Shea butter has been a long-time holy grail on my beauty shelf. Its thick creaminess is a must for moisturizing my curls.
But in recent years, alternative nut butters like mango seed and cupuaçu butters have gained popularity.
One of my new favorite natural butters that has taken its spot next to my cult-fave shea butter is none other than the understated murumuru butter.
Many people – especially those who aren’t that serious when it comes to their hair care routine – assume that shea and murumuru butter work the same way, along with every other hair oil or butter out there.
But that’s not really the case.
So in this post, I’ll be looking at murumuru butter vs shea butter for hair use.
Check out the 411 on both of these magnificent nourishing butters and see which one might be better for your hair.
Table of Contents
Shea Butter And Its Hair Benefits
First, let’s talk about shea butter – a classic hair care ingredient natural curlyheads love.
Shea butter is that fatty oil extracted from the nuts of the African shea tree, also known as the “tree of life”.
It has an ivory color that is solid at room temperature but melts easily.
Shea butter is rich in omega fatty acids, which is why it’s super moisturizing and conditioning.
Because of this high level of fatty acid content, it can penetrate your hair shaft and nourish it from within.
That makes it an excellent natural butter to use on frizzy, parched hair.
It also helps repair damage and prevent breakage and split ends by boosting your hair’s elasticity.
Because of this, shea butter is a must for those with fragile, brittle strands due to chemical processes and heat damage.
It’s also a good source of vitamins A, F, and E, which are essential in keeping your hair healthy and strong.
These hair-loving vitamins aid in strengthening your hair and adding a lustrous shine to it.
Shea butter also serves as a natural sunscreen, since it has an SPF 6.
This is great for when your hair needs extra protection from sun damage during beach trips or afternoons by the pool.
Murumuru Butter And Its Hair Benefits
Next up, we have murumuru butter, which isn’t as popular as shea butter but is an excellent natural conditioner in its own right.
Murumuru butter is the rich fat extracted from the seeds of the murumuru palm tree, native to the Amazon rainforest in the Brazilian region.
It has an off-white to yellow color and stays solid at room temperature.
But upon contact with the warmth of skin, it melts like a dream.
Like shea butter, murumuru butter is high in fatty acids – namely oleic acid and lauric acid.
The latter is known to penetrate deep into the hair, sealing your hair cuticle for a smoother, sleeker look.
These fatty acids also help with moisture retention to ensure your hair never feels dehydrated and stiff.
Murumuru butter is also rich in vitamins A and C, which are crucial for protecting your hair against the elements.
It’s a wonderful natural conditioner to use because it provides such intense moisture.
It also adds shine and softness to your mane even if you shampoo your hair often.
Since murumuru butter helps replenish lost moisture in your locks, it works to strengthen your hair strands and up their flexibility.
This is fantastic for preventing split ends, breakage, brittle hair snapping off, and other forms of damage.
It also has many antioxidative, anti-inflammatory properties excellent for managing irritation and sensitivity on the scalp.
This butter even helps address issues with dandruff and dry scalp.
Another thing murumuru butter helps out with is boosting your hair color.
It aids in maintaining your shade’s vibrancy and prevents premature fading.
Because of this, it’s a common ingredient in many products for color-treated hair.
Murumuru Butter Vs Shea Butter
To be honest, there are probably more similarities between these two “miracle” butters than there are differences.
They provide deep moisture to any hair type, add shine to dull locks, and have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for the scalp.
That said, they have a couple of differences that can make one work better than the other for particular situations.
Murumuru has the antioxidant vitamin C, and shea butter does not.
Shea butter has shine-boosting vitamin E, and murumuru butter does not.
Another stark difference between the two is that murumuru butter is light and never greasy, while shea butter is heavy and can weigh fine, low-density hair down.
Thick, heavy oils are a no-no for fine, delicate hair, and shea butter is no exception.
