Mineral Oil & Hair

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Oil is important for the care and maintenance of our hair. Mineral oil is a common ingredient found in many hair care products. However, its usefulness has been the subject of much debate.

Healthy hair needs oils.
(Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Tetsu)

Mineral oil is a lightweight oil that is derived from petroleum.

Mineral oil is derived from petroleum.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of fdecomite

Mineral oil is used in many personal care products like moisturizers and conditioners. It is also used in the medical field as a laxative and skin protectant, and in the food industry to prevent food from sticking to bakeware and pans.

Mineral oil is also used in the food industry.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Francis Bijl

Mineral oil is used in hair care products such as glosses, conditioners, moisturizing creams, and pomades as a moisturizing ingredient.

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of aolin

Because mineral oil is often used to coat and protect the scalp skin and hair, proponents of "natural" hair care products argue that mineral oil blocks out much needed moisture and dries out the skin and hair. Mineral oil supporters cite studies that show while industrial grade mineral oil clogs pores, cosmetic grade mineral oil does not.

Mineral oil can lead to dry hair, some argue.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of mikal-bisnovat

Baby oil is often 100% mineral oil.

Baby oil is pure mineral oil.
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of D. Sharon Pruitt

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