Monday, February 2, 2009


Petroleum Gets a Bad Rap!

Some folks have taken issue with the fact that I use products that contain petroleum. My beloved ORS Olive Oil Lotion and my Super Gro hair oil by Bronner Bros both contain petroleum. I’ve never understood what the big deal is, especially since petroleum has been known to seal in moisture, which is something most people look for in hair care products. Plus, I don’t oil my scalp, so the whole argument that petroleum can clog your pores, thus preventing hair growth, doesn’t apply to me.
I wanted to do some research about petroleum, to see if there is any truth to people’s fears of it being bad for the hair. On page B8 of the January/February 2009 issue of Hype Hair magazine, Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil products are featured as a must-buy at Walmart. Here is the portion of the article that talks about the product and the fact that it contains petroleum:

“You can achieve healthy-looking hair with both petroleum-based products and non-petroleum products. Some folks use both. For the most part, Black folks have used hair oil for centuries to no great detriment to the hair, so relax! Petroleum-based products (use in moderation) give the hair a coating that protects it from environmental abuse, promotes shine, and seals in natural moisture. On the down side, using petroleum products too heavily weighs the hair down and can clog the scalp’s pores. If you’re looking for a healthy product that nourishes and protects the hair, try Organic Root Stimulator’s Olive Oil. Look for it in Wal-Mart stores nationwide.”

In addition, I found the following information on The Coarse Hair Diary Blog regarding petroleum: Although I have provided the link to the entire entry, here is a snippet of what Dr. Ali Syed, President of Avlon (KeraCare, Affirm, Fiberguard, MoisturColor, and Ferm), had to say about petroleum:

“Petrolatum, in my opinion, is good to use in weathers such as winter when we have lots of dry heat indoors, and our body (skin and scalp) needs the moisturization. Petrolatum is able to keep the skin, scalp, and hair supple and soft.

Petrolatum cannot clog the pores, as it is completely washable with shampoo detergents.”

Based on these findings, I feel completely comfortable using my ORS and my Bronner Bros…as if I was ever going to give them up anyway!


Miss Twists said...

Hi DPrincess!

Thank you for taking the time to share your hair and make-up tutorials. I have learned a lot and I've been natural since 1996! (With a small break in 2003 - when I cut and texturized my hair for a couple of months)

Regarding petroleum, I agree w/you. I've heard many people say it's not good for you but I haven't heard any real reason why?

I used to buy into that argument. However, after experiencing extremely dry lips during the winter and trying every "lip balm" that had "natural" ingredients like shea butter or cocoa butter, my lips were still dry. Of course these products were not inexpensive. So I said forget this and went back to basics and put on some vaseline and the dryness was gone!

I just started using the Bronner Bro's as a result of your you-tube videos and the results are amazing! I've been a big fan of Miss Jessie' Baby Buttercreme for a while because of the way it moisturizes the hair. I am so happy that I have a less expensive alternative that seems to yield better results on my hair!

Thanks again.

KellyLex said...

As long as I don't put it on my scalp, I don't have any problem with petrolatum. In fact, my hair seals moisture in better when a product with it is used.

D. Maison said...

omg, that you so much for this article. because I was buying into the hype about it not being good for you but i find that it is good for hand and face during winter. i always have a mini tub on hand. but thank you for actually educating on how it works and not bashing the product.