Not only does glycerin add a kick to curls, but it also helps to smooth and coat the hair shaft.
“Shampoos can be a little bit dry and the glycerin acts kind of like a buffer,” Coulton explains.
Still, Coulton reminds curlies there are several factors that affect the way your locks are affected by glycerin.
“If you use it and you’re in a super dry climate, it will pull moisture — not from the air, but from your hair — so you have to be careful,” Coulton says. “If you’re going to use it, it needs to be in combination with other moisturizing ingredients — maybe some oils and water — so even if you’re in that dry climate, it doesn’t have a drying effect on your hair.”
Glycerin is one of those ingredients that plays well with others and can also fairly easily be compounded in most products, according to Davis. “Other ingredients may not be as stable or easily formulated into a product,” he says.
Dr. Ali D. Ghannad, vice president of research and development for Farouk Systems agrees. “If I have a product that is thick and I need to put something to decrease the viscosity or thickness, I may use glycerin because it doesn’t hurt my product but helps by being moisturizing,” Ghannad says. “If you use too much, though, your hair becomes tacky or sticky.”
In fact, Coulton cautions curlies not to run out and buy glycerin to tame their tresses.
“Even if you have thick hair, don’t put glycerin on straight,” Coulton says. “You want to look for it in your products, but you’ll have to try different ones to see that the amounts are right for your hair type.”
A Sampling of Products Containing Glycerin
Wen by Chaz Dean Fig Cleansing Conditioner Curl Junkie Chamomile & Jasmine Conditioning Shampoo Cutler Daily Shampoo Jessicurl Hair Cleansing Cream Mop Top Gentle Clarifying Shampoo MyHoneyChild Jamaica Island Scalp Cleanser
Blended Beauty Curl Quenching Conditioner Curl Junkie Give 'em Slip! Instant Conditioner Curl Junkie Intense Protection Leave-In Conditioner Curl Friends Nourish Rinse-out Conditioner Cutler Daily Conditioner DevaCare One Condition Miss Jessie's Curly Buttercreme Mop Top Daily Conditioner MyHoneyChild Coconut Hair Milk Oyin Honey-Hemp Conditioner CurlFriends Replenish Leave-in Conditioner Curly Hair Solutions Silk Leave-in Conditioner Devacurl B' Leave-In Hamadi Shea Leave-in Mixed Chick Leave-in Conditioner
Curly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper AG Re:coil Blended Beauty Curly Frizz Pudding Blended Beauty Styling Lotion Curl Junkie CoffeeCoco Curl Creme Curl Junkie Curl Fuel Curl Junkie Curly Boost Cutler Curling Cream Cutler Specialist Protectant Treatment Spray Cutler Straightening Cream DevaCare Arc Angell DevaCare Set It Free Hamadi Shea Hair Cream Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding Miss Jessie's Curly Meringue Mop Top Anti-Frizz Gel Ojon Animated Styling Cream Oyin Shine and Define Styling Serum Hair Rules Kinky Curling Cream Hair Rules Wavy Mousse Hair Rules Hydrating Finishing Cream