My Hair Loves Glycerin

When I first stopped wearing extension braids after a three-year continuous stint, my hair was very dry. Unknowingly, however, I immediately started doing things to compound that problem like thermal styling with pressing combs, flat irons and blow dryers and using products, such as grease and sulfate shampoos that just sapped any remaining moisture right out of my hair. In short, I was doing absolutely nothing right when it came to taking care of my hair. Then, when I’d try to wear nappy styles, I couldn’t understand why my hair was so dry and lifeless looking.  

 One day, I picked up some Carefree Curl Moisturizer. By then, I was starting to learn more about my nappy hair and how to care for it. So I looked at the back of the bottle. It was water-based and contained glycerin (an ingredient that draws water from humid air to moisturize your hair) and no mineral oils. That I knew was supposed to be a good thing. So despite my apprehension about it being a jheri curl product, I decided to give it a go.

To my delight my hair loved the stuff. Although I no longer use it, (I prefer gels and crèmes) my hair responds well to almost any water and glycerin-based product. In fact, it stays so moisturized during the summer months that I don’t have to reapply moisturizer for days on end. Unfortunately glycerin doesn’t work at all in the winter when the air is drier so I’ve started mixing jojoba oil in with my moisturizer. This, combined with the other ingredients in my moisturizer helps keep my hair soft and supple.


If you’d like to know more about glycerin, click here.

46 Responses to “My Hair Loves Glycerin”
  1. SHERRI says:

    I’ve been growing my fro for 10 months. I still fill as though i am in my starting out stage. Don’t get my wrong it has grown a whole lot compared to a min fro. I have a few questions: 1. I wash my hair every day because i can not pick it out dry, it must be wet. (is that ok).? 2. waht beauty supply store brand should i use to shampoo, and condition with ?
    please help! very new and scared all tips , hints will help i’ve read every thing you typed already.

    • Natural Diva says:

      Hello Sherri-

      There is so much work that has to be done in caring for natural hair because black hair in its natural state becomes more dryer easily. First you need to pre -pooh(use organic deep conditioner) on your hair for 30-45 mins or overnight before washing unless you have a very heavy misturizing shampoo. I use aubreyorganics -island naturals replishing shampoo and conditioner very mositurizing. You can get this at go tto te top tab and click hair care, then select dry for hair type. Then you need excellent mositurzing conditioners.It sounds as if your hair is lacking moisture and needs a good detangler. I use Care Leave in conditioner excellent for detangling and mosture designed for course or tigtly coiled hair and finally I use a moisture sealant to seal in moisture califia moisturizing cream good for very course hair aa well as all textures in sealing the moisture and adding softness. The mositurizing conditioners can be found at they speacilize in nourishing and the healthy growth of black hair. These are handmade all naturally organic products that your hair will absolutely love. They have samples and when calling their toll free number their excellent consultants will advise you in what products 2 use 4 your hair. Best of Luck!

  2. Charisa says:

    Hello! I’m curious to know what product you use now??

  3. nappyme says:

    Hi Sherri,
    Lots of nappies wash their hair everyday, however, I’m thinking they do a no-poo routine aka conditioner washing. I’ve never done the no poo (as in no shampoo) route so I can’t tell you a lot about it. But it’s supposed to be less drying than using shampoo every day. If you’re shampooing every day, you should make sure you’re using a non-sulfate shampoo. Sulfates are very harsh cleansers. If you’re not using really heavy products in your hair you can go either with no-pooing or non-sulfate shampoos.

    However, if you’re hair isn’t dirty I’m thinking you could just get away with spritzing your hair with a good moisturizer in the morning instead of shampooing it. You can try Sta Sof Fro or curl products or something similar.

    And no, dry picking or detangling is NEVER a good idea. And if you must pick…don’t be heavy handed about it. Instead of pulling the pick all the way through, use it to lift your hair, then pat into shape. If you’re picking your hair harshly, you’re likely snapping your ends off and giving yourself a hair cut each time you do.

    On the product recommendations, try Aubrey Organics or Jason brand shampoos and conditioners. They’re very good.

    Good luck!

