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Old 01-04-2013, 08:32 AM   #1
 
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Default confused about humectants & anti-humectants

This week I've ever been CG in really low dews (mid to high teens), and I am noticing my hair feels a little dry and has a lot more surface frizz. My routine has been pretty simple: co-wash, followed by a richer rinse-out, then rake in leave-in and smooth/scrunch in gel. I have been using Garnier Fructis pure clean gel with great success, but now I notice two of the first three ingredients are humectants (sorbitol & glycerin). I tried sealing with argan oil (only oil I had on hand), and I think it made it a little better, but still not great.

I started looking for anti-humectant and glycerine-free products in the product reviews section of this site, but I'm a little confusedů many products are described as "anti-humectant," but still have humectants in them?

How does this all work? Can a product have humectants in it and still be anti-humectant overall?

(P.S. product recommendations for low dews are very welcome!)
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:38 PM   #2
 
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Oils are very good anti-humectants. I believe glycerin is the biggest humidity/no humidity offender, so when dews dip, I steer clear.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:14 AM   #3
 
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Thanks for the response!

So would you say glycerin is a worse offender than other humectants, like sorbitol, propylene glycol, panthenol etc.? I feel like these ingredients are in everything!

Every styler I own has glycerin in it, so it looks like I'm off to the stores today... dews are supposed to be in the teens and low 20s for the next five days.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:11 PM   #4
 
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I'd say yes, it can b the pits...
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
 
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I was also wondering about this...for example Cantu Shea Butter is listed as an anti-humectant product but it still has glycerin in it. Isn't that a contradiction? Would this still be a good product for me to use on the east coast during the winter?
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:28 AM   #6
 
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Kinky Curly Knot Today is a humectant free leave in. Kiss My Face Upper Management ( Kiss My Face, OHC, Upper Management, Styling Gel, Grapefruit, 8 fl oz (236 ml) - iHerb.com ) has only one humectant (pathenol) low in the ingredients list.

These products really saved my hair while temporarily living in an area where even during winter the dew point is 60 to 80.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:17 AM   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua_Lily View Post
Kinky Curly Knot Today is a humectant free leave in. Kiss My Face Upper Management ( Kiss My Face, OHC, Upper Management, Styling Gel, Grapefruit, 8 fl oz (236 ml) - iHerb.com ) has only one humectant (pathenol) low in the ingredients list.

These products really saved my hair while temporarily living in an area where even during winter the dew point is 60 to 80.
Ooh, this stuff looks perfect! And at a great price. I might have to try this... thanks Aqua_Lily for the recommendation!!
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:44 PM   #8
 
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So..."Can a product have humectants in it and still be anti-humectant overall?" I have a ton of products that contain humectants but are labeled anti-humectants. Can this be?
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:38 PM   #9
 
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Kiss My Face Upper Management has been reformulated, and is now heavy on humectants. (If anyone has any full bottles they'd like to unload at a reasonable price, please PM me.)
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:58 PM   #10
 
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I don't know anything about the science behind this, but for me the only humectant I really have issues with is glycerin. Other humectants are fine, especially if I use a really moisturizing RO and LI. I wonder if products are labeled as anti-humectants because they contain oils or something that seals the hair, even if they also have humectants in their formulation? Not sure about that one.
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My favorite brands are Kinky Curly, As I am, Curly Kinks, Curl Junkie, and Darcy's Botanicals. Also love sealing with oils (loving argan oil right now) and styling with jelly products (KCCC is my current favorite). Mostly trying to keep it simple!

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Old 03-04-2014, 09:39 PM   #11
 
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I live in Canada and I am having a really tough time finding products for the winter months. I love my Devacurl but the glycerin is soo drying. Suggestions for products would be wonderful!
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:13 AM   #12
 
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I believe that you are correct about the role of well conditioned hair in preventing frizz in low dew points, even with some humectants in almost all hair products. For me, that means using the baptismal / sprinkle rinse rather than rinsing away the bulk of the rinse out conditioner used. Doing that gives all parts of my hair the optimal amount of conditioner it of which it can make use.

Use of an appropriate amount of the right oil after styling and allowing the hair to complete drying by (ambient) air may frequently also help.
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Old 03-07-2014, 11:52 AM   #13
 
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I am also looking for an anti humectant styler and a lot of them labelled as anti humectant have glycerin in them (middle of list) or propylene glycol... So confused!
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:14 PM   #14
 
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I'm having the same problem and I'm going nuts! I am frizzy frizzy and I think it's the humectants but I can't find anything else to use without them in it! Granted, I have not used any oils. What is a good one to try? And would I put it on after my gel?


