I have this love/hate relationship with glycerin. Lets start with some known things about glycerin.
-Glycerin is hygroscopic so it absorbs water from its surroundings.
-Glycerin is used for hair growth
-Glycerin can control frizzy hair and alleviate dry scalp
-Glycerin is great for strengthening natural AA hair
-Glycerin is likely to be a highly used ingredient in products
Sounds so good right? This product can’t be bad right? Hmm…
So in the beginning of my journey, it was winter and I used Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie religiously. Glycerin is like the 3rd or 4th ingredient. So it used to bother me how my hair would still be dry after DC-ing for sometimes more than an hour. I started branching out to other product because with the CD I’d have to moisturize 2x a day. Until spring came and it was a little better but I had limited its use by then. And what was weirder was that glycerin and water worked great in my NG.
So then I began thinking… If glycerin draws water from its surroundings it can’t pull water from hair because hair is dry (meaning protein), so it must pull it from the atmosphere. Winters in NY are brutal. They are cold and dry with low dew points (very important) and when you go in your home, heat is dry as well. So using glycerin will cause the hair to become drier due to atmosphere (there is no water to draw in so water is possibly drawn out) and break rather than stay moist. Moisturizers are not water so that doesn’t help much. Humidifiers help but not everyone wants to deal with moist air in their home. Spring and fall are better seasons as the weather is moist while summer is as extreme like winter just with higher temperatures.
When I use products high in glycerin in the winter, my hair is always drier and actually breaks more. I’ve come to the realization that unless I live south of 30 degrees Latitude I should just continue with products in which glycerin is in low amounts or not in the products. Glycerin is better for climates that aren’t as dry and without extreme seasons. For example, I would never recommend this product to someone who live in Florida as that sun is hot!!!! But in Georgia the weather is much pleasant and would work well there. If I live in Georgia, I know I’d love glycerin.
The truth is that unless on my NG, I can’t be bothered to check the weather forecast in order to use glycerin so I avoid its use in high amounts. As of right now, none of my products have glycerin and if they do, I am more than sure they are the last ingredients. It’s not that I hate glycerin, I just avoid its use due to my climate. It’s not a horrible product, but no one tells you it’s a little more complicated than it seems.
Glycerin on my skin, especially my face is great! Glycerin based face washes are great on my skin regardless of season. I can feel instantly when my face is dry. I have to use another body part to assess if my hair is dry…. Therefore I avoid glycerin at all costs.
One Day, It Will Happen