How to Easily Get Vaseline (Petroleum Jelly) Out of Your Hair

Originally called wonder jelly, petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is a mixture of natural waxes and mineral oils that locks moisture into the skin. This mixture of oils and minerals commonly moisturizes lips and skin in order to repair it and relieve dryness.

Unfortunately, Vaseline can sometimes end up in your hair. If this has happened to you, you’ll know just how annoying it is and hard it can be to remove petroleum jelly from your hair. Simply put, Vaseline is NOT made for use on the hair. It’s oily which can make your hair greasy-looking.

The thick substance can also cause your hair to clump together – seeming almost impossible to remove. However, all is not lost. There are various methods that you can use to successfully remove the sticky and oily substance from your hair.

Your options include:

  • Cornstarch or cornmeal powder
  • Baby powder
  • Tissue
  • Baking soda
  • A liquid laundry detergent or dish soap
  • Baby oil
  • Warm water
  • Peanut butter
  • Vinegar
  • Eggs

Table of Contents:

What Are the Best Ways to Remove Vaseline from Hair?

All of these methods are great when it comes to getting petroleum jelly out of your hair. You may want to ask a friend or family member to help. This can be beneficial as they can help you blot the areas that you can’t see yourself, such as the back of your head.

Cornstarch or Cornmeal Powder

This method is easy and gentle on your hair. Simply apply a little cornstarch or cornmeal powder to the hair. Use a towel or some tissue to pat the powder into the area of your hair that you want to treat. This will absorb the petroleum jelly.

Once you’re satisfied that the Vaseline has been removed, you should shampoo your hair once or twice with a clarifying shampoo. Ensure you use warm water when washing your hair since cold water can cause the Vaseline to congeal.

Baby Powder

If you would prefer to use baby powder or already have some in your home then repeat the same steps above to get results.

There are a couple of precautions to note when using baby powder:

  1. When dabbing your hair with a towel, ensure that you don’t rub too much as this can work the petroleum deeper into your hair.
  2. Be careful if you have respiratory problems as baby powder and crushed talc can cause further medical complications.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a household staple in most homes. The easiest way to use baking soda on your hair is to remove as much of the excess Vaseline as possible prior to coating the area with baking soda.

Then, simply use paper towels or your fingers to lightly pat the powder into your hair so the greasy area is completely coated.

Another effective way to use baking soda to remove Vaseline from hair is to mix one teaspoon of baking soda with a regular baby shampoo, then wash and rinse out. You should use baby shampoo because it’s less abrasive than regular shampoos.

Liquid Laundry Detergent or Dish Soap

It may seem odd, but using standard liquid laundry detergent or dish soap to wash your hair can work wonders when it comes to tackling the grease caused by Vaseline.

There are harsher chemicals in laundry detergent and dish soap that are commonly used to target stubborn stains and greasy dishes. With this in mind, these chemicals can also be perfect for stripping your hair from hard-to-remove products, such as petroleum jelly.

All you need to do is use the dish soap like you would any other shampoo. However, because the chemicals are slightly stronger, use a regular shampoo afterward. Don’t forget to condition afterward to keep your hair smooth and sleek.

Baby Oil

Baby oil is a great way to get rid of Vaseline from hair. Granted, it can be a little messy and it is an oily substance but it works well to remove the greasiness of petroleum jelly.

Start off by saturating your hair in baby oil, rubbing it through the hair completely. Once you’ve done this, try and squeeze out as much as you can. This will remove any excess oil and the original Vaseline.

Then, wash your hair (you can do this up to three times) with either a fortifying shampoo or a liquid dish soap and warm water. Each time, leave the dish soap or shampoo on for a few minutes to allow it to work.

Have a lot of towels to hand if you choose this method as it can be a messy process.

Warm Water

Sometimes, you just can’t beat using warm water to clean sticky or greasy stuff from your hair. Of course, you can use warm water and shampoo. However, if you do use shampoo, ensure that it’s labeled deep-cleansing or clarifying as these types will have the best results.