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Charissa,
    My routine I only use three products. Jason and Aubrey brand non-sulfate shampoos and conditioners. And Pro Line Lite Comb Thru Moisturizer. It’s water and glycerine based. Also has lanolin in it, a very good oil that is derived from sheeps wool. For the winter only, I’ve added jojoba oil to my moisturizer to help it stay soft and supple. It’s working really well.

    Thanks for your question, and I hope you’re finding Nappturology 101 to be a good resource for your nappy hair care needs.

  5. D Morant says:

    I absolutely am grateful for stumbling upon this site from finally asking the right question. I have always seen the inbetween type textures, however this is home for my brillo pad type texture. I am eternally grateful.

  6. nappyme says:

    Hi D. Morant!
    Glad ya found me. With the right care and products your hair does NOT have to feel or look like a brillo pad. Figure out works for it, and your nappy hair will surprise and reward you in ways you never THUNK possible!

    Take care and come back often. I never seem to run out of advice, encouragement or even witty thoughtful commentary (at least I think so) on and about nappy hair.


  7. Andrea says:

    I am enjoying your website.I am wearing two strand twists my problem is at night I tie my hair with a statin scarf,but in the morning my hair is flat not fluffy .please help a sista out;I live in De. and I have been on a hunt for the glycerin and proline creme moisturizer cannot locate products.I did buy the jojoba oil . Can I mix some jojoba oil and water and spray my hair in the morning and before I go to bed ? Thanks again for this wonderful website.

  8. nappyme says:

    Hi Andrea and thanks!
    Sure you can. Lot’s of time less is more. You could also be on the look out for pure glycerine and add a little bit of that to your spray bottle too. Just experiment and you’ll soon figure out what works best for you.

    Good Luck!

  9. Andrea says:

    Do you have any hints for me to try so my hair is not flat in the mornings?

  10. nappyme says:

    Hi Andrea,
    Steam from the shower will revive your hair. You can also spritz your hair with your moisturizer too in the morning, either would probably work just fine.

  11. celeste821 says:

    Hi nappyme, I know you use a no oil routien. I am trying that now. What should I look for in a conditioner? I have been useing Aubery Honeysuckelrose but it has a lot of oils in it. And a lot of drug store brands have stuff that I want to stay away from.

  12. nappyme says:

    Hi celeste,
    I’ve always used aubrey organics. I don’t have an issue perse with folks using oils as long as they’re essential oils, which don’t block the absorption of moisture. The main reason I don’t use oil as a hair dressing is because I’ve always hated oily/greasy feeling hair and then I discovered that my hair didn’t need oil to thrive. So that’s the main reason I don’t use oil on my hair.

    I think you’ll be ok with Aubrey Organics… Good luck!

  13. Andrea says:

    I need your help once again.I wear my hair in twists,sometimes I just rinse my hair out then after a week . I untwist my twists and my hair is dull no shine just a HOT MESS.I would love to have a nice twistout that would make me proud.Please help a sista out.Thanks for all your wonderful tips.

  14. Andrea says:

    Can you tell me how to twist my hair with a rattail comb or with my fingers.What product I would need to use.I do have jojoba oil,Carol’s daughter leave in spray,twisting butter,plenty of water and time.Thanks ,again

  15. nappyme says:

    Hi Andrea,
    You can try putting your favorite oil in the palm of your hands, rub them together and then run your hands through your twists BEFORE your take them down. Or, you can apply after you take them down by scrunching your hair with your hands being careful to not to disturb your wave pattern.

    That should help.

    About making coils with a rattail comb…I’m no expert and have never had success trying to do my own. But go to the top of the page and click on the Hair Videos link. Then check out the iVillage video. I think it’s called Creating Managable Curls or something like that. Hopefully that will give you the information you need.

    Good luck!

