Glycerin and our hair

8 Mar

I thought I would devote a post to glycerin and our hair.  Glycerin is a humectant meaning that it attracts water from the atmosphere to itself and thus to the hair.  In a humid environment, glycerin helps your hair attract and retain moisture.  If a bottle of glycerin is kept open, the glycerin will absorb water from the air and end up being 80% glycerin and 20% water.

When I first read about glycerin and its benefits for hair, I decided to try it.  I used Luster’s S-curl No Drip Activator.  Glycerin is the second ingredient in this product after water.  I must state that I used this product when I was about 6 or 7 week post relaxer when my new growth was becoming difficult to manage.  I found it very moisturising and it made my new growth very soft.

There are many other glycerin based products out there.  They are generally in the form of curl activators.  One that I regularly see in the supermarkets is Easy Waves Curl Activator Gel.  Glycerin is also found as an ingredient in conditioners and moisturisers.

You may remember curl activators as the products (along with oil sheen) we used years ago for curly perms / jheri curls!  A lot of women experienced great growth in those days of the perm.  Hair fundis attribute that growth to the high amounts of glycerin in the hair products we used to use at the time.

These days women buy glycerin based products or make their own.  I want to give this a try and see if I can make something better than what I can buy.  Home made concoctions include adding a bit of glycerin to your conditioners and moisturisers.  Another popular thing is to make spritzes in spray bottles (especially for those with natural hair).  Spritzes are generally made from glycerin, water, aloe vera juice, Rose water as well as essential oils and carrier oils.  The mixture is kept in spray bottles as this is easier to apply.  The glycerin most favoured is vegetable glycerin as this is not derived from animal sources.

One simple idea I am yet to try is to use a glycerin based product just before a shower.  The mist and steam of the shower will be attracted to the glycerin in the product and the heat will help it absorb into the hair.  Once out of the shower you can follow on with a bit of oil to keep that moisture in the hair.

For those with relaxed hair, the above products are difficult to use if you are wearing a straight style as your hair will revert and lose the style because of all the water and moisture.  If you re relaxed you can use these products when you wear a bun or a style that does not require your hair to be straight.


12 Responses to “Glycerin and our hair”

  1. Pattie 09 March, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    bgreat post. love glycerine too. when i was natural i would mix oil glycerin and water in a bottle and that was good for me.

    btw, wave nuveau (i did a review on it) is glycerine and water based, but it doesnt revert your hair, well if you use it sparingly.

    • Tendayi 09 March, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

      Thank you Pattie. Let me read your review. I haven’t used Wave Nouveau yet. I’m interested in that it doesnt revert the hair. That is a bonus.

      • Belle 28 March, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

        Hi Tendayi,

        I am only now reading this. I’m a lady living in Cape Town and am also on a hair journey, I’ve been interested in trying out Glycerine but have no idea where to find it, where can I get a bottle of the S-Curl product above?

      • Tendayi 28 March, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

        You can find glycerin in supermarkets (by the body lotions) as well as Clicks and Dischem. PicknPay has its own brand of glycerin. Its labelled ‘Vegetable Glycerin’.

        As for Scurl, in Capetown you can buy it at Station Cosmetics. They have shops in Belville, Claremont and Kuilsriver.

      • Belle 31 March, 2012 at 11:22 am #

        Thank You so much Tendayi, I found it. Can’t wait to try it out.

      • Tendayi 31 March, 2012 at 12:33 pm #

        welcome 🙂

  2. Carmen 05 April, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    HI Tendayi, thanks for the product info. Where did you purchase the SCurl no drip. Would like to give it a try. Lovies Carda

    • Tendayi 05 April, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

      You’re welcome:)

      I buy the Scurl in Clicks. What Ive noticed though is that its not available in all Clicks stores. I think you are more likely to find it in the bigger stores. I have bought it at Clicks Menlyn and Clicks Centurion.

      • Carda 05 April, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

        Hi Tendayi, will definately give it a try and give feedback.

  3. Nyah So-Young 24 March, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    I finally bought my s curl no drip here in Zim ku hairworld. it was $15 and I tried it out because of all the great reviews I had read. I can say this is super moisturising. My hair has never been this soft and Im 15 weeks post. thanks for the review. I love s curl no drip and this has become a staple of mine.


  1. Hair update – 8 weeks post relaxer « africanhairblog - 05 April, 2011

    […] twice a week and still adding castor oil and honey to my deep conditioners.  I am now using Scurl curl activator as a moisturiser more often to help with softening the new growth.  It really works for […]

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