Growth Update!
Monday, February 08, 2010 | 6 comments

It's been two months since the last update! Sorry for the hiatus, lovelies. We'll be updating more frequently now. Anyway, I am one month away from my first year ful...

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I am not a fan of petroleum. Matter of fact, I tend to stray from products that include it. But some of my favorites products have Mineral oil or petroleum in it. For example, KeraCare Humecto and ApHogee Keratin Two Minute Reconstructor both have Mineral oil. So that lead me to wondering...

Is Petroleum/Mineral oil based products THAT bad?

I decided to go to an expert. Not just any expert, the president of Avlon (KeraCare, Affirm, Fiberguard, MoisturColor, and Ferm), Dr. Ali Syed! Here is what the doc had to say to my question:
Belle Cheveux,

In my opinion, Petrolatum/vaseline forms an occulsive layer on the surface of the hair or skin. This layer is not impermeable. Moisture can still get in and out to a certain degree.

Also the layer of petrolatum keeps vanishing with the wear and tear of the everyday living style.

For example, this layer of petrolatum will rub off with our pillow covers, etc.

Petrolatum in my opinion is good to use in weathers such as winter when we have lots of dry heat indoor and our body (skin and scalp) needs the moisturization. Petrolatum is able to keep the skin, scalp and hair supple and soft.

Petrolatum cannot clog the pores as it is completely washable with shampoo detergents.

I was satisfied with my answer. But I must asked, what do you think about it? Do you think these ingredients are that bad if you know how to take care of your hair?


Amina says
November 6, 2008 at 12:35 AM

that is so nice of her to answer your question in details.
When I had relaxed hair, i didn't care...
some of the products i enjoyed a lot had mineral oil

once i went natural and started experimenting excessive dryness, i just run away from petrolatum and mineral oil...natural products work better for my hair

ErynMyisha says
November 6, 2008 at 3:40 AM

Thanks for getting professional advice! No, I don't think it's that bad, although I tend to avoid them as well. But just like you, I loves my Aphogee 2 minute and KC Humecto! I don't mind them so much in my wash products, but as far as a moisturizer, I don't care for it after using products without it. But I believe with monthly clarifying poos we'll be fine.

Anonymous says
November 6, 2008 at 1:37 PM

now i use the aphogee 2 min and paul mitchell foaming pomade. both have mineral oils in them, but cant live without either of them. (especially my foaming pommade when i do my small ponies (i'm natural),its gets the hair shiny, gets the frizzies down and makes my hair soft.) i clarfy when needed (which is usually between every two weeks- once a month) but i try to be mindful of the contents of the products i use.

Bronze Trinity says
November 6, 2008 at 2:48 PM

I like the way my hair looks and especially feels without it. I prefer oils.

Vick says
November 6, 2008 at 6:23 PM

I don’t mind mineral oil in a rinse out product. But a leave in? No way josé. I would maybe consider sealing my ends with a grease in the winter but that is about it. I have butters that can do the same.

DblDee says
November 7, 2008 at 7:51 AM

I think that it is okay to use products with petroleum/mineral oil as long as it is used in moderation. One of my favorite products to use during winter is PARNEVU Leave In Conditioner, which contains petroleum and mineral oil. I have type 3c/4a/4b natural hair and it works fine on my hair. I think that if you have really dry hair you may want to avoid these ingredients all together.

Sunshyne says
November 8, 2008 at 5:20 PM

I would use it in a conditioner but as a leave-in or!

November 9, 2008 at 9:44 AM

Thanks for getting this clarification and thanks to Dr. Ali for providing this sound advice.

Anonymous says
November 9, 2008 at 7:00 PM

I like petroleum/tum/whuteva you wanna call it. I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I too love to use the aphogee keratin 2 minute reconstructor. It was the first product that I used for my natural hair that became an 'hg.' I also love to use softee indian hemp which is based in petroleum.

I feel like this. Anytime I have ever heard someone say 'mineral oil' or 'petroleum' is bad, it has always been an unsubstantiated claim (meaning I have never seen any research or tangible evidence backing up a claim). I say use what works for you, but don't go around speaking in absolutes without evidence.

Love the blog fyi

hair straightner says
December 15, 2008 at 10:52 AM

I like your idea. thanks

Ananda says
December 20, 2008 at 2:11 PM

Here are the facts:
Mineral Oil is also a know carcinogen as proven by the U.S. National Toxicology Program’s Tenth Report on Carcinogens.

A carcinogen as a substance or agent that can cause cells to become cancerous by altering their genetic structure so that they multiply continuously and become malignant. Asbestos, DDT, and tobacco smoke are examples of carcinogens.

Mineral oil and petroleum are used by large manufacturers becasuse they are CHEAP.

