Thursday, December 13, 2012

Mineral Oil: The Black Hair Industry's Evil Sidekick

So yesterday I stopped by my local beauty supply store on the way home. I was looking for a thicker moisturizer for the winter months, but I also just wanted to look around because well I'm hair obsessed and it's just what I do! As I roamed from isle to isle picking up moisturizers that peaked my interest for the most part they all had one thing in common. MINERAL OIL! *insert scream here* What really bothered me about this was that the products that I picked up were from some of the top lines that supposedly cater to African American Hair (Optimum Care, Motions, Creme of Nature, etc) yet mineral oil was one of the top three ingredients. As I looked at each product and shook my head in frustration I couldn't help but think that it's no wonder I had trouble retaining length for years. Before I learned about healthy hair care practices I was one naive gal. I was that customer that always bought a product based on the promises written on the front and the pictures of the gorgeous black women with healthy shiny hair and actually expected it to work and yet I would always end up disappointed. If only I'd known then that so many of those products that are marketed towards African American women don't necessarily contain ingredients that are good for our hair. Now I'm not saying that products that contain mineral oil can't work for some, but I know for me personally they do NOTHING for my hair. Ultimately the point of this whole babble is to point out why mineral oil is not the best ingredient choice for hair products, in particularly moisturizers. Here are some fun facts about mineral oil:

    • Mineral oil is derived from crude oil
    • It coats the hair shaft instead of penetrating it, which allows the hair to appear shiny and moisturized
    • Eventually the hair will dry out potentially causing more breakage and damage. 

I am so glad that so many hair care lines are starting to eliminate this ingredient from their products and that more importantly I've learned to read the ingredients list on any product before it touches my hair! 

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