By Jc of The Natural Haven Bloom
For some, hair will always have a love hate relationship with humectants such as glycerine especially when the air is drier as happens in winter. There is no doubt about it, it can be very tricky to get the best result from glycerine even with ideal humidity. However, there are tiny little tweaks that can turn that frustration into a good result. Here are my tips:
1. Choose steam over direct water
Glycerine is very small in size and very soluble in water. Wetting hair is not the best way to help bind water to glycerine, more often than not, you will end up with damp hair and some of the glycerine that you want to stay on the surface of the hair will be washed away. Glycerine is very effective in high humidity (i.e where a large amount of water is in the air). Steam is humid air and will act to help the glycerine attach to water without necessarily wetting the hair. You do not need a steamer to do this. You can simply shower with your hair uncovered and let that steam work. At the gym, some yoga sessions are done at higher temperature and humidity and many will also have a steam sauna which you could use as well. Do note that if you are wearing a curly style or a set style (knot out/twist out), the combination of glycerine with steam is likely to cause frizz.
2. Cover your hair outside, Choose Compact Styles
In keeping with the principle of using humidity to keep glycerine bound to water, a simple step such as covering your hair with a hat, hood or scarf when going outside will make a remarkable difference to any humectant on hair. The hat acts as a barrier to the outside drier air.
Air conditioning in cars as well as many office buildings can also dry out the air. Keeping your hair in a compact style such as a bun (including putting twists/braids into a bun) will help to maintain humidity.
3. Use glycerine in a rinse out or deep conditioner instead of a leave in
If you are finding it difficult to use glycerine in a leave in conditioner, you can use it instead in a hair conditioner that you intend to rinse out. With frequent use , cowashing daily or every other day for example, your hair will maintain a high enough moisture level to allow the glycerine to work well. In principle, glycerine as a humectant will work best in leave in product rather than a rinse out but it is always best to respect your hair first and make adjustments to suit.
Side note : Don’t forget the oil
Although this article is about glycerine, it should be said that oil is an essential part in a moisturising routine. Once you have steamed up the glycerine in your leave in, do not forget to use a small amount of oil of your choice. This little layer will much like a hat or scarf, serve as a barrier to keep water on the surface of hair from evaporating.
Ladies, do you use glycerine in the winter time? What is your strategy?