Why I go on about moisturizing hair

When you start investing in your hair and become determined to treat it right, you need to stay away from some ingredients. Here’s a lil ‘why to avoid certain ingredients in your moisturiser’ post.

Firstly remember that moisturizing your hair is about adding actual moisture into your hair to help build the strength and elasticity that is required for healthier hair. It’s intended to stop brittleness and breakage. So to effectively moisturise your hair, you need to stay away from products that have the following as main ingredients:

Mineral Oil, Lanolin Oil and Petrolatum Oil

For those who want to know why

  • Lanolin Oil
    Lanolin is derived from wool, most Lanolin is obtained from sheep, and other animals.  There are different grades of Lanolin.  Lanolin is a thick substance, which when applied to hair and/or scalp will create a barrier.  Therefore, hair will not be able to accept moisture.  In essence products formulated with lanolin, creates a waterproof barrier.  It takes a lot of work to properly remove Lanolin from the hair shaft, more so than some silicones.  Because, Lanolin is very greasy, and a thick substance.  Companies use Lanolin in their products, because Lanolin creates a very stable emulsion, and it is an inexpensive ingredient.
  • Mineral Oil
    This is a synthetic oil. It coats your hair and doesn’t penetrate at all for real moisturisation. This coating actually dries out the hair as no moisture is able to penetrate the hair shaft. It builds a barrier that dries out your hair. Many products have mineral oil cause it’s cheap and it makes your hair look nice and shiny.
  • Petrolatum Oil (Petroleum) vana Vaseline
    Fact is that petroleum is not a “moisturizer,” but rather a “barrier” which means that having no moisturizing properties of its own it reinforces and seals the moisture into skin provided by other sources. For instance, if after applying water to your skin, you coat it with a layer of petroleum, you will have effectively sealed in some of the moisture from the water into your skin, along with whatever was already residing on your skin, oil, sweat, etc.

Sources:  A whole lotta hair care forums. World Wide Web

So stay away from those THREE!


Because these are profit making entities, the cheaper the ingredient that ‘pretends’ to add health to your hair, the more likely it will be used in most products. Be vigilant and empowered … understand your hair so that you can say NO to poor products for your hair.


  1. kathy · · Reply

    this is good to know…unfortunately everytime i try to check what ingredients are in the moisturisers or hair lotions i want to buy they always have at least one of those products inside…are there any you recommend for treated hair?

    1. You are so right. It is really hard to find hair moisturizers without these harmful ingredients. These are a few I’ve found:

      I usually mix the more water based ones with coconut oil, which is great at rebuilding hair as it has properties very close to the protein that you’re trying to build back into your hair

      Moisturiser – S Curl ‘No Drip’ Activator Moisturizer by Luster Products

      Coconut Oil – Parachute Advansed Jasmine Non – Sticky Coconut Hair Oil

      When I start my whole regime, Back 2 Health Challenge I will take photos of the products I use.

  2. oh! thats helpfull, i was a fan of vaseline! kikiki

    1. :) So glad you enjoyed the post. Pasi ne vaseline! ha ha ha ha

  3. dbskier · · Reply

    Lanolin is not suited to all hair types, very heavy, but its not bad for all hair types. Mineral oil and petroleum coat hair but lanolin offers the benefit of bi-directional water transportation, says Lanolin.com. This means that it not only attracts moisture, it is also capable of “redistributing [it] to environments of low relative humidity.” Applied topically, lanolin penetrates the skin and hair, where it both hydrates and prevents moisture loss. By correcting the skin and hair moisture balance, lanolin creams help to create smoother, softer skin and hair.

    I use liquid lanolin (a little goes a long way) and coconut oil to seal my hair on wash day while still damp. I have thick, coarse 4C texlaxed hair and this combo softens my hair and reduces reversion and frizz. Lanolin also helps me stretch my relaxer by keeping my new growth soft and manageable. I add lanolin to my nightly LCO routine only when needed. I find lanolin has some similar properties as glycerin, so I limit use in winter.

    1. Thanks for this. I suppose you say it all when you say, you use Lanolin as a sealant. Moisturisers should be water based, lanolin can seal it in. I wouldn’t recommend any moisturiser that has lanolin as a main ingredient because of lanonlin’s sealant properties …

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