  16. Lala says:

    Hi Nappyme,

    I really love this site I do have a few questions but first quick history: I’ve been natural since May 2005. Natural meaning no chemical relaxer meanwhile doing what you said you did at first “all the wrong bad products”. Now I’m more educated on what’s good for hair and in the few minutes I’ve been on your site I have gained much info.
    I have developed what I and derm docs believe to be oily scalp and a scalp issue. I’ve been using aubrey and it’s been great meanwhile I still have mega itching and hair some hairloss due to the scaling of my scalp but the hair in healthy parts of my scalp is growing which confuses me. So here’s my questions: do you know of any leave in conditioner that would work well for moisturizing my hair and scalp meanwhile controlling the itch? What wave nuvuea product would be best? Do you know of anything oil free that isn’t expensive for a troubled scalp? Ifso please let me know


  17. nappyme says:

    Hi LaLa,
    Welcome to CNN. Sorry I over looked your question. I really don’t have a recommendation about an oil free product for a troubled scalp. I will suggest that you visit and/or join one of the hair boards or sites such as or and see if you can find an answer to your question. You could also checkout too and see if you can get yourself pointed in the right direction.

    Sorry, I could be of more help, and I hope you find what you need soon.

    Take care!

  18. Tal says:

    hey I hope you see this, as this post was written long long ago. Currently I use a pretty simple regime have it being summer.
    Wet hair a little after shower, apply giovanni direct a tiny, spritz with a mix of glycerine and water and seal in with coconut oil.
    It works GREAT. Like excellent. Now in the winter, I’m worried about the glycerine mixture..giovanni is great because its more protein based, but I’m wondering what you would suggest I do in the winter to prevent my hair from drying out??

  19. nappyme says:

    In the wintertime, I have to add a little oil to my moisturizer product to give it a little more weight. I opt for jojoba oil. It helps but I’ll tell ya that I’ve yet to find anything that works as good in the winter time as my products do in the summer time. I really, had a horrible time finding something last winter and my hair was screaming for moisture.

    Many nappies opt for heavier creamy or buttery products. I have issues with these ONLY because I just don’t like my hair to feel really oily. If you don’t have an issue with that, you may be alright with these types of products.

    Good luck,

  20. Tal says:

    thanks a ton!!! that was really helpful.

  21. elegance says:

    Anyone looking to reduce/eliminate an itchy scalp try Neem Oil. I found this at an Indian Grocery store. The smell is vial, but it can be mixed with sweet almond oil or natural oil of your choosing.

    Good luck!

  22. Tiffany says:

    I LOVE ic Fantasia Olive Oil Styling Gel on my natural hair…it contains glycerin, and a few other natural seed and fruit oils, softens my curls, and when I brush it back into a puff, my hair is smooth and shiny!

  23. Kee says:

    Thank you so much for this site! I just starting using glycerin which I mix with water and leave in conditioner. I currently have a perm but my goal is to let it grow out. I also suffer from extremely dry hair that without the perm comes out in large clumps when combed so I am hoping the glycerin will make a difference.
    I had never heard of using glycerin until I came across this site; I wish more people knew about it.

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Kee!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Glad you like the site and congrats on your decision to go natural and good luck on your journey. Take care and God Bless!

  24. Kee says:

    I just have to tell everyone how thrilled I am with my hair! I started using glycerin (I use 100% pure glycerin mixed with water and a little leave-in conditioner) in December 2008 seven months ago. My hair is almost to my shoulders (it has NEVER had any length) and is so soft I just am ecstatic. I still have my perm that I touch up myself every three months but my hair is no longer breaking or falling out. I just love touching my hair; I am like a kid with a new toy. (Smile)
    I truly thank you for this site!!!

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Kee and welcome to NPP101!
      With my site being geared towards help women with natural hair, I’m glad you were able to find information that worked for you as well. One of these days, you might consider going ditching the chemicals and once you do, you’ll find the sky’s the limit when it comes the versatility of natural hair.

      Take care,

  25. kinjee says:

    oh Im always talking about how much I love glycerin on my blog….doing some digging into when glycerin isnt good for you though, because glycerin is always good for me but doesnt seem to be good at all times for everybody else..

  26. dee says:

    My daughter had the same issue as Lala. I took her
    to the dermatologist they prescribed a bunch of expensive junk that did not seem to work. After praying about it and reserching some natural remedies I used 100 percent Tea Tree oil mixed with extra virgin Olive Oil. It worked and did not cost me an arm and leg. I also switched shampoo and other products. I now use products that are free of sulfate,parabeen,mineral oil,patroleum,wax make sure you read labels. God Bless and much success

  27. msgina says:

    I have been natural for 15 years and I love color in my hair, but it does not work with my hair. My hair will grow to my shoulder length and then start breaking off. Could you please provide a natural hair color method that I can use, so my hair will not break off?

