What would even make someone consider using hair grease for natural hair? Let me break it down for you. Wisconsin winter. Sub zero temperatures, SNOW, heat on blast because we're freezing....you better believe my hair and skin took a serious hit! If you live in any areas similar to my zone, you know exactly what I mean.
The battle of keeping my hair adequately moisturized has been a battle indeed! The struggle is so real. It got to the point that if I didn't moisturize my hair daily, we were gonna have a problem. I had to find a way to stop the madness.
Then I remembered hair grease. But hair grease for natural hair? No way! In my desperation, I must be losing my mind. But the problem is, hundreds of dollars spent over the years, about a few dozen different butters, oils and moisturizers tried over the last few years...I always come full circle every winter. Right back to hair grease. But, ew, right? No, that's what I thought for years. With soooo, many 'better',all or mostly natural products out there, why would I choose grease? The problem is, everything all or mostly natural, wasn't necessarly 'better'. In fact, I learned this the hard way, as my hair started breaking EVERY winter.1. Hair grease is just too....well...greasy.
Hence the name we've given it "grease"? However, my experience has taught me that any oil, butter or grease can feel greasy if you use too much. I've used many different oils and butters on my hair and have experienced the 'greasy' effect. When this happens, I know I need to adjust the amount I am using. Two culprits that always leave my hair extremely greasy-slick are shea butter and castor oil. Both are great mixed and diluted with other oils/butters, but alone....ick.
So what cracked me up is when I sealed with regular ol' hair grease and used a minimal amount....my hair was not greasy. Interesting right? Well it makes complete sense: All things in moderation. (Although it never matters how much shea butter I use, my hair is always greasy.) Just like you wouldn't simply go slather crazy with any other butter or oil, apply the same common sense with hair grease. And being that hair grease is an uber-sealant, a little tiny bit really goes a long way. Don't overload your hair with grease (or any other oil) and it won't be 'greasy'.
Whomever was the first to post this misinformation, did such a disservice to everyone. Hair grease will NOT clog your follicles. The molecules in petroleum and even in mineral oil, are simply too big to get in. Albeit, hair grease really offers no benefits to your scalp outside of sealing in moisture (Ok, I guess that is ONE benefit, huh?), but it won't prevent your hair from growing if you choose to 'grease' your scalp. I prefer natural oils/butters for 'greasing' my and my daughter's scalp for the natural nutrients it provides that can help promote healthy hair growth. But using hair grease vs natural oils won't stunt your hair's growth.
That being said....if you are like me at all, you are very careful over everything you apply to your skin and scalp. Castor oil has been my enemy when applied directly to my scalp. I end up with a scalp pimple everytime....yes, you read correctly...a pimple...in my scalp! And this is supposedly a natural oil. However, when I was searching for noncomedogenic oils for my face to lock in moisture after cleansing (in the place of commercial lotions) mineral oil and petroleum were listed as noncomedogenic. Since then, I've used mineral oil on my face with no issues. So, um, yeah about that. Very interesting indeed.3. Hair grease blocks out water, preventing you from being able to moisturize your hair. I always get beautiful results for my twist/braid/bantu knot outs and my hair stays moisturized for days.
I re-moisturize every 3 days.
DUD! Lol! Who comes up with this stuff? I can't even diss anybody because I used to believe the hype and got caught up in the "Butters are better" mindset. I mean, seriously tho, if hair grease blocked out water, let it rain and go stand outside. Then wait for the water to bead up on your hair and roll off. <----Uh, no, that won't happen. Why? Because it doesn't block out water.
NOW, it can block out the moisture from humidity, which is a good thing! I hear many complain about their styles being ruined due to the humidity. Hair grease can help with that! As far as blocking out moisture altogether, well unless it's plastic, I don't see that happening. I assure you that your hair will get wet while you're standing in the shower, it may take a short while longer for the water to completely saturate, but water will get in.
The upside to this is that hair grease can prevent moisture from leaving your strands. This is what we want anyway. This is the whole point of sealing with a butter or oil...to 'lock in' moisture. Hair grease is the queen of locking in moisture. However, like any other oil or butter, it won't last. You will eventually need to re-moisturize and seal. But...duh.4. Hair grease attracts grease and dirt.
I'm going to give the short answer and say that hair grease will attract no more dirt than any other oil or hair butter. This is the truth. Oils attract dirt. I see it everytime I unravel my daughter's hair for washing. And I don't use grease in her hair. Yet, lint and dirt are evident. No difference there.5. You MUST use a sulfate shampoo to wash out hair grease.
Syke. No you don't have to use a sulfate or even a harsh shampoo to remove hair grease. I have used my bentonite clay mix to fully cleanse my hair of petroleum. I currently use my beloved black soap shampoo and it also gets the job done. Both of these cleansers are sulfate free. So, uh....
