Daily Archives: December 20, 2011

Using Glycerin Effectively During Winter

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by Emily CottonTop

I have been reading blogs and listening on YouTube and the winter trend is always, put away the products with glycerin because they are a no-no during the cold dry weather. I must admit, I only recently started to listen to these rumors and, as always, I figured there must be another side to this story, because frankly I do not swap out.

What is glycerin?
Glycerin is basically a humectant that can be dissolved in water but not in oil. Its most important property is that it is highly hygroscopic, which means that it absorbs water from the air. For example, if I had a bottle of pure glycerin in my humid kitchen, if after awhile I decided to check the contents of the bottle, I would find that the liquid would be about 80% glycerin and 20% water.

Glycerin and hair
In humid weather, glycerin is wonderful because it basically sucks the moisture out of the air and funnels it into our strands. It’s a heaven sent ingredient for dry hair in humid weather. In not so humid weather, like a  dry, cold ‘winterey’ desert, the theory is that glycerin will instead use the moisture in the hair to sustain its properties, because there is none in the air for it to grab … who wants that?!

So what now?
Some naturals choose to swap out their glycerin-laden products for ones that have little or none! However, based on my research I do not think that is always necessary.

According to OyinHandmade.com, if you have a product that has water as an ingredient along with glycerin, the water will often be enough to hydrate your hair as well as maintain the glycerin, so that it can remain the perfect humectant that it is.

Tips and Tricks
I got this tip from the Oyin website – basically, before you hop into your warm steamy shower, use whatever product that has the glycerin first … so that the heat, steam and moisture from your shower will be readily absorbed by the product, then seal it in with an oil.

To summarize, read the label … if water is in the product along with glycerin, more than likely you will be fine, there is enough water to keep everybody happy … no need to swap out and rearrange! Well not unless you are fussy like that … *wink*

Em

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Serendipitously enough Em, shortly after you sent me this post, I came across this article on BlackGirlLongHair.com that also referenced Oyin: Why It’s Okay to Use Glycerin in the Winter! My hair isn’t really a fan of glycerin. It makes it sticky and I find that I don’t need the extra moisture. But, this is great news for those who adore glycerin and feel that they have to put it away in the colder months even though their hair seems to suffer for it! The more you know;)!!

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Janay’s Braid-Out

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Remember Janay’s FAB braid-out from her GOC update last week? Well, she’s back to tell us how she achieved the fierceness!!

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by Janay (GOC At-Home Player)

Ok, the dish on the braid-out:

That pic was snapped on a freshly washed, day one braid-out. The night before, I shampooed, deep conditioned, detangled, then rinsed. I applied my leave-in to wet hair, then let it air dry for about fifteen minutes. I seal, then braid in a minimum of 16 braids, since that number ensures my hair is dry in the morning, and air dry overnight. So no bonnet — I sleep directly on my satin pillow case.

I use various combinations of Qhemet products, but they usually give the same result. I think that this time I used:

Leave-in:  Moringa Tree Conditioning Ghee (I remember you saying you found the other Ghee a bit heavy/oily–I think you’ll enjoy this one much more.  Plus, it has BTMS [behentrimonium methosulfate], which karate chops thee heck out of some tangles!) I apply to soaking wet hair, because the second ingredient is coconut oil and I find my hair absorbs it better when soaking wet.

Sealant:  Aethopika Hydrate and Twist Butter. A dab will do it! I emphasize the ends, since my hair is touching my shoulders yet AGAIN and the cut was only two months ago! Other times, I’ll use the Cocoa Tree Detangling Ghee, then seal with an oil if it isn’t as cold.

Funny, while I like first day hair, it’s too shrunken for me. I LIVE for 2nd/3rd day hair. I’ve attached an old pic of, I think, day 3 hair (from the summer, I believe.  It’s not the best for seeing the whole look, but you see how stretched I can get it). I just re-braid and moisturize with the CTDG. Oh, when braiding, I finger coil the last inch to inch and a half of each braid.

 

What’s also funny is my braid-out got me stopped by TSA while I was in NY last month. All positive though! Another agent and I were talking routines, hair products, the nine.  The other agents thought we were nuts!

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 LOVE it Janay!! You’re cut/shape is AMAZING and I have another hair crush!! You are going to have me at the store picking up that Moringa Ghee because I have been hearing good things about it.

Oh, and I’m happy to finally see a fierce and fab natural stopped by the TSA for hair tips, not a ‘Fro Frisk!!!