Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let's Talk Hair: Glycerin is Glycerin is Glycerin..RIGHT??

Hola Chicas/Chicos..I pray all is well with everyone..
Well a lovely natural asked the question in regards to the difference in glycerin vs. vegetable glycerin. And are there difference between the glycerin we buy from, let's say Walmart, or a natural foods store..save price?? Well, this was an excellent question indeed, so why don't we just put on our inspector hats and delve into this difference, if one should exist.

Types of Glycerin:
  • Vegetable Glycerin: Plant Based/Food Grade
  • Glycerin: Animal Based or Petroleum Based

Vegetable Glycerin:
  • Does not dry as fast as animal glycerin
  • Does not become rancid (rank, sour or stale) or ferment 
  • Does not dry as fast as animal glycerin
  • Has more uses due to it being food grade

Non Vegetable Glycerin:
  • Made from petroleum or animal fats such as lard, grease or tallow (fatty hard tissue of the animal)
  • Usually not purified
  • Cheaper to make (hence the price difference of that of veggie glycerin)
  • Has a tendency to clog pores and create dryness

Glycerin...The Similarities
  • Both act as emollients and humectants (draws moisture from the air to the hair)
  • Both are thick, clear and odorless
  • When diluted, glycerin can be a wonderful moisturizer..but take precaution in humid and dry climates.
  • If the air is hot and humid, glycerin will absorb the moisture from the air and cause the hair to swell, creating coarse frizzy hair. 
  • In weather that is extremely dry, glycerin will seek out the moisture in your hair, therefore dehydrating your hair, which can cause damage and breakage.

So, what about the Glycerin in Walmart or any other store that is not a health food store??
  • The USP glycerin in the Walmart pharmacy is vegetable glycerin and is more pure than the FCC grade in the grocery section (that’s the only difference)

Glycerin..Bottom Line
  • Try to aim for glycerin that is plant based and use a small amount when adding it to your homemade spritz or homemade products.
  • Because glycerin is a humectant and we have hot and humid heat here, I steer clear of adding glycerin to my homemade spritz or any other homemade product.
Where to buy: Glycerin can be found at local grocery stores, natural health food stores and herb shops and numerous cites online

Have A Happy Healthy Day

Credits: some info found at www.newlynatural.com


  1. yea this def helped me out thanks!

  2. Good information as usual. I never thought of using Glycerin - the last time I heard it being used was for that white stuff that kids get on their tongues - what is that called again. Oh Grandma where are you when I need you. Thank you Chica!

  3. I love the information - you really broke this down to my kind of english. Thanks Detective Naturalite!

  4. Thanks for sorting this all out! I purchased the pharmaceutical grade version to use in making some home-made face wash and eye makeup remover. It worked great but then I heard about the food grade stuff which is considerably cheaper so that made me wonder which one to buy. So, thanks for clearing this up! BTW your hair looks pretty!

  5. Thank you ladies for taking the time to read and respond..that is greatly appreciated. @ DesertNails8, thank you so much for the compliment!!

  6. nice info ... easy to understand... very good for vegetarians ... avoid eating animal meat or animal fat based foods.. good job
    thank you

  7. Chemicals Direct purchases only vegetable based USP glycerin. We repackage 55 gallon containers of glycerin in house in multiple container sizes to meet market needs and it get your product to you at the lowest cost. Common applications are Soap Making, Peristaltic Pump Lubricant,Non-Food Contact Antifreeze Solutions, Synthetic Ice Rinks Formulations, Arts Crafts, Personal Care, Cosmetic Use, etc.

  8. so I just started transitioning and was wondering are these products ok to use cream of natures argon shampoo and intensive conditioner ors shea butter softening hair and scalp lotion roots of natures shea butter and wheat protein healing and thickening cream I do plan on purchasing your products soon but was wondering for now are those good products

  9. Thanks for keeping this blog up. I just got some useful information!