So I can just imagine someone new to healthy hair care who has always relied on petroleum. This person might wonder why all of a sudden petroleum is being cast in a bad light when it comes to healthy hair care.
One characteristic of petroleum is that it is a moisture occlusive, meaning it does a good job of locking moisture out. It does this by coating the skin or hair, effectively creating a barrier with its waxy property, so that water does not get to penetrate the surface it coats.
Now if you’ve been around long enough even as a newbie you would have already learnt that hair – especially afro-textured hair like ours- need moisture everyday and the best way to hydrate hair is to treat it with water everyday.
The reasoning is that if petroleum is used in your hair it will be counter-productive to healthy hair since it will in effect subject your hair to periods of drought. This would cause an imbalance in the moisture-protein balance resulting in hair that is chronically dry and brittle which will eventually result in breakage.
The properties that make it such a good barrier also make it hard to be removed so harsh detergents have to be used to remove it. This in turn strips the hair of natural oils and moisturizing properties that may have been deposited by our leave-in conditioners. Hair that is stripped of moisture becomes vulnerable.
Originally posted 2015-02-02 23:02:53.