When you think of mangoes, like us, you might imagine a shaken cocktail, a fruit smoothie, or traditional cuisine from Asia—the source of the vitamin-packed sweet treat. We know mango is a mainstay in global cuisine, but the antioxidant-rich fruit has been making its way into our beauty products.
Type of ingredient: Hydrator
Main benefits: Strengthens hair follicles, reduces breakage, and soothes the scalp
Who should use it: Most people can use products infused with mango butter. However, when selecting a product, you will want to consider the density of your hair. Mango butter is also an option for those with nut allergies.
How often can you use it: It's safe to use daily.
Works well with: Water-based hydrators
You might be wondering why mango butter—formulated from the pit of the brightly hued fruit—has now become a beauty industry superstar. Well, you know we enjoy getting to the bottom of ingredient trends, so we touched base with a trichologist to get the deets on this rising star.
Meet the Expert
Isfahan Chambers-Harris, PhD, is a biomedical scientist, trichologist, and founder of Alodia Hair Care.
Benefits of Mango Butter for Hair
Mango butter is now a hero ingredient used in many body care formulations, and rightfully so. When eaten, one cup of mango contains up to 67% of your daily vitamin C. We have all heard the saying "You are what you eat," and in this case, the anecdote is true. With the science-backed facts of what this fleshy fruit can do when eaten, when applied topically, the fruit can be a great benefit to our skin and hair.
- Contains vitamins that promote scalp health: Vitamin C is proven to block free radicals that can age the skin, hair, and scalp. In addition, vitamin C is essential for the body to create collagen to support our skin and hair.
- Keeps hair hydrated: "Mango butter is excellent because it contains nutrients such as vitamins E and A, which help with moisturization, and it also fortifies the scalp," Chambers-Harris tells Byrdie.
- Has antifungal and antimicrobial properties: "Mango butter contains tannins, which gives mango butter its anti-inflammatory, antifungal/antimicrobial properties to soothe the hair and scalp," states Chambers-Harris.
- Prevents split ends: "Mango butter is highly emollient," says Chambers-Harris. "Due to its concentration of monounsaturated and saturated fats (and lower polyunsaturated fats), it can penetrate the hair cuticle to fortify the hair strand, reducing split ends and breakage."
- It's hypoallergenic: Chambers-Harris notes that for those with allergies to nut butter, such as coconut, mango butter is a great alternative.
Hair Type Considerations
When adding any ingredient to your hair routine, you'll want to consider a few things: hair density, your unique hair needs, and how often you cleanse. If your hair is thin or gets weighed down easily, adding a mango butter–based deep conditioner will likely fare better than using the butter in a leave-in conditioner or styler. No matter your hair density, if your hair is damaged or chronically dry, mango butter is your haircare best friend because of its ability to seal in moisture.
Since mango butter doesn't just sit on the hair cuticle, the butter is ideal for all hair types, but if you have low-porosity hair, how you apply mango butter will make a difference. When applying products after cleansing the hair, you'll want to ensure you apply products when the hair is soaking wet for optimal results.
For those with color-treated hair, due to mango butter's antioxidant-rich makeup, using mango butter could keep hair color from fading and provide heat damage protection—though there isn't much research on this yet.
How to Use Mango Butter for Hair
There are a wealth of ways to integrate mango butter into your haircare routine. As the popularity of mango butter grows, there are even more leave-ins, deep conditioners, and styling products hitting the shelves, but you can also craft your own. Your hair type and concerns will be key to finding what works best for you,
- Use before shampooing: Chambers-Harris says using mango butter at the start of your wash day routine is an excellent option. "Because of its ability to penetrate the cortex of the hair strand, you can use it as a pre-shampoo treatment," she says. If you do decide to use mango butter to pre-poo, you'll want to leave it on the hair for at least 30 minutes or longer (some natural opt to pre-poo overnight) to get all of the benefits.
- Add to your shampoo or conditioner: If your shampoo and conditioner isn't meeting your hydration needs, adding mango butter to one or the other could help quench your thirsty hair. "It's is a great ingredient in any water-based moisturizing product," comments Chambers-Harris.
- Make your own hair mask: Treat yourself with a DIY hair mask that gives your hair the opportunity to soak up all the moisture it desires. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let the mango butter do it's job.
- 2 tablespoons mango butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 to 3 drops of your favorite essential oil
- Melt down mango butter in the microwave or double broiler.
- Add in olive oil, honey, and essential oil. Mix until completely combined.
- Spread evenly onto hair.
- Let stand for 30-45 minutes.
- Rinse out with warm water.
The Best Products with Mango Butter
Made with mango butter and black seed oil, the dual-use beard and hair shampoo hydrates while rinsing buildup down the drain.
Made with 98% naturally derived ingredients, this silicone-free hair masque seals in moisture and reveals defined, hydrated curls.
This leave-in cream is perfect for dry, brittle hair that needs some extra moisture. The product claims 94% of customers felt their hair was nourished, protected, and had fewer split ends after use.
This paraben-, silicone-, and sulfate-free leave-in conditioner is made for dry, dehydrated hair. The formula helps stop split ends in their tracks, seals in moisture, and protects from sun damage.
Does mango butter clog pores?
Fortunately, mango butter is non-comedogenic meaning it won't clog any of your pores. That's often why you see it in many skin products beyond hair care.
Does mango butter smell like mango?
Mango butter is formed from the pit of the mango and not the fruit pulp, so it does not smell like the food.
Can I substitute mango butter for shea butter?
Both mango butter and shea butter can be used interchangeably in any hair DIY's you're testing. You may notice that the smell of the product will be slightly different, but the hydrating results will be similar.