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Old 05-09-2008, 04:58 PM   #1
 
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Default Humectants

Ok, so Jillipoo's post about finding the perfect balance got me to thinking about humectants and how my hair can be funny about them. With the humidity on the rise I find that whenever I use products with glycerin in them, my hair starts to expand as the day goes on and goes poofy on me.
I was also reading on of the curlchemist articles on humectants regarding this.
I think I'm going to try an experiment and try to cut back on products with humectants in them.
So I need some help here in identifying them.
I know glycerin, propylene glycol, sorbitol and honey are some. Are there any others I'm missing?
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:24 PM   #2
 
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I found this list somewhere on nc.com.

1,2,6 hexanetriol
Butylene Glycol
Dipropylene glycol
Glycerin
Hexylene Glycol
Panthenol
Phytantriol enhances moisture-retention, increases absorption of vitamins, panthenol, and amino acids into hair shaft, imparts gloss
Propylene glycol
Sodium PCA
Sorbitol
Triethylene glycol
Polyglyceryl sorbitol
Glucose
Fructose
Polydextrose
Potassium PCA
Urea
Hydrogenated Honey
Hyaluronic Acid
Inositol
Hexanediol beeswax
Hexanetriol Beeswax
Hydrolyzed Elastin
Hydrolyzed Collagen
Hydrolyzed Silk
Hydrolyzed Keratin
Erythritol
Capryl glycol
Isoceteth-(3-10, 20, 30)
Isolaureth-(3-10, 20, 30)
Laneth-(5-50)
Laureth-(1-30)
Steareth-(4-20)
Trideceth-(5-50)

I know! There's a lot.

Last edited by kerlydoo; 05-09-2008 at 05:26 PM. Reason: add humectants
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:43 PM   #3
 
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Glycerin is probably the main contender. Stuff like sorbitol might be further down on the list and used more as a stabilizer.

It's my thinking that humectants are more humect-y when they are in products that are left in, and not so much in rinse out stuff. I could be wrong of course, but that seems to be what happens to me. Stuff I leave in seems to have more of an effect in this capacity.

Things like honey are not much of a leave-in type of deal, so the effect might be less.
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:52 PM   #4
 
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almost everything has at least one of these items on it, it seems. I guess it's a matter of what is less humect-y and how far down the list, eh?
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Old 05-09-2008, 07:33 PM   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomygrrl View Post
almost everything has at least one of these items on it, it seems. I guess it's a matter of what is less humect-y and how far down the list, eh?
Yes, I think so. And it really is amazing how many products contain these ingredients. But then again, not really.

Msgiblet and I were recently chatting about this. We had both noticed that even certain conditioners with high moisture content (namely, Moisture Maniac) tended to make us frizzy. Now, I guess it's true that most of a conditioner gets rinsed out, but because most of us try to leave a wee bit in, it makes sense that some would still be in our hair even before we start applying styling products or leave-ins.

So, for those of us particularly sensitive to humectants like glycerin, I think even a conditioner with glycerin as a primary ingredient can cause problems. Far down on the list, okay. But not among the first three or four ingredients.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:35 AM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillipoo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boomygrrl View Post
almost everything has at least one of these items on it, it seems. I guess it's a matter of what is less humect-y and how far down the list, eh?
Yes, I think so. And it really is amazing how many products contain these ingredients. But then again, not really.

Msgiblet and I were recently chatting about this. We had both noticed that even certain conditioners with high moisture content (namely, Moisture Maniac) tended to make us frizzy. Now, I guess it's true that most of a conditioner gets rinsed out, but because most of us try to leave a wee bit in, it makes sense that some would still be in our hair even before we start applying styling products or leave-ins.

So, for those of us particularly sensitive to humectants like glycerin, I think even a conditioner with glycerin as a primary ingredient can cause problems. Far down on the list, okay. But not among the first three or four ingredients.
Thanks.
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Old 05-10-2008, 03:33 PM   #7
 
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Gosh, that's a long list! Well, I know glycerin and propylene glycol are the biggest poof causers for me so maybe I'll try to avoid those or keep them low on the list.
I can get frizzy from TIGI MM too and that has glycerin in it. I find that I can get poofy even with rinse out stuff that contains glycerin if it's too humid out.
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Old 05-11-2008, 03:07 AM   #8
 
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Edited due to a cyberstalker. Sorry, guys.

Last edited by Koukla72; 02-12-2009 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 05-11-2008, 09:14 AM   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Koukla72 View Post
I've been thinking about this lately, since I read these two articles by CurlyChemist about humectants. I know Propylene Glycol makes my hair curlier and only very lightly frizzy, rather than full-on poofy like for many of you, and I've been wondering if any other humectants would do the same thing for me but without the frizz. Especially since I live in Southern CA, where it's drier than back east, and my hair is dry from color processing. I just wonder if the Propylene Glycol is helping my poor dry hair get that extra moisture it need and that's why it curls more when that's high in the ingredients list. (Glycerine doesn't seem to do much of anything that I've noticed, but then again I tend to avoid products with it high in the list because of color fade.)

