Here's When You Should And Shouldn't Use Hair Products With Glycerin In Them

Glycerin is a popular multi-tasking ingredient that you can find in most of your hair and skincare products, supplements, and pharmaceuticals (via Loved by Curls). This hydrating ingredient can do wonders for dry, frizzy, or damaged hair. But what exactly is glycerin? Glycerin is a humectant and stabilizer that is commonly derived from plant oils, animal products, petroleum, or produced synthetically, per The Derm Review. Humectants function as moisturizing agents which help retain moisture by drawing it from the air and pulling it into your hair (via Healthline).

However, there has been some debate as to whether glycerin is helpful for curly hair or not. For instance, there are certain circumstances where glycerin may cause more damage than good on curly hair types, though glycerin can also be equally beneficial for curly girls if the situation is right. Here is where you can find out when glycerin should be used or avoided completely for curly-haired girls.

When to use glycerin

What key factor dictates whether glycerin should be included in your hair routine? You may be surprised to learn that this key factor is actually climate. Yes, climate can be a major determinant in the decision to use glycerin in your hair care. If you live in a country with a moderately humid climate, then glycerin is your friend, per Healthline. Similarly, the seasons will also determine how glycerin affects your hair. The summer months are the perfect time to use glycerin as there is enough moisture in the air for the glycerin to draw from. Though, individual genetics may influence how well your curly hair responds to the humidity and should be considered in your decision to use glycerin (via Healthline).

As glycerin is a humectant, it is best used if you have dry, brittle hair. Glycerin can help bring your hair back to life if you have damaged hair that is prone to breakage (via The Mestiza Muse). You can even use glycerin to reduce split ends and help detangle your hair, per Loved by Curls. This miracle ingredient can also reduce symptoms such as itchiness and irritation caused by dandruff or dry scalp, according to Healthline. The best part about glycerin is that this hydrating ingredient is inexpensive to produce and easy to find, so you can create your own hair oil or serum in bulk, according to Healthline.

When to avoid glycerin

Glycerin can certainly help heal dry, damaged curls. However, there is a caveat to using this popular hair care ingredient. If you don't happen to live in an area that experiences a moderately humid climate, then you may need to swap out your hair products. Those who live in regions with dryer climates, for instance, should be cautious about using glycerin because when there is little to no moisturize to be found in the air, then glycerin can pull the moisture out from your hair in an attempt to create balance and will damage your hair in the process (via Loved by Curls).

Similarly, in hot climates with high humidity, glycerin may absorb too much water from the surrounding environment which can cause your hair cuticles to swell with excess moisture, per NaturallyCurly. Not only does this cause damaged and frizzy strands but it also disrupts your hair's natural curl pattern. Glycerin also happens to be a strong conductor of heat which means that you should try to avoid styling with high heat when using products with glycerin to avoid heat damage (via Healthline).

The key takeaway here is that climate will affect glycerin's efficacy. That being said, if the climate is right and your hair is in need of major hydration, then glycerin is a serious game-changer that belongs in your curly hair routine.