Glycerin For Hair: Benefits, How To Apply, And Side Effects

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Shruti Chavan, MBBS Dermatologist
Written by Anjali Sayee
795066

Glycerin is a popular ingredient used in skin care products, but not much is known about its hair benefits. This ingredient can be used to moisturize the hair and scalp and could especially be useful for treating dry, itchy scalp or dry, damaged hair. Here, we have compiled the benefits of glycerin for hair and the ways you can use it to nourish your tresses. Swipe up and get reading!

Glycerin For Hair: Is It Good?

Glycerin is known to suit all hair types, including curly, frizzy, and thick hair. Anecdotal evidence suggests it may repair damaged hair. Glycerin may also hydrate and replenish dry hair. It can fortify split ends, prevent hair breakage, and combat dandruff.

In the following section, we will look at the benefits of glycerin backed by some research.

Benefits Of Glycerin For Hair

  1. Glycerin is a popular humectant and can soften the hair.
  2. It can act as a heat protectant as it minimizes heat damage (1).
  3. It may also balance scalp pH levels and minimize the damage caused due to alkaline changes.
  4. Glycerin may help reduce dandruff when used as a leave-in treatment (2). It is also used in herbal antidandruff shampoos, creams, and lotions as they can dry out the hair and glycerin prevent dryness , (3).
  5. It is used in shampoos as a conditioning agent (4). Glycerin boosts the moisture content in the hair roots and strengthens the hair shaft (5).
  6. It was also shown to induce hair growth in mice studies (6).
  7. It may help soothe dry and itchy scalps (7).

How To Use Glycerin For Hair

1. Hairspray

You Will Need

  • Rosewater: ½ cup
  • Peppermint or rosemary essential oil: 4 to 5 drops
  • Glycerin: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: ½ cup
  • A spray bottle

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

N/A

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Pour the blend into the spray bottle.
  3. Spritz the spray on washed, damp hair.

How Often

Once every week

Why It works

Research shows that rosewater can help retain skin moisture (8). This may treat dry and itchy scalp disorders. Peppermint and rosemary have antimicrobial and antifungal properties that may help keep the scalp clean (9).

2. Castor Oil With Glycerin

You Will Need

  • Castor oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Glycerin: 1 tablespoon
  • Water: 2 tablespoons
  • Apple cider vinegar: 1 tablespoon
  • Egg yolk: 1

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

20-45 minutes

Procedure

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl to form a smooth paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your hair from the roots to the ends.
  3. Apply it to your scalp. Use your fingertips to massage your scalp with the paste.
  4. Leave it on for 30-45 minutes.
  5. Wash off with cold water and shampoo.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

Castor oil may help stimulate hair growth. Apple cider vinegar is known to help preserve the pH level of the scalp. It also acts as a cleansing agent. Egg yolk contains peptides that can stimulate hair growth (10).

3. Olive Oil, Glycerin, And Honey

You Will Need

  • Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
  • Glycerin: 1 tablespoon
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes

Procedure

  1. Warm the olive oil a little. Ensure it is not hot.
  2. Mix all three ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair.
  4. Massage your scalp with your fingertips in circular motions for 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Leave the mix on for at least 10 minutes to half an hour.
  6. Wash with warm water and shampoo as usual.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

Research shows that olive oil can penetrate the hair follicles and protect the hair from within (11). It contains oleic acid that can inhibit 5-alpha reductase and help prevent hair loss (12). This enzyme converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which causes alopecia (13). Honey helps treat chronic dandruff and moisturizes the scalp and hair (14).

4. Rose Water And Glycerin

You Will Need

  • Rosewater: 2 tablespoons
  • Glycerin: 1 tablespoon
  • Water: 2 tablespoons

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

N/A

Procedure

  1. Mix the rosewater and glycerin in water.
  2. Apply the mixture to washed and damp hair from the roots to the ends.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

Rosewater and glycerin are beneficial for the hair. Anecdotal evidence suggests that this mask helps maintain hair health.

5. Aloe Vera And Glycerin

You Will Need

  • Aloe vera gel: 1 tablespoon
  • Glycerin: 1 tablespoon

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

1 hour

Procedure

  1. Mix the aloe vera gel and glycerin.
  2. Massage it into the scalp in small, circular motions.
  3. Apply it to the hair as well.
  4. Leave it on for an hour and wash your hair as usual.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

The benefits of aloe vera are well known. It helps stimulate hair growth, hydrates dry hair, and repairs dry, damaged hair (15), (16). This combination is ideal for dry, damaged, and chemically treated hair.