I've been tempted to mix some of the straight hyaluronic acid I have for skincare purposes into a leave-in conditioner or watery gel to see what happens since I saw it mentioned in the September article. I'm also really curious about the two new humectants she mentions, but I haven't come across any products with either of them yet. I don't suppose anybody knows of any conditioners, gels, or especially mousses with hydroxypropyl bis-hydroxyethyldimonium chloride or polyquaternium-71 high in the list? (the Curl Products section here no longer lets me search ingredients, darn it, and it's tedious work trying to check every product at Ulta or the drugstore. )
Interesting that you'd have different reactions to the different forms of glycerine. Guess that means they react differently in our hair. Great -- another variable to worry about!

As for searching, I have often had to just result to a plain old Google search to find products with certain ingredients. If you just type it into the search box, it will yield some ingredient lists.
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Old 05-15-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
 
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Edited due to a cyberstalker. Sorry, guys.

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Old 05-15-2008, 06:00 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukla72 View Post
Yeah, different humectants definitely seem to affect my hair differently, even if they're distantly related. Guess that means my PJ-ism must continue so I can test out every possibility, no matter how hard it is on me. I tried Googling those ingredients, but I only got a few products, none of them really quite what I'm looking for. A couple were body washes from Neutrogena, one was a gel-type thing from Got 2 B I've already tried and rejected, and the other was a curl spray from Zero Frizz with glycerin and amodimethicone above it on the list that I'm sure will make my waves too limp and possibly strip my color.

I think I'm going to try a version of Magoo's experiment too, to see what happens. I'm going to try to increase the amount of moisture my hair gets while I'm still in the shower or during a treatment before it, but once I'm out of the shower I'm going to try using styling products with as few humectants high in the ingredients list as possible. I've gone looking for gels and mousses that have my favorite fixative ingredients but few humectants and have come up with a few gel possibilities though no mousses yet. Hopefully that will help me deal with the warm marine layer we get around here in May and June and tide me over while I continue to play with my flaxseed gel recipe.
Koukla72, I am looking to do the same thing. What gels have you discovered that are alcohol-free with humectants very far down the list? (I just bought Paul Brown's Gelatine Goo but see that propylene glycol is, like, the second ingredient. Sheesh.) I'm using the Max Green gels and like them but they are not *perfect.*
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Old 05-15-2008, 06:29 PM   #12
 
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When I use the HEBE mousse that has propylene glycol as it's only humectant pretty far down the list of ingredients, my curls stay defined most of the day and don't go poofy on me. When I use the HEBE gel that has Laureth 4 very high up plus prop. glycol, I can get poofy if it's even a bit humid out.

Yesterday I added just a pea size amount of SheaM under the mousse and my curls held up pretty well. Today, being the PJ that I am I decided to use a bigger dollop of the SheaM under the mousse and got a bit poofy towards the end of the day. So I'm thinking I need to cut back or limit how many humectants I put in my hair.

I'm thinking this shouldn't dry out my hair as long as I condition very well while in the shower.
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Old 05-15-2008, 11:48 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magoo View Post
When I use the HEBE mousse that has propylene glycol as it's only humectant pretty far down the list of ingredients, my curls stay defined most of the day and don't go poofy on me. When I use the HEBE gel that has Laureth 4 very high up plus prop. glycol, I can get poofy if it's even a bit humid out.

Yesterday I added just a pea size amount of SheaM under the mousse and my curls held up pretty well. Today, being the PJ that I am I decided to use a bigger dollop of the SheaM under the mousse and got a bit poofy towards the end of the day. So I'm thinking I need to cut back or limit how many humectants I put in my hair.

I'm thinking this shouldn't dry out my hair as long as I condition very well while in the shower.
Interesting about the HEBE mousse versus gel. I have the gel and have never really been happy with it, for the reason you mention and also because it tends to prevent my curls from curling as they wish to.

Have you tried the Totally Twisted mousse or gel?
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3a and strictly CG since August 2007. Porous and on the fine side. No to magnesium sulfate and glycerin. Yes to protein! Favorites:
CO-WASHES: Suave Coconut
CONDITIONERS and LEAVE-INS: Mop Top Daily Conditioner, KBB Nectar, Aubrey GPB or Island Naturals, Robert Craig, Any Jessicurl
CURL ENHANCERS/CREMES/MOUSSES: KCCC, JoiWhip
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG


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