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What Are the Effects of Vaseline on Hair?

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Celebrities use it to prevent lipstick from reaching their teeth. Some women use it to prolong the effect of their perfume on their skin. Some men use it to groom facial hair. Your mother probably used it time and again to remove gum from your hair. Your grandmother probably used it to get rid of lice. Your great-great-grandfather is likely to have used it to treat skin wounds. Vaseline has a long history of usage in skin and hair care. But… there’s always a but. While vaseline does plenty of good to your hair, it can also cause some trouble. The worst: hair greasiness, tangling, and hair loss. Make sure to keep the good, prevent the bad and avoid the ugly!

Table of contents:

1. What is vaseline, aka petroleum jelly?
2. The benefits of vaseline for your skin and scalp
3. Is vaseline bad for your hair? Should you use it in your beauty routine?
 3.1 Is vaseline good for frizzy hair?
 3.2 Can you use vaseline on your scalp?
 3.3 Is vaseline good for split ends?
 3.4 Does petroleum jelly help hair to grow faster?
 3.5 Does vaseline help eyebrows grow? How about lashes?
4. What does vaseline do to your hair: the side effects
 4.1 How can you clarify mineral oil from your hair?

What is vaseline, aka petroleum jelly?

You may know it as petroleum jelly. You may know it as vaseline. It doesn't matter how you call it; petroleum jelly, known by its brand name, vaseline, is designed to create a barrier on the skin and hair to lock in the moisture. The blend of mineral oils and natural waxes contained by vaseline seals in the moisture in the dermis and the hair cuticles. But is that good or bad? Well, as it is in life, it's both. And sometimes, it can get ugly. Discover how to fully benefit from vaseline in your beauty regimen and how to avoid the ugly!  

The benefits of vaseline for your skin and scalp

Oil workers used petroleum jelly (petrolatum) to heal their wounds and burns. Due to its mix of waxes and mineral oils, vaseline gives your skin the perfect protective barrier. That hasn’t changed since the mid-1800s when petrolatum was discovered. Since then, vaseline has been recommended in hair care as well. Is it safe to use petroleum on your skin? Should you ever apply it to your hair, scalp, eyebrows, and lashes? Here’s all you need to know!

  • Vaseline helps heal minor skin wounds, such as scrapes and burns. According to studies, when applied to a disinfected wound, petroleum jelly keeps the skin hydrated, aiding in healing.
  • Petroleum jelly prevents rashes, such as diaper rash. One study shows vaseline prevents diaper rashes from developing. 
  • Vaseline can be used as make-up removal and is safe to use around the eyes, one study says. 
  • Petrolatum prevents skin stains from hair dye and nail polish. When applied on your nail cuticles and your hairline vaseline creates a barrier that cannot be penetrated—less work after dyeing and having a manicure at home. 
  • Vaseline is of great aid in moisturizing the skin. Petroleum jelly is an occlusive product. It can keep the skin moist and hydrated and can come in handy to take care of cracked heels, chapped lips, dry noses, and sensitive skin. Since it softens rough skin, it can also be applied to pet paws. 
  • Vaseline can be used in your manicures and makes your cuticles softer and better-looking. 
  • Petrolatum is a great lube and can be used to prevent skin chafing. This reduces skin irritations, blisters, and wounds. 

Is vaseline bad for your hair? Should you use it in your beauty routine?

 

Most of us know vaseline comes in handy in skincare routines. But what are the effects of vaseline on hair? Can it be applied to soothe irritated scalp? Is it good to prevent hair damage, breakage, and even hair loss? Is petroleum jelly an adjuvant in hair growth? Or should you never apply it to your hair?  

Is vaseline good for frizzy hair?

Vaseline can be used as a styling gel for frizzy hair. Dry hair can benefit from applying a pea-sized amount of vaseline on it. Not only will it not make hair crunchy or greasy, as other styling products do, but it will help seal in moisture. Vaseline will help tame the frizz, helping the hair lay down flat.

Can you use vaseline on your scalp?

Petroleum jelly is recommended for dry scalp issues. When applied properly, it has a non-comedogenic effect. It can combat flakiness, scaling, and itching usually associated with dandruff. One study even mentions it as a treatment for seborrheic dermatitis.  

Is vaseline good for split ends?

Dry hair can be a result of sun exposure, hard water, pool water, and/or a bad hair routine. Applying a pinch of vaseline to your hair can help reduce the appearance of split ends. When used onto your hair before going to the pool or swimming in the sea, vaseline prevents dryness. 

Does petroleum jelly help hair to grow faster?

There are some theories that vaseline aids in hair loss. There are no active ingredients in vaseline to aid in the natural process of hair growth. But since it creates a barrier on the hair shaft, petroleum jelly makes the hair less prone to breakage.

Does vaseline help eyebrows grow? How about lashes?

Before using it topically on your skin, it’s recommended you do a patch skin test. If your skin is prone to breakouts, even the tiniest amount of vaseline can have unwanted side effects. When it comes to eyelashes and brows, use a small amount of vaseline (smaller than a grain of rice) and make sure to calibrate your expectations. Petrolatum will not speed up the hair's natural growing process. But when it comes to eyebrows, it will prevent breakage, and it can stylize them, smoothing down flyaways. It will also make your eyelashes seem longer and thicker, defining them.

What does vaseline do to your hair: the side effects

Vaseline should be used in small quantities. When it comes to hair care, it should never be used more than once a week. When applied in large quantities and when not properly cleansed, vaseline does more harm than healing to your hair. 

  • If not removed from your scalp, it creates a breeding ground for bacteria and can even block hair follicles.
  • While a barrier of petroleum jelly can prevent hair breakage, mineral oil must be removed from the hair. If not, the strands will get greasy, tangled, and can even break.

Using a vaseline treatment can be helpful. Not to mention it’s cheap and easy to find. But mineral oil is hard to remove by the natural, protecting mechanisms of your body. Mineral oils and waxes in petroleum jelly need to be removed actively. Baking soda, activated charcoal, and especially a clarifying shampoo are to be used to get rid of petroleum jelly. 

How can you clarify mineral oil from your hair?

It’s important not to leave vaseline in your hair for a long time. Do not count on "it will go away on its own." It will not. It will stay, and it will not be a good guest. Nor will it be easily removed by brushing, using a towel, or simply washing it with your regular shampoo. You can get the opposite effect: hair tangling, breakage, and hair loss. Petroleum jelly can even block out the shampoo, so it’s highly recommended you use a clarifying shampoo.

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo is a gentle, clarifying shampoo. Packed with natural ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, nettle leaf, saw palmetto, argan, and almond oil, this shampoo will balance the scalp's pH level while nourishing and cleansing the hair strands from root to tip.

Iulia Claudia Dumitru

I feel happy when I get to tell meaningful stories. About people. About the world. About life. About what people need to feel good. Healthy food, a balanced lifestyle, a grateful approach to relationships with others and ourselves. That is how I keep myself grounded and purposeful. That is how I aim to contribute: striving to make ourselves the best we can. Creating life in the little things. Living every day with the joy, wonder, and curiosity of a child. Trying to #seeKbeauty. Inside and out.

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