What Are the Benefits of Using Cocoa Butter on Hair?

Helen Akers

The benefits of using cocoa butter on hair are increased manageability and moisture. Cocoa butter can help prevent hair loss due to breakage or an inherently fine texture. It can also help alleviate scalp itching and irritation, and may help prevent chemical damage.

Cocoa butter is a fat and helps replenish moisture to the scalp and hair.
Cocoa butter is a fat and helps replenish moisture to the scalp and hair.

Individuals with fine hair might benefit from using cocoa butter, which can infuse volume and strength into the strands if used regularly. While the benefits are temporary, regular periodic use of the product can help fine hair appear healthier and more lustrous.

Cocoa butter can help make hair healthier.
Cocoa butter can help make hair healthier.

Those with damaged or dry hair may benefit immensely from using cocoa butter. Since it is a fat, it can be used to replenish lost oils due to chemical processes, such as perms and colorings. Using cocoa butter on hair can improve the texture and feel of damaged hair while repairing some of the damage incurred through the use of styling aids. It may also be able to temporarily correct issues with unmanageable, frizzy and flyaway hair.

Cocoa butter is an ingredient in some leave-in hair conditioners.
Cocoa butter is an ingredient in some leave-in hair conditioners.

Hair loss sometimes occurs as the result of damage incurred from hair bleaching and dyes. Cocoa butter can help prevent some of this hair loss by strengthening the hair shaft. Hair becomes less breakage prone once it is infused with adequate moisture.

Cocoa butter may protect hair from the chlorine in swimming pools.
Cocoa butter may protect hair from the chlorine in swimming pools.

In addition to correcting existing damage, cocoa butter may also help prevent further damage to the hair. For example, the chlorine used in swimming pools typically strips hair of its color and moisture. Through regular applications of conditioner that contain cocoa butter, the hair strands may build up a resistance to the chemical's effects.

Cocoa butter can help prevent hair loss caused by hair bleaching and dyes.
Cocoa butter can help prevent hair loss caused by hair bleaching and dyes.

Cocoa butter hair treatments are sometimes used in place of a regular conditioner. Its moisturizing properties prepare hair for further styling and can increase the appearance of thickness. Cocoa butter can provide hair with a sleek, healthy look and increase natural shine. Regular use may also stimulate new hair growth, which may be a concern for those who are experiencing general thinning due to age.

Another benefit of cocoa butter is that it tends to neutralize scalp irritation. Regular applications can alleviate itching, and it can also ensure that the scalp is as clean as possible and remove dust particles and miscellaneous allergens. Cocoa butter may also help promote healthier skin on the scalp and provide a good environment for proper hair growth.

Cocoa butter can help prevent hair loss due to breakage.
Cocoa butter can help prevent hair loss due to breakage.

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Discussion Comments


I've used it to press my hair and it left it extra shiny.


I apply melted cocoa butter to my hair and massage it into my scalp, then leave it in for 20-30 minutes before shampooing it out.

I've found that don't need to use conditioner afterwards and my waist-length hair feels so clean, soft and seems to be extra shiny once it's dried naturally.


Cocoa butter is ideal for the hair and skin, though it is a little more expensive than shea butter in my country of Cameroon, but I am always so satisfied whenever I use it. Note here that pure cocoa butter can be used for massages, nerves and anything you want. Enjoy your cocoa oil. I love it.


I've found that an easy way to apply it is to buy one of those little 100 percent cocoa butter sticks. (not the "lotion" kind. Check the ingredients and throw it out if it says "mineral oil"!) Many pharmacies still carry them in the skin care section; I get mine from Family Dollar. When I have my hair in a braid, I just rub the stick on the ends and the lower part of the braid and massage it in. When I go to brush my hair out later, it is wonderfully soft.

I love my cocoa stick and use it for everything. I always have one in my purse.


There are websites where you can customize an African shea butter and pure cocoa butter blend with the oils of your choice. It's whipped and yummy smelling and easy to use on hair and skin!


Is cocoa butter better than shea butter for hair?

I've never used cocoa butter. Does cocoa butter help prevent split ends and breakage? Dryness and split ends are my major problems.


@literally45-- I usually take a small bit and warm it up between my palms and then apply it to my hair. I suppose you could microwave it too.

I've also heard some girls making whipped cocoa butter with it. They add some other oils to it and put it through the blender to soften it. I think coconut oil and cocoa butter whipped up together would be very nice.

My hair gets extremely fizzy and out of control after washing, so I use cocoa butter as a leave-in treatment to tame the fizz and to make my hair smoother.


I just bought a jar of pure cocoa butter. It smells amazing, like chocolate! But it's completely solid, how am I supposed to apply it?

I'm not fond of greasy feeling hair either. Can I use cocoa butter as pre-wash hair treatment? Will my hair still benefit from its moisturizing and protective qualities this way?


The only way to use organic cacaco (cocoa) butter for hair (or even shea and virgin coconut), is on clean, soaking wet hair, immediately after washing.

Lightly swipe fingers over the surface of hard cocoa butter, just so it barely seems as though there's any on fingertips at all, and lightly rub, or 'pluck' it through the very ends of hair. Gently comb or finger comb hair and leave to dry naturally, if convenient.

Do not apply cocoa, or any butter, near the scalp, only on the tips (ends) of wet hair.

If used in this way, hair will feel silky soft and bouncy and will not leave the hair greasy at all.

Furthermore, it should be unnecessary to use any other styling products or 'leave-in' conditioners after applying cocoa butter to wet hair. Doing so, will leave hair greasy.

Cocoa butter creates a protective, occlusive layer over each shaft of hair, preventing moisture loss (which is why it must always be applied to wet hair) while protecting it from external damage.


If you want to buy cocoa butter in its pure form don't waste your time searching drug store's shelves. Most of the commercial products around have additives in them. I buy 100% pure cocoa butter for my hair and body from online sources.


@angelBraids - I feel your pain! Cocoa butter has many benefits for hair, but it can be tricky to use it neat.

What I do is make my own fabulous treatment, which mixes cocoa and shea butter, with olive oil. (Extra virgin is the best type, though it's a bit more expensive than the regular kind.)

You do need to leave it on your hair for at least an hour. Overnight is ideal, but not everyone can sleep well in a plastic shower cap and if that comes off you'll have a mess to clean up.)

The extra bonus is you can also use this mixture on your body as a skin softener.


I recently tried using cocoa butter in my hair but it just looked really flat and dull afterwards. I gave it another go and it just looked greasy. What did I do wrong?

After several years of perms and coloring I am in desperate need of a miracle hair repair product!

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