Mango Butter for Hair: Why Use Instead of Shea Butter?

Discover mango butter benefits for hair and why you might want to consider the use of mango butter over shea butter for your hair and even skin.

mango butter recipe card

One of the most important things you can do for your natural hair is to use a quality product to keep it sealed with moisture.

Moisturizing is the first step to keeping your hair, soft, pliable and unbreakable (well, nobody has absolutely no breakage but moisturized hair has much less).

Health Benefits of Mango Butter

easy whipped mango butter recipe

No article on mango butter would be complete without examining the many benefits this wonderful natural butter has for different aspects of your health.

So, let’s examine how it can help improve many aspects of your health including your: skin health, scalp health, hair health and overall health (not in this order).

Overall Health

Starting with your overall health, when consumed internally, (yes you can eat food grade mango butter and it’s safe), there are quite a few benefits of mangos to your body when you eat it:

– Helps increase your body’s production of collagen, an important protein that’s a building block for healthy connective tissues throughout your body.

– Supports your body’s joints and bones

– Reduces intracellular damage in your body (thanks to those antioxidants again)

Some foods that contain mango butter are: chocolate, smoothies and actual editable whipped butters to be used on breads, fish and meat.

Skin Health

Mango butter is anti-inflammatory so it helps reduce itching and redness of inflamed skin. It’s a very soothing butter and helps to promote skin healing. It also has the ability to smooth out stretch marks.

This smooth butter is even believed to slow down skin aging, likely due to its high antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are God’s warriors against the scavengers that attack our bodies with free radicals and toxins.

Mango butter doesn’t just help to improve the texture of your skin as well as your skin’s elasticity. It can also help protect your skin from sun damage since it provides a protective layer for the skin.

It offers a natural level of protection from the sun’s UV rays that lead to damaging free radicals.

It’s definitely one of those natural ingredients to look for in your skin care products (especially lip balms and body butters) to promote the hydration of dry skin.

benefits of mango butter for hair and skin
Mango butter – so good for hair and skin!

Scalp Health

Again, because Mango Butter has anti-inflammatory properties, it’s a good choice for managing many scalp conditions including dry scalp and dandruff. When applied to the scalp, Mango Butter can aid in strengthening weak hair follicles. Ultimately, it can help you to fight hair loss.

Mango butter can also nourish the scalp to help sooth itching.

Hair Health

There are also a number of Mango Butter benefits for your hair. Because it’s a heavy butter, it makes for an excellent sealant.

Mango Butter also helps to prevent excessively dry hair while also reducing frizz. Frizz is combatted by smoothing of the hair cuticle.

Like your skin care products, you’ll want mango butter to be among the list of natural ingredients in your hair care products.

Mango Butter vs Shea Butter

Now, let’s do a little comparison between Shea Butter and Mango Butter. so that you can make an educated decision on which to use for your body’s overall health. You may discover both to be an excellent choice. 

One may be better for your hair and the other is better for use as a body butter for your skin.

mango butter vs shea butter comparison

Since we are looking mostly at the benefits of mango butter for hair (this is a natural hair blog!), really zone in on the mango butter benefits for your hair.

About Mango Butter

about mango butter

Mango butter (like Shea Butter and Coconut oil) is a wonderful natural resource. It’s a fat that is derived from mango fruit seeds. Once extracted from the mango seeds, it is cold-pressed into a buttery consistency.

It is very rich in stearic acid, one of the essential fatty acids, vitamin A , vitamin C and vitamin E. The vitamins are all antioxidants that play a large role in increasing skin cell turnover. 

At room temperature, mango butter is in a semi-solid form, quite similar to Shea Butter. However, Mango Butter is smoother and slightly more pliable, more similar to Cocoa Butter.

Some additional facts about Mango butter are:

1. It smells nothing like mangos (it has no real scent at all actually which is great if you use it to DIY body butter or hair butter).

2. It has a naturally much smoother texture than Shea Butter but at room temperature it’s harder.

3. It contains the most content of fatty acids than both Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter.

Mango Butter Properties Summarized

  • Derived from the fruit kernels of the mango tree
  • Native to India
  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Very rich in essential fatty acids
  • Rich in Vitamin A, C and E
  • Provides some natural protection from UV radiation
  • Smoother in consistency than Shea Butter but harder at room temperature
  • Reduces inflammation in the skin
  • Smooths hair frizz
  • Strengthens hair follicles
  • Reduces hair breakage
  • Increases skin cell turn over

About Shea Butter

shea butter benefits

Shea Butter is another wonderful natural resource that comes from the nut of the Shea tree. It’s traditionally extracted by boiling, sun drying or roasting the Shea nuts before grounding them into a fine paste which is then mixed with water to and churned into the Shea Butter we know today.

More modern means of processing include cold-pressing to make Shea Butter more pliable.

It’s a very emollient butter with a very distinctive nutty fragrance.

Shea Butter is rich in linoleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, and oleic acid. These are the essential fatty acids that help to balance your skin health and improve the efficiency of your skin’s natural barrier. This is likely due to Shea’s ability to stimulate collagen in the skin.

It also contains a rich amount of vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D and vitamin F. Like Mango Butter, these vitamins provide us with antioxidant benefits for our bodies.

The butter of the Shea nut also contains fats called triglycerides. These fats aren’t great for your heart but they are amazing for your external skin.

Shea Butter has been found to combat skin conditions like eczema, acne, psoriasis and dermatitis. 

Some additional facts about Shea Butter are:

1. It can cause an allergic reaction to those with latex allergies

2. It can appear to be a little more greasy in the hair than Mango. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but for those of us with fine hair, it may cause issues with weighing the hair strands down too much. Again, that may not be an awful thing if you have your hair in a protective style.

