Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mineral Oil it or Not????????

 I was at work the other night and a co-worker, who has the most gorgeous waist length locs, asked me "what is wrong with mineral oil?" To my surprise, I did not have a concrete answer in my brain other than the usual  "mineral oil coats hair and blocks moisture". I did not respond as I really wanted to get the facts about this oil before answering her question.

Before I went natural, I wore extensions all the time and did not really take care of my hair, so I cannot give any reviews on products with mineral oil. The first thing I heard from the natural hair community when I went that route was "STAY AWAY FROM MINERAL OIL". And honestly, that's exactly what I did!!!.
I am now interested in seeking real, existent actual information about products and natural hair care. I think we should do more research about information on hair care and products and not go by just what everyone is saying.

So from researching, I was amazed at my findings!!!! It turned out that the "horrendous, dire and  dreadful" mineral oil is hunky-dory. It is not so bad as depicted. You know why?

I went to the Journal of Cosmetics Science website and read about the findings of an experiment done comparing Coconut Oil and Mineral Oil. The result? While mineral oil does not penetrate the cortex of the hair, due to it's lack of natural attraction to protein, (Journal of Cosmetic Science pg 169-184,2001)  and blocking water out, it does decrease the condition hygral fatigue.

Hygral Fatigue is a condition that hair goes through when it swells and deswells with water. Hair becomes weaker through this process causing damage, which can become worse when hair is being detangled and styled wet

So in essence, mineral oil does somewhat protect the hair from porosity.

Why I still would not use it even after my research: Mineral Oil does prevent water from getting into the hair shaft of dry hair (my hair type, kinky coily, is pretty dry and needs moisture). Also, even though it does help with porosity, Coconut Oil is far better in that, it does penetrate the hair offering conditioning benefits and  better protection from hygral fatigue.

Some Coilies have testified to using mineral oil and experiencing no untoward effects on their hair, while some just keep it at bay.

So Bellas, what is your take on this? Have you used Mineral Oil? Does it promote the well being of your hair? Or would you rather not use it and why?


  1. Great post and thanks a bunch for sharing. I agree totally I also read much of what you've shared here. Although it is said to not be as taboo as many state. I agree with you there are far more better products , coconut oil for one as you've stated. I have in fact used mineral oil in my early stages of my big chop used mineral oil products before I decided to inquire and learn a bit more on taking better care for my natural hair. And,my hair did at times feel coated I didn't care for that feeling. It was then I decided to move on from this ingredient.

    My hair is doing fine with out the use of mineral oil in my products. So my take is why fix something thats not broke. Thanks for asking ! Take care Tinuke:)


  2. Thanks Zainab. I dont think I want to find out that this oil would coat my hair. I already know it would since research says that it blocks moisture.Thanks for sharing.I am just dying to know why some folks use it and how it is working for them. Interesting!!!!!

  3. Tinuke,

    I've been trying and trying to add your new address to my bloglist and it just will not let me do so. It very well may be on my end I will continue to try. I hope it works out because your site in one of my favorites, and I really want it on my site. I'm not sure if others are having this problem trying to add your new address. Just wanted to give you a heads up maybe you can try it for yourself, to see if there is a problem. Keep me posted. Take care,


  4. It seems that what mineral oil does to the hair, any type of oil would do, but I guess it's not the case. I use olive oil mostly, and water. I still have dry hair but it's all I can afford at the moment. Great post.

  5. I avoid mineral oil like the plague. I don't care if it's at the bottom of the product list. If the product has mineral oil in it, that's a deal breaker for me.


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