Re-post/Re-published with per­mis­sion from

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

Leila Noel­liste, 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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42 Comments on "Why It’s Okay to Use Glycerin In Winter"

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I see this is old but I just dis­cov­ered it and want­ed to thank you for this arti­cle. I just wish I’d seen it years ago as I’d been avoid­ing my glyc­erin prod­ucts dur­ing the win­ter, but from this point on I won’t. In fact, I’d start­ed to plan on using my glyc­erin con­tain­ing prod­ucts way more reg­u­lar­ly this sum­mer after I used a mois­tur­iz­er last week that gave me excel­lent results. I just won­dered WHY I’d wait­ed so long since high humid­i­ty had start­ed here about a month ago but live and learn I guess. Thanks again!

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?


[…] sent me this post, I came across this arti­cle on that also ref­er­enced Oyin: Why It’s Okay to Use Glyc­erin in the Win­ter! My hair isn’t real­ly a fan of glyc­erin. It makes it sticky and I find that I don’t […]


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 :-).


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.

Le Le

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…


I love glyc­erin but it’s so damn sticky! I hate how it feels when it gets on my skin.

Le Le

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.


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. 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.


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.


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’ll cosign as well. I just bought some glyc­erin today, here goes every­thing.…


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.


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


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).


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.


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.


ETA check out this lit­tle cutie pie with all of this gor­geous hair.

[imgcomment image[/img]


Source omg­cute­ba­bies


@Lili–yes i have expe­ri­enced that. I used SheaMois­ture products(which have glyc­erin as 1 of the top ingre­di­ents) to style my hair, and my hair was super shiny, coily, defined and boun­cy. It was my best twist out ever! the deep treatment’s top ingre­di­ents are
1- water
2- shea but­ter
3- argan oil
4- veg­etable glyc­erin

i used that with the restora­tive con­di­tion­er as leave-in


I’ve noticed that glyc­erin + water makes my hair boun­cy, which is one thing I love about glyc­erin. Has any­one else expe­ri­enced this?


[…] guys, I saw this arti­cle on BGLH and I thought it was inter­est­ing;…inter-is-okay/ __________________ First Big Chop 5/27/09 2nd Big Chop 9/11/2009 Tex­ture: 4a/4b My Blog: […]


Thank you for post­ing this! The sug­ges­tions make sense: apply pri­or to show­er, seal after­wards with oil. Thanks! :)


Not only do I live in the desert and love glyc­erin — I love it in the super dry win­ter too!

I think of glyc­erin & oth­er humec­tants as sponges. Once a sponge is com­plete­ly sat­u­rat­ed it can­not absorb any addi­tion­al liq­uid. As Oyin stat­ed, if glyc­erin is mixed or exposed to enough water, it will bind to the liq­uid and in turn bind the mois­ture to your hair (as opposed to pulling it from your strands).

Ms Sassy

I’m in the deep south and our cold isn’t real­ly what some would con­sid­er cold. I’m glad to see this because I was wor­ried about using my rose water/glycerin spray. I have been spray­ing it on to remoist my hair and it has been work­ing well thus far


I know right, I’m down south near Savannah,GA and it wont actu­al­ly get real­ly cold for us until prob­a­bly around Dec or Jan. and still then the temps are unpre­dictable.

Rhonda McKnight

Great infor­ma­tion. Thanks for shar­ing. My hair loves glyc­erin! Loves it.


This is why I don’t lis­ten to what peo­ple say, rather lis­ten to my hair.


Yay! Glad to read this way of apply­ing glyc­erin based products.…so if i want­ed to use my beloved Whipped pud­ding accord­ing, to this I should apply while hair is wet, then apply an oil to seal in??


thank you!! i was plan­ning on buy­ing one of their prod­ucts for a while but then I said let me wait and fin­ish prod­ucts I already have. Then i didn’t buy it because its becom­ing win­ter and of the whole humec­tant thing. Then I saw that you were sell­ing it and decid­ed that sup­port­ing a small busi­ness own­er is worth it. Now I’m dou­ble sat­is­fied with my pur­chase!


great advice! i read the arti­cle and the com­ments, because i was wor­ried about this too and hon­est­ly did­nt want to believe the myth any­way. There are too many good prod­ucts to waste just because of one ingre­di­ent. Crys­talJ, thanks for the advice! I will keep using it and change the ratio like you, that sounds smart.


Very use­ful and infor­ma­tive, and makes com­plete sense!


i use the burnt sug­ar pomade (a favorite of mine) and the hon­ey hemp year around with no prob­lems. i always apply my creamy leave ins before i step in the show­er. it def­i­nite­ly helps it to absorb bet­ter into my hair.

Knowl­edge is pow­er. I use Oyin Hon­ey Hemp (which con­tains glyc­erin) all year round with no prob­lems. Glyc­erin needs to be “fed” mois­ture in a sense so you just have to find the right ratio of water:glycerin dur­ing the dif­fer­ent sea­sons. If I use a glyc­erin spritz mix in the win­ter I make sure it’s a 2:2:1 (one part glyc­erin to every 2 parts water and 2 parts aloe vera); my sum­mer mix is usu­al­ly 1:1 (glyc­erin and water). Some peo­ples hair will hate glyc­erin no mat­ter what or how they use it, but for me it helps retain mois­ture in… Read more »

[…] This post was men­tioned on Twit­ter by Tyri­ka C Williams and La Chale, Black Girl Long Hair. Black Girl Long Hair said: The mak­ers of Oyin explain why glyc­erin doesn’t have to be off-lim­its in the win­ter time #nat­u­ral­hair […]


I am so glad they cleared up this myth. I live in Tuc­son, Ari­zona. One of the dri­est cli­mates in the U.S. and I use veg­etable glyc­erin year round in prod­ucts that also con­tain water. I have nev­er expe­ri­enced dry­ness as a result of using veg­etable glyc­erin.


That’s good to know, I’m in PHX. I was always afraid to use glyc­erin, because of the dry­ness here.


Thanks for clear­ing up the myth!


VERY good infor­ma­tion to have! i’m all about edu­ca­tion on things, so that was nice to know…i fig­ured putting it on BEFORE a show­er was a good idea, I did that with my hon­ey olive oil balm from qhemets, was fine. 


La Tina

Yea! So glad to see this arti­cle! I make my own mix which con­tains aloe vera juice (75%) and glyc­erin (25%), and I will mist this before step­ping into the show­er. Now, I now that for the win­ter, I can still do this, and just make sure to seal it in before step­ping out the house. This is def­i­nite­ly work try­ing.


God knows this has helped me tons! I was always afraid to use my glyc­erin or hon­ey laden prod­ucts dur­ing the cold months and would put them away with sad­ness until the spring and sum­mer. This clar­i­fi­ca­tion is just what I need­ed to pull out my beloved Burnt Sug­ar Pomade and Hon­ey Hemp again. Thanks for this post!