I must say the confusion in this thread is palpable!

I have an inner nerd, too, and it is unfortunately coupled with no scientific training. Oh, the inner conflict...! But here's my take, for what it's worth.

When cosmetics people speak of "water-binding agents," it seems that they often mean it in terms of how those substances interact with water -- in the formulation that's in the bottle. This is, of course, different from how those ingredients behave by themselves.

So, that being said, let's look at aloe versus humectants. According to Curl Chemist Tonya, a humectant is a substance that attracts moisture from the air (provided there is any to pull in). So, stuff like honey or agave or glycerine -- basically things that are sticky -- work on this principle. Aloe is a beast all its own because it doesn't depend on the environment to work. That's what I meant earlier when I said that aloe *is* moisture. Instead of pulling it from somewhere else, aloe is simply *it*.

But I'd love for a scientist to weigh in on this. Without talking about molecules. Cuz then I'm lost.

Also, I just want to add that aloe, humectants, and even silicones are "safe." They serve different purposes and every head has to decide for itself what it needs given the weather, genetic tendencies, and other products it's exposed to. A curly living in the desert would not likely choose to use humectants. A person in love with hot rollers might actually be a big fan of silicones. See what I'm saying? Nothing is good or bad -- it's just a question of what works for your particular head.

I've been giving KCCC a lot of thought lately, because it is such a weird combo of humectant and aloe. I've been wondering whether they balance each other out to make the product workable in a wider range of weather conditions. I'm new to KCCC and am still trying to figure it out. Maybe I'll start another post about that....
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
GELS: Fuzzy Duck, B5 Design, MGA Scultping, BRHG

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