With the fall season upon us, hydration and moisture are key to keeping our curls happy and healthy even in the chilly/dry air. Many of us turn to our favorite oil to help maintain frizz, flyaways, and prevent breakage. In the past few years, we curlies have turned to several new alternatives to care for our curls, and baby oil could be the latest product to add to your shelf. Before you say “No,” let’s read up on the ingredients and potential benefits of using baby oil, and learn how it can be used in your hair care routine.
First off, baby oil is a mineral oil, which is a colorless and odorless oil that's made from petroleum. The fact that it’s a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline can be a deterrent to those considering using it on their bodies, as can the fact that it’s used a machinery lubricant. But mineral oil has been used in a multitude of products in the beauty industry for many years. In the beauty world, mineral oil has to be boiled and vaporized to eliminate the hydrocarbons within it.
Unlike some oils, mineral oil is non-drying; it does not leave a film on the hair. Different types of baby oils can be combined with other essential oils to make soaps and conditioners, but classic baby oil is just paraffinum liquidum (mineral oil), and a light fragrance. Tocopheral actetate (vitamin E) can also be added, or as some brands have done, they can also include shea butter and coconut oil in their formulas.
Little to no scent: For those of us wanting a lighter smell or a non-fragrant oil for our curls, baby oil has almost no distinguishable scent.
Moisture retention: We love our moisture! Baby oil can hold moisture. All you need is a few drop to get the job done and your wet or dry curls will thank you.
Detangling: Tangles can be a curlies’ worst enemy, but baby oil is here to smooth out your curls and reduce breakage. Using it fresh out of the shower can give you excellent results.
Independent: Baby oil is one of the few hair agents that has multiple uses on its own without cocktailing. You don’t have to have wet hair which can save you time when applying on a non-wash day.
Health for fine hair types: If you have “fine” or fragile hair, baby oil is light and won’t weigh down and create stringy hair like other commonly used oils. This is one of the reasons baby oil and mineral oil based products are used for infants and toddlers.
Reduce frizz: Who doesn’t love frizz free curls? The mineral oil that seals in moisture is going to work against any frizz that can be the cause of dryness. We suggest adding a few drops between wash days to help reduce any frizz you could be experiencing.
Use sparingly: When choosing to use baby oil, you need to use it sparingly to avoid build-up and grease. Baby oil will mix with your natural oils and create build-up that only a wash day will remove.
Staining: Unlike most oils we use in our hair, baby oil may stain your clothes/pillowcase if used in excess. It’s not a product that absorbs into your curls since it’s a non-drying oil, so be tactical in how you use it throughout the day.
Currently, many hair care brands are incorporating and combining baby oil with other natural oil or gels to help strengthen and shine natural hair. These products can be used for children or adults and vary from just the traditional baby oil bottle. If you are interested in using baby oil into your current regime, you can start by researching your favorite brands and seeing which products have it in the ingredients. Start your fall season with a product to help reduce frizz, seal in moisture, and add shine to your season.
Are you considering adding baby oil your product line-up, or have you already? Let us know in the comments below!