Rules of Engagement for Mineral Oil


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?

The Natural Haven

The Natural Haven

Scientist on a hairy mission!

47 thoughts on “Rules of Engagement for Mineral Oil

  1. 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 to be added to our food so I doubt they are using any caution with our hair. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that it is causing fibroids or anemia. Try to use the most natural products. I am not trying to scare anyone but maybe just to open our eyes to help ourselves. It is not that important to use this particular oil. A castor oil blend can be just as thick and can be watered down with a lighter oil. Just my opinion and thoughts. I will be blogging about this soon.

  2. Hello Ladies,

    For those of you who are not familiar, please refer to: 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.

    There are so many better oils for your hair and skin. If you are looking to add some sheen and moisture to you hair use a natural/vegetable based oil, such as sunflower, jojoba, avocado even a light olive oil. If you wish to add an aromatic, stick with essential oils instead of fragrance oils since there is no way to know what exactly is in the ‘fragrance’. Essential oils that are good for the hair and scalp are: Rosemary, Ylang-Ylang, Lavender, Geranium.

    Get an empty spray bottle from walmart or sallys and add:

    Sunflower Oil
    Aloe Vera gel liquid (external)
    Jojoba Oil
    5-10 drops of rosemary and/or other essential oil

    Shake and apply as needed.

    Visit: Excellent source and great prices for the above items.

    Use the EWG site to look up all of your hair, body, bath products to see what level of toxins your are adding to your body and perhaps look for less toxic products to use on you and your family.


    • 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *