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

Cleansers

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

Conditioners

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

Styling

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