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How to Get Vaseline Out of Hair | 8 Things to Try

From all the things that could get stuck in our hair, Vaseline has got to be one of the most troubling ones. Their consistency would make anyone think getting rid of it is impossible. Learn how to get Vaseline out of hair next.

Getting Vaseline Out of Hair

You can get Vaseline out of your hair by using baking soda, applying baby oil, rinsing in warm water, and many other home remedies.

Getting Vaseline out of your hair is such a fraught conundrum that there are many solutions available. These range from mild and non-chemical to solutions that are harder on your hair but still effective. 

The process you decide to use to get Vaseline out of your hair vastly depends on where you are and what tools you have available. Without further ado, here’s how to get Vaseline out of hair. 

1. Use Cornstarch or Cornmeal 

One of the most popular methods for tackling how to get Vaseline out of hair is the cornstarch technique. Much of its popularity comes from how gentle cornstarch is on your hair. But how does it work? 

To treat your hair with cornstarch, measure out a tablespoon into your hand and gently rub it onto the part of your hair covered in Vaseline. You now have cornstarch in your hair.

However, the cornstarch absorbs the oily elements of Vaseline, making it drastically easier to wash out. Let the cornstarch sit for several minutes to ensure it absorbs as much oil as possible. Afterward, shampoo your hair in warm water. Two things are important here.

The first is that you must use warm water, as the heat helps break down the residual Vaseline. Cold or tepid water causes it to solidify, which exacerbates your problem. Secondly, ensure you use a clarifying shampoo to remove the last traces of Vaseline. 

2. Try Baby Powder 

If you don’t have cornmeal or cornstarch handy and don’t want to leave the house, another do-it-yourself solution is to use baby powder. Like cornstarch, baby powder is excellent at absorbing oil. Using baby powder to remove Vaseline is much the same as treating it with cornstarch or cornmeal.

However, there are a couple of additional advisories. One is that you rub the powder in gently. Forcibly rubbing the powder into your Vaseline-covered hair can exacerbate the problem because it causes the Vaseline to permeate the hair shaft. 

The second thing is that, unlike cornmeal, baby powder contains talc. Inhaling talc can be extremely dangerous and may cause poisoning or respiratory problems. So use the baby powder cautiously. 

3. Use Baking Soda 

When using baking soda to tackle how to get Vaseline out of hair, you have options. For most people, baking soda is a household staple, so if you don’t have cornstarch or baby oil, chances are you can locate some baking soda and use it to your advantage.

However, it’s slightly more involved than the other products we mentioned. The first thing to do is coax as much Vaseline out of your hair as possible. You can comb it out with your fingers or apply a paper towel.

Again, you must dab gently at the Vaseline and avoid rubbing it too aggressively. You want to get it out of your hair, not drive it deeper into the follicles. Next, sprinkle baking soda on a paper towel and continue dabbing gently at your hair.

Ensure the area with Vaseline is lightly but thoroughly coated. Let it sit before rinsing your hair with warm water. Alternatively, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with baby shampoo.

Then wash and rinse your hair as normal, remembering to avoid cold water. The advantage of baby shampoo is that it’s designed to be gentle, so it won’t be as hard on your hair as some hair products. 

4. Rinse With Laundry Detergent or Dish Soap 

Another way to approach the problem of how to get Vaseline out of hair is by washing your hair with laundry detergent or dish soap. Both products have reputations for removing stubborn stains, and deservedly so. 

To use laundry detergent or dish soap to get Vaseline out of your hair, all you have to do is pick the product of your choice and apply it to your hair the way you would standard shampoo.

You may need to repeat the process two or three times to get all the Vaseline out. It’s also vital that after successfully washing out the Vaseline, you apply a more typical shampoo and conditioner to soften your hair.

However, unlike the previous products discussed, laundry detergent and dish soap are effective because of their more astringent chemical makeup. That means they are harder on your hair than something like cornstarch. 

There’s also a chance that they may overcorrect and scrub out not just the Vaseline but recent hair dye. If the detergent you favor is notorious for its stain-lifting properties, we recommend resorting to it only if nothing else will get the Vaseline out of your hair. 

5. Apply Baby Oil 

Using baby oil to get Vaseline out of your hair can be messy but effective. It also sounds counterintuitive; Vaseline is oily. Why add more oil? The excessive oiliness of baby oil helps lubricate Vaseline, which can become ensnared in your hair. 

