By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven

A while back we dis­cussed why min­er­al oil may not be so bad espe­cial­ly if you are strug­gling with very dry hair. How­ev­er, the idea of min­er­al oil being a mois­tur­iz­er runs con­trary to the fact that many of us will have expe­ri­enced dry hair as a result of using min­er­al oil or min­er­al oil prod­ucts. It is per­fect­ly under­stand­able why many of us may be cau­tious even skep­ti­cal about using it. The­se are the rules of engage­ment for using min­er­al oil effec­tive­ly:

1. You must always use min­er­al oil AFTER adding water to your hair. The best process would be imme­di­ate­ly after wash­ing, con­di­tion­ing and adding a leave in. Add the min­er­al oil to slight­ly damp hair. Min­er­al oil pre­vents water from escap­ing from the hair shaft. Adding it to dry hair is a recipe for even dri­er hair. When it comes to mois­ture always ask yourself.……what are you seal­ing in?

2. Do not reap­ply the min­er­al oil. Your hair may nor­mal­ly start to feel dry 2–3 days post wash. Do not add more min­er­al oil to your hair. Spritz it instead with water and try not to add more pro­duct to it. If you real­ly feel that you need more pro­duct, make sure that it has a humec­tant such as glyc­er­in, hon­ey or aloe vera which can hold onto water. You can also  repeat the wash cycle instead and then it will be fine to reap­ply the oil.

3. Min­er­al oil is gen­er­al­ly not com­pat­i­ble with a no-poo rou­tine. You do not have to use a sham­poo with SLS ( ‘sul­fates’) but you should use a sham­poo or soap of some sort as part of your wash­ing step. The sham­poo will help dis­solve the min­er­al oil and avoid it build­ing up as a thick lay­er on your hair.

4.Remember the fin­ger­tip tip with coconut oil? Try the same with min­er­al oil. Always use as lit­tle as pos­si­ble as it spreads well and gen­er­al­ly even­ly.  A thick lay­er can end up caus­ing you to have a very greasy scalp.

5. Be savvy. It is per­fect­ly fine to avoid min­er­al oil as an ingre­di­ent in con­di­tion­ers and restrict its use to only the final seal­ing step. In con­di­tion­ers oils are gen­er­al­ly includ­ed for added slip and to pro­tect hair dur­ing the wash. Oils such as coconut oil per­form this func­tion bet­ter.

6.  Min­er­al oil may not be for you.  You may do all the above tips and still find that min­er­al oil leaves your hair dry.  Trust your hair and its respon­se.  Min­er­al oil can be too heavy for some hair and opt­ing for a lighter oil may be bet­ter for you. If you do not cur­rent­ly use min­er­al oil and do not have a mois­ture issue, do not try to fix what is not bro­ken.

So what do you think ladies? Would you try min­er­al oil? Have you tried it using the­se instruc­tions? How was the out­come?

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47 Comments on "Rules of Engagement for Mineral Oil"

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I don’t want to use min­er­al oil because I REALLY do think its bad for us. There are a myr­i­ad of dis­eases that run preva­lent in Black wom­en. I have strug­gled to rea­son why that would be. Is hav­ing brown skin a fac­tor for dis­ease. What do we do dif­fer­ent than oth­er races. Well we use a lot more lotion and a lot more hair prod­ucts. I feel there has to be a cor­re­la­tion. Min­er­al oil and Petro­la­tum are car­cino­genic. There are stud­ies. Although they are not say­ing it is con­clu­sive the US has a ten­den­cy to allow dead­ly chem­i­cals… Read more »
Hel­lo Ladies, For those of you who are not famil­iar, please refer to: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. Min­er­al oil, petro­le­um etc. but under­stand that it is a by pro­duct of the gaso­line that is in your car. The FDA is not respon­si­ble for reg­u­lat­ing any over the coun­ter pro­duct. There are no gov­ern­ing bod­ies in this coun­try. The aver­age wom­an puts more than 126 chem­i­cals, a day on her body and that even­tu­al­ly leads to bio-accum­mu­la­tion. Search for min­er­al oil in the skin deep data­base and it has a ‘haz­ard rat­ing’ of 3 (mod­er­ate) and has been linked to immune and respi­to­ry sys­tem tox­i­c­i­ty.… Read more »

I’m sor­ry, but min­er­al oil blocks the mois­ture from get­ting to our hair. I always tell my cus­tomers to avoid it. Mois­ture is a MUST for our dry hair!

The Natural Haven

It is very true that min­er­al oil blocks water entry (how­ev­er the same can be said for any oil too includ­ing cas­tor, coconut, jojoba, sun­flow­er etc). 

The block­ing prop­er­ty of oils are exact­ly what make them good ‘sealants’. They delay the exit of water by block­ing the water from leav­ing the shaft. 

Min­er­al oil when used improp­er­ly (i.e on dry hair) can indeed lead to even dri­er hair. Also if your hair is not keen on heavy prod­ucts, min­er­al oil is not for you.


I hate min­er­al oil with a pas­sion, it nev­er did any good for my hair when I was younger and I am not about to start that night­mare again…but to each there own.


That’s ok.


been using min­er­al con­sis­tent­ly for the past 2 weeks and despite the cold­er weath­er, my hair is more mois­tur­ized than it’s ever been. All the oils nev­er real­ly sealed my hair well enough and if I used shea but­ter, my hair would dry kind of hard.…it’s awe­some!


I have found that pure min­er­al oil is less greasy than prod­ucts con­tain­ing min­er­al oil, espe­cial­ly if used in mod­er­a­tion.


I actu­al­ly am using this pro­duct that con­tains min­er­al oil as the first ingri­di­ent. I like it, yes its a bit greasy but hair seems to be more hydrat­ed and it smells love­ly. It works for my hair which is super thick , but i guess oth­ers dont like it as much.


I am real­ly thank­ful to the hold­er of this web site who has shared this
impres­sive piece of writ­ing at at this time.


I co-washed this morn­ing, and added plen­ty of pure min­er­al oil to my hair. —sigh— by 6 pm, I expe­ri­enced some­thing Ive NEVER expe­ri­enced before. The oil was lit­er­al­ly drip­ping on my face arms and hands.

This proves it is for top­i­cal use, and not mois­tur­iz­ing. There were areas of my head dry as a door knob. Will see what the results are after a mist­ing in the morn­ing.