It’s waxy and easily causes build-up, so it’s not recommended for those with thin hair that can’t handle incredibly heavy moisture.
Plus, product build-up calls for more frequent shampooing, which leads to extremely dry hair.
On the flip side, murumuru is lightweight and doesn’t leave that icky, greasy residue on your hair.
That makes it perfect for fine, wavy hair that can’t afford to let oils and butters weigh down its texture, rendering it limp and lifeless.
It soaks into your hair well without sitting on top of it.
Another difference between these two butters is that shea butter provides protection from the sun, while murumuru butter does not.
Shea butter has a natural SPF, so when you coat your hair with it, you’re protecting your strands from damage from heat-styling tools or the UV rays of the sun.
This is especially important if you have chemically-treated hair that can’t be aggravated by more heat damage.
That makes it terrific for when you’re heading out to the beach or exploring the great outdoors.
What Hair Types Will Benefit From Each Butter?
We’ve already established that shea butter is quite heavy on the hair, while murumuru is more lightweight.
Because of that, shea butter is more suitable for thicker, coarser curls that need extra moisture and weight to control their unruly texture.
Meanwhile, murumuru butter is best on fine, less dense, low porosity hair that can’t afford product build-up.
It’s also perfect for wavy hair that needs to be styled with weightless products to preserve its delicate texture.
If you have damaged hair because you’ve abused chemical treatments or hot tools, both butters will work fine.
But shea butter might be better for repairing extremely fragile and brittle hair.
It will also work better for dehydrated and parched strands, like those suffering from chronic dryness.
Color-treated hair will love murumuru butter.
It’s moisturizing and adds shine, which will bring your color out more.
But it also has color-boosting properties that can make your shade look vibrant and vivid for longer.
Incorporating Murumuru Butter And Shea Butter Into Your Routine
There are many ways to use these two natural butters in your hair care routine.
You just have to assign different roles for each one.
For example, murumuru would make an excellent conditioning treatment after shampooing your hair.
All you need to do is massage a small amount of it into your wet hair, and you’ll quickly replenish the moisture lost when you shampooed your locks.
If you suffer from dandruff, you can use murumuru butter to calm your scalp, especially when it’s feeling extra itchy and flaky.
The anti-inflammatory properties in this butter help soothe irritation.
It can even relieve the flakiness in the long run, since it helps moisturize your scalp.
For thick, coarse, curly hair from type 4A to 4C, you might want to use shea butter as a daily moisturizer between wash days.
It’s excellent for replenishing your hair with intense moisture, especially since textured hair tends to be very dry.
It will also help define your curls for a bouncier, neater look.
You can use these butters in one of two ways.
You can diligently melt the solid butter with the warmth of your skin as you rub it in your palms and spread it throughout your hair.
But if you want it as soft as possible, you can melt it down in a double broiler after boiling water.
Just make sure you let the melted butter cool down before working it into your hair.
Is One Better Than The Other?
The question isn’t really which natural butter is better, but which one is better for you.
Both murumuru butter and shea butter are suitable for different hair types – you just have to assess your own hair and its needs to see which one will be more beneficial for you.
And that’s not to say that you must choose just one.
If your specific hair type calls for it, you can even use both butters in the same routine.
Just make sure you don’t have too much build-up from an excess of oils and butters, and your hair should soak up all the moisturizing, hair-strengthening benefits of these two natural butters.
Murumuru and shea butter have many things in common.
They’re both ultra-moisturizing, bring shine to your hair, and even stop dandruff and scalp irritation in their tracks.
But if you have a thorough understanding of the details and differences between the two, you’ll know that one might be better for a particular hair situation.
I hope this post murumuru butter vs shea butter article will help you make a decision on which butter is best for you.
The primary principle to go by is that shea butter is best if you need thick and creamy moisture for coarse, dense hair, while murumuru butter is excellent for deep but lightweight nourishment.
Use the one that’s more applicable to you or even both in one routine! The choice is yours.