Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Vegetable Glycerin: My new fav

For a while now I've been hearing/reading the term "vegetable glycerin" from various naturals. I didn't know anything about it, so I turned to the net to see what I could find. In the blogosphere I found a post on The Natural Haven that explained what glycerin is and how it works. In short:

1. It is hygroscopic - meaning it bonds to and retains water. (Hygro meaning 'moisture' and scopic in this case meaning 'seeking' - therefore moisture seeking) (Griffin, W. C. et al Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists, 1952)

2. It is a humectant (because of no 1) and therefore can be used to stabilise the water/moisture content in products (perhaps as in KY) (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists,pg 19, 1958)  

3. It makes hair softer (Journal of the Society of Cosmetic Scientists pg 251-263 1989)

Sounds pretty good right? So I made my way over to Rainbow Grocery for the first time ever (if you're in the Metro Jackson area, go over to Fondren and check it out) and got a couple ounces of VG. It's colorless, odorless, sticky, and sweet (so I've read, I haven't tasted it and don't plan to). It's advised to mix it with water, as just plan VG (or too much in the mix) isn't particularly good for your hair. I added it to my usual concoction of water & coconut oil. (2:1:1, water, coconut oil & VG). It works great! I usually spritz my hair with the mix every other night before bed. My hair is softer, so that I don't even have to use a product in it unless I want to. My curls also seem to pop a little more, which is always great.

I'm thinking about getting some rosemary & jojoba oils to mix with the water & VG. I can't remember where I got this from, but I do recall reading that these two oils stimulate hair growth when combined and work great with VG. We'll see.

Have any of you used VG in a different mix? Had a bad experience with it? Found a great product that you can buy with VG as the main ingredient? Let us know!


  1. I have heard that Rosemary is good against dandruff, so I assume its got some moisturizing properties, and Jojoba definitely does, so it sounds like a good combo!

    So this concoction, do you just spray it in your hair at night, and then shampoo normally in the morning? I'm interested in trying it, but I only use baking soda on my hair now, and it has a tough time with oils.

  2. I didn't know that about rosemary fighting dandruff! I've got to pass that along to some folks.

    I use my mix as a leave-in conditioner. Occasionally I'll spray some in my hair in the morning, but I prefer night only because it can be a little messy/drippy. I only shampoo about once a week (sometimes two weeks) but I do a co-wash (washing just with conditioner) every 2 or 3 days. I'd suggest using the mix daily after washing for those who shampoo frequently.

  3. Vegetable Glycerin is added to soap in order to produce extra moisturizing properties and to ensure a clear finish. It is easily dissolved into water and alcohol, but does not mix well in oils.This product has hygroscopic properties.