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Old 03-07-2014, 01:16 PM   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cally View Post
I am also looking for an anti humectant styler and a lot of them labelled as anti humectant have glycerin in them (middle of list) or propylene glycol... So confused!
If those "anti-humectant" products that still contain glycerin or propylene glycol have oils or butters or other occlusives higher in the ingredients list, the net effect could well be anti-humectant. The higher amount of oils /butters /occlusives would help mask some (perhaps all) of the drying effect from the humectants, if that makes sense.

Also, consider relative amounts of ingredients and whether the humectant is strong (glycerin, propylene glycol, some others) or weak (as with hydrolyzed proteins which have humectancy as a secondary attribute). Generally, the ingredients run from most to least in a product. So, humectants in the middle /near the bottom of the list should be less of an issue than humectants higher up. See here: THE NATURAL HAVEN: Why do the first five ingredients on a hair product matter?

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Originally Posted by curlylox25 View Post
I'm having the same problem and I'm going nuts! I am frizzy frizzy and I think it's the humectants but I can't find anything else to use without them in it! Granted, I have not used any oils. What is a good one to try? And would I put it on after my gel?

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I'm not sure what your hair properties are, but also consider more than just humectants as the culprit for frizz. For instance, fine haired curlies will often get soft but frizzy when they need a good protein boost. So the hair may look dry /frizzy /flyaway, when it's really overconditioned.

If using oils to "seal", most use a bit of one after their LI, but before gel. Every head of hair is different, and there are exceptions to every rule, but... Finer haired curlies get along better with a lighter oil, such as grapeseed or apricot kernel, while medium to coarse haired people can use heavier oils without getting weighed down or looking greasy. Some oils will penetrate the cuticle with enough time too; coconut and argan are two of these. So, depending on how long you go between washes, you might want to consider using a non-penetrating oil for sealing.

As far as gels which are truly humectant free, I was going to say Herbal Essences Totally Twisted and Aussie Instant Freeze, till I realized they both have Laureth-23 high in the list. I will say though, that I've used both in dews down into the teens and single digits (with LI underneath) without noticing any increased frizz.
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Winter Products/Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream, Cure Care
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C or Shea Cashmere, Cure Care
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Old 03-07-2014, 01:46 PM   #16
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aqua_Lily View Post
Kinky Curly Knot Today is a humectant free leave in. Kiss My Face Upper Management ( Kiss My Face, OHC, Upper Management, Styling Gel, Grapefruit, 8 fl oz (236 ml) - iHerb.com ) has only one humectant (pathenol) low in the ingredients list.

These products really saved my hair while temporarily living in an area where even during winter the dew point is 60 to 80.
this product is discontinued on iherb
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:26 PM   #17
 
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Thanks for the advice.
I was browsing through the hair care isle the other day and I saw some gels with alcohol in them, should I be avoiding that too?
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Old 03-07-2014, 08:30 PM   #18
 
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Fatty alcohols are fine, they help keep hair moisturized. Drying ones are not.

Some fatty alcohols:
Provide emollient effect, lubricity, emulsion stabilization:
  • Behenyl alcohol
  • Cetearyl alcohol
  • Cetyl alcohol
  • Isocetyl alcohol
  • Isostearyl alcohol
  • Lauryl alcohol
  • Myristyl alcohol
  • Stearyl alcohol
  • C30-50 Alcohols
  • Lanolin alcohol
Some drying alcohols:
Used a solvent, can be drying to the hair:
  • SD alcohol 40
  • Witch hazel
  • Isopropanol
  • Ethanol
  • Alcohol Denat. (Denatured Alcohol)
  • Isopropyl alcohol
ETA: Handy reference page, though not all inclusive is here: Ingredients Commonly Found in Hair-Care Products
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Winter Products/Routine:
Clarifying: ACV rinses, Suave Professional Men Deep Clean Peppermint
Low Poo: Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil
Co-washes: VO5 Kiwi Lime Squeeze or Strawberries & Cream, Cure Care
RO: VO5 KLS or S&C or Shea Cashmere, Cure Care
LI (if needed): VO5 S&C or Renpure Luxurious Argan Oil (old formula)
Styler: HETT
PT: IAGirl's (every 2 weeks or as needed)

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Old 03-17-2014, 06:49 PM   #19
 
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In short:

low dews (<40):
-no humectants
-less stylers/stylers with less hold
-more moisture/conditioner

moderate dews (40-60)
-humectants
-moderate amount of stylers and conditioner

high dews (60+)
-no humectants
-more stylers/stylers with more hold
-less moisture/conditoner
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Pre-poo: coconut oil
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dislikes: glycerin in low dews, scissor happy stylists, magnesium sulfate

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Old 03-17-2014, 07:01 PM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etos View Post
In short:
high dews (60+)
-no humectants
-more stylers
-less moisture/conditoner
I knew about no humectants but not more styler and less moisture/conditioner, please elaborate. I live with year round high dews and this May help me figure why my hair looks awful all the time despite following the 'rules'.
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Last edited by Wavygirl1; 03-17-2014 at 07:07 PM.
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