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65 Comments

  1. Very helpful. We moved from Phoenix to Las Cruces a year ago. OMG what a difference in my curly hair. It is very dry here so I have only recently found a good hairdresser that can cut curls and she has an Aveda shop. I use a combination of Aveda for my curls but I change them around depending on the weather.

  2. Very useful as I try to figure out which Jessicurl products I like and why things seem different now that the fall has come. Note that some Jessicurl products have glycerine. Spiralicious does not and it’s my favorite! The half and half pic of you is very informative. I have often looked like the much-less-curly side!

  3. What do you recommend now that Aussie Instant Freeze gel changed their formula and now contains glycerin? I live in a very dry climate so glycerin dries my hair out even more. Thanks.

  4. I’m new to all this and struggling to figure out what products I need. I think I have medium to high porosity hair. I live in a dry climate and will be swimming in chlorine. Are those the main factors I need to keep in mind when shopping for products? If so, what products do you recommend for that combination?

  5. Dilushani says:

    Such a useful article about Glycerin. Should I be paying just as much attention to products that list Aloe near the top of the INCI? So many natural CG lines use aloe in it. Thanks

  6. Dana O'Connor says:

    I clicked on your Jessi curl link because you said they are all glycerin free miltiple times in the article. The first product I click on has glycerin. I’m having such a hard time finding glycerine free products for my humid/high dew point environment.

  7. What is a good humectant free deep conditioner for fine hair?

    1. Google, or check out your favourite brands or websites and check the ingredients

  8. Hello!

    Loved all the information you provide in this article.
    I’m curious to see what your view is (or experience is) with Castile soap. I’ve been using it for a while and I’m happy with the way it cleans my hair, but I’m looking to get my hair back to its original curl!!
    (Medications have pulled the curls right out of my head!)

    Thanks!

    1. I would not clean my hair with soap.

  9. Does glycerin matter in a co-wash?
    I live in a high humidity area (80% humidity), but I’d like to try the As I Am coconut co-wash, which contains glycerin. Thanks!!

    1. Personally I don’t think so, because you’re rinsing it out and it’s not staying in your hair for long. Unlike styling products.

  10. So the article talks about when to use glycerin based products, in that goldilocks range. I’m wondering if anti-humectant products also have an optimal range? Obviously it seems they work well when the dew point is too high or too low. But do these anti-humectant products also work well when the dew point is in the middle? Because if they do, wouldn’t it just be easier to use these anti-humectant problems anytime?

    1. No, humectant free products work best when the dew points and humidity are in the extremes, either low or high. For when they’re in the middle, that’s the sweet spot when using humectants can work really well for the hair.

  11. Hi Gabriella, thank you so much for this post! I’m wondering does glycerin in shampoo really matter as it’s water soluable? I’m curious as I’m currently switching to zero waste as much as possible and I’ve found 2 curly girl friendly ‘shampoo’ bars I’d like to try. One of them has amazing reviews but glycerin is listed in the ingredients which is putting me off a small bit. My conditioner and styling products don’t contain any. Your advice would be greatly appreciated and thank you so much for reading 🙂

    1. Hi Karen, I wouldn’t worry about glycerin in your cleansing and conditioning products as you’re going to rinse them out. It’s more so in your styling products.

      1. Karen O'Connor Desmond says:

        Hi Gabriella! Thank you so much for your advice!

  12. I don’t know if anyone else has said this, but if the dewpoint is really low you need to go glycerin free too. Your hair searchers for the water because it’s so dry.
    I live in the desert, in the summer I have to change my products, then during monsoon season it’s hit or miss, in the winter I need glycerin.
    This year I can’t remember what conditioner I used last year and nothing I’ve tried so far has given me great results. I’ll search out some of your suggestions, I have chronic migraines so I can’t use products with much of a scent that limits me.
    Your hair is beautiful. I seem to always have some frizz and can’t get larger clumps, but I still love my hair so much more than I used to.

