Mineral Oil… Don’t believe the hype

I was talking to someone yesterday on BlogTV and this young lady said ” Im not purchasing Miss Jessies products because it has mineral oil in it” ….next line she says “So what exactly is so bad about mineral oil?”  …. so my face kinda went sideways and I said….”okay, so you don’t want to try MJ because it has mineral oil,  but then you ask 1 second later about mineral oil.” This proved the point of my last video so much. We don’t even take the time to research but we jump on bandwagons.  (If the lady that said this is reading this, this isn’t a shot at you…just using it to prove my point)

When I get crazy comments like “why do you use this and that when it has mineral oil in it”…Who said I can’t use products with mineral oil? I’m confused. Is it agaisn’t the manuals for natural hair that I didn’t get a copy of lol. I’m sure alot of these people are just like the confused natural above. I use products based on what makes my hair look nice, and isn’t damaging…I don’t use products based on ingredients. Honestly I’m not even into the ingredients mumbo jumbo but I know alot of people are. So for those that jumped on #TeamNoMineralOil , here is a little research before jumping on other people for using it. It’s always good to do a little research first. It always amazes me when people make blanket statements about what naturals CAN and CAN’T do. All hair is not the same so just because it doesn’t work well in your hair doesn’t mean it won’t work for another natural.

From NaturallyCurly.com

“It deposits onto the surface of hair strands and forms films that are sufficiently thick to mask irregularities in the cuticle structure, which gives it fantastic smoothing and emollient properties. It significantly decreases wet combing forces and can help prevent breakage. The film formed by mineral oil on hair is occlusive, meaning it prevents the passage of water through it in either direction. Thus, it acts as a protective barrier that aids in moisture retention by preventing the diffusion of water from the interior of the hair out into the environment in dry conditions, and it also helps to minimize frizz by preventing penetration of moisture into the hair in humid conditions…… Mineral oil is effective at enhancing curl formation and curl clumping as well. It is able to do this because of the films it forms on the surface of hair fibers. The films exert capillary forces between adjacent hair strands, which causes them to be attracted to and stick to one another. This phenomenon is known as capillary adhesion”

Go to NaturallyCurly.com for the full article. They also have the scientific breakdown and how it is made if that interest some of you.

In an unknown article on “Mineral Oil vs. Coconut Oil”

Which is the winner?
Well, both water insoluble oils have some distinct advantages for curly hair. By improving moisture retention within the hair shaft, they each can minimize drying and frizz which may occur in arid climates. Both enhance curl formation and clumping. However, in both of these things, mineral oil does the job better and for a longer time. On the other hand, coconut oil appears to have some real potential for improving the health and long-term vitality of hair, especially when it comes to wash-wear, whereas mineral oil is more of a topical treatment that is effective until it is washed away. Those with very porous hair may find that coconut oil penetrates too much into the interior of the hair, which can cause its own set of problems such as frizz, greasiness, and limp hair. So, adding either coconut oil or mineral oil to your hair care regimen may prove to be beneficial, but proceed with caution and see what works best for your own locks.


curly comments!

  • Thanks for schooling me.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate

  • LexiWithTheCurls

    NP, I know alot of people don’t know what alot of these ingredients do the hair but alot are so quick to say they arent using something because it has ____ in it but can’t tell you what _____ even is or what it does to your hair. I never jumped on the mineral oil bandwagon nor did I even care to learn abt what mineral oil does because Ive been using products with mineral oil for YEARS and it never did me wrong…so it was good for myself to read this as well.

  • thanks for sharing. since i decided to go natural all of this information out here is so overwhelming & you’re right – everyone has their own manual on the do’s and don’ts of being natural. its exhausting, really. but research can get rid of a LOT of the misconceptions and misinformation out there. some people’s hair thrives with the use of mineral oil and some people do better without it. people are always saying “do what’s best for your hair” or “this is what works for me” & then turn around and want to bash someone for their decision to use a certain product or ingredient.

    thenaturalhaven.blogspot.com also has some great information on this!

    thanks for sharing!

  • Mineral oil isn’t inherently bad. What I see as a stylist though is that mineral oil tends to coat the hair as product is applied daily and it seems to prevent moisture from getting in which is not necessarily a good thing for some hair types. It is also difficult to clarify from the hair and the coating sometimes needs an SLS based shampoo to remove from the hair, causing more issues with dryness. I think it is wise for a lot of naturals with kinky hair to use mineral oil based product sparingly because their hair tends to be drier and more fragile.

  • V

    Thanks for schooling and sharing Lexi. I admit to being on the bandwagon, but them used an oil moisturizer that had mineral oil in it and my results haven’t been better!


  • I guess it all depends on your hair and your personal experience. As of mine: silicones = heavy breakage, thus I follow a 100% cone-free regimen at the moment (and it’s working amazingly). But I haven’t experienced any harmful results from using mineral oil so far, so I’m ok with that, even though I still prefer natural oils.

