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Adding Moisture to Natural Hair

Thursday, November 5, 2009


    This article assumes that you know a bit about how to care for your hair in its natural state. Basically, staying away from harsh shampoos, condition condition condition, replacing essential oils and moisturizing just to name a few.

     I’ve already had my eyes open to the magnificence of glycerin but I thought I should look into other humectants out there.

What are humectants

     A humectant is a non-oily ingredient that attracts moisture from the atmosphere, retards evaporation, and helps hold water.

     Common ones include glycerine, propylene glycol (there is some uproar about this one), sorbitol, hyaluronic acid, urea, and lactic acid. Typically humectants should be mixed with some ratio of water before being applied to hair. At the very least they should always be applied to dampened hair.

Below is a list of  easily obtained humectants.

honeyGlycerin- The best kind is organic vegetable glycerin.

Sorbitol – Its a substitute for regular sugar. Easily found on health sites.

Honey- I’ve seen cases of molasses working just as well, though some say honey gives more shine while molasses makes the hair softer.



Below is a list of  typical ingredients found on products which are in fact humectants.

     (Note there has been cause for some alarm about synthetic humectant; some may cause skin irritation and contact dermititis; some may even be carcinogenic)

Diols and TriolsPropylene glycolglycerin4
1,2,6 hexanetriol
Butylene Glycol
Dipropylene glycol
Hexylene Glycol
Triethylene glycol
Capryl glycol
Hexanediol or -triol beeswax

Below is a list of ingredients which are biologically occurring humectants.

Sodium PCA
Hyaluronic acid
Glycogen Sugars and modified sugars
Polyglyceryl sorbitol
Xylitol Hydrolyzed proteins
Elastin, collagen, silk, keratin EthersIsoceteth-x, Isolaureth-x, Laneth-x, Laureth-x, Steareth-xPEG-x (polyethylene glycol) Silicone copolyols


Please note OILING is NOT necesssarily moisturizing see here.



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