Even if it sounds so familiar, when you’re trying to explain yourself what’s the deal with cocoa butter, you realize that it’s not quite the cocoa from the chocolate that you’re thinking about. Is cocoa butter vegan or it also contains some dairy products?

Truth be told, we do see cocoa butter a lot more on various labels nowadays, from the health food to the exquisite desserts. In fact, the things aren’t that complicated, though.

What is cocoa butter?

Cocoa butter is a pure and stable fat and it’s pressed out of cacao beans. It’s a vegetable and vegan fat that doesn’t contain any dairy products, even though it’s named “butter”.

It’s the Broma process that it’s used for extracting cocoa butter, allowing the butter drip off of roasted cocoa beans in a hot room. The beans are ground and turned into cocoa powder, whereas the butter is used for the beloved chocolate and the personal care products.

Staying solid at room temperature, the cocoa butter is great for the cosmetic products as it contains antioxidants, maintaining its properties for a long time.

Cocoa butter is great for lotions, salves, makeup and it’s non-toxic, melting just fine at body temperature.

Is cocoa butter good for the hair?

Softening the skin and leaving an incredible smell, cocoa butter has been used for centuries for its properties.

For instance, a 2014 study,  “Cocoa Bioactive Compounds: Significance and Potential for the Maintenance of Skin Health”, stated that cocoa bean has been used for health issues by indigenous South American people for 3000 years. In addition, it highlights the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities of cocoa butter. This is only one study from many that talk about the benefits of cocoa butter on skin and hair. As the hair follicles are skin, cocoa butter enriches the hair, which indigenous South Americans have already known for so many centuries now.

Cocoa butter is loaded with several nutrients: calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, iron, and short chain fatty acids.

You can use cocoa butter as a pre-wash so that it becomes a hair mask that moisturizes your hair. Cocoa butter works also as a conditioner post shampoo and you only need a little bit of it on roots.

When in need for a final touch of your hair style, grab some cocoa butter and use it as a pomade, smoothing it over your hair.

What are the benefits of cocoa butter for hair?

Just like so many other butters and oils out there, cocoa butter is also good for the skin:

  • It protects the skin from sun damage
  • It reduces dryness
  • It’s safe to use on sensitive skin
  • It moisturizes the skin
  • It presents antibacterial properties
  • It helps with the stretch marks

But, this is what it does for the skin. Are any of these things good for the health of your hair too?

When it comes to hair, the health of the hair follicles is fundamental and a healthy one is going to be open, allowing the nutrients to help the hair grow. An infected hair follicle is going to be dry and unable to get nutrients, passing only few of the nutrients and eventually close up, temporary or for good.

As it’s antibacterial, cocoa butter is going to help with infections, so it helps the hair follicle stay healthy. Due to its moisturizing abilities, the cocoa butter is going to keep the skin soft and smooth, which is essential for the health of hair follicles.

Loaded with short-chain fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, cocoa butter is a natural emollient that nourishes the skin on your scalp, which is important for the health of the follicles.

Cocoa butter also protects the hair from the harsh elements like sun rays or chlorine, so it’s a great addition for your summer hair care regiment. Even if you’re not going to the swimming pool every single day, you may still use it as the water that you’re drinking is chlorinated. Cocoa butter is going to soften and protect your hair strands, improving their health and appearance.

Cocoa butter is going to soften and moisturize the hair strands, helping the hair get stronger. It adds a nice volume to the hair, replenishing the oils lost from the harsh chemical processes.

Nourishing the scalp, the cocoa butter strengthens the hair and maintains the scalp healthy, which can only mean one thing: prettier and healthier hair.

Should you use cocoa butter for hair growth?

One of the most important benefits of using cocoa butter on hair is the increased moisture and manageability it gives your hair. Cocoa butter is going to reduce the risk for hair loss as it helps your hair not to break that easily. It also calms the irritated and itchy scalp, maintaining the health of your scalp. And a healthier scalp means healthier hair follicles which sustain a healthy hair growth later on.

Cocoa butter is a great choice for the fine hair as it strengthens and gives volume to the hair strands. Even if its benefits aren’t permanent, the more you’re going to use cocoa butter, the more lustrous and healthier your hair is going to look and feel.

If your hair is dry or damaged, you can put it back on track with some cocoa butter. As it’s a fat, cocoa butter is going to replenish the oils lost through the chemical processes, as colorings or perms. Cocoa butter is going to improve the texture of the damaged hair and repairs the damage. It also helps the hair look better as it puts frizz and flyways under control.

Able to strengthen the hair strands, cocoa butter is going to reduce the hair loss and hair breakage. It moisturizes the hair and helps it grow healthier.

Not only that it repairs the damaged and dry hair, but cocoa butter protects the hair from future damage too. The chlorine in swimming pools is going to strip your hair of its moisture and color. Using a conditioner like cocoa butter, you’re going to help your hair keep the chemicals away from it.

The moisturizing ability of cocoa butter keeps your hair healthy and radiant. Using cocoa butter on a regular basis is going to boost the hair growth, which is quite a common issue these days.

