4 Alternatives to Shea Butter

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. https://cherishthymelanin.com/ https://www.facebook.com/cherishthymelanin/


* indicates required

45 thoughts on “4 Alternatives to Shea Butter

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 the paragraph from her website:

    “Shea Butter varies in color naturally form a buttery yellow to an Ivory color…Our shea butter is handpacked. Not whipped and NEVER REFINED! as all natural products vary, so does shea butter. Unrefined shea butter will not be bright yellow unless a root dye extract has been added to it, COLOR IS NOT AN INDICATOR OF AGE WE DO NOT SELL BRIGHT YELLOW SHEA BUTTER Only butters as shown above in their natural states without additives. Color of your butter will range in color based on the harvest time of the shea nuts, but our butter is always fresh straight from the cooperative and as always fair traded :-) We also have recyclable, reusable plastic containers to store your bulk butter purchases. Packaging for half pound shea will come packaged in tubs and other packaging for larger sizes may vary as we work to reduce waste.”

    If you plan on ordering, use code ENVIZION at check out to receive 10% off your total order.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 possibility (thanks for that info) and try a more beige product, but I used to love the shea butter and now, it causes extreme itching… :-/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *