Benefits of Cupuaçu Butter for Natural Hair

May 14, 2020

laughing woman with curly ponytail - benefits of cupuacu butter for natural hair

Is Cupuaçu Butter the New Secret to Healthy, Hydrated, and Moisturized Natural Hair?

One of the biggest things us Naturals look for when caring for our natural tresses is our holy grail product that will make dry hair a problem of the past. We are constantly looking for a product to give our hair long-lasting moisture that will keep our curls bouncy and soft. 

We usually reach for shea butter as our ingredient of choice for the moisture we crave. Shea butter is derived from the shea nut of the African Shea tree, and it has become a staple in the natural hair community for its ability to moisturize the hair, nourish the scalp, and give some protection to the hair from harmful sun-rays.

If you think back to about 15 years ago, getting shea butter required some real effort. You had to go to a special shop or buy as much as you could at a festival or cultural celebration. Today, big brands have caught on to the benefits of shea butter and they're putting it in everything. 



What if we told you that there is another butter that’s readily available and even more moisturizing and hydrating than shea butter? It has even more benefits for natural hair.

If you’ve never heard of cupuaçu butter, or if you haven’t been incorporating it into your natural hair care routine, keep reading and I'll share with  you some of the key reasons why cupuçau butter would make a really strong addition to your hair care regiment. 


Cupuaçu (Theobroma grandiflorum) is a tropical rainforest tree that is a relative of the cacao plant. Common throughout the Amazon basin, it is abundantly found in the jungles of Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and in northern Brazil. For years, the people of the Amazon have been using this plant as a luxurious moisturizer for both hair and skin.

Cupuaçu butter is a soft, creamy butter that is pressed from the seeds of the Cupuaçu tree. It is softer and creamier in texture than cocoa butter and is extremely moisturizing and hydrating.

Cupuaçu butter has a high fatty acid content, being rich in five of the main fatty acids in the fatty acid profile (See Table 1). Fatty acids are important for hair health because they help stimulate hair growth at the follicle, combat dandruff and dry scalp, and they increase the amount of shine in the hair.




 Oleic Acid,  25-35%
Lauric Acid, 20-25%
Stearic Acid, 16-25%

Myristic Acid, 8-12 %
Palmitic, 7-11%

Cupuaçu butter is also a great vegan alternative to lanolin and does not have the same issues with skin irritability that lanolin does. This makes cupuaçu butter a popular ingredient in formulating not only hair care products but skin care products for those with skin sensitivities.


Products that have Cupuacu butter as a top ingredient:

1. Marula & Cupuacu 3n1 Intensive Moisturizer from Pydana Collection Moisture LOC Kit



2. BIYO Curl Enhancer Maximum Hydration Hair Cream


Cupuaçu Absorbs 4x It's Weight in Water

Cupuaçu butter absorbs water extremely well into the hair. According to Rochelle Pydana, CLS (ASCP), Scientist and founder of the Pydana Collection brand, if you want to retain long lasting moisture in your hair strands for days, then cupuaçu butter is definitely the butter for you.

Cupuaçu butter is able to absorb up to 4Xs its weight in water making it the perfect solution to dry, parched hair. Because it can absorb a high amount of water content, this means that it can lock and seal moisture from water deep into the hair strand for longer periods of time.



Think of this scenario to understand how Cupuaçu butter helps hair retain moisture:
Let’s say you have just finished washing and conditioning your hair and you are getting ready to style it. You spray your hair with your leave in or with water and you are getting ready to apply your oil to seal the moisture in your hair.

Let’s suppose that instead of reaching for your trusty oil, you grab some cupuaçu butter instead. You apply your cupuaçu butter to your damp hair and continue the styling process as normal. Since cupuaçu butter can absorb water extremely well, the cupuaçu you just put in your hair will begin to absorb the water in your hair from your leave in and styling cream.


Cupuaçu Easily Absorbs Into Your Hair

Cupuacu is also very good at absorbing into hair. So, as the cupuaçu is absorbing the water in your hair, it’s also absorbing into your hair itself, drawing supreme moisture into your strands and trapping it deep within your hair.

Okay, I have one more benefit for you: cupuaçu butter is also able to retain moisture in both your hair and your skin for a very long time after you apply it... meaning that your hair will stay hydrated and moisturized for days!