Soothing and calming the itchy and irritated scalp, cocoa butter keeps the scalp clean and healthy. Healthy skin on scalp is just the perfect environment for healthier hair growth.

Penetrating the deep layers of the skin and nourishing it from within, cocoa butter reduces the hair loss and sustains the hair growth. It’s also linked to a lower incidence of dandruff, keeping the male pattern baldness at bay.

Why use cocoa butter oil for hair?

Loaded with several nutrients like protein, calcium, potassium, vitamins, copper and magnesium, cocoa butter oil is a great addition to one’s hair care regimen.

Even if the most common form is the solid one, you can also give it a shot with a cocoa butter oil. Just as the solid one, the cocoa butter oil is going to moisturize your hair and bring comfort to itchy and dry scalp.

The cocoa butter is going to restore the moisture of the skin on scalp without clogging the pores. Its high content of fatty content and nutrition explains why cocoa butter oil boosts the growth of hair follicles, helping you when struggling with hair loss.

Just as castor oil, cocoa butter oil is going to improve the flexibility of your hair and its thickness too. It protects your hair from chemical and chlorine damage, so you can grab it when going to the swimming pool. Cocoa butter oil is going to create a protective barrier against the harsh chemicals while swimming in the pool.

How to use cocoa butter for natural hair?

Due to its abilities, you can use cocoa butter in several ways for your hair. Let’s go over some of the most popular ones:

  • Pre-poo

You should use cocoa butter as a pre-shampoo conditioning treatment. Put some cocoa butter in a cup and put it in the microwave for melting. You want to use it as liquid. Apply the liquid cocoa butter on your hair and leave it for 20 minutes or so. Continue with your typical hair routine afterwards.

  • Leave-in conditioner

You may get the best out of the cocoa butter when using it as a leave-in conditioner for your hair. You simply melt some cocoa butter in a sauce pan and mix it with one of your favorite oils. You can also add aloe juice or honey, turning into a moisturizing leave-in or styling product.

You don’t need to melt cocoa butter. Some like to add the oils and cocoa butter in a food processor, resulting a cream that you may use as a leave-in later on.

  • Deep treatment

Use cocoa butter as a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a week, according to your hair’s needs. Cocoa butter is going to soften your hair, leaving it easier to manage for styling. In addition, it doesn’t weigh down your hair and moisturizes both your hair and scalp.

  • Volumizer

If your hair is on the thin, don’t hesitate to try cocoa butter which is going to give a nice volume to your hair, making it look fuller for a long time.

  • Frizz fighter

Use some cocoa butter as a pomade for styling better and easier your hair, eliminating frizz. Rub only a small amount of cocoa butter in your palms, smoothing it over your hair strands. Add a bit of coconut oil or an essential oil, for a better smell.

  • Protectant

Get cocoa butter when you’re going to the swimming pool. Cocoa butter is going to create a protective barrier on your hair, keeping chlorine away from your hair strands. It also minimizes the effects of sun on hair as it’s fat rich. It presents a high tolerance for heat when it’s melted, so you may apply cocoa for protecting your hair from heat damage. Use a bit of cocoa butter before blow drying for protecting your hair while styling it too.

  • Anti-itch scalp balm

The fatty content of cocoa butter recommends it for usage when dealing with dry scalp. Dryness of scalp causes itching and cocoa butter brings comfort, but also doesn’t clog pores, which makes it even more powerful.

  • Color-enhancer

If you’re a brunette and want to give your hair a bit of sheen and a tint of color depth, a cocoa butter hair mask is just the right solution. You only need to combine 1 cup of pure aloe gel, ¼ cup of honey, ½ cup of pure cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon of your conditioner. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and apply the treatment for boosting the color and shine of your dark strands.

  • Hair loss solution

Able to improve the health of your scalp, you may apply cocoa butter when struggling with hair loss. The healthier the scalp is, the better the chances for the hair follicles to stay healthy and boost the hair growth.

  • Sealant

Simply rub the bar of raw cocoa butter on your wet hair for sealing in the moisture. This way you’re going to minimize the breakage and eliminate the dryness and brittleness from your hair. Your hair gets stronger and the split ends are soon to be forgotten.

  • Hot oil treatment

You may use cocoa butter melted down or as hot oil treatment. Don’t leave it for more than 15 minutes as cocoa butter gets solid at room temperature.

Are there any safety concerns when using cocoa butter?

Cocoa butter is safe to use on skin. If you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t worry about using it. However, if you know that you are sensitive to cocoa butter or any other ingredients from cocoa butter products, it’s wiser to stay on the safe side for avoiding any allergic reactions or rashes.

Not everybody is rooting for cocoa butter products. A 2015 study revealed that one cocoa butter product out there presents anti-estrogenic effects. This means that the specific product lowered and even blocked the effects of the estrogen, which is the female hormone. The evidence is rather new and cocoa butter hasn’t been proven to have a bad influence on children’s development.

As it’s a natural ingredient, it’s always a good idea to run a patch test prior using on your hair or skin. From what we know so far though, cocoa butter is going to maintain the health of your skin and hair.


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