy (read: frizzy), don't be alarmed. Instead, reach for this volumizing mousse which works wonders on a curly mane. With coconut oil, tucuma butter, and sunflower extract, it promotes shine, definition, and texture—without the crunch. Basically, it helps your curls live their best life, and really, would you have it any other way?

FAQ
  • Is tucuma butter good for low-porosity hair?

    Yes, especially since low-porosity hair does not absorb water well. Tucuma butter will coat the hair, thereby locking in moisture. Still, that's not to say that it also doesn't help high porosity hair, too. In fact, it can benefit any hair type that is dry and/or damaged.

  • Will tucuma butter make my hair greasy?

    Despite being a butter, tucuma is rather lightweight and will not leave a greasy feel on hair. However, if you have fine or thin tresses, you may want to use tucuma butter just once a week.

  • What is the difference between murumuru butter and tucuma butter?

    "Murumuru and tucuma butter offer virtually the same [hair] benefits, both moisturizing dry, frizzy hair. However, while murumuru leaves your hair shiny, tucuma butter acts as a sealing butter for hair to maintain moisture and is rich in vitamin A, promoting stronger hair growth," explains Chimento.

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