When someone told me that Vaseline is a great way to suffocate lice, I decided to try it on my daughter’s hair. We were constantly trying to fight lice with different shampoos, but nothing seemed to work.
What that person forgot to mention, however, is that Vaseline or petroleum jelly is water insoluble – this means it is really tough to wash off from hair, even with any kind of shampoo or soap.
But don’t panic! After making a few frantic calls to the dermatologist’s office, I was able to learn how to get Vaseline out of hair in 5 easy steps.
My daughter’s hair remained unaffected and healthy after I used this method to remove the Vaseline from her hair. This method requires no expert supervision and can be safely executed in the comfort of your own home.
Things You Will Need
Before diving into the details of how to get Vaseline out of hair, I’d like to share all the things you will need to follow the steps. Most of these things can be easily found lying around the home..
1. Corn Starch
The reason for using this cooking ingredient to remove Vaseline is due to its high absorbent property. It can easily bind to the oil-based petroleum jelly making it easier to deal with. But be careful not to inhale any corn starch as it is capable of irritating your lung tissues and causing discomfort.
2. Warm Water
Be sure to keep some warm water ready before starting the process. Cold water will help the Vaseline thicken in form and create a huge mess, and hot water is very harmful for your scalp. So set the water temperature control on your geyser or shower to a lukewarm setting.
3. Clarifying Shampoo
Yes, I agree that clarifying shampoos can cause your hair to become drier than usual. But tough circumstances call for tough measures. You will only need to shampoo your hair twice or thrice depending on how much Vaseline is stuck in your hair.
4. Mild Hair Serum
Counter the dryness cause due to the clarifying shampoo with a bit of gentle hair serum. This will help nourish your hair back to its normal state at the end of the process.
5. Soft Towel
Keep a clean, dry and soft towel to pat your hair dry with. Make sure the towel material is not rough or coarse as this can cause your hair to get trapped in the towel and eventually, break off.
Alternate ‘Wet’ Methods
In case you are unable to procure corn starch, you can try on of the two alternatives mentioned below. But I must inform you that these methods are not as quick and efficient as using corn starch.
Alternative Method 1
First, massage your hair with any kind of natural oil like olive, coconut, almond or jojoba. Use a good amount of oil to reach every inch of your scalp and hair. If you read my post about using coconut to wash face, then now you can also use it to take care of your hair.
Wait for about 30 minutes post application, and rinse your hair with lukewarm water and a clarifying shampoo. Pat your hair semi-dry with a clean, dry towel and then leave it to air dry.
This process may not be very efficient and you may have to repeat it multiple times to get all the Vaseline out.
Alternative Method 2
This method is not recommended for people with high hair fall or generally unhealthy hair as it can cause the hair to dry out further and cause even more hair fall.
Find a make-up remover that is certified to remove grease-based paint makeup (such as a clown’s makeup), but read the fine print on the package to ensure that is safe to use on all skin types.
Apply this product to the affected part of your hair and wait a few minutes before rinsing. Don’t apply more than is necessary and be extra careful to not let the product enter your eyes.
You may need to repeat the process a few times before you get all the Vaseline out.
The Best Method to Remove Vaseline
Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best and most efficient way to remove Vaseline from your hair.
Start by applying a light layer of corn starch to your hair. Make sure to cover all the affected areas thoroughly. Start with a small amount of corn starch in your palm and spread the powder evenly across the affected area. Do not wet or dampen the hair before applying corn starch.
Once you have applied a thin layer of powder, push it deeper into your hair by patting softly over the applied area. Be careful not to rub it across your hair as this cause your hair to lose texture and your scalp to lose moisture. Pat for a few minutes till the Vaseline-affected area is properly covered and let the corn starch sit for about 30 minutes. This will ensure maximum absorption of the Vaseline.
Next, apply any clarifying shampoo over your hair and rinse it slowly using lukewarm water. Clarifying shampoos work by removing any surplus oil or product build-up left in the hair, and can be easily bought at any pharmacy or supermarket. For best results, shampoo your hair at least twice in a row.
After shampooing your hair twice with a clarifying shampoo, use a clean, dry and soft towel to pat your hair semi-dry. Don’t rub the towel vigorously against your hair as this will only result in weakening of your hair. After this, leave your hair open to dry naturally in the air.
Wait for about 12 hours before applying any product to your hair. Since your hair will be stripped off all natural oils after Step 4, you may be tempted to use some kind of hair oil or serum to nourish it. But hold on till at least 12 hours and see if the Vaseline has been completely removed. If yes, you may proceed to use a gentle hair serum or hair oil. If not, repeat the entire process again till there is no more Vaseline left.
- In case you cannot find corn starch but don’t want to use the alternative methods, you can try using baking powder or baby powder to almost the same effect.
- In case the person with Vaseline in his or her hair suffers from some kind of skin allergy, you may want to talk to a skin care expert before trying any method – just to be extra safe.
I have personally advised at least four other moms to use corn starch to remove Vaseline from their kids’ hair.
Each time, this method proved successful and no long-term hair damage was caused in any case. The only short-term damage caused was some hair dryness, which can be easily treated as discussed in Step 5.
I hope this simple and easy-to-follow guide on how to get Vaseline out of hair will prove helpful to you.
If you have any questions to ask or suggestions to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments section. Lastly, please share this article if you think it can help others too!