It’s safe to say we all grew up using grease. Whether Dax, Royal Crown or Blue Magic, your mom slathered that stuff onto your scalp and pigtails after every wash. Now that you’ve gone back to wearing your natural texture, it’s suddenly the worst thing you could put on your hair. But is it really bad for your natural hair or is it all a bunch of fluff?
What causes all the fuss is the stuff that grease is made of.
What’s in Grease?
Take a look at the ingredients on a jar of grease. One of the first ingredients (if not THE first) is usually petroleum or one of its forms like mineral oil or petrolatum. The first thing that probably comes mind when you hear ‘petroleum’ is Vaseline. Think about how we use Vaseline…
We might put it on a cut or bruise on our skin. Why? Because it creates a barrier that helps protect it. We may also have lotions or creams that contain these ingredients. Normally, the instructions are to apply it while our skin is wet. Why? Again, the barrier. After we have moisturized our skin with water, the lotion will create a moisture barrier to help lock it in.
Thing is, what might make it good for your skin makes it bad for your scalp!
What Happens When I Use Grease?
The danger in using grease doesn’t lie so much in using the it on your hair but what it does on your scalp. We said that the ingredients in grease – mineral oil, petrolatum – create a moisture barrier. Even though the scalp is skin on our heads, while that might be fine for the rest of our body, it’s not so cool for our scalp.
With that moisture barrier up there, nothing can get in, nothing can get out. As you go about your day, your head gives off heat. If you work out, even more so. But, honey, your scalp needs to breathe and applying grease is not the best idea. It can clog the pores and basically suffocate the scalp which won’t do any good for your hair in the long-run.
Can I Use Grease At All?
Truth be told, grease does offer a nice shine and can give a nice slip when wet styling. Some naturals still swear by it when doing certain styles because it gives them great definition. Should you want to go that route, here’s what I suggest:
(1) Properly moisturize your hair first! The same way we apply those lotions, creams or even petroleum jelly itself right out of the shower while our skin is still moist, you should, by all means, make sure your hair is properly moisturized. Whether you want to just use a leave-in conditioner on damp hair or some variation of the L.O.C. Method is up to you.
(2) Use as a sealant. Your grease will be the last step in your moisturizing routine to lock in the moisture.
(3) ONLY apply to the hair shaft. Do your best to keep the grease off of your scalp and apply just to the hair. What some do is begin applying about an inch away from the roots to reduce the risk of it reaching scalp.
(4) Don’t O.D.! As you relive your childhood years, DAX in hand, you may feel the urge to dig in and scoop out a healthy amount… but don’t. LOL! Use a little at a time on each section of hair. Too much will cause a whole nasty buildup nightmare.
(5) Shampoo to wash it out. Even though you’ll follow my advice not to overdo it (RIGHT?!), you may still want to use a ‘regular’ shampoo to make sure it washes out well. This definitely isn’t the time for co-washing, girl! But of course, followup with a good moisturizing conditioner or deep conditioner.
As you can see, the whole grease “scare” isn’t made up. There are some things to look out for. But you’re grown! I can’t tell you not to use grease if you wanna use it. I do hope this info helps you make an informed decision and I encourage you to do your own research. 😉
Do you use grease in your hair care regimen? How do you use it and what difference have you seen in your hair?