“A gift from the Amazon,” pracaxi seed oil’s popularity continues to grow for its health and beauty benefits. Of particular interest to NaturallyCurly readers, pracaxi oil is excellent for moisturizing hair. It’s a sought-after ingredient that can be found in store-bought hair products as well as incorporated into homemade treatments. Here’s how you can make your own pracaxi oil treatment to moisturize your coils, curls, and waves.

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From the Ground Up

“Pracaxi” is the Portuguese name for Pentaclethra macroloba — a canopy tree that grows from Nicaragua down to the Amazon basin of South America. It can reach up to 115 feet in height. The seeds, which slightly resemble almonds in shape, are housed within large pods. Indigenous populations use the “magic beans” for medicinal purposes, as the oil contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties. The oil smells nutty, and it’s yellow or golden brown in color. It has also been used cosmetically to benefit hair and skin.

Beauty Benefits in a Nutshell

Pracaxi seeds contain oleic (omega-9) and linoleic (omega-3) fatty acids, which help replenish and lock in moisture, and behenic fatty acid, which helps protect against pollution. The Teadora beauty blog shares a comprehensive list of pracaxi oil’s benefits, such as its ability to regenerate and soften skin and hair, balance collagen production, treat hyperpigmentation, and the fact that it “keeps hair moisturized, and is deeply hydrating (particularly beneficial for naturally curly hair).” Hair-oil.org hails it as preventing hair loss and having an anti-inflammatory and calming effect on the scalp.

Making Your Own Pracaxi Oil Treatment

Pracaxi oil can be applied to wet or dry hair. It can be used alone, or added to your favorite oil blend, shampoo, or rinse-out/leave-in conditioner. As recommended with any hair oil, use it sparingly — a little goes a long way. To use, gently massage the oil into your hair, in particular paying close attention to your hair ends.

In The Moisturizing Benefits of Pracaxi Seed Oil for Hair, CurlTalk member Anderson Louis recommended two leave-in recipes that use pracaxi oil.

To tame frizz: Mix three parts aloe gel and one part pracaxi oil.

To tame frizz and define curls: Mix three parts carrageen gel, one part aloe gel, one part pracaxi oil, half part broccoli oil, and half part moringa oil.

The same NaturallyCurly article also featured a post-braid nourishing hair mask from the Urban Health Goddess.

Post-braid hair repair pre-poo smoothie
  • 1 large avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. pracaxi oil
  • 1 Tbsp. tamanu oil
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 Tsp. silk amino acids
  • 1/4 C. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 C. water
  • 9 drops basil essential oil

Instructions

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. Use a rice strainer to remove the avocado lumps.
  • On freshly rinsed hair (from the braid removal strengthening conditioner in part 1), part hair with fingers and generously apply the mixture from root to tip. Really focus on those ends!
  • Once all of the mixture is applied, cover your hair with a plastic cap.
  • Let set for 15-20 minutes.
  • Rinse hair and air-dry or use a blow dryer on a cool setting.
  • Wait at least 24 hours. until you manipulate your hair again.
Popular hair products with Pracaxi Oil

If you’re also interested in purchasing a ready-made hair product that includes pracaxi oil, SHOP NaturallyCurly features several: Soultanicals Marula-Muru Moisture Guru, Genedor Beauty Swirl Curls Gel Styler, Soultanicals Knot Dressing Oil Rinse, and Soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip.

Have you tried pracaxi seed oil on your hair before? Please share your experience and your own homemade leave-in conditioner recipes below.