The Finest Solution for Your Strands: Glycerin For Hair
Glycerin is a colourless, water soluble liquid and is one of the best natural humectants i.e., it can draw moisture from the air towards your hair and scalp. This makes it an effective ingredient to be used in different hair products. Glycerin is a conditioning alcohol and can be derived from animal products, petroleum and plants. It is mainly obtained from coconut oil and palm oils. There are a lot of benefits of glycerin for skin and hair.
Glycerin and its Types
Glycerin can be found in seaweed, higher plants and animals. In humans, it gathers subcutaneously in the form of lipids. There are 2 types of glycerin:
- Natural glycerin: Natural glycerin is derived from oils and fats. Coconut and palm oil are some of the sources. To get natural glycerin the first step is to get crude glycerin. This is produced by refining and condensing an aqueous solution obtained by hydrolysis of oils and fats. This is further distilled and refined to obtain the finished product.
- Synthetic glycerin: This is derived from petroleum and the starting material is epichlorohydrin. This glycerin for hair is generally not preferred.
A further differentiation between the types of glycerin could be
- Vegetable glycerin: This is essentially obtained from soyabean, shea butter and coconut oil and is frequently used in the food and beverage industry. This is used in the cosmetic industry too, as it is very hydrating and contributes to skin health. Vegetable glycerin for hair is one of the most popular remedies.
- Animal derived glycerin: This is obtained from animal fat and is not harmful but for the fact that some people might have a problem with animal derivatives.
Glycerin is vulnerable to oxidation and once it decomposes, it can turn yellow. If it is stored under lower temperatures this process can be delayed. If heated to 38-49 degrees centigrade it can be kept in the liquid state for use without oxidising it. The grade and source of glycerin are crucial to its degradation. Due to the wide range of available sources the level of impurities vary. The lesser amount of nitrogen present in vegetable based glycerin helps delay the process of discoloration.
Increasing the temperature enhances the dispersion of the pigments of glycerin or water solutions. This is the advantage that better grades of vegetable based glycerins have, as there is no minimum temperature mandated to avoid degradation.
Benefits of Using Glycerin for Hair
Glycerin is used as an ingredient in many hair care products and hair masks. This is because it has excellent properties that help in the regeneration and repair of skin cells. It is used in shampoos, serums and conditioners among other things. It is also used in the production of herbal products and has very strong antimicrobial qualities which help in fighting infections.
It is transparent and smooth and that makes it a perfect base to create moisturising products. Glycerin is used to dissolve oils and can be used as an emulsifier to blend together different oils for a formulation. Let us look at the benefits of glycerin for hair.
- Moisturises and hydrates: It is one of the best humectants and improves the moisture levels of the scalp. Glycerin also helps condition the hair to reduce dryness and breakage. This is one of the potent glycerin uses for hair.
- Prevents splitting of hair: Splitting of hair happens due to the dryness and fraying of hair ends. Glycerin helps hydrate the hair, keeps the shaft stable and nourishes it from within to prevent split ends. This will help you grow longer hair. Glycerin thickens hair.
- Remedy for an itchy scalp: Glycerin has excellent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that reduce itchiness in the scalp. This makes glycerin good for hair in a very effective way.
- Prevent dandruff: Glycerin For dandruff is a popular form of treatment as the solution for dandruff lies in cleansing and hydrating hair. The hair mask can help prevent or remove dandruff.
- Deep conditioning: It can be very useful in conditioning the hair to make it soft. Glycerin can also be mixed with a conditioner to help lock in moisture into your strands. It has a high boiling point and thick viscosity and this helps define curls, this is why many use glycerin for frizzy hair. The glycerin conditioner can assist in maintaining bouncy locks.
- Repairs hair damage: Glycerin helps repair damaged hair which is the result of exposure to pollution, harmful chemicals or heat styling tools. The moisturising and conditioning keep the hair roots nourished and healthy and that is why people use glycerin for hair growth.
Ways to Use Glycerin for Hair
When used in its natural form glycerin is one of the best products to solve all your hair issues. It could be used in combination with other ingredients to bring in a host of benefits for your tresses.
- Glycerin rose water hair spray: Add half a cup of water and half a cup of rose water to 2 tablespoons of glycerin. Add a few drops of your chosen essential oil to it. Mix this thoroughly and use it as a light spray for your damp hair after you take a shower. Make glycerin for hair your chosen spray and use it in this way.
