By Chin­we of Hair and Health

Are you inter­est­ed in whip­ping your own mois­tur­iz­er but you’re aller­gic to shea but­ter? Or do you like the ben­e­fits of shea but­ter but dis­like the nut­ty scent?  Or maybe you want to use a but­ter but just not shea?  Below are four alter­na­tives to that are worth try­ing:

Mango Butter

This option is a great sub­sti­tute for those who are aller­gic to shea but­ter due to its nat­ur­al latex con­tent.  Like shea, man­go but­ter has emol­lient prop­er­ties, thus help­ing to soft­en the hair and seal in mois­ture.  If you find the nut­ty scent of shea but­ter to be unpleas­ant, then man­go but­ter is also a great alter­na­tive because of its milder, sweet scent. 

Shea Oil

Shea oil is less odor­if­er­ous mak­ing it a great alter­na­tive for those who dis­like the scent of shea but­ter.  The oil can be used alone as a sealant or whipped with a but­ter like man­go.  It still con­tains the emol­lient prop­er­ties of shea but­ter but with­out the nut­ty smell.

Avocado Butter

This but­ter is anoth­er nice alter­na­tive for those who dis­like or can­not use shea but­ter.  It has lit­tle to no smell, which is ide­al for those who are sen­si­tive to scents.  It is also soft­er (almost creamy), thus mak­ing it eas­i­er to uti­lize.  Like shea but­ter, it makes for a great sealant.

Cupuacu Butter

This but­ter is a lit­tle more expen­sive, but it may well be worth it for those who desire a more mois­tur­iz­ing but­ter.  Nat­u­rals who use this alter­na­tive tend to fall in love with it and use it in many mix­tures (e.g., whipped but­ter, con­di­tion­er addi­tive, styling agent).  Cupuacu but­ter not only acts as a sealant but also has the abil­i­ty to absorb water, thus restor­ing mois­ture to dry hair.

Ladies, what are your favorite sub­sti­tutes for shea but­ter?


Empow­er­ing women of col­or to break bar­ri­ers. Cherish.Thy.Melanin.

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45 Comments on "4 Alternatives to Shea Butter"

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Not to be too graph­ic, but my hus­band and I use con­doms when we aren’t active­ly try­ing to con­ceive. I have no reac­tion to the latex and nev­er have. But, recent­ly I’ve noticed itch­ing and burn­ing of my scalp with the shea but­ter. Is the “nat­ur­al latex con­tent” you are refer­ring to dif­fer­ent than the latex found in fam­i­ly plan­ning prod­ucts? If not, could it be some­thing oth­er than the latex in the shea but­ter that I am aller­gic too? Some­thing in the chem­i­cal make­up of the prod­uct that I wouldn’t be aware of? I’ll look into the root dye… Read more »
Ms Kay

Thx for the info about the shea but­ter col­or and the web­sites!! I will pass this along to my friends!!


Yea Shea but­ter Stinks


I usu­al­ly add some­thing like lemon grass oil to change the scent of my shea but­ter. But I def will try to pur­chase the oth­ers.

I am aller­gic to the yel­low shea but­ter, but am fine with the beige col­or one.  Shari­ka, the own­er of But­ters-N-Bars, explained to me when I ini­tial­ly con­tact­ed her why the yel­low shea but­ter I was buy­ing from the ven­dors on the street made my head itch. I am aller­gic to the root die they add to make the shea but­ter that bright yel­low. After I expressed my issue, she sent me a sam­ple of the raw beige/ivory shea, and I did not expe­ri­ence any itch­ing at all. I now only pur­chase raw beige/ivory shea but­ter that smells nut­ty. Here is… Read more »

Where can I buy Avo­ca­do But­ter, or any of the oth­er prod­ucts? I am not so sure I want to pur­chase them off of ebay.


I pur­chase from


You can try but­ters and bars

Vee or .com if you are in the states. 

They have a WIDE vari­ety of oils, but­ters, wax­es, and well every­thing for soap mak­ing. Hope this helps.


Try for nat­ur­al hair and skin but­ters.

Enter code ENVIZION at check out to receive 10% off your total order 24/7 dai­ly. Enjoy. ;-)


First off, the woman and her skin in this pho­to is absolute­ly gor­geous!!! Great pho­to shot!!!

I remem­ber pur­chas­ing man­go but­ter a long time ago and it was grit­ty. So I haven’t tried it since. Bad batch maybe? I may have to look into the shea oil at some point because some­times the shea but­ter scent is too much. Now I have nev­er heard of cupuacu but­ter. Hmmm…so many things to try so lit­tle cash. Lol.

Anissa Penyman

I love man­go, avo­ca­do & shea but­ter. I have not used the Cupuacu But­ter, yet. If your are look­ing for a but­ter that is not as heavy, I would sug­gest man­go but­ter instead of shea- also the man­go but­ter works great as a mois­tur­iz­er for your face.


I pur­chased man­go but­ter off of ebay. I think man­go but­ter is too thin.


I love man­go butter.…its sim­i­lar to shea but slight­ly lighter…and no aller­gic rec­tion. Also.…I can get it pure and unre­fined cheap­ly as I make soap and man­go is always avail­able in bulk. It could be my imagination.…but my hair seems to grow faster when I use it and noth­ing beats the shine.


I too wan­na try man­go butter!Although i love shea but­ter too.I get all my oils and beau­ty prod­ucts on iherb.Com You can also use reward code ZQL811 and check­out and get $10 dis­count on your first purchase.Check it out girls ;)


I wan­na try man­go. Don’t real­ly like shea but like the ben­e­fits.

