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?

Leave a Reply

47 Comments on "Rules of Engagement for Mineral Oil"

Notify of

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.


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


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


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!


That’s ok.


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.


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.

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 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 »
Debeorah Graves

I use min­er­al oil on my hair and have great results, I do use is after sham­poo­ing my hair which is past shoul­der lenght. also use is mixrd with shea but­ter lotion for the rest of me. works won­ders.

I’ve recent­ly rein­tro­duced petro­la­tum and min­er­al oil based prod­ucts back into my hair rou­tine, since nat­u­ral oils tend to evap­o­rate from my hair too quick­ly, leav­ing my hair dry and brit­tle. I use some Blue Mag­ic hair grease to do my twist-outs. First, I wet my hair, add a lit­tle leave-in, then a very small amount of the grease to mois­tur­ize my hair. By using very lit­tle of the pro­duct, I’m left with hair that is non-greasy, soft, smooth, and shiny. It yields the best twist-outs ever! So far, so good! I’m def­i­nite­ly hap­py with the results I’ve been get­ting.… Read more »

I am so hop­ing this grease thing will work for me…this is like my last hope.


also this post is extreme­ly help­ful JC!!! Alot of nat­u­rals are jump­ing on min­er­al oil sud­den­ly and need to know this!


Min­er­al oil is too heavy for my thin hair but I think this arti­cle bet­ter describes the use of min­er­al oil. and even “greas­es” it should be used light­ly as a final sealant. I would like to try some on my scalp any sug­ges­tions of kinds that dont cause dan­druff?

The Natural Haven

Loni­tra — Min­er­al oil is a heavy sealant. Peo­ple who like thick fin­ish­ing prod­ucts like shea but­ter or cas­tor oil may also like min­er­al oil 

Peo­ple like me who like light oils will not like min­er­al oil. I total­ly agree with you that min­er­al oil can be too heavy for some hair.


whoo, just ignore me LOL, I’m run­ning off a few hours of sleep…I see you answered it in your post!

The Natural Haven

lol df — no prob­lem, i do that too some­times :)


Hi JC, I was won­der­ing if you have to use a par­tic­u­lar type of sham­poo like one that is clar­i­fy­ing or with sul­fates every time you wash if you use min­er­al oil. I just plan to use Giovanni’s Tea Tree Sham­poo (some­times mixed with bak­ing soda) and fol­low with an ACV rin­se. Would that be enough to remove the min­er­al oil from my hair!



on the pro­duct web­site, dax even says their pomade should not be used on fine hair..I was kind of sur­prised to see that. 

I’m prone to acne and I just use it light­ly to seal on wash days. The rest of the time, I use what­ev­er oil I have…works per­fect­ly :)


I appre­ci­ate this site and I don’t mean to be rude, but what hap­pened to the fresh and orig­i­nal blog posts? The Nat­u­ral Haven is it’s own blog enti­ty, and quite frankly read­ing the posts on there once is enough. What is up with all the re-blogs, it’s like you’re only using this site’s mate­ri­al nowa­days. =/

The Natural Haven
Jp — I agree with you in part except this post that you just com­ment­ed on is actu­al­ly new.……so I have to smile. How­ev­er, to answer your ques­tion I am writ­ing new pieces for BGLH and they are mixed in with some reposts.  There are plen­ty of peo­ple who do read The Nat­u­ral Haven but there are plen­ty of peo­ple who do not and what is old to you is new to many peo­ple. My goal has always been to give sci­ence in the nat­u­ral hair world a plat­form and there is no big­ger one than BGLH so every repost… Read more »
Auset Abena
Okay, min­er­al oil is get­ting to be the new celebri­ty, after hav­ing been shunned all this time. And sul­fates appar­ent­ly are a god-send. LOL. I don’t ever see myself using some straight up min­er­al oil on my hair. I used to use Nature’s Bless­ings short­ly, back when I had locs. It has olive oil, coconut oil, herbs, and much far­ther down the ingre­di­ents list, min­er­al oil (or min­er­al jel­ly). I might start using that again. I remem­ber lik­ing the smell and the con­sis­ten­cy. But when all is said and done, my main pro­duct go-to’s will be coconut oil, cas­tor oil,… Read more »

