The Hidden Gem That Is Palm Kernel Oil

Early on this year I bought a stash of natural products, oils and butters made/packaged by
SheaButter Cottage - one of such was Palm Kernel Oil which I have since come to love and use on both my hair and skin. I decided to do a bit more research on it and I'm amazed at how this excellent oil is not as popular as (or even more) the more main stream oils such as Coconut oil etc.

Palm kernel oil which is black and not red like the traditional cooking palm oil; has been used for years and years in Africa to treat ailments, prevent disease, enhance the beauty of skin and hair, and promote overall good health. The Yoruba's call it 'Adi Dudu', Igbos call it 'Ude Aku', The Hausas call it 'Manlade' and the Cameroonians call it 'Muyaga'.

To get this oil, palm nuts are roasted till the oil begins to come out after which it is extracted and then used for any of the purposes listed above. Palm Kernel Oil like coconut oil and Palm oil is high in saturated fats but is more saturated than Palm oil while having similar properties in its composition to coconut oil. Because of its similarity to coconut oil, it will penetrate the hair's shaft, strengthening and locking moisture deep within the shaft. It also has a high ash content and is also comparable to castor oil in the regrowth of hair!

I used it a couple of times as a pre shampoo treatment and I noticed softer, shinier and stronger hair those few times I used it. I decided to try it out on my skin (my skin loves oils and butters) and it has now become a staple in my skin regimen (I rotate with my whipped butter and pure jojoba oil).

While this dark oil does have a very strong earthy smell - one which some people cannot abide, I urge you to not let that prevent you from giving it a try. The smell can be masked ( at least significantly) with the use of any number of essential oils.

Some of the benefits of this oil have been listed as:

 - Curing convulsion and epilepsy attacks
 - Used during delivery to prevent body odour in children and to make their skin soft and shiny
 - Promoting healthy cardiovascular health
 - accelerating hair growth
 - Strengthening hair and preventing breakage
 - Increases the softness and sheen of hair
 - Smoothens the skin
 - Prevents excessive shedding by strengthening the hair at the roots

My supply is currently from beautifullynappy (I just bought the last 2 bottles lol) and I think
Natural Nigerian will be restocking this oil soon.

Seriously, give it a try!


  1. Sandra (Naija Girl Next Door) has raved about this oil quite a bit on her blog. And now you! :) I'm not really an oil/ butter loving Naturalista, but this is definitely worth trying soon. I need a new carrier oil in my life apart from castor.

    1. ooooh! Let me know how it goes and prepare yourself for the aroma! lol It's not bad in my opinion but a lot of people seem to get turned off by it.

  2. When my brothers were babies and they would have fevers, my mum would rub this oil all over them to prevent convulsion. I always thought it was ridiculous; I mean how could an oil do that.
    For the rest of that day, I wouldn't go near them because of the atrocious smell.
    The smell is stuck in my head and won't let me try this oil for my hair.
    Nigerian and Natural

    1. Awww I know exactly how you feel. There are smells and tastes from certain foods associated with unpleasant memories from childhood that I totally avoid them altogether.

  3. Yes! This oil softens my hair a treat. I don't know about using it on my skin though, or leaving in my hair because it has such a strong smell

    1. Sandra as weird as it sounds, I LOVE the smell! There's something.... comforting about it. Maybe because it reminds me of my maternal grandmother in some ways.

  4. We also sell Palm Kernel oil at N1500 per 250ml bottle. I wish it sold as fast as other oils.

    African Naturalistas.

  5. Oh wow didn't know that! I guess it's not a fast seller as people are not used to hearing about it's benefits. Most naturalista's and ladies on hair journeys have heard of coconut oil etc but this is never really spoken about.

  6. I grew up using kernel oil for the skin especially when we traveled home. Never thought of it for hair until I read about Sandra using it. I LOVE it..everythjng about it,the smell and the way it makes my hair and skin shiny and soft.
    For those worried about the smell, like KL said mix with another oil. I have an oil mix of kernel,olive,drops of tea tree's heavenly! lol

  7. My hair absolutely loves unrefined palm kernel oil

    Thanks for using our brand

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  9. My grandma uses this oil to cure so many things I wish sees alive so I can tap some of it's use especially for children. Most times she just makes them drink and they shower her with gifts for the amazing results

  10. Oh wow didn't know that! I guess it's not a fast seller as people are not used to hearing about it's benefits.
    click here how to use coconut oil for hair

  11. Enter your comment...does it darken the skin?