Vaseline for Hair Growth

Hair needs moisture to stay healthy and grow long.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Long, strong Rapunzel hair is every little girl’s dream, but growing it can be a grown-up woman’s nightmare. Your hair generally grows about ½-inch every month, but dry and brittle hair can seem to break off faster than it grows. Vaseline can’t make your hair grow any faster, but it can help keep your tresses supple and strong.

How Your Hair Grows

Hair grows from pores in your scalp. These can be round or oval, and their shape helps decide whether your hair will be curly or straight. Your hair is made up of three parts, which are the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. Very fine, thin hair doesn't have a medulla, which is the innermost layer. How fast your hair grows is decided by your genes, although poor nutrition or disease can slow it down. No home remedy, including Vaseline, can speed it up.

What It Is

Vaseline, according to the manufacturer’s website, is made of mineral oil and several different kinds of wax, including paraffin. This mixture is called petroleum jelly, and it has been used for decades as skin care, especially in caring for babies. Vaseline provides a barrier that locks moisture in and protects whatever it is coating from outside elements. This can help protect your hair while it grows, but it won't make your hair grow any faster.

What It Does

Vaseline coats the hair shafts, soothing ruffled cuticles, which are the little scales making up the outermost layer of each individual hair. This can keep your hair from drying out. Dry hair is more likely to split and break, so the protection Vaseline offers can help keep your hair healthy as it grows, allowing it to reach a longer length before breaking or splitting.

Pros

On the plus side, Vaseline contains no harsh chemicals, alcohol or any drying ingredients. It’s inexpensive and is available in big pots, which is economical for long hair. Vaseline won’t strip out hair color or interfere with a perm or relaxer. Applying it is simple; just warm it between your hands and work it through your hair with your fingertips. It’s thick enough not to splatter or drip.

Cons

The main minuses are that Vaseline is thick and greasy. Unless you wrap your head in cling wrap or wear a shower cap, an overnight treatment will cost you a pillowcase. Also, wearing it in your hair during the day is just as messy, and Vaseline’s scent is a turn-off to some people. Vaseline can also be hard to wash out of your hair.

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