Mineral oil is quite a controversial ingredient which is often hailed as useless and carcinogen, yet, it’s so widely used and has been around in cosmetics for over 100 years. Whether you want to use mineral oil for hair or skin, neat or in other products, you will indisputably come across negative information about it. With so many conflicting opinions, one can never be sure whether mineral oil is a friend or a foe. Well, up until now.
In this article, we’ll be elaborating more on the effects as well as side effects of mineral oil for hair. But first things first, what is mineral oil?
Well, mineral oil is a transparent and odorless oil deriving from petroleum which is probably where it got a bad reputation from. Due to its association with petroleum, many claim mineral oil comes with carcinogenic side effects, which is partly true only if you’re using the unrefined, industrial-grade product.
However, according to Paula Begoun, the mineral oil used in cosmetics is highly purified. After going through a strict purification process, it becomes completely safe and is considered non-comedogenic. In fact, all ingredients go through the purification process, including plants.
So, in its purified form, mineral oil is widely used in the industry and is a pretty common ingredient in personal care products like moisturizers, lip balms, and hair products.
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Benefits of Mineral Oil For Hair
According to Personal Care, one of the best things about mineral oil is that it forms thin layers with great barrier properties which makes it cosmetic friendly. This layer locks water in and protects the hair from the toxins and other damaging environmental factors such as sunlight, frost, and wind.
Read more on: How To Grow Eyelashes With Vaseline
But note that mineral oil doesn’t work as a conditioner. It’s usually used to protect the external hair structures which is why it can’t be a remedy for damaged hair. It works more like a shine-increasing lotion, Nanoil says. What’s more, it can also boost hair volume creating a coat which is similar to the one built by silicones.
Other benefits of mineral oil on hair include:
However, you should know that overusing mineral oil on your hair also has its side effects. As they say, too much of anything is bad. So be careful of the following:
- using it too often dries out your hair
- too much of mineral oil weighs down hair, especially thin hair
- it may cause scalp irritation
The secret of mineral oil is to apply infrequently and sparingly. You apply it to dry hair, starting from roots to ends, and your scalp as well, preferably no more than twice a week. Don’t let it sit longer than ten minutes to avoid scalp irritation and hair dryness.
According to Blackhair Kitchen, if you want to completely remove it from your hair, look for a shampoo with sulfates as other shampoos might be too gentle to dissolve the barrier. However, shampoos containing sodium cocoyl isethionate or cocamidopropyl betaine as active ingredients have also proved to be quite effective.
While mineral oil is a beautifying ingredient and has many benefits, don’t expect it to nourish or repair your hair as it only stays on the surface and doesn’t get inside the hair. But as long as it works for you, there’s nothing wrong with including mineral oil in your hair care routine.
Disclaimer: The contents of this article: text, graphics, images, and other materials contained are strictly for informational purposes only. The Content is NOT intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. Please ALWAYS seek the advice of a qualified health provider with all the questions that you have related to, or about, a medical condition.