    1. Yes I did say that in the post. If the dew points are too high, or too low, then glycerin free is the way to go.

  13. I have low porosity 2A/B/C hair and am currently dealing with bad moisture overload after using SheaMoaiture’s Low porosity shampoo all over my hair before conditioning. My hair is fragile, limp, sticky, stringy, tangly, frizzy, and takes a very long time to dry. I have read your protein moisture balance post and watched the video. I live in North Texas where it stays humid a lot of the time but especially in spring and summer. I have done two gelatin treatments this week using Marisa Curls recipe that I found on Swavy Curly Courtney’s youtube which calls for Shea Moisture’s Manuka Honey and Yogurt protein treatment, which I am now realizing has quite a bit of humectant. My hair is a bit better, but still has a long way to go and I believe it has too many humectants at this point (even worse for moisture overload). My normal wash routine includes AsIAm Olive Oil and Tea Tree shampoo for my dry scalp (root only), AsIAm Coconut CoWash, and Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioner (not many humectants & normally beautiful hair but also no protein so not helpful for moisture overload). The shampoo I use when I need protein is DevaCurl Low-Poo Delight Weightless Waves Mild Lather Cleanser and I have also been using the ApHogee Intensive 2 Minute Keratin Reconstructor (not the protein treatment) as my conditioner. My hair still needs some serious help. It seems that most protein treatments also heavier on humectants and I am lost on what to do at this point. Any recommendations would be appreciated!

    1. Hi Jasmin, So I don’t recommend ANY Shea Moisture products, for all the reasons you’ve listed. It’s not good for your hair and will lead to damage. I recommend reading my Protein Moisture Balance post, with a corresponding YouTube video here: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/protein-moisture-balance/ You are using too many moisturising products: As I Am Co Wash, Matrix Biolage Hydrasource Conditioenr etc. You’re also using the wrong Aphogee product, you need the Protein one, not the Keratin one. I also recommend my Modified Rice Water rinse here: https://staging3.curlmaven.ie/my-rice-water-rinse-routine-results/ Alternatively, you can book in for a 1:1 Curl Clinic with me, it’s a 30 min consultation via video where we go through all the issues your experiencing, and then build a routine and recommend products to suit your hair’s needs, your budget and any other requirements you have. Fill out this form: http://www.curlycailin.ie/contact if you’d like more information, and I’ll get back to you via email.

  14. Michele Wilson says:

    I live in Ontario Canada. Which season would you suggest would be the best to use glycerin in my spray bottle along with a conditioner?

    Thank you so much in advance!!

    1. Check your humidity and dew points. Avoid glycerin when its very low or very high, if you don’t want big hair with lots of volume.

  15. Something that I notice is that aloe barbadensis and other humectants sometimes draw more moisture into my hair and the results are frizzier than glycerin.
    Also, do you recommend a dupe for Moptop custard without glycerin? I get the best results with that product but can only use it when I am 100 percent sure it’s not going to rain or when I don’t have a big event coming up.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Claudia, the only similar product to MopTop custard with no glycerin is Kinky Curly Curling Custard. Hope that helps x

  16. Hi Gabriella, I am about 2 months into a curly girl journey and I have found your website so brilliant! I have learnt loads from it. I live in the UK and I’m struggling a bit with managing frizz in rainy weather. I realised I have been using products with glycerin in…but technically it shouldn’t matter as dew points are mid range. Would you recommend glycerin free for rainy weather in spite of the dew points?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Susie, thanks so much for your kind words. It depends on the humidity. If its really rainy, I tend to avoid glycerin, or at least in my final styling product which is usually gel. Hope that helps x

      1. It’s been peeing down with rain over the last few days here! Have purchased Aussie Instant Freeze Gel and Jessicurls (Confident Coils) on your recommendation and will be trying them this week. Fingers crossed!

  17. Thank you so much for posting this. I live in central Canada and it is so dry here in the winter and so humid in the summer. My curls have gone from 3b to 2b and I’ve been in despair about it for 4 yrs…I thought it was from having kids but I think it’s a combo of falling off my CGM and hormonal changes.
    I definitely need 2 different methods for our climate here so again, thank you for making this easier to understand. I’ve been using glycerine products and my hair is a Mess no matter what I do.

  18. Was looking into the Matrix conditioner and GVP balm and saw that both have glycerin on their ingredient lists. Have they changed their formulas or is the glycerin content low enough to not have much impact?

  19. Racquelle Pilon says:

    I’ve appreciate finding your blog and this post. Just starting the curly girl method and have had some stops and starts. My hair doesn’t seem to like glycerin at all, not matter what the weather. When I use products with glycerin, my hair VERY easily feels loaded up and covered with stuff. It seems a bit is ok when my hair is straight but not curly. My best hair day so far was with Herbal Essence Set Me Up gel; that I can use a ton of and my curls were clumped, soft/swing and just felt completely free of product. Love your thoughts and input.

  20. Can you give some examples or ranges of humidity or dew points where my hair would be drier than the air or when the air would be drier than my hair?

  21. Amazing post- thank you! Quick question about glycerin- my hair is prone to over-moisturizing and needing protein. How can glycerin impact this balance? I live in a more humid climate so I’m wondering if I should avoid glycerin as much as possible?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Yes you need to be careful with glycerin if your hair is prone to getting over moisturised, as it is a humectant and very moisturising. Again, it depends on what kind of climate/weather you live in. But I would suggest staying away from products that have high quantities of glycerin.