If you are a cowash-only type of person, then obviously, you won't want to use hair grease in your regimen as cowashing will not remove grease. Sorry. However, there are other sulfate free cleansers in the market, that may get the job done. Don't shy away from hair grease just because you are afraid of sulfates in the long run. You don't have to go that route. Do your own research.6. Grease is grease is grease. Same ingredients. Simple. And my hair loves olive oil anyway so, WIN!
No it's not, it's not, it's not. All grease is not created equal. There are many different brands of hair grease on the market today. You may think they are all the same, but not really. Hair grease can contain any combination of petroleum, mineral oil (a liquid derived from petroleum), lanolin (from sheep), and other oils. Just as not all oils are created equal, you must use the same trial and error methods to find the right grease to work in your hair.
If you know your hair hates coconut oil, why would you use the grease with coconut oil in it? My hair is not a fan of shea butter or mineral oil (go figure right?) so I'm not going to purchase and use any hair grease that has either of those ingredients. I actually purchased a shea butter version of Softee Grease a long time ago and hated it. However my hair lovvvvvves olive oil and Softee's African Crown hair grease has been my homie. My ace. I'm serious. Imagine my disdain when I couldn't find it anywhere? But Royal Crown has the same simple ingredient recipe (and smells the same): Petroleum, Olive Oil, fragrance. My hair loves olive oil. This has worked wonders for me!7. Hair grease isn't all natural!
Petroleum is found in the earth. It is a natural source. I've heard complaints that it comes from crude oil and "Why would you put crude oil in your hair?". Ok, nobody's putting crude oil in their hair. The petroleum you see in hair products on the market market is fully processed into the compound that is is today. Just like shea butter is processed to remove the hard shell (unless you like it raw with all the bits and pieces of shea nut shelling in it), and just like chicken is processed to remove the feathers and other unsavory bits, same thing with petroleum. All three things are natural, but only grease gets shunned.
I've heard some argue that arsenic and other toxins are also natural. Problem is, petroleum is not toxic (unless you EAT it...but who's gonna do that...right?) so that's not a valid argument. Any claims that petro or mineral oil are harmful are unfounded. I have yet to see any cosmetic or medical journals (the real studies, not the blogs where people say 'studies show' with no reference) that confirm this. There are no trials that back up any of these theories. Anyone who makes these types of claims are misleading people.My thoughts:
I get it though, I really understand. Maybe some of you had a bad experience growing up or even as an adult with hair grease. You may have been referred to as that 'greasy girl' or 'grease monkey' and are just scarred from it. Maybe your mom/aunt/granny/whomever simply overdid it and used wayyyyyy too much. That's user error, not the product. Maybe, since we established that 'all grease is not created equal', the type of grease you used just didn't agree with your hair. And with that, you've ruled out all grease.
Maybe you simply have bad memories of your hair breaking and never really growing? I wrote a long time ago that breakage is usually due to lack of moisture. If your hair dresser wasn't moisturizing your hair underneath that hair grease, your hair was still dry...shiny, but dry. Dry hair is prone to breakage. No amount of grease can fix that without adding water first. And before you think of adopting a 'water and grease' lifestyle, don't settle in the mindset that it will be enough. My recommendation would be to water your hair, apply a leave in moisturizer and THEN seal with grease. Especially since we know that water evaporates easily, you want to layer on an additional moisturizer before sealing. This rule will apply to any oil/butter you would normally use as well.
Or maybe you really have tried it and simply don't like it. That's no problem. I know people who simply cannot use heavy oils, let alone grease because their hair is too fine. I get it. But they apply the same knowledge to all of the products on the market that they have to choose from as well.
But in all seriousness, if you are having trouble retaining moisture and have tried just about everything (like I did), don't turn your nose up at trying plain oil' hair grease. My hair thanks me! Breakage stops, hair stays hydrated. Chile please. I'm over the all natural product hype. I'm not getting rid of my bentonite clay or my black soap though . I love those recipes and they are my preference. But I most' certainly won't lose any sleep over spending $20 for an 8oz jar of hair butter vs $2 - $3 for a good ol', effective jar of grease.
To sum it all up lovelies, you really gotta just use what helps best for your hair. Don't get caught up in the hype. Try stuff out for yourself and wherever your experience leads you, embrace that. You hair will thrive. But trying to keep up with what everybody is saying, all these so-called 'rules'...you may lose more hair over it. These articles below helped me understand mineral oil/petroleum better as it applies to hair. I love to know the science behind everything and these articles just made sense! They may help you as well:
- Silicone and Mineral Oil are Good for Hair
- Mineral Oil is Evillllll!! (or maybe not?)
- Shrinkage Proof: To moisturise or not to moisturise?
- The best moisturiser - mineral oil *cough*
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