  • Alex

    I avoid products with mineral oil because for me relaxed and natural it was no good for my hair. It caused extreme dryness and breakage in the past. I tried a product with mineral oil, trying to have an open mind and it just doesn’t perform well for me. It is a cheap filler product. Mineral Oil is considered to be a medium-low hazard according to EWG. IMO it is most harmful when used directly on the scalp as it can coat the root too heavily and alter growth, especially when not washing with a shampoo or clarifying often. In the end it depends on each individuals hair.

  • msree

    I hear what you’re saying/writing. My reseach was an experiment on my own hair. Mineral oil would be fine if I wanted to use a sulfate shampoo. But sulfate shampoos tend to leave my hair feeling a little too stripped so it’s not the mineral oil, but the shampoo required to prevent build up that was the problem for me. I didn’t just follow what other people were saying about it. I needed to check it out for myself. You’re right. I think everyone should do the same. I enjoy your blog and youtube videos. Keep up the good work.

  • I LOVE this post! From the very beginning of my hair journey I have made it a point to not eliminate products just because some people have a problem with them in their own hair. A lot of things that girls from the hair boards would have a cow about have worked really well in my hair, I have flat ironed while transitioning, used permanent color, found usefulness for hair grease and have no intentions of giving up shampoos with sulfates.

    Some things absolutely are not the best things for your hair but people ultimately need to figure that out on their own or they might really miss out on great products.

  • Sarah

    Great Article!!

  • Laura

    The reason why I don’t use mineral oil is the same reason why I don’t use vaseline on my face. They both work well on my hair in the short term, but I want long term results because I’m growing my hair. When I use something occlusive on my skin or hair, I know that it will be difficult to remove (especially if I use gentle shampoo not to strip my hair or a gentle face wash) and I know I will get pimples or breakage after a while. That’s me. My hair is thriving and I have spent time and money trying to find what it likes: when I nourish it it gets shiny and healthy and I don’t need make up on it. So I want to know the ingredients as a consumer. People need information much more than advertising these days.

    I think it’s about personal choices and goals, but people should always know what they are putting on their hair so that they are able to make a choice. There is nothing wrong in asking for information, and different people always want to know different things about the same product. The confusion comes from reading somewhere that mineral oil is good and in some other place that it’s bad, when it can be noth things depening on personal experiences.

    I know that with certain natural ingredients I never go wrong and I think one reason why people deliberately avoid certain ingredients is because they are tired of spending money and experimenting and they want guarantees, they try to avoid obstacles and I find it a good revolution in the market: people get more control on their spending habits and choices are individual, not mass or marketing based anymore.

  • LexiWithTheCurls

    And that perfectly makes sense. I think alot of people don’t know that you aren’t supposed to put hair products on your scalp unless it tells you to in the directions. I never put any products on my scalp like old school greasing. I think alot of people don’t realize that.

  • there is definitely a lot of hype going on with not just mineral oil but many other ingredients! i know i luv me some baby buttercreme and it could have horse crap in it with a peachy smell and i would still use it!!!

  • Dee

    Thank you so much for posting this. I am newly natural, and I always hear/read about stuff that you should put and not put in your hair. However, no one has a clear explanation. I like Ms. Jessie’s so I use it. I am actually turning into a product junkie. I feel like with our hair, it is different for each one of use. Therefore, I have decided I am going to play around with stuff until I find the one product or one regimen that works for me.

  • I don’t mind mineral oil either. When I first started this hair thing, I threw out my mineral oil products, only to buy them again because they work. The no silicone thing didn’t work for me either. I loves my cones!

  • Delle

    Miss Lexi, u said ” I use products based on what makes my hair look nice, and isn’t damaging…I don’t use products based on ingredients. Honestly I’m not even into the ingredients mumbo jumbo but I know alot of people are”.

    Aside from mineral oils being a “personal choice” and possible esthetic effects it might have on hair, i am chocked some ppl ignore the harmful effects it has. i dont understand how anyone can use anything on their bodies which derives from petroleum production simply based on the desire to make hair look a certain way. come on people!! are we not better than this? mineral oil is not biological decomposable, it clogs pores, remains in your body, increases risk of cancer and other deceases, and still some of you are honestly arguing that looks are more important to you than the environment and ur own personal health? Read Sandra Kleinau’s scientific research (1993) on mineral oils, or simply google petroleum. I think it is high time we start taking proper care of ourselves and not use substances on our bodies we wouldn’t put in our mouths. Hair-products rub off on our skin, and the skin is our biggest organ. There are several products on the market today which are organic, and less harmful to our bodies and the environment. Try it instead!

  • Agreed Delle. Lexi here is some” research for you