Skin Care

Thanks a lot for shar­ing this with all of us you actu­al­ly rec­og­nize what you’re speak­ing about! Book­marked. Please also dis­cuss with my web site =). We can have a link exchange agree­ment among us


I would like to try Cupuacu but­ter, but my big ques­tion is how do you keep cocoa but­ter soft and whipped… i buy Ani­ta Grant’s but­ter but i wan­na start mak­ing my own and i love the scent i get from it but now i’m ner­vous it won’t stay sofft… i don’t use shea but­ter because i’m aller­gic to it and latex. i love whipped man­go but­ter i make it for my man and friend and i would make theirs with shea but­ter (after mine of course). TIA


Hi Likewaterforchocolat…I also live in Atlanta and am try­ing my best to find a place that sells raw but­ters. Can you tell me the name of the place you know? THANKS!


Hey Staci,

The place is pret­ty close to where I live and they sell stuff for mak­ing your own beau­ty prod­ucts. I don’t think they are a store, so they ship their prod­ucts, but if you live local­ly, you can pick them up.

Soap Goods
2050 Cham­blee Tuck­er Road
Atlanta, GA 30341


THANK YOU! I will def­i­nite­ly check them out and see if I can pur­chase and pick up, rather than wait for them to ship.


I didn’t real­ize they are in Smyr­na! Jon­quil is one street over from where I live…I can walk there. THANKS AGAIN!!!


You’re wel­come


Brazil nut but­ter is GREAT!! THE down fall is it smells like peanut­but­ter :-/…but man­go but is def a fav in my book


I’ve noticed Ilipe But­ter has been pret­ty pop­u­lar amongst a lot of nat­u­ral­is­tas who have their own hair­care lines. Any one have any expe­ri­ence with Ilipe? I know of a place here in Atlanta that sells all the raw but­ters (a spot for folks mak­ing their own soaps, scrubs, hair and body prod­uct, etc.), but I want­ed to know if any­one has any expe­ri­ence with it before I make a pur­chase.


Thanks for the options. My hair doesn’t seem to be a fan of shea but­ter. I swear it actu­al­ly makes my hair feel dri­er, if that makes any sense.


I like muru­mu­ru but­ter, it is hard but very nice for my hair, I blend it with some oil 50/50 and use a lit­tle bit as a con­di­tion­er after sham­poo.

Michelle @Radiant Brown Beauty

I start­ed using man­go but­ter a while back and I love it because it has no scent. How­ev­er, for mix­ing to cre­ate my own mois­tur­iz­ing mix I pre­fer Shea But­ter. It tends to soft­en a lit­tle eas­i­er.


Man­go and cupuacu but­ters for the win! Love them both. Pura Body Nat­u­rals cupauacu but­ter and QB’s Aethopi­ka Hydrat­ing But­ter con­tains man­go but­ter and both are great for my hair.


I’d love to try man­go but­ter, where can I find it?


Hi AS82. Moun­tain Rose Herbs sells refined:

I believe mad­i­na sells unre­fined man­go but­ter. Link to the man­go but­ter: . If not, eBay is usu­al­ly a good place to get unre­fined man­go but­ter.

Sailor Moon

You can also find some at newdi­rec­tions aro­mat­ics or even try etsy or cam­den grey.


Team avo­ca­do but­ter:)

I’ve tried shea, man­go, avo­ca­do and cupuacu. I find that cupuacu is expen­sive and it is very hard like cocoa but­ter. I use avo­ca­do but­ter as a lip cream and have mixed it into my hair mois­turis­ers. I don’t have a pref­er­ence I don’t use any but­ters by them­selves as I find them to be too greasy and heavy I mix them with water based prod­ucts to make a hair mois­turis­er. As my par­ents from Ghana and I go there every oth­er year I buy shea in bulk so I use it as a basis for my water based hair… Read more »

Hi Natal­ie. What water based prod­ucts do you mix your but­ters with?

Hi Sonia, I usu­al­ly boil up some marsh­mal­low root with some oth­er hair herbs like net­tle and corn­silk, strain and add it to my hair but­ters. When you melt the but­ters you MUST add emul­si­fy­ing wax to it then beat in the water based prod­ucts that way the con­coc­tion will not seper­ate. I don’t have mea­sure­ments but don’t put too much cocoa but­ter in as it is a very hard but­ter and when the con­coc­tion even­tu­al­ly hard­ens it can be too stiff and you have to rub your hands end­less­ly to melt it and it will cause prod­uct build up.… Read more »

Where can I find unre­fined Man­go but­ter?


Hi ItsMe. I believe mad­i­na sells unre­fined man­go but­ter.

Link to the man­go but­ter:

If not, eBay is usu­al­ly a good place to get unre­fined man­go but­ter.


Thanks so much Loo!


You’re wel­come!

hairdresser bristol

What prod­uct are you using to have your hair less dam­age for switch­ing your hairs to oth­er styles?


I’m def­i­nite­ly co-sign­ing on the use of Man­go But­ter and I think it’s the most effi­cient and cost effec­tive alter­na­tive to shea but­ter! I include Man­go But­ter in my hair prod­ucts like the CoCo Cas­tor Hair Pud­ding and Creamy Cas­tor Deep Con­di­tion­er!


I love shea but­ter, but I might try man­go but­ter to see what it’s like.

Great rec­om­men­da­tions but I’d add a 5th. We’ve found Organ­ic Nilot­i­ca Shea to be a great alter­na­tive for tra­di­tion­al Shea But­ter. It’s an East African vari­ety of Shea with a creami­er tex­ture and gen­tler fra­grance. We use it in our Love Harlem Organ­ic Nilot­i­ca Shea Pomade and But­ter where it works won­ders. High­ly rec­om­mend giv­ing it a try if you’re not hap­py with tra­di­tion­al Shea.

Harlem x


how do i use this but­ter how do i pre­pare them for use