Oh emollients! Emollients are a curly girl’s best friend because when used correctly we can almost guarantee moisture retention for a few days instead of just hours.
Emollients are thick oils or solids that have great sealing properties to keep moisture locked in your strands. There are a few of them on the market, some we use religiously, others we might tend to over look. If you want to know more about emollients we have the top 5 emollients that you can use for your hair and how to use them!
1. Petroleum Jelly/ Mineral Oil*
Although petroleum oil and mineral oil have a bad reputation, these two emollients are actually the best emollients just based on the fact that they can seal very well. However they do cause massive build up over time, which can clog pores if used on your scalp.
Although mineral oil and petroleum jelly do not provide minerals or moisture, they are excellent at keeping moisture in the hair for days, detangling, providing slip, and preventing frizz.
How to use petroleum jelly*/mineral oil
It is best to use petroleum jelly or mineral oil on wet or damp hair. While its fine to apply petroleum jelly or mineral oil on hair right after washing, you can have a better sealing experience if you apply a moisturizer or leave in before hand and then add the oil.
Additionally many naturals tend to use mineral oil on the ends of the hair only so that they can avoid buildup but protect the ends at the same time.
Where to find Petroleum Jelly and Mineral oil*
You can find petroleum jelly and mineral oil at many stores from the corner store to the pharmacy. If you cannot find petroleum jelly or mineral oil you can also buy hair grease, such as Blue Magic, or Baby Oil which is essentially mineral oil with fragrance.
If you feel a bit weary about using petroleum jelly*, lanolin may be a good alternative for you. However, because lanolin is an emollient that is collected from sheep’s wool, this may not be a good emollient choice for vegans and vegetarians.
How to use Lanolin
It is best to use lanolin with a mixture of other oils because of its thick and somewhat sticky texture. When you add carrier oils such as olive oil*, coconut oil*, or almond oil* it creates a creamy, natural pomade that is very beneficial when applied to pre-moisturized damp hair.
Where to find Lanolin
You can find lanolin in health food stores an on online marketplaces such as Amazon