    • nappyme says:

      Hey Msgina,
      I have permanent color. I caused damaged to my ends because in my quest for the right shade I did three full-head applications of color. Admittedly not a good thing. So not too long ago I had to cut off four inches of battered, tatty ends.

      Permanent color always does some degree of damage, even under the best of circumstances because the ingredients lift the cuticles to deposit the permanent color into the cortex. The least damaging scenairo is to use a shade that’s the same color or darker than your natural color. But if you’re going lighter than your natural color, the product also has to lift (take color out) and then deposit the new color into the shaft as well.

      The only thing that won’t cause ANY damage or lesser damage is semi permanent color that only coats the outside of the hair shaft. But you can’t go lighter with semi-permanent colors and they wash out gradually. Also, I found semi permanent hair color to not be the greatest choice since I keep my hair moisturized all the time and so that would cause my color to come off on my hands and my clothes etc.

      You could then try henna, but you don’t get dramtic affects from henna. But that’s about all I know about henna so you’ll need to do your research. Perhaps someone will come along have some better suggestions.

      The only other thing I can think of is that in addition to coloring your hair, you may want to wear more protective styles such as twists, braids and buns. Keeping your ends out of harms way will also help you in your quest to gain length.

      Ah… and my responses are all assuming that you’re wearing your hair in it’s natural state. If you’re using heat, (e.g. flat irons, pressing combs, blow dryers etc.,) you are also setting your hair up for breakage. So in addition to trying to figure out your best coloring options, you may also need to re-evaluate and make adjustments to how you groom and style your hair.

      Hope some of this helps.

      Good luck,

  28. manymoons says:

    Have hair that has.. been there.. done that, now I am back to basics my ever loving TWA my hair will
    definitely grow, but it is thin, fine kinky.. perms wipe me out.. color forget-about-it.. too soft for braids,
    anywho!! after going to the barber Again!! I am on another Do-Over.
    Once again I took a shot at Carol’s Daughter :o| the milk. the spray live-in conditioner, some of Marguerite’s
    Magic.. shampoo and conditioner…. so I’m saying to myself… self… Not Again not at these prices, not that they are not good (love Marguerite’s Magic) but I’m not getting that Great feeling… sooooo I go and get a bottle of Glycerin and add it to the mix..Wow!!! my TWA is happy and growing, used it on my face and it is smiling..Yep!! Glycerin is my new best friend….. BTW nappyme remembered you speak on it awhile ago
    when I stopped by.. a big Thanks for the Heads-Up…….. lol

  29. CurlyDiva says:

    Hello! I was wondering where I could find glycerin and the other natural oils that you ladies are raving about. My hair is super thirsty and I have been using Miss Jessie’s baby Buttercreme and my hair is suffering from that super greasy feel. I want the shine and the hydration that my curls need without all the extra residue. Please give my any suggestions that you may have.

    Thanks 🙂

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Curly Diva,
      Go to your nearest beauty supply store and check out products such as Carefree curl moisturizer. These types of products were meant to help define curls and moisturize at the same time. They’re water and glycerine based which are water soluable. If you have a finer texture of hair, I bet a little will go a long way.

      If curl moisturizers don’t suit you, take a look at the curl activators. They have a lot of light weight, non-greasy forumlas that could work for you.

      When it comes to essential oils, try stores like Whole Foods or Wild Oats.

      Good luck!

  30. Lea says:

    I am so glad to have found your website. I went natural in 2007 shortly after leaving corporate america. 🙂

    I wore micros, then twist and now totally natural twist without any additional hair. It has been a journey working with my natural hair but I love the freedom from the “hair crack”. I almost began a silkening process to tame my unruly girls until I stumbled across you site. Thank you for the information regarding the ingredients to shampoos and conditioners. I have informed my daughters of the ingredients in an effort to encourage their separation from the less desirable cheap products filled with petroleum, mineral oils, etc.

    I am now a two strand twist girl. How can I ensure my hair has a nice sheen as well as curl when I loose my twist for dressy events?

    ps thank you for the info on glycering and curl activators.