6. Honey And Glycerin

You Will Need

  • Honey: 3 tablespoons
  • Glycerin: 2 tablespoons
  • Water: 2 tablespoons

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

30 minutes

Procedure

  1. Mix the ingredients to form a paste.
  2. Apply the paste to your hair and scalp.
  3. Massage your scalp with your fingertips by moving them in small circular motions.
  4. Leave the paste on for about 30 minutes.
  5. Wash off with warm water and a mild shampoo.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

Honey is a well-known emollient and keeps the scalp clean from infections like dandruff. Research shows that honey is often used to treat hair and scalp disorders (17). Pairing it with glycerin can boost hydration, making hair healthier and bouncier.

7. Lemon Juice, Eggs, And Glycerin

You Will Need

  • Lemon juice: 2 tablespoons
  • Glycerin: 1 tablespoon
  • Eggs: 2

Preparation Time

2 minutes

Processing Time

45 minutes

Procedure

  1. Mix the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Apply the mixture to the scalp and hair.
  3. Leave it on for 45 minutes.
  4. Wash off with warm water and regular shampoo.

How Often

Once every week

Why It Works

Lemon has a high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is known to cause scurvy and may lead to hair loss (18). It may also help treat hair loss, dandruff, lice, and scalp acne (19). Lemon and glycerin also clarify the scalp and hair.

8. Hair Products

You can also add glycerin to your conditioners and shampoos to boost their moisturizing properties. Glycerin retains moisture and softens the hair.

Although glycerin has certain benefits for the hair, one must be aware of its disadvantages too. We have listed the pros and cons of using glycerin for the hair in the following section.

Pros And Cons Of Using Glycerin For Hair

PROSCONS
Moisturizes the hairCan make the hair sticky, greasy, and weighed down when applied in its pure form
Treats dry and itchy scalpsMight not work in certain climatic conditions
Boosts hair shineActs as a conductor of heat
Balances scalp pHNeeds to be applied with other products
May help stimulate hair growth and improve overall hair healthMay cause irritation and itching in some

 Types Of Glycerin

  • Vegetable glycerin is a thick, colorless, and odorless liquid obtained from coconut and soybean. It is popular in the cosmetic industry for its skin moisturizing benefits.
  • Animal-derived glycerin is extracted from animal fats. It is commonly used in beauty and personal care products.

Did you known glycerin is also called glycerol, glycerine vegetale, and glyceryl alcohol when used in cosmetic products? Since it is often used in hair and skin products, it is important to know if it may cause any side effects.

Side Effects

The topical application of glycerin is considered safe (20). But it should not be used on cracked or broken skin. When used on the hair, glycerin should be paired with oils, water, or other serums to ensure it does not weigh the hair down or make it greasy.

Glycerin carries heat very well. Hence, it must not be applied to the hair when using heating tools like curling irons or blow dryers. It may also cause hair damage and make the hair and scalp feel very sticky.

Glycerin may also cause allergic reactions in some. Perform a patch test on your wrist, forearm, or just below the back hairline before using. Check for any redness, swelling, burning, bumps, or itching. Most of these adverse effects are based on anecdotal evidence.

It also must be noted that glycerin cannot be used at all times. We will discuss this further in the coming section.

When You Should Not Use Glycerin

It is advisable not to use pure glycerin during winters. In winters, our skin tends to crack. Hence, do not use pure glycerin on the skin without any carrier oil or water. Glycerin tends to thicken when cold and may thicken when applied to the hair and dry it up.

Takeaway

Glycerin is often used in many hair care products for its benefits. It helps prevent frizz, increases shine, and treats dry scalp. However, it may cause certain adverse effects. Hence, use glycerin with caution. If you experience any side effects, stop use and consult your doctor.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.

Recommended Articles

Was this article helpful?
The following two tabs change content below.

Dr. Shruti Chavan

( MBBS Dermatologist)
Dr. Shruti Chavan is a consulting dermatologist at Dr.Sheth's Skin and Hair Clinic since 6 years. She is a co-committee member of CDSI (Cosmetic dermatologist Society of India). She is highly skilled in non-surgical facial skin rejuvenation and face lift by the use of injection treatments and lasers. Dr. Chavan is well-versed with dermatological and aesthetic procedures. Her special interests... more
795066