All aboard! In case you haven’t heard there is a grease-commotion going on and naturals everywhere are hopping on the train. Say what? Yep you heard me right. Several vloggers and bloggers are giving grease a second-look after years of scorn and a bad rap. I know several naturals who confided that they never stopped using the taboo-goo, they simply withheld this information from polite natural hair conversation for fear that they may have been ostracized.
As for me I will not be slapping petrolatum on my tresses, but I do not judge those who choose to. Only you know what is right for your hair and budget. For those of you wondering “Why grease?”, here are a few reasons: it’s cheap, it’s a great sealant and it’s readily available. But before you go drop some snaps on the petro, here is a little advice about using grease.
What’s In It: Hair grease is usually made primarily of petrolatum (petroleum jelly), lanolin and/or mineral oil. Petrolatum and mineral oil are made from refining crude oil. The refining process yeilds a lot of products such as gasoline, propane and motor oil. Lanolin is grease that is secreted by sheep which helps waterproof their wool and is cultivated from shorn wool –the sheep remains unharmed in this process. These products have been found to be safe for cosmetic, pharmaceutical and even food use by the FDA.
What Does It Do: Hair grease acts as a lubricant and a moisture sealant. It reduces friction on the surface it is applied and it also retards moisture loss. It operates similar to other oils and butters.
How To Use It: Hair grease is to be used as a sealant to seal in moisture to the hair. For this purpose it is important to moisturize the hair first before applying –check out this post for more info on how to layer products. For use on 2 strand twist style start with clean damp hair, add your favorite moisturizer like Curls Milkshake, then add a finger tip of hair grease to each section and twist together. A little of this product goes a long way so apply with a light-hand.
Changes To Hair Regimen: It is important to note that this product has massive staying power and has a tendency to attract dirt, lint, etc. When it comes time to cleansing co-washing is not going to cut it. I recommend using a sulfate shampoo or a clarifying shampoo. Now I know in the past I have told you to shampoo your scalp not your hair, but because you applied this product to your hair you will need to shampoo your hair. Consequently because you are using a strong cleanser, you will need to follow with a good deep conditioner.
Natural Alternatives: Hair grease is similar in effectiveness to many pomade or butter blends on the market like Karen’s Body Beautiful Butter Love or Oyin Handmade’s Burnt Sugar Pomade. There are also products that are marketed directly as a natural hair grease like My Honey Child’s Sophia’s Old Fashioned Hair Grease which does not contain petrolatum or mineral oil. I am also working on a DIY natural hair grease recipe so stay tuned.
So are you jumping on the train?