What costs more a bottle of Baby Oil or a bottle of Olive Oil?

There are much better oils to use on our hair than petroleum and mineral oil. Oils that actually penetrate and nourish our hair.

Dr. Ali Syed while an expert in the field of cosmetic chemistry lets face it he is NOT gonna say that an ingredient that he uses in his product line is bad for you.

You should have asked someone who is not connected to a particular product line or company and see what their answer is.

I agree with what he said, rubs off with wear and tear, vasnishes with wear and tear...... except that I know it can clog pores. Try smearing some vaseline on your face everynight and see what happens.....

Belle Cheveux says
December 20, 2008 at 2:33 PM

MYTH: Mineral oil is contaminated with carcinogens.
While it’s true that some petroleum derivatives contain carcinogenic materials (like some polycyclic aromatic compounds) the mineral oil that is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is highly refined and purified. It’s purity is even regulated by the US FDA and other international regulatory agencies. There is absolutely no evidence that cosmetic grade mineral oil causes cancer. And there has been plenty of testing done to ensure that fact. We could find no published reports in any of the dermatological or medical journals indicating a link between mineral oil and any forms of cancer.

NicaWay says
January 5, 2009 at 5:51 PM

I feel you Ananda! Cancer from carcinogen use in my hair is not my only concern. I am trying to live more green which is my main reason for stirring away from potetroleum and mineral oils in my hair products. I haven't mastered the green life, yet every little bit counts. Living green is inspiring a change in what I buy and who I buy it from.

RosaRosa says
January 13, 2009 at 12:30 PM

Ananda, get your facts correct. Cosmetic grade mineral oil is NOT a carcinogen. Actually, baby oil is a fine mineral oil with a little perfume added and many women do put it on their skin every night. While I may not want to use it for my hair, it's not a carcinogen. Check out:

Nina says
January 25, 2009 at 8:19 PM

Everyone after Amanda has missed the greater point of her comment. The expert used to testify to the use of petroleum and mineral oil is biased! He has excellent reason to not give the most honest answer, e.g. $$$.
I don't use the stuff on my hair, but i've used petroleum jelly on my face without problems. A co-worker told me about it. Her skin is beautiful. I don't think it's the best thing to use, but I won't take Dr. Ali's answer as gospel, and you guys shouldn't either.

Anonymous says
February 5, 2009 at 5:39 PM

well, i think it depends on the individual, my grandmother only used Vaseline and she had a braid down to her hips. Im not sure if her hair was natural or not, but i think the key is a good diet and gentle treatment of the hair. And you have to know how your hair responds to certain stresses. What Vaseline does is keeps the hair from drying out so it serves its purpose but i dnt think it can repair the hair like protein based conditioners etc...

NappyKAT says
February 12, 2009 at 12:26 PM

I don't use mineral oil or petroleum. it makes my hair feel like greasy straw hay - you know straw hay is dry, and you cover it in oil and it's like it still dry but coated with grease. I don't like it on my skin either - shiny and greasy skin is not attractive to me.

The more I learn about butters and oils (hemp seed butter, avacado butter, mango butter, shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, mammy sapote oil) these are much better and I often mix them up and add a little lanolin, honey, lecithin and other ingredients and it's great. I like think moisturizing products and I don't use the oils straight - I like to mix into the butters. says
April 23, 2009 at 1:53 AM

There are three basic classes of refined mineral oils:

Paraffinic oils, based on n-alkanes

Naphthenic oils, based on cycloalkanes

Aromatic oils, based on aromatic hydrocarbons
(Not to be confused with essential oils)

I think in moderation and regulation, there is nothing wrong with mineral oil, in the right time and product.
I do know it is less expensive by far, and more cost effective, than fruit based oils. So with that being said is it quality over quanity? Is it like Target vs. Nordstrom?
I think so, but this is my opinion, and it is based on my thoughts and education with it only.
Let me put it this way, when giving a relater, a level 10+ on the pH scale what is the barrier cream? Mineral/ petroleum oil!
Why because it is a cheap, thick barrier that blocks penetration better than any other base. So when it comes to the your crown and glory will you opt to upgrade?

Anonymous says
January 15, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Mineral oil and petroleum Jelly are both by products of the refining of crude oil. They are cheap filler used by companies. due to their occlusive nature they have been pretty effective in hair products for people of color. However, we are no longer ignorant and dependent on hair products that are massed produced. We are now educated consumers.
There are many green alternatives to mineral oil and petroleum Jelly.
In formulating products for Mo'Hair line. I use all butters and vegetable oils,
check us out at

Anonymous says
January 29, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I also feel that you should have asked the question of an 'independent' expert, so for me his assurances didn't carry much weight. Since going natural I avoid all products containing mineral oil and petroleum, because there are just too many good alternative products out there to choose from.

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