You may have come across using glycerin for natural hair before. It has been a really confusing subject among many naturals and I can see why.
It a subject that took me a while to get my head around so if you find the subject of glycerin confusing you are not alone!
What is glycerin?
Glycerin is also known as glycerol and is an alcohol.
When you look at glycerin it looks like water, simple clear water. It is colourless and odourless but at the same time, its consistency is thicker than regular water.
Glycerin is referred to as a humectant which basically means that it can draw moisture from the air into your hair. This makes it very appealing for many products not just for hair but also for skin care and other products too.
At first thought, glycerin might seem like the perfect ingredient but there is a little more to it than that. I’ll explain.
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The most important thing to understand about glycerin
Although glycerin for hair seems on the surface to be perfect you need to understand that it doesn’t always work to your benefit if used incorrectly.
Care should always be taken when using glycerin in warmer climates as there is already a lot of moisture in the air. When you then add glycerin to the mix it can be a bit of an overload and cause your strands of hair to swell.
The glycerin in a warm climate will absorb too much moisture and cause the cuticles of your strands to lift making your hair look frizzy and unhealthy.
You may have noticed if you have ever gone on holiday to a hot climate your natural hair does not behave in the way that you are used too. This is because there is a lot more moisture in the air and your hair is already soaking it up.
It can make your hair feel and look completely different to what you are used too.
Add glycerin to the mix and you have an overwhelming situation on your hands.
Likewise using glycerin in environments that are extremely cold and dry is also difficult. This is because in dry environments moisture is drawn out from your hair causing more dryness. If you add glycerin to this you are asking for trouble as your hair could get even drier than before.
If you are going to use glycerin for your hair you must be able to understand when is the best environment to use it in.
Can glycerin help with hair growth?
In a way yes glycerin can help with hair growth if you use it in the right environment.
Glycerin can be added to leave-in conditioners and deep conditioners which can give your hair a little bit of extra help if your hair is feeling dry.
When your hair is well moisturised you incur less breakage and retain more length. So in that way yes it can help with hair growth but it does not necessarily make your hair grow.
What are the other benefits of using glycerin for natural hair?
1. It’s a great moisturiser
If you use glycerin in the right environment it can be a great way to give your hair a boost in moisturisation. This is great for people that feel they are constantly battling with dry hair and could do with a little extra help.
2. Helps to avoid split ends
Split ends happen you can’t avoid them altogether but you can slow them down by being more delicate with your hair. By keeping your hair moisturised you are less likely to be affected by split ends.
3. Helps with dry itchy scalp
If you have been suffering from an itchy scalp using glycerin on your hair and scalp can help to relieve the itching.
4. Helps with defining curls
Glycerin can also help to clump your curls making your curl pattern a lot more defined with the reduced frizz. I just have to stress that this will only work when used in the right environment.
How to use glycerin in your hair
Dilute, dilute dilute
Always dilute glycerin before you use it. Using it in its raw form will be too strong and will do a lot of damage to your hair. It could draw all the moisture out from your hair or completely overload it in hot climates either way you do not want that.
Check the weather
Only use it in the right weather conditions as explained above otherwise you will be doing more harm than good.
How to apply glycerin to your hair
If you want to try out glycerin for your natural hair you should always dilute it first. You can do this by adding a little to a water spray bottle and mix it with water.
Add the spray mix to your hair and style as usual.
Final thoughts on glycerin for natural hair
The thing I love about glycerin is that you don’t have to add it to just water you can also add it to your leave-in conditioner or deep conditioner as well.
If you are feeling really fancy then feel free to make up your own mix just be careful with ratios to make sure you are not using too much glycerin.
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