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It is common to find glycerine in most hair care products. However, glycerine is often considered an enemy of curly hair, especially in summer. What is glycerine, and how is it good for hair? The answer is glycerine can be good and bad for the hair depending on when and how you use it. Over the years, the curly hair community has debated the effect of glycerine on curly hair. Here we will look closely at glycerine- for curly hair and its effects on hair. It will also explain the effect of glycerine on curly hair in humidity. We will discuss how glycerine is used in hair care so that you can make an informed decision on whether to add glycerine to your hair care regime or not.
What is Glycerine?
Glycerine, also known as glycerol, is moisturizing alcohol soluble in water. You can synthetically or naturally obtain glycerine from vegetables, animal fats, and plant oils like coconut oil or shea butter. It is an odorless, thick, transparent and viscous solution that is generally considered safe for your skin and hair. Glycerine is an effective moisturizer due to which many beauty products include Glycerin in skincare and haircare products because of its softening, conditioning, and moisture-retaining properties.
Haircare benefits of Glycerine
Glycerine is known for its moisturizing and conditioning properties, due to which it is effectively used in many haircare products such as hair creams, hair serums, gels, mousse etc. Let's take a look at the other haircare benefits of glycerine.
- Being an excellent moisturizer, it reduces dryness.
- It increases the hydration level of your hair.
- It controls dryness and frizz.
- It maintains scalp health by fighting dryness, flaking, and itchiness by keeping your scalp well-hydrated.
- It is considered to be safe and non-toxic.
- It gives stability to the formulation and does not allow the product to dry.
Glycerine for curly hair: Is it safe?
Glycerine is an effective moisturizer and an excellent humectant. It is considered to be safe for topical application. Just like any other humectant, while applying glycerine, you need to consider the weather and porosity of your hair for optimum results. The density and viscosity of glycerine give you well-defined and structured curls.
How does Glycerine work?
Glycerine acts as a humectant, attracting moisture to the hair. Hydrogen bonding properties of humectants draw moisture from the environment, increasing the hydration level of the hair. It also increases the moisture retention property of your curls, improving the texture and appearance of your curls. Glycerine and other natural humectants are well known for eliminating dryness and frizz from your hair. This is a perfect ingredient for your thirsty curls. It is also used as a thickening agent in many hair care products.
Is Glycerine good for curls in humid weather?
Glycerine acts as a powerful humectant which attracts moisture from the surroundings to your hair, but it can also have the opposite effect. During extremely humid days, the moisture from the surrounding is drawn to your hair, causing it to puff and swell, making your hair look like a massive ball of mess.
But during days of low humidity, the reverse process occurs when the surrounding air is drier than your hair. The dry air pulls back the moisture from your hair to balance the moisture in the surrounding. It's not about your hair but about the balance of moisture in the atmosphere, which makes your hair look dry, brittle and frizzy.
This hopefully makes sense. To avoid any confusion, let's make things simpler. On high humidity days, air from the surrounding is drawn to other things; on low humidity days, the moisture from other things is drawn back into the air.
Many weather apps are available to check the humidity or dew point of the atmosphere. Moisture is more abundant in the air at a high dew point.
Glycerine & porous hair
Depending on your hair's porosity, you can determine how well it absorbs and retains moisture. So, glycerine and porous hair are closely linked. Low porosity hair absorbs less moisture, and consequently takes more time to dry. Experts recommend using glycerine-based hair care products for people with low porosity hair. However, glycerine is not recommended for highly porous hair as it absorbs moisture quickly and releases it quickly.
When to use products containing Glycerine?
The most effective way to describe it is: if your hair is drier than the environment surrounding it, products that contain glycerine will pull moisture out of the atmosphere and transfer it into your hair, retaining moisture in your hair for a longer time. You can use glycerine-based hair care products on humid or moderately humid days. This weather condition is ideal for using glycerine as it draws moisture into your hair and retains it, giving you structured and well-defined curls, thus eliminating frizz and flyaways.
When to avoid using products containing Glycerine?
If the environment is dryer than your hair, it will draw moisture away from your hair to keep the moisture levels in the air. This usually occurs in dry climates with low humidity and dew points. It is recommended to avoid using products which contain glycerine. You can include Curlvana Curly Hair Care Range uses no glycerine, and provided sustained hydration.
Excessive humidity, and high dew point, can cause frizzy, dry hair. Using glycerine on curly hair in extreme humidity can cause damage to the structure of your curls. This is because glycerine continues to draw and hold moisture from the air in your hair. Excessive intake of moisture swells, expands, and lifts the hair's cuticle so much that it loses its shape and produces large, dense hair. It is often soft and fluffy and frizzes with tons of frizz.
Glycerine is a vital ingredient in many hair care products, making your hair soft, smooth and shiny. It is cheap, readily accessible, and an effective humectant.
Additionally, it is highly efficient. It increases hair moisture levels by retaining the moisture for a longer time. But you must be more cautious while using glycerine since it is not an ingredient that will perform in all weather conditions. The performance of the hair is significantly affected by the texture of your hair and the external humidity conditions.
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