3. It’s available in a yellow or white color. Yellow Shea Butter is raw and will contain many impurities and a strong odor. White Shea Butter has been refined to remove impurities but also some of the vitamin content.

Shea Butter Properties Summarized

  • Derived from the kernels of the shea nut tree
  • Native to Western Africa
  • Rich in oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid and linoleic acid fatty acids
  • Rich in Vitamin A, D, E and F
  • Helps reduce inflammation in the skin
  • Improves the skin’s moisture barrier
  • It can fight many skin conditions including acne outbreaks, psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis
  • Offers some protection from heat damage
  • Smooths hair frizz
  • Strong nutty smell

As you can see, there are many benefits to using both Shea Butter and Mango Butter. The butter you choose will have different for your skin mostly.

Shea Butter is typically great if you have very dry skin while Mango Butter works better for those dealing with aging skin and fine lines.

Both will work well for your hair but there’s reasons I prefer Mango Butter for hair over the use of Shea Butter.

Why Mango Over Shea?

benefits of mango butter

While Shea Butter is an awesome natural product, I prefer the use of Mango Butter for hair care. You may also prefer to receive the Mango Butter benefits from the properties I mentioned above.

So, why do I prefer to use Mango Butter instead of Shea Butter for hair?

Mango Butter is very similar in consistency to Shea Butter but it blends so much better with essential oils. It also applies so much more smoothly without forcing it to become smooth.

I know Mango Butter is typically harder at room temperature but once you blend it down, it’s very smooth and doesn’t contain the little granules you often see with Shea Butter.

If you’ve never used Mango Butter, I know you were shocked to read that it doesn’t actually smell like mangos. That’s what’s so wonderful about it!

Because there’s a lack of scent in butter that’s been made from the seeds of Mango fruit. You can mix it with virtually any essential oil. Then, your DIY concoction will smell exactly like that essential oil.

Try whipping up some Shea butter with an essential oil and you’ll find that the nutty fragrance of the Shea butter competes with the essential oil you are blending it with.

Then, you have to tinker with how much oil to add so that you can get the exact scent you want. Even then, the nutty scent of the Shea is lingering in the background. I’ve found this to be the case even when using white, refined Shea Butter.

Such is not the case with Mango Butter.

Lastly, Mango Butter does not leave your hair looking as greasy as Shea Butter.

All of these reasons are why Mango Butter is a great part of a hair care regimen and why I prefer it – especially in the winter when a heavier hair butter is needed to keep moisture sealed into the hair for longer periods of time.

How To Use Mango Butter in Your Hair Care Routine

mango butter benefits

After moisturizing your hair (with water), you have to seal in that moisture for it to have a lasting effect on your strands. Otherwise you’ll find yourself dealing with dry hair and ultimately hair breakage.

There are numerous ways to moisturize and seal natural hair.

The most common natural moisturizer method is the LOC method. This method of moisturizing and sealing is done by simply applying a liquid (ex: water or aloe Vera juice), followed by an oil and then a cream.

Mango Butter can be whipped into a cream quite easily by mixing it with other natural oils like jojoba oil and olive oil. Alternatively, you can find mango oil on the market as well. It’s called Mongo oil and it is extracted from the pit of the Mango fruit versus the seeds of the fruit.

You can also buy mango essential oil that DOES smell like Mango and use it to scent your mango butter. This Mango Essential oil from Rainbow Abby is a pure, natural and organic option.

The possibilities are numerous when used in your hair care routine.

In the warmer months, I tend to use lightweight oils and styling creams but when the temperatures cool and the air becomes bitter cold, I swap my cream for a butter.

Shea Butter is a popular choice amongst naturals due to its many benefits (read about How to Use Shea Butter on Fine Hair). However, Mango Butter is much easier to customize.

Whipped Mango Butter Recipe

skin care recipe for mango butter

I also like to use mango butter on my body. My easy DIY Whipped Mango Butter recipe is good for hair and skin.

I tinkered with a few different recipes when I initially started using Mango Butter. I’ve changed the recipe some since I first started using it.

Here is the updated recipe:

– Cup of Mango Butter

– Tablespoon of apricot castor oil

– Teaspoon of coconut oil

– Teaspoon of avocado oil

– 10 drops of sweet orange* or lemongrass essential oil (my two favorite but feel free to use what you like)

– 3-5 drops of vitamin E 

*Sweet Orange Essential oil has been found to increase skin cell turnover.

Vitamin E is optional because if you plan on using your whipped butter daily, you don’t need to preserve it. It will be gone long before it goes rancid.

mango butter DIY
whipped mango butter recipe
OLD RECIPE IMAGE

Mango Butter has a shelf life of approximately 2 years. It shouldn’t take you that long to use up this wonderful butter! Just don’t get any water into it. Otherwise, you’ll cut that shelf life way down to maybe a couple months.

This whipped Mango Butter recipe can also be done using using Shea Butter but as I mentioned, you will need to tinker with the essential oils to get the desired scent. Perhaps you can use Shea Butter for your skin (depending on its needs) and Mango Butter for your hair.

Either way, your hair and skin will love what you’ve whipped up for it!

Where to Buy Mango Butter

I used to purchase my mango butter from Beauty Naturals Express online (formerly Butters ‘n Bars).

However, you can also find organic mango butter from reputable brands on Amazon. That’s where I purchase from now. The key is to always buy USDA Organic when possible.

If you have a local natural foods store, you may also be able to find Mango Butter there, along with other beauty products containing Mango butter. 

body butter recipe

Have you experienced the benefits of Mango Butter before? How about Shea?

NOTE: this post has been updated for 2023

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian natural hair enthusiast. She's been natural for 20+ years and shares natural hair care tips and easy hairstyles for those with low density or thin fine natural hair. It's her joy to inspire you to live by faith in God while caring for your "crown."

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