How to get Vaseline out of hair. It’s easy! [6 expert methods that work]

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Do you need to know how to get Vaseline out of hair?

If so, then this article is perfect for you. We’ll be going over the basics of removing it from your hair and what products work best.

Have you ever dyed your hair with hair dye and ended up with barrier cream in it? We’ve been there!

It’s not a fun situation to be in, but don’t worry! We’re here to help. This article will provide you with the basics of removing this wonder from your hair.

Keep reading!

How to get Vaseline out of your hair.

Getting Vaseline in your hair is not the end of the world, but it can be a bit of a challenge to get out.

Thankfully, there are some easy and effective methods that will help you remove Vaseline from your hair quickly.

We’ve rounded up our top 4 expert-approved tips to help you get rid of any Vaseline residue in no time!

Method #1: Clarifying Shampoo

The first method is by far the most common and most straightforward way to remove Vaseline from your hair.

All you have to do is grab a bottle of clarifying shampoo and lather up your hair in the shower as usual.

Be sure to really work the shampoo into the parts of your hair that were covered with Vaseline. Finish off with a good rinse and then follow up with a deep conditioner for extra nourishment.

Method #2: Dish Soap

If clarifying shampoo isn’t available or doesn’t do the trick, you can use dish soap instead.

Simply add a few drops of dish soap onto wet hair, massage it in until it creates a lather, and then rinse as normal using warm water.

You may want to use this method sparingly as it can be drying for some people due to its strong detergent properties.

how to remove vaseline dish soap and vinegar

Method #3 Baking Soda

Baking soda is an incredibly versatile ingredient that can be used for cleaning just about anything—including getting Vaseline out of your locks!

Start by mixing 2 tablespoons of baking soda with enough water to form a paste-like consistency, then rub it all over your scalp and strands before rinsing thoroughly with warm water.

Follow up with a nourishing conditioner for silky smooth results.

Method #4: Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is great for soaking up excess oils in your hair, so why not try using it on greasy Vaseline?

Just spray some dry shampoo directly onto the affected area and let it sit for 5 minutes before brushing through your tresses thoroughly.

Then finish off with a good wash using regular shampoo and conditioner.

darked haired lady removing vaseline by spraying dry shampoo

Method #5: Vinegar

Vinegar has powerful cleansing properties which make it perfect for breaking down unwanted substances like Vaseline in hair.

Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spritz it onto damp locks (this will help avoid stinging) before letting it sit for 10 minutes then rinsing off with lukewarm water.

A quick blast of cold water afterward will help seal cuticles and give shine back to limp locks!

Method #6: Baby oil

Baby oil is surprisingly effective at removing stubborn residues from hair, including Vaseline!

Start by coating wet strands generously with baby oil before combing through gently using a wide-toothed comb or brush – this should help break down clumps easier.

Leave the oil on for 15 minutes then rinse off thoroughly with lukewarm water followed by cold water at the end to lock in moisture – voila!

Top Tip!

Before trying any of these methods, be sure to blot out any excess Vaseline residue first with kitchen paper or an old towel before applying any product or treatment directly onto your scalp or strands!

What is Vaseline?

Vaseline is an ointment, moisturizer, and lubricant that’s made of petroleum jelly.

It’s a great all-rounder to have in your cupboards for things like dry lips, rough skin and is a fantastic barrier for hair dye, which is why you’re here.

We always recommend using it as a barrier cream around your neck, ears and hairline before dyeing your hair, to make sure the hair dye doesn’t dye your skin.

But that can be another problem!

Petroleum jelly consists of hydrocarbons which are non-polar molecules that have low water solubility and high oil solubility.

Which means it’s water-resistant and tricky to remove!

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What happens if Vaseline gets in your hair?

Vaseline acts as a fabulous sealant that helps keep moisture from escaping and smooths your strands.

However, if you get too much of it in your hair, it can cause strands to look and feel weighed down and greasy.

The waxy, greasy substance can leave your hair feeling matted and oily but with just a few key steps you’ll be back to looking and feeling luscious-haired again in no time.

Extra Vaseline can easily be washed away with a mild shampoo followed by a deep conditioning treatment to give your tresses an extra dose of hydration and luster.