I just can’t believe my eyes!!! you being pos­i­tive with min­er­al oil!!!!
I read yes­ter­day a sis­ter stat­ing that min­er­al grase could be fine!!!
What about the dan­ger of our bod­ies receiv­ing prod­ucts they can’t elim­i­nate .……Blank.
What’s wrong with you

The Natural Haven

So it would sur­prise you to know that min­er­al oil is actu­al­ly approved for human con­sump­tion and is actu­al­ly com­mon­ly added to packed rice to pre­vent the grains from rub­bing togeth­er and cre­at­ing dust.

I’ve been say­ing min­er­al is fine for years — it was one of my first posts way pack in 2009. 

Your objec­tion to it is per­fect­ly fine but I would not rec­om­mend any­thing that has been proven to be harm­ful. It would be uneth­i­cal.


I use Miss Jessie’s Curly Pud­ding which con­tains some min­er­al oil. Fol­low­ing a wash, condition/deep con­di­tion­er, and leave-in I get good results. It is true you will need mois­ture in a few days. I will need to remem­ber the tips about apply­ing water and humec­tants to re-mois­tur­ize. I don’t find min­er­al oil scar­ry at all.

Before I had alot of knowl­edge I used to use grease as a mois­tur­iz­er with no luck. Although my bff was using grease and always had great results (lat­er i real­ized she always gresed damp hair and thats why she had had good results) After a cou­ple years of using creams and shea but­ter with the result being soft but dull hair. Also after learn­ing about the art of mois­tur­iz­ing THEN seal­ing. I have been back on grease for the last 5 months. I L-O-V-E my hair. the mois­ture reten­tion and the sheen. My rou­tine is exact­ly as described in… Read more »

Janelle, I agree com­plete­ly and I use vase­line and/or africa’s best cas­tor oil hair & scalp con­di­tion­er to seal and for use with with my braid­outs and get mosi­ture for days and great hold & def­i­n­i­tion. I just start­ed using this for my two strand twists and find that they hold much bet­ter than any­thing else I have used so far.

I am of the school of what­ev­er works for my hair I will use!

This has been my rou­tine even before I start­ed hear­ing the sto­ries about min­er­al oils and petro­le­um products…I was and con­di­tion my hair… Spray a con­coc­tion of glyc­er­in mixed with cocunut oil and con­di­tion­er for smell…Then I coat the hair with blue mag­ic or vase­line… It has worked for me… My hair isn’t falling out… I have 4G hair, and it stays mois­tur­ized for at least a week… The only thing that we have to do is just keep the hair washed when using this, because the­se prod­ucts do pick up lint, dust and oth­er agents in the air very… Read more »
The Natural Haven

lol at the 4G hair — mine is 4abcxyz :)

Lj Miles

Thank you for this arti­cle. For over a week now, we’ve been con­tem­plat­ing try­ing min­er­al-based prod­ucts as a sealant for my 14 year old. I was most con­cerned over the thought of need­ing a Sul­fate con­tain­ing sham­poo as her cleans­ing agent. We’ll see though…

Good look­in’ out :)

~ Curly­Hue

When I was grow­ing up, my moth­er would use Sof ‘n’ free, the blue one, how­ev­er it was excel­lent for twits outs and braid outs, but my hair was always very dry, grease nev­er real­ly worked for me. My moth­er would end up mix­ing cas­tor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, to make the Sof ‘n’ free a lot lighter. My hair was always thick, but it nev­er grow past my shoul­ders. always to the nape of my neck.  It is some­thing I would not go back to as my hair loves water, con­di­tion­ing waters, glyc­er­ine, aloe vera and cas­tor oil.  Every­one is… Read more »
the sun

I final­ly broke down and bought some blue mag­ic hair grease yesterday.…THANK YOU FOR THE POST.Trying to min­i­mize fairy knots. I noticed I’ve had more since I stopped using it. Hope it helps.

