Dr. B. Davis says: Everyone Else's Hair is growing...Are Hair Grease, Pomades and Gels the reason yours is not?

Posted on December 13 2018

Dr. B. Davis says: Everyone Else's Hair is growing...Are Hair Grease, Pomades and Gels the reason yours is not?

Hair Grease on Your Natural Hair Problem or Benefit?

Dr. Brenda Ware-Davis, PhD.

“Sit here.” “Be still.” “Stop pulling your head.” “Turn around.” Pop! goes the comb; Spank! goes the brush. Yes, you guessed it! This was my weekly hair combing routine. No, I did not get my hair combed daily and you can see why. As a child my hair was exceedingly thick, very soft, and very curly. 

 Because it was so thick, soft and curly, it tangled easily. Therefore, combing it was something I hated, and my mother dreaded. I was, what my grandmother called, tender headed. Hence, combing my hair meant all-out war! With tears steaming down my face, my mother would pull and tug, while I twisted and turned, jumped, twitched and jerked, as the comb and brush, moved through my hair.

To remedy this problem, my mother did not comb my hair every day. It was combed once a week and washed about once a month.  After washing my hair, she would grease my scalp. What did she do to keep it looking good during the week? Grease and Water! The grease and water were excellent for getting the look she wanted. Wavy, curly hair that look freshly combed. 

Looked as if it had never been combed...

Nevertheless, my mother complained that no sooner than she could get my hair combed, the next day, it looked as if it had never been combed. 

Grease and water, Grease or...


Thus, to refresh it, she would add more grease and water and put a stocking cap on it at night.  This was our regular routine. Grease and water, grease and water… until the next wash day. I loved the grease and water routine because, it was easy. It was painless, and it kept my hair wavy, curly and shiny!

But is this grease and water routine good for our hair and scalp? Of course, black hair needs oil and moisture. For the most part, the sebaceous glands in the scalp naturally produce oil, called sebum. Sebum aids in keeping the hair moisturized and it helps create an environment for hair growth. When sebum is not adequately produced, it causes the scalp to become dry and itchy. Many individuals create this dry itchy condition by doing thing to their scalp that inhibit the natural production of sebum (Davis-Sivasothy, 2011). 


Water is good for adding moisture...

So, if your desired result is hair growth, water is good for adding moisture. On the other hand, grease is bad for the hair and the scalp.  Using products like grease and pomades create an unhealthy condition for hair growth and are a sure formula for hair breakage.

  1. Clog the pores on the scalp;
  2. Impede moisture,
  3. Cause the hair to become dry and brittle
  4. Prevent the production of sebum

The use of such products can lead to clog pores...

The production of sebum is commonly inhibited by using grease, pomades, edge control produces containing petroleum and heavy oily mixtures. The use of such products can lead to clog pores that prevent the scalp from breathing and functioning in a manner that encourages hair growth. 

Ditch the grease...

The point? If you are trying to get curly, wavy hair, keep using the grease and water. But if you want moisturized hair, and if you want a healthy environment for hair growth, ditch the grease and look for products that:

1.       Encourage the production of sebum,

2.       Allow the scalp to breath, and

3.        Improve hair moisture.

Here’s to happy, healthy, hair!

Reference: Davis-Sivasothy, A. (2011). The science of black hair: A comprehensive guide to textured hair care (Kindle Edition) Saja Publishing Company.


  • Rika : July 19, 2019

    Oh please. Black women had beautiful hair in the ‘70s. Today’s black women don’t take care of their real hair. I’ve used grease my entire life. I am 31 and had very long hair in high school and college. So, don’t blame the products. Blame the people.

  • Trudy: April 25, 2019

    Well i use grease and my hair thrives. It doesn’t clog pores. That’s a myth. I love blue magic, dax etc

  • vanessa Y Barker: January 14, 2019

    I am allergic to all oils yes all my face breaks out and I start itching and my face broke out so bad that my cheeks turned red and I had to go get a check up by my doctor, its too oily my hair hates oils but loves hair grease so I am going to keep using my hair grease..oh and my hair became brittle and dry with oil!!!!

  • Jennifer L: December 13, 2018

    Check this link: Petroleum Jelly may not be as harmless as you think: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/vaseline-petroleum-jelly_n_4136226

  • Lisa Collins: December 13, 2018

    Great article. Everyone knows hair grease is bad and causes cancer.

  • Carla Oldham: December 13, 2018

    Mimi you need to go read this because obviously you have not. If grease doesnt clog pores then lets see you use it on your face!! LOL ACNE!!

    Reference: Davis-Sivasothy, A. (2011). The science of black hair: A comprehensive guide to textured hair care (Kindle Edition) Saja Publishing Company.

  • Mimi: December 13, 2018

    Grease clogging pores is a myth perpetuated by natural hait companies to trick consumers into spending more money on more expensive products. The molecules are to big to penetrate and it cannot clog anything. Grease is a sealant not a moisturizer. Your mother had no idea on how to use grease while other mothers knew how. It’s not the product that is bad it’s the hair maintenance that is bad because it obviously wasnt working and instead of blaming it on bad hair care maintenance you blame the product. This myth really needs to stop. If you dont like it then so be it but dont tell others they shouldn’t use what works for them because it didnt work for you.

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