My Love/Hate Relationship with Glycerin

Glycerin is another ingredient that Izzy treats like a frustrating boy – one day, she loves it, but the next day – blech. As we all know, glycerin is a humectant, which means it draws the moisture out of the air into your hair, skin, or wherever the glycerin is. It’s moisturizing and provides EXCELLENT slip when it’s in products. Seriously, use a regular conditioner, than add some glycerin. It will be awesome for detangling!!! It also gives my hair a nice shine. However, glycerin and I cannot live in the world alone – there is another factor that interferes with our relationship. That would be dew point. Dew point is the moisture that is in the air – think of it like morning dew on grass. If it’s extremely damp outside, you might actually see the dew on the grass, but if it’s dry, you won’t see anything. Izzy with glycerin is the grass (well, obviously more absorbent).

When the dew point is high (around 70 degrees), there is too much moisture in my hair, which turns it into a nice little bird’s nest. Think of how straight hair looks when someone gives you a noogie…yea, it’s like that. However, when the dew point is too low (below 50) there isn’t enough moisture, and my hair gets hard and dry. Furthermore, the amount of glycerin in a product has to be factored in, and I feel as if dew points for glycerin tolerance are different depending on the head of hair. Complicated, right? Frustrating is more like it.

The only thing I have really been able to do is trial and error – I check my dew points daily before going outside as well. Currently, they are mostly optimal for my hair (around 60), as long as a product isn’t glycerin heavy. Also, I try not to combine two products that are heavy on glycerin, which is why I like more gels that do not contain glycerin; I can use them year round without all the guesswork. Funny thing is, I’m not even sure that most people have this same issue with glycerin – I call myself “glycerin sensitive.” The Natural Haven also has a good post about glycerin here.

So…is everyone sensitive to glycerin, or is it just me?! Discuss!

2 comments

  1. I am definietly glycerin sensitive too. tnx for the post btw. I’ve realised like you did that the only thing to do about this situation is to check the dew points. I’ve also found that moisturizing my hair and then sealing with oil before adding my product containing glycerin helps.

  2. I am hit and miss with glycerine too. I remember going out to a party one night and coming out feeling like my hair had absorbed everyones evaporated body odour because it was soaking and felt slimey when I came out. I only spritz with a glycerine water mix once a week after my co wash and before twisting now to avoid too much of a glycerine build up. Instead of spritzing with glycerine daily I spritz with water and/or my new panthenol (also a humectant I believe) heavy nourishing spritz by pantene. Softness and moisture without the build up 🙂

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