Glycerin is a commonly used ingredient in many hair products. In fact, it is so ubiquitous that it is difficult to find products that do not contain glycerin, especially styling products. In this article and also this one, we explain why and when you may need to ditch glycerin.
Simple humectants, such as glycerin, propylene glycol, and sorbitol, attract and bind water vapor from the surrounding air when it is abundant. This helps your hair remain hydrated. Moisturized and hydrated curls have good elasticity, bounce, and definition. Simple humectants also prevent a hard hold gel from turning the hair dry and crusty. By taking water vapor from the air, simple humectants keep the gel in your hair hydrated and flexible.
Simple humectants work well when the humidity is just right. However, under low humidity or low dew point conditions, they can pull moisture from the hair. This is one reason why humectants such as glycerin can release water fairly readily and make the hair feel very dry in winter or dry climates.
Conversely, in hot and high humidity weather, simple humectants can draw moisture into the hair, raising the cuticle layer, and causing frizz. This is why many curlies living in hot and humid places (such as the Caribbean and Florida) should avoid glycerin, propylene glycol, and sorbitol in their styling products to combat frizz.
In contrast, film-forming humectants are large, complex molecules that form a film over the hair keeping moisture in to prevent the hair from dehydrating, or from pulling water vapor into the hair. What’s amazing is that they work well in any weather!
In our one-of-a-kind Guide, we give you 30 glycerin free gels that work for all hair types.
The guide is ONLY available with a subscription (you will also get access to the 1200+ salons/stylists database and all the Ultimate Guides shown in SHOP).
The gels contain film-forming humectants and are devoid of glycerin, sorbitol, and propylene glycol. TO GET YOUR COPY TODAY SUBSCRIBE HERE.