    • nappyme says:

      Hi Lia and welcome!
      If you’re able, when you know you’re going to an event, simply make sure your hair is freshly done or do it as close to that event as possible and that should ensure that your hair is on point for the occasion.

  31. sneha desai says:

    after washing i fouhd my hair soft. but after sometimi it become rough……. can u suggest something to me?

    • MorningStar says:

      To Sneha Desai:
      U didnt say if u were natural or not. But this may work either way.
      My hair is very soft but ridiculously dry! Very annoying. A deep conditioner should take care of the roughness. Lightly towel dry ur hair, generously apply Sweet Almond oil and wrap hair with saran wrap and a warm towel for about an 1 hr. ( or use a heating cap for 30 min) CAUTION: Moisturizing conditioners can be left on hair for extended periods of time. PROTEIN conditioners can not! So don’t combine the two if ur gonna leave conditioner on ur hair for a while.

      Sweet Almond oil is high in Vitamin E and Magnesium, which are good for the hair.
      Hope this helps.

      For daily maintenance: Try mixing a little glycerin ( I found it in the first aid aisle at Wal-Mart for $3) with water and Hawaiian Silky 14 in 1. If ur hair isn’t super dry (like mine) the Hawaiian Silky alone may be enough.

  32. Nneka says:

    Looove ur site. Grateful to find it. My problem: my dear husband put rubbing alcohol in my glycerin/leave-in cond/water everyday treatment. I didn’t find out till about 5 days of stripping. When I finally washed, my hair was the driest, dullest, coarsest its ever been 😦 Any suggestions to bring it back on track.

    • nappyme says:

      Nneka sorry to know that happened. Goodness, why in the world would he do that? Ok…not my business but anyhoo. I’m going to say that your guess is as good as mine. Sounds like you need to replenish your natural oils and smooth out your cuticles. Have your tried deep conditioning followed up by heavy moisturizing? Then try applying some type of butter or creme section by section and smooth from root to tip and twist it up. When you’re ready to wash, use a non sulfate shampoo and spray it on your scalp. Concentrate on getting your scalp really clean and then message the shampoo through your hair then rinse.

      If I had try and rectify a situation like that this is my best guess. If you try it, please let me know how it works out.

      Good luck,

  33. beautifulzeez says:

    Hi Nappyme~ , I just wanted to say I really found your site very informative compared to any other ones I have read! Thank you for sharing your knowledge it is really appreciated! Thank you Queen!

  34. Tracey B says:

    My hair was natural and i grew it by keeping it tucked away under half weaves, braids and so on. It was so beautiful and thick and great looking when i took it out last March!!!! STUNNING!!! Now, this March coming, 2011, semi color that ruined bmy hair, blow outs, dry and breaking every day that it is depressing. My ends are great – do i need to cut all my hair off OR can i tuck it away again and give it a break and get twists with extensions and start trying the glycerin to see how that works – My hair grew like crazy and i loved it, now its so thin – what to do????

    • nappyme says:

      Well Miss Tracey, sorry to know that you’re having these difficulties. Color can be so hit or miss with regards to the way people’s hair reacts to these chemicals. Just like a relaxer, at first it can seem like it’s doing just fine and then over time, the damage can just creep on you. Next thing you know, you’ve got a thin whispy mess on your hands.

      Well here’s the drill. Stop coloring. Keep it moisturized. Manipulate it as little as possible and if you’re not ready to go super short, opt for wigs or braids and gradually cut the damage out.

      That’s it. No other way around it. You’re now embarking on a live and learn experience. Many of us have been there done that, and I’ll be the first to raise my hand. I won’t say it’s just hair because many of us have a very emotional attachment to the stuff growing out of our scalp. Nothing wrong with that. But in the long run, if we put it all in perspective the good thing is that barring injury to our follicles or illness, hair grows back. So give some time, patience and tender loving care, you’ll eventually have another beautiful head of hair.

      So make your plan and put it in motion. In the mean time, take care and good luck!


  35. Sharelle says:

    Are you able to put pure glycerin(meaning glycerin alone) in your hair? I was thinking of using this for my own leave-in conditioner.

  36. Kinfuyu says:

    This genuinely answered my issue, thank you!

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