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Curly Nikki

Mineral Oil or Coconut Oil for Hair?

By January 27th, 202140 Comments

by Jessica Mousseau via

Of all the curly hair secrets, oil application has to be the most tried and true. And, of all the oils, mineral and coconut oil have had the curly-haired community talking for years!

If you haven’t caught the detangling and frizz reducing fever that is natural oil, then not only are you missing out, but you have a tough choice to make!

Of course, by simply knowing the benefits of using mineral and coconut oil for hair care and which hair fix you are looking for, you can easily determine which oil is best for your specific head of hair. So, read on and try it out. We promise, you won’t regret it!

Are Natural Oils Safe For Hair?

First of all, we have to touch on the topic: are natural oils good for your hair? The truth is, scientists have continuously researched the notion that these oils are unsafe; however, there has not been any substantial proof to support the claim.

While these oils are often used in conjunction with petroleum, organic oils for your hair can be found easily. The organic versions of these oils contain no ingredients that would cause damage to your tresses. Because of this, you need not be fearful in using them for a home remedy to frizz or other hair damage.

As always, simply pay attention to the ingredients.

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is a popular ingredient found in many personal care and cosmetic products. It is a great lubricant and is non-greasy. Because it is a lubricant, it is great for detangling curly hair.

It works by sitting on the surface of your hair, forming a barrier that protects the hair’s cuticle. This creates a smooth and fly-away free look.

Besides the frizz fighting agent, mineral oil has also been proven to decrease the damage done to hair from chemical relaxers, making it perfect for those transitioning their locks.

For curly hair, mineral oil is great for forming and defining your ringlets. The oil acts as a sort of magnet for hair, attracting the fibers to one another. Ultimately, this creates a more defined look.

If you choose to use mineral oil, be sure that you also use a sulfate-free shampoo, such as Carol’s Daughter Moisturizing Shampoo.

While mineral oil can offer a lot of great benefits from less frizz to more defined kinks, it can often create a bit of buildup. Therefore, it is important to wash your hair a couple times a week to rid the hair of oil and dirt buildup.

Coconut Oil

For thousands of years, coconut oil for hair care has been used all over the world. It is best known for providing both shine and strength to locks, making it extremely popular for curly hair care enthusiasts.

Coconut oil has proven to be a great leave-in conditioner for curly hair, especially thick tresses. Plus, the curlier your hair, the more oil you can use! This is due to the texture that super curly or kinky hair has. As naturally produced oils have a difficult time sliding down the curls, using an abundant amount of coconut oil will not make the hair look greasy.

Apply the oil to clean, dry hair by rubbing it into your scalp and ends. For those with dry-scalp, coconut oil can also hydrate your hair.

Ultimately, coconut oil prevents the lifting of the hair’s cuticle, which contributes to a frizzy look. A research study done in 1999 by the Nature Care Division of Marico Industries, found that coconut oil is the only oil known to “reduce the protein loss remarkably for both undamaged and damaged hair when used as a pre-wash and post-wash grooming product.”

In comparison to mineral oil, coconut oil is less effective at preventing frizz and fly-aways. However, coconut oil for hair is great for someone who needs more absorption, while mineral oil is better for exterior or surface-level hair problems.

Whichever oil you choose, including coconut or mineral oil in your hair care routine will definitely spruce up your locks and keep them healthy, longer.


  • Anonymous says:

    @ Anonymous 11:57am
    you can try any grocery store chain in the internation (specifically asain or indian section) section that is were i found mine or even natural health food store should have too

  • Anonymous says:

    I use mostly natural stuff–and some of you are right depending on your hair type, some of that natural stuff doesn't work and is a waste of money and I'm thankful that I found what works for me and am not swayed by a blogger or their followers' constant raves over new products (that works for their free gifts and getting paid for ad space on their site). Another thing…I believe that when you use drying chemicals such as petroleum or mineral, etc., coupled with relaxers, other such chemical processes along with flat irons, this is what causes the excess drying and breakage with afro-textured hair not the products itself.

  • Anonymous says:

    well, if it's not broke don't fix it. I've been natural for 2 and a half years. I was once caught up in the hype about the cones, mineral oil and sulfate thing, and the petroletum stuff. I used all the natural products for my hair and guess what??? IT DID'NT WORK,lol…..My hair craved grease and when I finally went back to it for my twist out, got nothing but compliments..Never going back to that natural stuff..It just don't work for me..I even use beeswax and my twist out is fabulous…so to each his/her own!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    When I was a little girl, my grandmother used mineral oil as a hair treatment on my hair and my cousins hair and we had very long hair past the center of our back and my mother had very long thick hair also. I messed up my hair when I got older and start relaxing it but I'm going back natural and I can aready see a difference in my hair returning back to the full body and length it use to be. I don't think there's nothing wrong with mineral base hair products if it works for your type of hair. Do what best for your hair. Trust me your hair will tell you whether it like the product or not.

  • Rosa Lyne says:

    huge fan of coconut oil. I use it on my locs straight out the wash, and sometimes I don't even need to use twisting cream or loc butter- coconut oil is enough.