Try not to overuse them as these stronger shampoos are made to strip hair and styling products from your hair. This can be damaging to your hair if used too much.

Keep rinsing your hair until the water runs clear instead of cloudy or soapy. Never use cold water to wash your hair. This can make the Vaseline clump and thicken.

why is Vaseline hard to remove from hair?

Peanut Butter

This is a weird one and probably not something that you want to get into the habit of putting on your hair but oddly, peanut butter is a method that will remove Vaseline from hair.

Apply peanut butter to where the Vaseline is on your hair and massage in with your hands. It feels gross, but it really does work!

Ensure you apply a good amount of peanut butter to the affected areas and leave it on for around 10 minutes. Then, massage your hair for 10 minutes ensuring the substance is mixed right in. Once the peanut butter is set, use a hairbrush to remove the Vaseline and peanut butter mixture from hair. Make sure that you wash your brushes and combs when you’re done.

This is the one exception where you can use cold water to rinse your hair. This is the most effective way to remove the remaining blend of peanut butter and Vaseline. After you’ve rinsed it with cold water, wash your hair with shampoo and conditioner and hot water like normal.


Much like baking soda, vinegar is another household staple that can resolve a myriad of problems. Because of the high acidity levels, vinegar can remove some seriously stubborn substances from a number of places – your hair included.

Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of warm water and rinse your hair with it. Once you’ve done this, and are happy that the Vaseline is completely removed from your hair, wash your hair as normal.

Repeat if and when necessary but due to the acidity levels of vinegar, it’s advised not to do this on a regular basis.

will vinegar remove vaseline from hair?


Whisked eggs can be ideal when it comes to removing vaseline from your hair. This one may be left as a last resort, however, due to the mess and more notably, the smell!

All you need to do is get a couple of eggs and whisk them together. Then like you would with a shampoo or conditioner, wash your hair with the mixture. This experience can be rather unpleasant and eggs are a really odd consistency when washing your hair.

However, if you don’t mind all that, it can be a really effective method in removing Vaseline from your hair so it may be worthwhile to just grin and bear it.

Why Conditioning the Hair is So Important

If you think about how much we put our hair through on a daily basis (washing, drying, styling, the environment etc.), it’s almost a miracle that it survives it all. Therefore, it’s so important to look after it in any way you can. Invest in a good quality conditioner and use afterward to prevent damage.

If you prefer to use natural ingredients as opposed to conditioners that may include some chemicals, the following are excellent when caring for your hair and can also be used in the treatment of exposure to Vaseline:

  • Coconut oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Pomegranate seed oil

No matter what method you choose to remove petroleum jelly from your hair, be careful not to get any in your eyes. If you have a detachable shower head, always use this for the best rinse.

Why Is Vaseline Hard to Remove From Hair?

Vaseline is a strong mixture of a range of oils, minerals, and chemicals. While it is great for a range of uses, it can be so difficult to get out of hair. The reason for this is because our hair is very porous and soaks substances up easily.

Vaseline and other brands of petroleum jelly are quite a clingy, stubborn substance that can stick to the hair very easily. This is why extreme care should be taken when using Vaseline or other types of petroleum jelly near your hair.

egg to remove vaseline from hair

Will Vaseline Eventually Come Out of Hair?

As outlined in many of the removals above, you can be happy in the knowledge that you will eventually get Vaseline out of your hair. As long as you follow the appropriate steps, your hair will be Vaseline free in no time.

The best way to avoid any future issues is to try and prevent getting Vaseline or other types of petroleum jelly in your hair when you use it again. It can save a lot of time and hassle.

Avoid any beauty tips or routines that state you should put petroleum jelly in your hair.

Will My Hair Be Damaged?

As long as you act quickly and use natural remedies, there should be no long-lasting damage to your hair.

Invest in good quality (sometimes this does mean expensive) hair care products. Good quality products can go a long way in improving and maintaining your hair.

Although expensive, regular visits to a hairdresser can be beneficial. A hairdresser will use state-of-the-art products and technology to look after your hair and scalp – preventing any long-lasting damage.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.