What is glycerin?

Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. It can be created from plants or animal fat. Here’s the difference:

Commercial Glycerin

It’s a natural byproduct of the soap making process (soap made with animal fat). Commercial manufacturers remove the glycerine for use in lotions and creams. While glycerin can be made as a by-product of soap that is made from animal fats, it can also be made from plants.

Vegetable Glycerin

Vegetable glycerin is made from the oils and fats of a plant-based ingredient, generally coconut or palm oil. The oil is heated to a high temperature under pressure with water. The glycerin component is then separated from the plant oil and absorbed by the water – it is then isolated and distilled.

So what is glycerin REALLY?

It’s highly hygroscopic– meaning that its qualities allow it to absorb water from the atmosphere.

Example: if you left a bottle of pure glycerin exposed to air, it would take moisture from the air and eventually, it would become 80% glycerin and 20% water.

I once mixed unrefined Shea Butter with glycerin and noticed drops of water on my mix. It was the craziest observation ever … glycerin is absolutely fascinating.

What are the benefits to hair?

As a product that draws moisture from the air, it’s a great moisturiser! It is used as a base in a lot of good hair moisturisers and aims to soften the hair follicles, allowing moisture to enter into the hair shaft.

As a conditioner, it’s especially beneficial for curly/kinky hair, which tends to be drier due to the shape of the hair shaft.

It’s one of those ‘must have’ ingredients if you’re on a healthy hair journey. Use it as a base to your hair spritz or mixtures.

NOTE: I would advise against coating your hair with pure glycerin as it will result in very sticky hair. If it’s used sparingly or in a mixture, it will moisturise your hair effectively.

FIVE more ways to use glycerin every day!

1. Add a small amount in your normal moisturiser to add that extra nourishing punch to your skin.

2. Mix it with raw Shea Butter and use as a lip balm. My lips LOVE this mixture.

3. Mix a spray of half water and half glycerin. Lightly spray on hair for added moisture and frizz control.

4. Add a small amount to your hand creme, it will boost the moisture content

5. Check for it in your shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser as one of the main ingredients.

Posted by:Aphro

I'm a hair consultant and blogger ... I exist to give my beautiful sisters strategies on attaining and maintaining the health of their hair.

17 replies on “Why I love Glycerin

  1. Saw glycerin in hair shop but didn’t know if it was good…then u sent out this post!!!! Thanx Phro

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Oh great, I used it last night on Mr Mans hair. What I did was after undoing his hair, i put it on his scalp and roots, then I shampooed it like 10 min later and conditioned his hair.. I went on to give his hair some tender coconut oil loving before cornrowing it. His hair absolutely loves me 🙂

  3. oooooo another way i use glycerin is as a face toner. i have really dry skin in winter and i put a little bit on a wet cotton pad then i use moisturizer. it keeps my face moisturized throughout the day!! my grandma taught me…lol!!

  4. Thank you so much for posting this info – I have low porosity hair that poofs out like a tumbleweed even after co-washing or even deep conditioning. Nothing seems to get it to lie down without going too the opposite extreme and having the wet look all day. I bought some vegetable glycerin but really had no idea how to use it. I applied it to dry hair (without oil – ouch!) and then rinsed after 20 minutes… it pulled a lot of hair (seriously, a nest of hair came out) trying to saturate the glycerin everywhere, though it did end up soft in the end. After reading your post, I mixed 1 part glycerin, 1 part avocado oil, 1 part coconut oil and spritzed some on after co-washing. My hair was perfectly weighed down. And, for me, weighed down is exactly what I want. Thanks again!

  5. Thanks for the glycerin post. I am trying to find products that are natural and friendly for my little girl who has serious kurls. Would you recommend adding any oils to the water and glycerin spray e.g olive / rosemary / Amla oil?

  6. Hi, i just cut off my dreadlocks of 6 years and got a perm! I think the lady left it in for too long because my hair is natural and now its over-processed. I have not put chemicals in my hair for 10 years so im really struggling with what to do! I traveled to Zim and bought a whole lot of product i used to use when i was in high school and rocked an s-curl, so its your Dax products- glycerine hair gel, curl activators and freeze gels. Im freaking out because the hair is always breaking! If i touch it, if i comb it, there is hair breakage all the time. It feels dry- like steel wool, the curls are nice but really hope there is a way to stop the breaking. Or is this normal?? I got a protein treatment with Mizani products, ive also done home treatments with D&L Cholesterol, they kinda help with softness but not breakage! Maybe it has to do with the fact i coloured and permed at the same damn time??? Do you have any products i can try or treatments to suggest. I still have my locks, maybe ill just put them back and accept chemical defeat! my instagram name is mizz_shakara, you can see my hair there.
    Hope you can help! Thanks!

    1. mmm your hair and scalp are probably slightly stressed. They shouldn’t have ever done a colour and relaxer on the same day. Get onto a hair care regime to ensure that your hair gets enough moisture which will help with the breaking. http://www.phrophro.com/bth will sort you out. Touch base with us in a month and let me know how you’re going.

  7. I have glycerin in my house but it says glycerin B.P. Is it still okay to use on my hair or is there a better alternative?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s