Petroleum is a by-product of crude oil which was first discovered on oil rigs. When the crews dug for and struck oil, the waxy substance would form on the rig and often prevent it from working, that’s when they sought out ways to get rid of it and it was discovered that it caused wounds to heal faster.
Over the years petroleum has been used to treat many skin conditions and was touted as a ‘cure-all’. The thing is, the fact that it can be refined to petrol, paraffin and diesel it can be toxic to your health. It’s not just pure speculation that has people black listing petroleum.
As it turns out, the components removed from it during the refining process were found to be carcinogenic. This means those components can cause cancer.
The environmental Working Group (EWG) which is a U.S. non-profit organizational that does environmental and safety studies gave petroleum a “moderate hazard” safety rating stating that it needed more study before it can be considered safe.
It is felt that as long as stringent requirements are followed during the refining process, petroleum should be relatively safe for cosmetic use; however, association with cancer causing compounds was enough to create a bit of hysteria.
While no conclusive studies have shown a direct link between cancer and petroleum, the European Union has placed several grades of petroleum on a list of dangerous substances. As a result, people have been snobbing petroleum since they are not sure if it can cause cancer in the long term.
As a newbie you go through forums and see veteran healthy hair gurus bashing petroleum and you might be wondering why when everyone you know grew up using the stuff.
Sure you hear it’s bad but you might have considered that perhaps they’ve got it mistaken because you have the good quality hair-dress/hair oil* that must have been properly processed and perhaps infused with some healthful stuff. How then could it be bad, right? I understand, so in this article I will explain why petroleum gets a bad rap.
Many of us grew up on grease. So deep was our indoctrination that we felt hair could not thrive unless we always had a jar of petroleum to slather it when we washed it and when it was time to style.