What is Glycerin?
Glycerin’s scientific name is Glycerine or Glycerol it has no scent, is colourless and is thick in consistency.
It is widely used in hair care products, skincare and other industries such as food. Glycerin can be both synthetic and natural- Natural sources of glycerin are deprived of plant oils such as coconut oil, shea butter these end to be identified as vegetable glycerin on ingredient lists. Synthetic glycerin is derived from animal fats, petroleum and more.
Now, why does any of this matter? Will, if you have been having one too many failed wash days it might be worth turning and learning the first few ingredients. Usually, Glycerin is in the top 6 ingredients. This can be problematic depending on your climate and the style you are trying to achieve.
Is Glycerin Bad For Kinky Curly Hair?
The short answer is no. Glycerin isn’t a bad ingredient and it’s certainly not bad for your curls. It is heavily used in curly hair products because it is undeniably very moisturising due to its ability to hold water. However, it can be a tricky one because of the speed at which it draws moisture into the hair and away from the hair in dry climates.
Why Do Naturals Hate Glycerin in Curly Hair Products?
If your environment is driers than your hair, glycerin can pull moisture from your hair thus leaving it dry, frizzy and sometimes feeling tacky. Causing the hair to get brittle and increase the likeliness of breakage.
Conversely, if your environment is very humid, glycerin can over-moisturise the hair loading it with water also causing frizz and preventing your wash and go or twist out to last.
A small minority of naturals report that they dislike glycerin no matter the climate as it simply dries their hair out. This may be an issue for those using silicones and glycerin combined.
How To Use Glycerin For Naturally Curly Hair
Glycerin works best for use in the correct environments where it is drawing moisture from the air into your hair. It can leave your curls moisturised and defined.
If you are using a glycerin high leave in conditioner, try to use a strong hold styling gel to retain your curl definition for longer.
Styling tip- Use anti-humectants ingredients such as Olive Oil, Mango Butter or Coconut Oil to seal the hair. These work by preventing water leaving the hair shaft or drawing anymore in.
Other Humectants To Look Out For
Glycerin is not the only humectant that can have this effect on your hair. It may be any of the following ingredients such as PVP (poly N-vinyl-2-pyrrolidone). Which is also an excellent film-forming humectant but it draws water to the hair quickly. Learn more about film-forming humectants here- Why Your Natural Hair Stays Dry & Dull. How To Moisturise Effectively.
- Sodium PCA
- Agave nectar
- Butylene Glycol
- Propylene Glycols
Glycerin Free Natural Hair Products:
Made for coiled and curly hair. Gently cleanses the hair and scalp. Key ingredients Coconut Oil, Castor Oil, Fruit Extract. Buy now.
Great at cleaning the hair and scalp without stripping it. Helps reduce breakage and increase moisture retention. Key ingredients Alma, Aloe Vera & Coconut. Shop now.
Excellent formulation! Gently cleanses the hair without any sulfates but removes buildup. Key ingredients Green Tea, Peppermint and Ginger Extracts! Shop now.
Sulfate-free and infused with organic ingredients & removes dirt and oils. Key ingredients Mongongo, Almond Oil, Argan & Grape Oil. Shop now.
Our favorite conditioner for dry and thirsty type 4 hair. Super thick and buttery, it leaves hair feeling silky. Shop now.
Super hydrating and moisturising. This deep conditioner is a must for super dry hair. Key ingredients Coconut Water, Aloe vera, Cocoa Butter. Shop now.
Deeply moisturises and softens all hair textures. Key ingredients such as ghee Butter and Uccuba, Aloe Vera. Shop now.Shop now.
An excellent base for wash and go's the Ecoslay leave in melts away tangles. Key ingredient Marshmallow Root Extract, Fermented Rice Water and Slippery Elm Extract. Shop now.
Super creamy, non-greasy and slippery. This hair milk/leave in is moisturising and nourishing to your tresses. Key ingredients Avocado Oil, Olive Oil, Sage Extract. Shop now.
Super hydrating and moisturising leave in conditioner. Key ingredients Coconut Oil, Grape, Hemp and Sunflower. Shop now.Shop now.
An aloe based gel that enhances and holds your curls and coils. Excellent at taming frizz. Key ingredients Aloe, Marshmallow, Chamomile. Shop now.
Get shiny, moisturised and defined curls. Let this custard sculpt your waves and coils. Key ingredients Horsetail, Chamomile, Nettle. Shop now
This gel will define and hold the tightest curl pattern and leave you with a strong hold gel. Plus it is packed full of incredible ingredients. Key ingredients Okra Extract, Aloe Vera, Chamomile. Shop now.
Get maximum definition without shrinkage for your wash and gos and twists. Key ingredients Nettle, Saw Palmetto & Horsetail. Shop now.