To use baby oil on Vaseline trapped in your hair, liberally apply baby oil to your hair. Gently but thoroughly saturate your hair before wringing it dry. This should remove the excess oil as well as the Vaseline. 

Next, wash your hair. A reliable shampoo or gentle dish soap is effective for removing excess oil. However, it may take two or three washes. Finally, because baby oil gets into everything, keep a healthy supply of towels on hand to mop up the inevitable mess. 

6. Rinse in Warm Water 

Obvious as it sounds, another way to remove Vaseline from your hair is a long, warm wash in the shower. But because Vaseline forms strong molecular bonds, breaking those down may require help. Look for a shampoo that is:

  • Fortifying
  • Clarifying
  • Deep-Cleansing 

Lather your hair and allow the shampoo to soak in for the best results. But don’t forget that these products intentionally strip your hair of additives. That includes any styling product or dye you may use, not just Vaseline. So apply them sparingly. 

You’ll know you have all the Vaseline and hair product out of your hair when the water running off your hair is no longer cloudy. 

7. Bathe in Vinegar 

Vinegar is another thing almost everyone keeps in the kitchen. And if you aren’t comfortable washing your hair in a household cleaning product like laundry detergent, Vinegar is an effective alternative. That’s because of its high acidity and pH levels.

For the best results, mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of warm water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat the process until you are satisfied the Vaseline is out of your hair. Keep in mind that because vinegar is highly acidic, it may damage your hair, especially if you dye it. 

8. Apply Peanut Butter 

Here’s a technique for getting Vaseline out of your hair that sounds bizarre but works. On paper, using peanut butter to coax Vaseline out of your hair makes no sense unless you’ve had cause to buy organic peanut butter, in which case, you’ve seen how effectively this product absorbs excess oil. 

To use peanut butter to get Vaseline out of your hair, scoop out a healthy spoonful and apply it to the affected area. Uncomfortable as it feels, allow the peanut butter to sit for at least ten minutes. 

Then, lightly massage the peanut butter into your hair. When the peanut butter dries, comb it out with a brush, comb, or both. Finally, wash your hair. Typically, we advise warm water, but this is an exception.

Hot water turns peanut butter viscous and makes it challenging to get out. So, this is one occasion where cold water is the better bet if you want to get the peanut butter and Vaseline mixture out of your hair. 

Frequently Asked Questions

For a piece on how to get vaseline out of hair, a jar of petroleum jelly pictured with the lid open from above

Towfiqu Ahamed Barbhuiya/Shutterstock

So, that’s how to get Vaseline out of hair. Here are some other frequently asked questions people have about the effect of Vaseline on their hair. 

Why is Vaseline hard to get out of hair?

Vaseline isn’t water soluble. That means it doesn’t matter how long you shower, water alone isn’t enough to break down the Vaseline trapped in your hair.

Does Vaseline ever wash out of hair?

Yes. As you’ve seen, there are several ways to wash Vaseline out of your hair. What you need to remember is that it may take more than an ordinary shower to get the job done.

Will Vaseline damage my hair?

On the contrary, Vaseline may rehydrate and even strengthen your hair. However, it’s awkward to get out, and it doesn’t have significant benefits, like helping to grow your hair out. And since there are easier ways to rehydrate your hair that do involve water-soluble products, Vaseline shouldn’t be your first option for that, either.

Is vaseline good for itching scalp?

If you use a small amount of vaseline and massage gently your scalp it can help a bit with the itching. Of course, you should wash your hair afterward.

Will Vaseline ever come out of my hair?

After using one or several methods to get vaseline out of your hair, you should be fine. If you only decide to wash your hair normally, after a few days vaseline should be completely off.

So, How Do You Remove Vaseline From Hair?

That’s how to get Vaseline out of hair. You’ll notice there are several solutions. Finding one that works for you depends on:

  • What you have in the house 
  • Whether you dye your hair 
  • Your comfort level using cleaning products as a hair rinse 

Whatever you choose, it may take several rinses to be effective. Vaseline is famously persistent. That works in its favor when treating burns or rehydrating skin, but it’s a nuisance if you want to get it out of your hair. Don’t let that discourage you. And best of luck!