Why It’s Okay to Use Glycerin In Winter


Re-post/Re-published with permission from OyinHandmade.com

We’ve been getting emails lately from people who are terrified of using glycerin-containing products during the winter. Apparently, there is a nasty rumor going around that products containing glyerin + winter weather, automatically equals dry hair. We actually addressed this issue about a year ago in episode 3 of our podcast, suggesting that using just before a [warm, steamy] shower was a great way to ‘winterize’ your use of humectant products. But just in case you missed it, here are some more bullet points to consider. :o)

1. Glycerin is a humectant, which means that it attracts moisture to itself. In a humid environment it helps your hair to attract and retain moisture.

2. In an environment with zero humidity (a desert climate) some worry that the glycerin can pull moisture out of your hair, because there’s none in the air and the hungry hungry glycerin wants some water, at any cost!!

3. All of our products which contain glycerin, also contain water. So there is water within the product available to the glycerin, and all of it helps your hair to remain hydrated. If you are using other glycerin-containing products or making your own, one thing to watch would be to ensure that they contain water as well.

4. To ‘winterize’ or ‘desert-friendly’ your use of humectants, one simple idea is to use the product before a shower. The mist and steam of the shower will be attracted to the glycerin in the products, and the heat will help it absorb into your cuticle. Then you can use an oil-based sealer to keep that moisture in when you go out into the harsh, harsh world.

5. In many climates, the winter is less humid than the summer, but this is not necessarily the case everywhere. Many oyin honeys have zero problems using our humectant sprays or other glycerin containing products throughout the year – the thing to watch is the humidity level, more so than the temperature. don’t assume you can’t use a product in the winter just because it contains glycerin – experiment with using it under different conditions and let your hair tell you what it likes! :o)

Ladies, do you use glycerin in the winter? Does this information inspire you to try winter-time glycerin?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...


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41 thoughts on “Why It’s Okay to Use Glycerin In Winter

  1. I brought some more glycerin from the natural food store and got it for a good price 16oz of “Now” Glycerin for $8.99 and I love it. Just mix it with my water and put either some coconut oil or jamican lock their oil mixture and I’m good to go for my hair.

  2. Great article, I’ve definitely avoided that myth and used glycerin a lot of times myself in the winter and I have hair on my head. But indeed the real key is to have water also present in the mix or else you are asking for trouble. And most certainly doing the steam effect really helps it seep into the hair shaft. I might have to just go make another batch of hair spritz now too.

  3. I never believed the “don’t use glycerin in winter” hype. I use products with glycerin (leave-in conditioner and spritz) all year round with no problems.

    P.S. I’m usually in NJ (home) or PA (university).

  4. thanks for clearing up this myth for people! i already see people talking about shelving glycerin for the winter.

    It really messed me up last year because my hair LOVES glycerin and I decided to avoid it and struggled with dry hair all winter. I was a new natural and it was pretty tough to deal with….I actually broke down and just used it before a shower and noticed a huge difference in moisture. I then checked online and saw my method confirmed! LOL

  5. I never used glycerin because I always thought it was “complicated”. I put it in the same category as apple cider vinegar. But I guess I should try it with this new information!

    • I thought the same thing but glycerin can be easy. I just squirted some in a spray bottle for 3 or 4 seconds then filled the rest of the bottle up with water. I never measured or made a science out of it, just squirt, add water, shake, spray. Hope that helps.

  6. This is helpful. I have noticed that my glycerin and water mix worked best when I sprayed it on my hair then went to the gym and later took a steamy shower. The next day my hair would feel great.

  7. Yes. The whole “glycerin = dry hair in the winter” theory is a myth. Just because pookies sister says something on the internet doesn’t make it true. Listen to your hair, not unsubstantiated opinion.

  8. I am happy to hear this, but the solutions outlined in the article wouldn’t work for everyone. I do my hair after wetting it while showering.

    • Yes! Fortunately, if you add more water (assuming you us any at all), it shouldn’t feel too sticky. I had to play around with the mixture 1 or 2 times to make it less sticky but also keeping the properties of glycerin water.

  9. I not only use vegetable glycerin on my hair year round, I use it all over, straight out of the bottle. If you think it feels sticky on your skin, you may want to try applying it while you are still a little wet from your bath/shower. Mixing a few drops into a squirt of lotion/oil or dollop of body cream/butter also works. Applied daily to dry elbows, knees, or feet, glycerin combats dryness and helps maintain smooth skin over time. I’m going to pick up some from Whole Foods next week :-).

    • Ew, I cannot use glycerin straight or without a bunch of water. I don’t know why, but I tried the whole mixing with baby oil and applying to wet skin, and it still felt a little icky (less sticky than by itself, but still sticky). I don’t know why. Maybe it’s my skin type or something. Hmm…

    • To have pretty feet you don’t have alawys gone to the salon. With a small amount of time and effort, now from your tips I can give myself a fabulous feet makeover because for the last two years my feet are going darker and darker, I have also cracked heel problem because I don’t have much time to do care.

  10. Pingback: Using Glycerin Effectively During Winter « hairscapades

  11. I personally don’t like mandy’s hair. I don’t think it does annihtyg for her face and it looks boring. I love bangs; I feel like you always have a “look” with them. Your hair down or up in a pony tail, it’s something trendy. I’m not sure about the blunt cut though. It really depends on your face shape. What about combining bangs with long layers?

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