  • Anonymous says:

    I too stayed away from Mineral oil, but just bought a product tht has it in its ingredients, its like the 5 on the list so wondering if i will hve a problem.I also think tht if it cause build up one cld use ACV for rinsing the hair cuz tht gets rid of build up on hair.. but like the idea tht if it works for ur hair then thts O.K

  • Anonymous says:

    Mineral oil is a petroleum product and even if it does nice things to your hair can absorb into your body and cause issues. It affects hormones in large quantities. Coconut oil is great. It won't clog the pores on your scalp and your hair will be healthy and strong. I found a liquid coconut oil called SemPure that I like to use. It is made to be a personal lubricant, but works great on hair and skin. Check it out on

  • DancinBeledi says:

    I use coconut oil and I love it. Not too heavy or greasy for me. Personally I boycott and petroleum based products for my hair along with mineral oil. But, this is your hair journey and you have to do what works best for you.

  • Candace4life says:

    I like using oils just have to use it accordingly esp. in all of this GA hot arse heat. But I enjoy using Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil and Grapefruit Oil and Jojoba Oils. I use products with mineral oil and petrolauem and my hair is growning just fine.

  • Anonymous says:

    I recently began experimenting with mineral oil based products. I can honestly say that my hair has never looked better. My hair is soft, shiny, and frizz free.

    Until recently, I've spent a boat load of money on all natural hair products. Some worked and some didn't. However, mineral oil has given me the best shine and frizz- free hair that is always soft. I do not have any issues with dryness or build up and my hair accepts moisture very well. Mineral oil has made a huge difference in my hair journey and I will never give it up.

  • Care 4 Curls by Paige says:

    I prefer natural products.

    I love and use it in my prepoos and sealants

  • Anonymous says:

    So only everything natural is good for you? Viruses and fungi are natural too…are they good for u? Manufactured and synthetic products are not the devil. The next time somebody is very vry sick Im sure they wont hesitate to take the manufactured/synthetic medications available. lol
    I say to each his own..I dont currently use mineral oil but I have and it does work pretty well. Ive never heard of anyone getting cancer or deathly ill over some mineral oil geesh!

  • Angela says:

    I don't think I've read where anyone said that mineral oil doesn't WORK. I'm sure it does work, and work very well, for many people. But the question is whether is is advisable to use it? Case in point, in the 20's, 30's, and 40's, asbestos was regularly used as a building material particularly in roofing and insulation. And it worked. It worked well. It was cheap and it got the job done. HOWEVER, years…decades later people are paying the price with their health. Same goes for lead paint, DEET, and the list goes on. It's easy to be short-sighted when it comes to finding the easy cure-all, especially in the man-made world. I think its wise to use caution when using any manufactured product on or in your body. Natural products don't always WORK as well as man-made ones, but they rarely cause long-term damage to our health and the environment.

    Sure it may work for many, but in the long run we must ask: at what cost?

  • Anonymous says:

    Where do you get coconut oil? What kind? I'm living in the South.

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for this article I'm going to go home and drizzle some mineral oil on my salad since it's so safe.

    This message brought to you by the Petroleum Industry.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sugar and salt are a problem if used in excess…as is anything. Mineral oil is no different. One should not slather the stuff on your hair in large amounts, it works for mine and countless other's hair. If one has tried alternatives to mineral oil only to find they dont work and only the mineral oil does…then why should they not use it? Every year there is some report or rumor that this is bad and that is bad…when does it end? If MO is soooo bad why are there people walking around with healthy thick long hair, natural and relax who use it regularly? Is it just luck? In small amount its ok for some people. Including me…

  • Anonymous says:

    Wait I was lost on the part that says vegetable oils might be unsafe? huh? We cook with them, and surely eat them as well so…what?

    Anyway I agree with everyone else on her about mineral oil, use what works for you.

  • Levone says:

    Great article!

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with everyone. listen to ur hair! i dont use mineral oil, bc i dont use sulfate shampoos. my curls look and feel better when i use sulfate free shampoos. so thats y i dont use mineral oil. products build on my hair so easily, but that also makes it easier to stay moisturized lol. i know it would b harder to get the mineral oil off my hair without sulfates, so i choose to stay away from them. i love them when my hair is straightened tho bc i use a sulfate shampoo after its straight.

  • Anonymous says:

    This true, what works for you, works for you. To each her own. But there are always new discoveries. Just like lots of sugar and salt: it's worked great for people for years til they found out it's whats causing high blood pressure and diabetes. Sometimes things change for the better. There may be nothing wrong with mineral oil (which no one really knows), but there are better and healthy alternatives that do the same thing. And what if it is reported that mineral oil is unhealthy for your hair and body, then what? Are you still gonna use it because it "works for you"? Just like the people who still pile salt and sugar all over thier food knowing that'll lead to heart disease? I mean, I'm just asking. And for those of you putting Vaseline in your hair, maybe you should just use regular hair grease; at least that way you'll be putting some type of nutrients or vitamens in your hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    Oh, and I thought this article was great because it explained the differences in the three types of oil and I think gives you enough information to try them if you haven't already. I can't believe that someone would claim that this article was misleading. It was one of the most balanced articles I've read considering all of the junk science about "evil" mineral oil (which has worked just fine for loads of people for years).