Cupuaçu Increases Hair Elasticity 

Take another look at Table 1 above. You'll see that cupuaçu has a high concentration of fatty acids. Not only are fatty acids good for stimulating hair growth and treating dandruff like we mentioned above, fatty acids also increase elasticity and durability of the hair strand. 

Hair Elasticity is the ability of your hair to stretch and recoil without breaking. Hair that is brittle and weak cannot stretch without becoming damaged and breaking off. Increased elasticity means that hair is less prone to breakage, and less breakage means length retention and ultimately longer, stronger hair!


Cupuaçu Butter Reduces Damage from Hair Dye

In lab testing, hair damage after a dye treatment is measured as protein loss from hair strands. A research study showed that applying hair care formulations containing 1% Cupuacu butter after applying dye, reduced protein loss by 35%, such that the application of Cupuacu was able to decrease the damage caused to the hair by the coloring process. 
 With the ability to give hair long-lasting moisture and increased strength, Cupuacu butter should be a welcome addition to your natural hair care regimen.


Shea butter is extremely popular in natural hair care and it boasts excellent benefits for the hair. In light of this blog post we wanted to do a comparison of cupuaçu and shea butter to show you why cupuaçu butter is better than shea butter for your natural hair care needs.

The Facts:

  • Cupuaçu butter absorbs 450% water while shea butter absorbs 289% water.
  • Cupuaçu butter absorbs damaging UVA/UVB rays more effectively than shea butter, thus protecting the hair from sun damage.
  • Cupuaçu butter is much lighter in texture and less greasy than shea butter. Cupuaçu also absorbs into the skin and hair faster than shea butter
  • Cupuaçu butter is smoother and creamier than shea butter and does not separate into a grainy texture like shea butter can.


At Pydana Collection, we believe in the science behind the benefits of cupuaçu butter. This is why it is a main ingredient in some of our products:


our Marula and Cupuaçu Herbal Silk 3-in-1 Intensive Moisturizer which is one of the products in our Moisture LOC Kit and our BIYO Curl Enhancer Maximum Hydration Hair Cream.

Our Marula and Cupuaçu Herbal Silk 3-in-1 Intensive Moisturizer nourishes and conditions hair due to the presence of cupuaçu butter which is the second ingredient after water. Since the first five ingredients are what truly make up the highest concentration of a product, we made sure to formulate this intensive moisturizer with cupuaçu very high on the list.

The Marula and Cupuaçu Herbal Silk 3-in-1 Intensive Moisturizer promises to revitalize dull and damaged hair, define curls and twistouts, and leave hair soft and manageable without feeling greasy. It is perfect for all hair types, absorbs easily into the hair, and does not cause buildup.

Our intensive moisturizer is the C in our Moisture LOC kit which is comprised of these three items:
1. Avocado Herbal Silk Leave In Conditioner: Nourishes and moisturizes dry hair
2. Luscious Locs Herbal Silk Hair Oil : Seals moisture in hair
3. Marula & Cupuaçu Herbal Silk 3-in-1 Intensive Moisturizer: Hydrates, moisturizes and defines natural hair.


Overall, Cupuaçu Butter is a much healthier option for your natural hair journey than Shea Butter. It is readily available in our hair care products and very affordable. 






1. Cynthia Ann Fleck, RN, BSN, MBA, APN/CNS, ET/WOCN, CWS, CFCN, DNC, FACCWS* and Mackenzie Newman, MS. Advanced Skin Care – A Novel Ingredient. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. March 25, 2014
2. Pamella Mello Faria, Luciana Neves Camargo, Regina Siqueira Haddad Carvalho, Luis Antonio Paludetti, Maria Valéria Robles Velasco, Robson Miranda da Gama, Hair Protective Effect of Argan Oil (Argania spinosa Kernel Oil) and Cupuassu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter) Post Treatment with Hair Dye, Journal of Cosmetics, Dermatological Sciences and Applications, 2013, 3, 40-44.

3. Cynthia Ann Fleck, RN, BSN, MBA, APN/CNS, ET/WOCN, CWS, CFCN, DNC, FACCWS* and Mackenzie Newman, MS. Advanced Skin Care – A Novel Ingredient. National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. March 25, 2014

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