Friday, November 9, 2012

Underrated || Lanolin or Lanolin Oil for Hair

Disclaimer: Lanolin is not recommended for use by those who have wool allergies.

Lanolin is a natural, waxy substance extracted from the wool of sheep (and, in rare cases, other wool-bearing animals).  Unfortunately, it has been labeled a "bad" ingredient in certain hair care communities, possibly because it is a barrier to water.  However, outside of this reality, lanolin can be very useful in other arenas of hair care.  If you don't know much about it, you might want to continue reading ...


1.  It seals in moisture.  Lanolin, secreted by the sebaceous glands of sheep in order to protect the skin and wool from the harsh environment.  It would then not seem unreasonable that lanolin would work well as an effective sealant on our own hair.  Though this waxy, thick substance locks out moisture (i.e., preventing water from penetrating the hair) it also locks in moisture (i.e., retains water that is already present in the hair strand).  NOTE: If you have fine strands, lanolin may feel too heavy; try the oil form (of lanolin) instead.

2. It has conditioning properties.  Lanolin can be very lubricating.  

3. It can aid in styling.  Due to the waxy consistency of lanolin, it can help to define twist outs, braid outs, and roller sets.  It can also help to smooth down any frizzies or stray hairs and add shine (or sheen).


1. Use it to seal your ends.  Depending on your hair texture and density, lanolin may or may not be too heavy for use.  If it is too heavy, try using it sparingly or opting for lanolin oil instead.

2. Use as a pre-shampoo treatment or to enhance a conditioner.  Use lanolin (or lanolin oil) alone or with other ingredients as a pre-poo treatment.  Add some melted lanolin (or add lanolin oil) to your conditioner for an enhanced conditioning treatment.

3. Use it to make a styling pomade or grease.  Lanolin can be used alone or mixed with butters and/or oils to create a pomade or grease.  Check out this previous post on a hair grease recipe using lanolin.  (The recipe creator is Lola Zabeth.)

4. Use it as an anti-humidity agent.  Because lanolin can act as a barrier between your hair and the environment, it can work well to protect your styles from being ruined by humidity.  

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