Babassu oil (Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil) is expeller pressed from the kernels of the Babassu palm tree. The tree, native to Brazil, is an important economic resource for the country.
The properties of Babassu oil are similar to coconut oil, without the greasy feel. Just like coconut oil, it is composed of lauric, myristic and oleic acids, which are fatty acids beneficial for our hair and scalp.
The melting points of the acids are close to our body temperature, so when the oil is applied, it draws the heat from our skin and begins to melt. This process leaves a cooling sensation on the skin.
Babassu oil also forms a protective, soothing coat when applied to the skin as well as a pleasant, smooth feeling. Babassu oil, can be purchased in oil and butter form, for about $10 for 16 ounces of the oil and $10 for 8 ounces of the butter.
The oil is used in everything from food to cosmetics and soaps. It is an emollient, that is good for soothing and protecting the skin, hair/scalp. It can be used for eczema, itchy, dry, inflamed skin/scalp and to soften and condition hair.
You can substitute Babassu oil or butter in hair recipes that call for coconut oil or use it alone as a hot oil or pre-shampoo treatment, mix a little in your conditioner to enhance its properties, or to seal in moisture after washing.