So if you find yourself a bit heavy-handed with your Vaseline application, don’t stress – a little bit of extra care will have your hair back looking smooth and feeling great!

how to get vaseline out of hair - why use vaseline in your hair? Infographic As a hair mask
As a styling gel
To seal split ends
To smooth frizz
To stop scalp flakiness 
To stop scalp itchiness
To combat dryness
To strengthen strands
To stop flyaways

Does dish soap remove Vaseline out of hair?

If there isn’t too much product in your hair, simply shampooing it out may be enough for most people.

However, if there’s a lot of petroleum jelly in your hair, then this method may not work well.

Shampoos are designed to clean your hair of impurities. They’re not designed to break down petroleum jelly that has been applied directly onto skin!

In this case, we recommend using dish soap or washing up liquid instead.

Dish soap contains surfactants which help lift oil-based stains such as grease or wax off surfaces by breaking them apart into smaller pieces so that they can be removed more easily.

Just add some dish soap into a bowl filled with warm water before dipping one’s hair into it and rising it out like you would normal shampoo.

Condition your hair well afterwards with a good, colour-friendly conditioner to restore the moisture it will have lost.

Will Vaseline damage your hair?

Petroleum jelly is actually filled with mineral oils that can soften and soothe dry brittle strands. But that doesn’t mean you should go hitting the jar every day!

Petroleum-based products like Vaseline can clog your scalp and pores, resulting in greasy hair.

Will that damage your hair? Not really.

Vaseline can actually be quite beneficial for styling and protecting your hair from becoming dry and brittle.

If you want to create a sleek look without using a lot of product, rubbing a tiny bit of Vaseline onto your hands and working it through your hair can help tame flyaways.

On top of that, Vaseline also helps protect against sun damage, wind damage, split ends, flyaways and breakage.

But here’s the thing, it doesn’t smell great.

And there are better products out there to style and moisture your hair.

But as a safe, effective alternative, you can use Vaseline without worrying that it’ll damage your hair.

Safe ways to get Vaseline out of hair.

Here’s a great video that shows you a few safe ways to get Vaseline out of your hair using natural products.

Can Vaseline mess up your hair?

You may have been using this jelly miracle for years to help your hair and skin and life.

It’s a great alternative to expensive products that have harmful chemicals that can damage your hair and cause it to be unhealthy.

But did you know that if you use too much of this product, it can actually weigh down your locks?

In addition, the petroleum jelly is hard to wash out with shampoo and will leave an oily residue in your hair follicles.

It can also mess up your hair dye if you apply it on your hair as well as your skin.

The areas like your hairline and temples are stubborn areas to colour. Greys are more prominent here and show at the roots.

If you put too much barrier cream around here and it touches your hair – it can mess up your dye job. Be careful!

Top tips for applying hair dye barrier cream

  • Apply the barrier cream all over your hands and fingers.
  • Ensure it is fully rubbed in so that there are no lumpy bits or excess jelly.
  • Apply the barrier cream to your hairline.
  • Smooth it around your forehead, cheeks and neck.
  • Be careful to keep it on your skin and not to smooth it into your hair.
  • Apply another layer of the product just above the ear line too.
  • If you get too much in your hair, dab it out with a tissue or kitchen paper.

How long does Vaseline last in your hair?

It can be a lifesaver for most people, and for those who wear their hair up all the time it can be a godsend.

It’s an easy way to make your updo last longer without having to use pins and bobby pins between each layer of hair. But how long does it actually last? 

It depends on what you use it for: if you’re using it as a sealant like hairdressers in a salon, then it will last as long as your style lasts (even overnight).

If you’re using it in your hair only as a moisturizer or shine agent, then that’s when things get tricky.

It will break down over time due to its petroleum content which means that after time, it will leave your hair feeling greasy.

We recommend olive oil as a good, colour-safe organic treatment for keeping coloured hair soft and shiny.

Parting words

Cleaning Vaseline out of your hair doesn’t have to be hard!

With our expert-approved methods, you can easily remove any unwanted greasiness caused by sloppy handling or accidental spills in no time at all – plus get super shiny locks afterwards too!

Whether you want something simple like clarifying shampoo or something more unconventional like baking soda paste, one of these solutions will definitely do the trick! Give them each a try until you find what works best for you!

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!