P.s. Every­time I’m hav­ing hair issues, I wake up and BOOM, BGLH has a post on what I’m deal­ing with . Thank you again EVERYBODY who con­tributes .


Trim­ming helps pre­vent fairy knots in an amaz­ing­ly effec­tive way.
I start­ed snip­ping off 1/4in every 3 months and since I start­ed doing this, I have noticed not ons sin­gle fairy knot. I DC week­ly, am not always great about specif­i­cal­ly seal­ing my ends, but I keep my hair well mois­tured. My go to oil is coconut.


do you seal your ends with it?

the sun

Yes just the ends of my hair not my scalp.


As many ladies here, I grew up with Dax on my head, and the only thing it brought me is break­age, and VERY hard and dry hair. But this is not the main rea­son of my dis­ap­proval: those min­er­al oils, extract­ed from petrol, are unhealthy — or at least bring noth­ing for the body care. And what about the envi­ron­ment? What are the con­se­quences of using those min­er­al oils? Not for me thanks, vir­gin veg­eta­bles oils do the work much bet­ter.

A french read­er (sor­ry if my eng­lish is not per­fect :)

Jessica Kotei

i absolute­ly have no prob­lem what­so­ev­er with petro­le­um base prod­ucts. My mom used it on my hair and I’ve been using it too. I fol­low the­se same steps and have nev­er had a prob­lem with it.it gives me good twist out and when i wear my nat­u­ral hair out in the cold, it doesn’t feel like rock hair.…and guess what..I live in Saskatchewan, Canada.….. trust me when i say it is soooo cold.


No way! Anoth­er per­son from Saskatch­wan?! Well hel­lo :)

I grew up with Dax but now I find that cas­tor oil, shea but­ter, etc serve me bet­ter. I’m not real­ly ‘again­st’ using any­thing. I think peo­ple should do what works.


I see so many nat­u­rals are going back to grease and min­er­al oil based prod­ucts, but I just hate how they feel on my hair. After open­ing up myself to all of the­se nat­u­ral and ben­e­fi­cial oils and but­ters, I don’t think I could do it. I nev­er was one to use much grease in the first place, espe­cial­ly since I have a scalp con­di­tion.


I am not able to use min­er­al oil or petro­le­um con­tain­ing leave-in con­di­tion­ers on my hair, as they always result in break­outs on my skin AND they tend to leave grease stains on all hair acces­sories, seats, etc. Not to men­tion the heavy, weighed down and poten­tial­ly greasy look (even when I use very small amounts) is just not attrac­tive to me.

I can’t be both­ered with leav­ing a trail wherever I go and look­ing like a pim­pled faced teen in the process.
But, i real­ize that the­se type of prod­ucts work for many peo­ple. I say , go for it!


Hmmm.…I’m still skep­ti­cal about min­er­al oil. I’m def­i­nite­ly inter­est­ed to hear from oth­ers who have tried or will try this though.

(Help­ful hint: Skep­ti­cal is spelled with a “k.”)


“Scep­ti­cal” is the prop­er spelling in the UK, which is where the author (Jc) is from.

Vase­line was the only thing that kept my BAA from turn­ing into a TWA in the humid sum­mer. Now that winter’s com­ing, I’m about to try some min­er­al oil-based pomades to see how well they keep my hair’s mois­ture sealed in. Even before all this infor­ma­tion was online, I used min­er­al oil-based lotions (Pink Oil) on my nat­u­ral hair and nev­er had a prob­lem. It was noth­ing that a good sham­poo couldn’t cure. *shrug*

The Natural Haven

Indeed in British Eng­lish scep­ti­cal is cor­rect. It is a glob­al world now :)


Oh! Good to know, as I had no idea there was a dif­fer­ent UK spelling (or that this blog was based in the UK)! In the US, “scep­ti­cal” would be pro­nounced “sep­ti­cal,” and as a for­mer teacher, I’ve seen that as a com­mon mis­spelling with many of my stu­dents. I’m glad to know that wasn’t what was going on here. Thanks, ladies!

The Natural Haven

No probs Black Onyx :) I am the only one based in UK. BGLH is based in Chicago :)