ARTICLE: Hair oil or Grease?
It is hard to imagine any woman of African ethnic origin who has not greased her hair and or scalp. This practice goes back as far as most can remember.Today, however, the practice is being questioned and views differ about whether it is necessary at all to grease the hair and scalp.
Traditional hair greases have mostly contained mineral oil or petroleum. These products made the fortunes of African-American entrepreneurs like Madame C.J. Walker and Annie Turnbo Malone. But have these products been effective and should African-American people continue to use them? What are the alternatives? The jury may still be out on this, so definite answers to these questions may not be forthcoming in the near future. But the discussion is still useful.
First of all, what is the difference between greases and oils? From what most of us know, greases are heavy pomades that mostly contain petroleum. According to many, using grease on its own may not be very effective to moisturize the hair the hair, although it may prove useful in sealing in moisture when used with a moisturizing product to help prevent moisture loss.
However, since grease products tend to be heavy, it is smart to avoid using too much as that can lead to build up. Using grease in moderation can be good for the hair, but using too much grease can attract and hold undesirable elements like dust, dirt, lint and other elements that circulate in the environment, which can accumulate on the hair and make it more fragile.
Certain oils, on the other hand can greatly benefit the hair by nourishing, moisturizing and in some cases, sanitize the scalp due to their antimicrobial properties. Certain carrier oils like coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, shae butter and castor oil have proven to promote healthy hair, which explains their high popularity for stand-alone application, and as main components in many Afro-textured hair products.