What is Glycerin?
Glycerin is a humectant, a sweet tasting by-product of soap, and is used in all kinds of things from food to hair care products and cosmetics. As such, it has hygroscopic properties, meaning it attracts and retains moisture from the air. In its most pure form, according to the FDA material data safety sheets, pure glycerin is an extremely dangerous product, because it wicks moisture quickly from anything it touches and causes burn-like blisters to your skin. Food and cosmetic-grade glycerin products are highly refined and deemed safe for human consumption and use.
To work effectively in hair products, humidity levels need to be around 60 percent. When levels are lower, like during the winter or in drier climates, contrary to popular belief, glycerin doesn’t actively dry your hair out — it simply can’t work because there’s no moisture in the air to attract. In these instances, you’ll need to find alternate sources to moisturize your thirsty naps. Another myth has it that using too much glycerin can dry your hair out as well. Simply not true. Over saturating your hair with a glycerin or a product with this ingredient will merely leave you with yucky, sticky feeling hair.