  22. Holly Robinson says:

    I am so grateful for this kind of information. I am new to this having been CG for a month. I am still trying to find products and balance for my very thin, fine 2C/3A hair. To make sure that I understand, I live in north Texas and for example, today our temperature is 100 degrees, our dew point is 67 and our humidity is 34. My short (chin length) hair has a looser curl than normal and is frizzy. Today was wash day and I used DevaCurl Delight, Olaplex 3 treatment, Moroccan Oil volume shampoo then a light leave in conditioner. I used DevaCurl B’Leave-in. I would love any suggestions or advice. Thanks!!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Holly, I’m not sure why you’ve used two shampoo’s: Deva Curl Delight and Moroccan Oil Shampoo (which I’m not sure if that’s CG). Deva Curl B’Leave In isn’t a leave in conditioner, it’s actually a styling product and it’s got a LOT of glycerin in, which may be causing the frizz. It’s all about trial and error, experiementing and seeing what works and what doesn’t and taking it from there. Hope that helps x

  23. Brittania Sorgdrager says:

    I live in Minnesota, USA. Very humid summers but the temps in the winter are any where between 30 degrees above 0 and 50 BELOW zero. So what should I use. I was going to go with Jessicurl, maybe for summer months and then what after that.

    Thanks much

    1. Gabriella says:

      I find Jessicurl is great for both summer and winter, as glycerin is just as tricky in the cold, as it is in the heat. All thanks to glycerin. You may find you need a more hydrating deep conditioner during the winter, depending on your hair, central heating, weather etc.

  24. Thank you so much for explaining glycerin! You made it easy to understand. I have been examining ingredients on drugstore rinse-out conditioners for under $12 per 8oz – it seems all of them have glycerin! So I was wondering….do you think it is OK to use a rinse-out conditioner that has glycerin when the dew point is high, since it is rinsed out via the squish to condish method? Maybe I need to just make sure my styling products don’t have glycerin, since they stay in my hair? I really hope there are some products I can use to help my hair look better while staying in budget…

    1. Gabriella says:

      Yes, I think that’s okay. So long as your styling products don’t have glycerin in them, if that’s what you’re looking for. Aussie Instant Freeze Gel is a fantastic budget friendly glycerin free styling product!

  25. Lonna Edwards says:

    Many of the products listed here actually do have glycerin. I think formulas change often in the US. So frustrating! The As I am and Jessicurl (most) have added it now.

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hmm….only 2 of the Jessicurl styling products have glycerin, the formula is the same in the UK as they are in the US. I listed both glycerin and glycerin-free products in this post. But you can check the ingredients lists of the products you have, because glycerin is very clearly listed, as just “glycerin”. Hope that helps xoxo

    2. Jacqueline says:

      Yup, same thing I experienced when I went looking! Ugh. The Jessicurl products recommended for my fine wavy hair have glycerin… it must be lightweight compared to other options so it doesn’t weigh down the hair.

      Thank you Gabriella for the post. It least it explains why my curls always look terrible, I live in the desert. But whenever I travel my hair has life… I need to move LOL I’m literally working on it (moving)

  26. OMG. Thank you, a million times thank you. I read this post a few weeks ago, when my hair was doing all the things I wanted it to do. I was using protien rich products, which have been amazing for my hair. But then somewhere at the end of April the mid-Atlantic spring/summer/winter2/summer kicked in and my hair was awful. I dealt with it for a week until it suddenly dawned on me: Glycerin! So I checked all the ingredients, and all but 1 had glycerin as its second or third ingredient. Made the change to glycerin-free and bam my curls came back in a few days/washes!

    tl;dr thank you for this post, it helped me realize why my curls were failing with the weather change!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Oh my goodness, yes that’s a lot of Glycerin! Which I’m guessing was leading to lots of big, poofy, frizzy hair too! I’m so glad you found the post helpful and it helped you figure out what was going on so you could make the necessary adjustments and live your best curly life again. xoxo

  27. What percentage should I be looking for to know when not to use glycerin products!?

    1. Gabriella says:

      Goodness, ain’t no one got time to be determining percentages of glycerin in products. The higher up in the ingredients list, the more of that ingredient there is. In general, once it’s not in the top 5 ingredients, you could be okay to use it in environments that aren’t great for using glycerin products. But my advice would be to go completely glycerin-free if you can, and that’s an issue for you. Hope that helps!

