Think Twice Before Using Mineral Oils in Your Hair - TELETIES

Think Twice Before Using Mineral Oils in Your Hair

Mineral oils are typically bad for hair since they cause buildup and weigh your hair down, similar to why people think silicones are bad for your hair, but mineral oils are not all bad since the heavy weight of mineral oils can also help protect your hair and even help with preventing and managing dandruff.

Fun fact: Mineral oil is a hydrocarbon just like natural gas, propane, and butane. But unlike these gasses and liquids mineral oil can also be used to treat brittle eyebrows. 

Unlike coconut oil which can penetrate the openings in hair follicles to provide moisture and benefits, mineral oil can be bad for your hair since it can’t protect your hair from losing the keratin proteins that make up the majority of each hair shaft.  This means mineral oil only coats the outside of your hair strand and the scalp for protection from airborne hazards like pollutants, but there are no actual benefits to help protect and heal hair from the inside out. 

Also, the molecular makeup of mineral oil makes it bad for hair since it sticks to your hair and skin more than other oils like coconut, argan, olive, and sunflower (even after long periods of time, or when heated up like in the summer sun or under a hot shower). This build up makes it appear that your hair is greasy and slick, so make sure to wash with a clarifying shampoo if you use mineral oils on your hair.

But the things that make mineral oil bad for your hair can also be a benefit in some situations, like how mineral oils help with dandruff by softening the flakes so you can then use a tar shampoo to wash them out after a few hours. It’s also better than some other oils at keeping skin soft and sealing in moisture, so it can help with a severely dry scalp as long as you don’t leave it to build up and attract a bunch of dirt.

In the same way it keeps moisture in your skin, mineral oil can help keep water out of your hair. This might not be something you usually think of as a good thing, but repeatedly wetting and drying your hair (like long days at the beach or pool) will cause your hair to swell and contract, which damages your hair and leads to breakage. 

A light coat of mineral oil applied to your hair helps avoid this. And if your hair is prone to breakage, there are things you can do to reduce how much hair breaks by reducing the friction and pulling from styling and tools. 

If you use elastic hair ties, switch to spiral hair ties as they expand more easily so they can slide in and out of your hair with less friction, and they grip strong with less pulling.  And if you use cotton pillow cases, switch to silk or satin as the surface grips your hair less reducing friction as you toss, roll over, and turn at night.

And that’s the truth behind mineral oils and if they’re healthy for your hair or not.  In most cases you’re better off without them.  But mineral oils are good for your hair when you suffer from dandruff.  If you found this guide to common hair myths helpful, subscribe to our blog below for more just like it.

Share this Post