  • Anonymous says:

    Very true. Everyone is different, and what works for one person does not work for another. It's funny how people don't believe in real scientific studies and don't understand actual chemistry but will listen to a non-scientist on You Tube.
    You don't have to believe everything you hear but learn how to discern between opinion pieces and scientific information and if it works for you, don't be convinced by others to stop doing it.
    You might love someone's hair but that doesn't mean her methods will work for you, even if you think her hair is just like yours.

  • Anonymous says:

    I agree with other posters who say "Listen to Your Hair"! I personally don't use mineral oil (still need to explore coconut oil) on my hair because it leaves it way to greasy and weighed down, but if it works for you then it works for you! Let's keep perspective curlies! 🙂

  • Onebydesign says:

    Agree wholeleartedly with Braelynn & anonymous @ 9:28 am! I just discovered vaseline makes an AMAZING sealant for my hair and have not had to add any additional moisture or sealant since putting on my leave-in Monday night; my hair is soooo soft and fluffy and still has a nice sheen to it and I really wish I had come around to this sooner :o)

    I used to use coconut oil as my sealant, that was my staple but found that my hair was just not retaining the moisture that it should have. My hair is very thick and curly and I have to tell you vaseline is so far the BEST thing I have found to retain moisture in my hair and I have no issues at all with build up. Like these ladies have said please listen to YOUR hair and if mineral oil works for you by all means USE IT!

  • Anonymous says:

    Stop listenig to these laptop scientists and start listening to YOUR hair..if mineral oil works for you then use it…It works great for me and my hair loves it. Dont stop using something or hesitate using something with mineral oil because of what you HEARD on the internet.

  • Braelynn says:

    I have been using mineral oil on my hair for years, even once I became natural, and my hair has never been so moisturized, healthy, and thriving with growth. Stop believing all the hype and listen to YOUR HAIR. I use them both.

  • Anonymous says:

    The Dangers of Mineral Oil in Hair & Skin Products

    In 2009, many people still use harmful and toxic Mineral Oil in hair products, pharmaceutical drug products, female vaginal sanitary products, baby care products, auto industry supplies, and even foodstuffs. Yes, even so-called foods!

    Mineral oil should never be used on the hair and skin. Never! Why? Mineral oil clogs the pores and suffocates the skin, which is a breathing organ. Your hair and skin are alive and you must treat them as such. Many unconscious consumers are using petroleum or crude oil on their hair, both men and women. Many American females are using petroleum on their bodies as well, from lipstick to make-up remover (Vaseline).

  • Anonymous says:

    The only reason, off the top of my head, why I maybe won't use mineral oil is because I am VERY heavy handed with my styling products and don't wash my hair weekly. I don't care for heavy and stiff hair. I can tell you about coconut oil since I have been using it on my hair and my body for about a month. My thick tresses LOVE it and my skin doesn't mind it too. My hair has great shine to it. This has the makings of becoming sealant to my usual routine and I am curious to see if it can handle the "Windy City" in the winter. -Brittney E'Lise

  • Chocolate Mom aka Blupoetres says:

    Great advice will have to try it out on my daughter's super dry head of hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    has it been proven that mineral oil is really bad for your hair?

  • Anonymous says:

    I ALSO heard that mineral oil is bad for you. It blocks moisture,and the scalp does not absorb it. I agree with the fact that coconut oil is good, but as far as mineral oil I TOO will not use it EVER. And this article is truly misleading, to the point where I'm offended lol…thank God I don't automatically believe everything I hear.

  • Anonymous says:

    Confused just like everyone else. Not only have I read that it should be avoided but I've also read that if a product contains mineral oil that a shampoo WITH sulfate should be used to remove it. :/ either way I've been avoiding it and I'll stick to that. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    I only use coconut as a pre-poo because it makes my hair frizzy. I go to the gym with it on, and then come home and rinse. Mineral and olive oil are too heavy.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sorry this article does not make sense to me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I meant "Someone please help me on this subject"

  • Anonymous says:

    Ok!…Now Im really confused. I've always read that Mineral oil is the devil. Someone please me on this subject!

  • Shelly says:

    i recently rediscovered coconut oil…used it in the past and didn't like the feel on my hair. but now i am trying it again and loving it! funny how as the hair grows, it's needs change, thus now it likes coconut oil :))))

  • Bootzey says:

    My naturopath said that coconut oil is a woman's oil. So I rub it into everything, and take a bit of it orally.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've heard so many bad things (maybe undeservingly so) about mineral oil. I've heard of some curlies avoiding it like Superman avoids kryptonite. It kind of leaves me confused on what to believe. I've never been able to use either (coconut or mineral). They're just too heavy for my hair no matter how light handed I'm with them. So I stick with Grape seed Oil, but it's good to hear some of the myths of mineral oil dispelled.

  • Yirssi says:

    I use coconut oil on a daily basis. I mix it with olive oil in a spray bottle, and spray it at night, before going to bed and putting my bonet on.

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