Vaseline is a petroleum jelly product that is primarily used for skin care. It is known for its heavy and greasy appearance which makes it a household favorite. Extracted from petroleum, it is composed of hydrocarbons. Ever since its creation in the 19th Century by Augustus Cheseborough, a chemist, the product has only fared well in its popularity. However, does it work on hair? Can it work its magic on damaged hair and give you the lustrous locks that you have dreamt of?
What Is Vaseline Used For?
Vaseline is used for several reasons including because it locks the moisture on the skin and prevents it from evaporating. This makes it ideal for
1. Moisturizing the skin– When applied on chapped or dry skin, it can rehydrate the skin, especially on the hands, elbows, and feet to prevent further loss of water.
2. Lip balm– Chapped or dry lips are a common problem. Ironically, lips get drier than any other body part and to pink it up, you could use some petroleum jelly on them.
3. Barrier cream– We know how sunscreen protects us from UV rays. Similarly, you can apply this cream during harsh weather winds, or colds. This can protect the skin from getting irritated due to the dust and other particles in the air.
4. Makeup remover– For greasy makeup that is hard to get off with water can be easily removed with Vaseline owing to its heavy texture.
5. Healing minor cuts or burns– If you get tiny scrapes or minor cuts, you could apply Vaseline on them and it will heal right away. However, it doesn’t work for deep cuts.
6. Preventing Diaper rash– Children often get rashes by wearing diapers constantly, in such cases Vaseline could come in handy to the new mothers.
7. Hair care– Some people use it to manage the frizz in the hair along with flyaways.
Does Vaseline Help Damaged Hair?
Vaseline is not designed to be used on hair. It could lock moisture in your hair which is what most haircare products do, but its thick pulp-like texture makes it a not a very good idea. Hair damage occurs when it changes in its appearance.
This could be due to multiple reasons varying from overexposure to harmful chemicals to frequent use of heating tools. Hair gets damaged also when they are exposed to UV rays, wind, and pollution just like our skin.
What you eat and how much you wash also determines its quality and the absence of moisture could also be catastrophic. However, petroleum jelly is not the right product to be used in such circumstances because-
1. Heavy and Greasy texture– This one is perhaps obvious. What makes it ideal for the skin, is detrimental to hair. It can not only make your hair look greasy but also weigh down your hair which could be both uncomfortable and unattractive for people who have damaged hair.
2. Difficulty in washing out Damaged hair doesn’t clean up quickly. Vaseline, on the other hand, is not water-soluble. This means water cannot wash out Vaseline in case you apply it to the hair. Over time, the product could stay on your hair and this could completely alter the quality of your hair in a deteriorated way. This accumulation can lead to dull, heavy, and unmanageable hair.
3. Potential scalp issues– Your hair grows from hair follicles on your head. When it is clogged or torn, hair stops growing. When you apply Vaseline to your hair, it can limit your hair follicles from growing by clogging the pores. Since it cannot be washed away, it would lead to dandruff, hair loss, and scalp irritation.
4. Limited nourishment– While it gives all the nourishment it needs to your skin, for your hair it is a different story. It can provide no nutrients including vitamins or Proteins that could change your hair. To address hair damage, you should be using products that rejuvenate it and not become sticky.
Damaged hair can be very difficult to manage but despite its various uses Vaseline shouldn’t be used to treat it. Try using specifically designed hair masks, shampoo, and conditioners to bring back its lost vitality.