- Olive oil, glycerin and honey hair mask: Add a tablespoon each of olive oil and honey to a tablespoon of glycerin. Olive oil for hair helps control the amount of moisture absorbed by your hair and prevents swelling and damage while the moisturising properties of honey add softness and gloss to your hair.
- Glycerin and coconut oil: Coconut oil is an excellent hair conditioner and contributes immensely to the strength of your strands. Glycerin and coconut oil for hair is a very good combination. Virgin coconut oil is full of the goodness of vitamins and fatty acids and has antimicrobial effects. Add coconut oil and glycerin in a 1:1 proportion to a cup of water and use it as a hair spray.
- Castor oil, glycerin and egg hair mask: Castor oil is very effective in making hair thick and strong. Add 2 tablespoons of castor oil and a raw egg to 3 tablespoons of glycerin. Mix this well and let it remain for half an hour before washing it off. Glycerin for hair is very effective when used in this way.
- Glycerin and aloe vera gel: Add 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel to a tablespoon of glycerin. Massage well for a couple of minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. This is good for hair thinning issues.
- Rosemary oil and glycerin hair spray: Add 2 tablespoons of
glycerin and a few drops of rosemary essential oil to 2 cups of water and mix thoroughly. Spray this mixture all over your hair and comb with a wide toothed comb to spread evenly. Wash off after an hour with no shampoo. Do this 2-3 times a week for best results. The combination of rosemary and glycerin for hair will help improve hair growth as well as solve hair fall issues if any.
- Glycerin, olive oil, honey, castor oil, coconut oil and egg mask: This is one of the potent remedies for dry and damaged hair and provides wholesome nourishment with a range of beneficial nutrients for hair. Mix 2 tablespoons each of olive, castor and coconut oil with 1 whole egg, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon of glycerin to a good consistency. Apply this all over the hair and scalp. Wash it off after an hour with a mild shampoo.
When Should You Not Use Glycerin for Hair?
Despite its many beneficial properties, there are certain ground rules when it comes to using glycerin for hair.
- Do not use synthetic glycerin on your hair as the starting material epichlorohydrin has been categorised as a carcinogen. While superficially it may provide the same benefits as natural glycerin, there are also a number of side effects.
- It should be ideally used in areas of moderate humidity and not high humidity. This is because if the weather is very hot and humid it will absorb the moisture from the air and cause your hair to swell and make it frizzy. On the other hand, in very dry areas it will draw out water from the hair itself and dehydrate and damage it.
- Use minimal amounts of glycerin or use it in combination with a protective moisturiser in case you are using it for any heat treatment on your strands. This is because glycerin transfers heat to the hair very easily. This heats up the water in the shaft and causes breakage.
- If you have recently coloured your hair, you should exercise caution while applying glycerin as it is capable of absorbing dye molecules floating near your hair. The cuticles of freshly coloured hair may not be completely sealed allowing the glycerin to absorb the colorant molecules. It is however safe to use after the first wash as the cuticles would have been sealed by that time.
Temporary dyes are however extremely vulnerable to fading brought on by glycerin. This is because, being extremely large by nature, they do not go inside the cuticle but stay near the exterior of the hair shaft. They can therefore be easily dissolved by the glycerin.
- Do not use glycerin in its pure form as its extreme hygroscopic quality, that makes it absorb water from its immediate surroundings, will cause blisters on your skin. It needs to be diluted before it is applied or it will even draw water from the interior of your hair. A good addition could be aloe vera as it is packed with the goodness of enzymes, amino acids and other nutrients for your hair shaft. The diluted combination of rosewater and glycerin for hair is also another possible option which could be used to treat your hair.
- Glycerin on hair side effects can be seen if it is used on cracked and broken skin as it will make the hair sticky and greasy.
Glycerin is widely considered the most effective humectant and is used for the treatment of skin issues as well. One of its biggest advantages is that it can be used regardless of scalp or hair type and this makes the presence of glycerin in hair products a common phenomenon. But one has to be cautious of using glycerin based products as they frequently combine chemicals like parabens, sulphates and formaldehydes, which damage your hair and add to its dryness.
Deep conditioning your hair once a week with glycerin shampoo can help improve the quality of your hair significantly. Consistent usage supplemented by a healthy diet and lifestyle will produce good results. For more suggestions on the use of glycerin for hair, do visit us at Traya and we will make your journey towards healthy hair faster and more convenient.
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