two natural hair women
pictured: Alanna Doherty & Kesia Estwick

Naturally curly girls get a lot of information about miracle hair oils and butters like Shea, Coconut, Argan, Sweet Almond, and more. They are all great oils and butters with unique properties that make them especially valuable to curly hair. But it's time to expand our horizons. Let's explore 7 exotic butters and oils that hail from the depths of the Amazon, to Southeast Asia and beyond.

Sapote Oil

sapote oil
photo courtesy of ribeironantonio-- Getty Images

Hailing from Mexico and Central America, Sapote oil is a wonder oil of the Mamey sapote tree, great for those that suffer from dry, itchy scalp or conditions such as eczema and dandruff. It is a light, non-greasy, vitamin-rich oil that helps balance sebum production - which can help those with excessively oily, or excessively dry scalps. It helps reduce skin flaking and patches, and the vitamins A, B, C, and E are amazing antioxidants and nutrients that support and aid in scalp health and hair growth.

Ucuuba Butter

Hailing from Central and South America, this dark brown and hard butter is pressed from the seeds of the Ucuuba tree. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, making it useful for relieving scalp conditions such as dandruff and eczema. Also rich in essential fatty acids, Ucuuba butter can help prevent hair damage from free-radicals, improve shine and elasticity in hair (leading to less breakage), and help keep hair hydrated longer.

Marula Oil

ucuuba butter
photo courtesy of riaancoetzee -- Getty Images

A light and subtly sweet oil made from the seeds of  Marula tree fruit, native to South Africa and Madagascar. It contains powerful antioxidants, nutrients, minerals, and essential fatty acids that help prevent and reverse environmental and UV damage. Marula oil also has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and cellular regeneration properties, all of which make the oil ideal for scalp health and hair growth.

Kokum Butter

Used traditionally in India, Kokum butter tends to fly under the radar - but it shouldn't. Rich in essential fatty acids and non-comodegenic (non pore-clogging), Kokum Butter is perfect for stimulating the scalp for healthy hair growth. It helps cell oxygenation, making nutrients more readily available for use by scalp/skin tissues - which helps promote hair growth. It also supports and enhances hair elasticity, helping to ward off breakage.

MuruMuru Butter

kokum butter
photo courtesy of Happy Olive

Native to the Amazon ecosystem, Murumru Butter is extracted from the from the kernel of the fruit that bears the same name. Light and slightly nutty, muru muru butter is rich in omegas that help soften, promote elasticity, shine, and aid in moisture retention of hair. Because it is so thick in nature, Murumuru butter can help control frizz and define curls.

Tamanu Oil

Indigenous to Southeast Asia, the oil of the Tamanu tree is pressed from the kernel of the Tamanu nut. Tamanu Oil is a powerful antimicrobial, antibiotic, and healing agent, with tons of medicinal and haircare uses. It can be used to treat skin and scalp conditions, from burns, to rashes and inflammation, scalp infections, dandruff, psoriasis, eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, and more. It aids in healthy skin regeneration, which is a proven pathway to a healthier scalp, and therefore, healthier hair.

Kukui Nut Oil

kukui nut oil
photo courtesy of zkruger
Cold pressed oil of the Candlenut Tree, originating in Hawaii. It is high in omegas 3 & 6, soothing, and softening to hair without leaving a greasy film. Rich in vitamins A, C, and E, it contains powerhouse antioxidants that help protect and prevent aging and damage of hair. It is believed to be beneficial for people suffering from psoriasis, eczema, acne, and other skin conditions, due to the anti-inflammatory nature of the fatty acid content.

Want to shop these butters?

Made especially for naturally curly and coily hair, these products contain the above butters to preserve the hair's ultimate health and moisture. They are all available in Curlmart (links below).

Obia Naturals Twist Whip Butter, $18

Darcy's Botanicals Tucuma Butter Moisture Whip, $12

CURLS Whipped Cream, $17

Oyin Handmade Whipped Pudding, $13.99

MyHoneyChild Honey Love Pomade, $18.99

Shea Terra Organics Certified Organic Shea Butter, $14