      1. I was thinking this question was referring to the percentage of humidity in the air maybe? At what percentage humidity should we use or not use glycerin? I live in Ohio so the humidity is always different depending on the day/season.

  28. I have been looking everywhere for Humectant free products because I think it has been the cause of my serious frizz the minute i step outdoors.

    I have read hundreds of articles and find your site really useful but everything I read is all very conflicting. For example you have said that you love Jessicurl but Glycerine is the second ingredient in Rockin’ Ringlets. Most of the As I am styling products also contain Glycerine or another humectants.

    Then there is Kinky Curls which doesn’t seem to contain Glycerine but their ingredient list doesn’t contain water, which make me think it isn’t a complete list or in order of volume.

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Hi Erika, thank you, and sorry if you found the post confusing. Not all Jessicurl products are glycerin free, my apologies. However, some of them are. And Aussie Instant Freeze Gel for example. It’s a case of having to look through the ingredients in each of your products, this post is to help you understand glycerin, humectants and the environment.

  29. I’m grateful you wrote this post! And though it is probably clear for most I sometimes have a hard time tracking on things like this; thus, I just want to make sure I understand!

    Hair drier, draw moisture FROM air TO hair = use glycerin (typically moderate humidity)

    Hair more moist, draw moisture TO air FROM hair (dry climate, low humidity/dew pt AND in high humid/dew pt climates) = do not use glycerin

    Do I have this backwards? Is this too basic of an understanding if I do understand?
    Thank you!

    1. Gabriella says:

      Yes, it’s a bit of a confusing way to think of it, but if that’s how it makes sense to you and it works then go for it. But you’ve got it right yes.

  30. Very well written article. Will keep these in mind. Thank you very much..

  31. Lucy Coogan says:

    This is really useful thank you Gabriella! I’ve been following the CG method for quite sometime now and although I have seen definite improvements I still don’t think I’ve “nailed it”! I have low porosity 2b and 2c curls – frizz is still an issue especially on day 2/3 hair and so far a solution has eluded me. Reading your article about glycerin led me to check my hair products and 90% of them have it listed in the first few ingredients. I live in the UK and the weather seems to fluctuate daily, it’s made me seriously consider whether glycerin is doing me any favours… In your opinion would it better to switch my shampoo and conditioner or styling products to glycerin free versions? I was leaning more towards the styling products (mainly because Christmas is right on the door step and I need to save my pennies for that! )

  32. This is so helpful, thank you!

  33. I’ve been looking everywhere for somewhere to buy the US brands that doesn’t cost a fortune! Thank you for the link to Naturalistics!

    1. Gabriella says:

      You’re welcome!! Enjoy, and please spend responsibly! Iknow how easy it is to get carried away just because all these brands are now within your grasp! ha ha! Gabriella xoxo

    2. Hi! If the glycerin is in the the deep conditioner I use the results would be the same? I live in a very humid environment and none of my styling products have glycerin, but my deep conditioners do….
      So my frizz is because of that isn’t it?

      1. Gabriella says:

        Are you completely rinsing out your deep conditioners Ruby? Frizz can be caused by lots of things. Product build up, for example – when was the last time you clarified? Different application techniques when applying your styling products can also minimise frizz. For example, raking, using a Denman brush etc.

        1. Hi!! Thank you for answering 🙂
          Maybe I’m doing more than one thing wrong…
          I’m just learning about clarifying so I think it could be build up.
          I changed almost every product I have for none glycerin ones and it’s worked pretty well so far. But I’m also looking for techniques to clarify with what I can find where I live… Here in my country it’s a little hard to find good CGM products…

          1. Gabriella says:

            If you look at the “Where I Shop” section on my site (in the side bar or top left hand menu on desktop or keep scrolling to the end on mobile) you’ll see where I buy all my stuff. I have to buy almost everything online, but those sites ship worldwide so it’s definitely worth checking them out.

      2. I’m confused. Lol! When should I use products with glycerin to help reduce frizz?

        1. Gabriella says:

          When the dew points are not too low, and not too high. Otherwise the glycerin will cause MORE frizz. Hope that helps.

      3. Brandye Pisacano says:

        I live in a very high humidity environment and I have really been struggling to find products that are not only glycerin free but free of other humectants as well. Can you please recommend products that have no humectants? I have 2 a/b wavy hair that is fine, high porosity, low density. I struggle with frizz and lack of clumped defined waves. Thank you!

        1. Hiya, I don’t do ingredient checking, as you can do that yourself with a quick Google, reading the ingredients labels in store, online or at home. There are two specific curly girl friendly ingredient checking websites too.