Submitted by: Dr Andrew Kim

If you are searching for a solution to dry and brittle hair which eventually leads to hair loss, one of the treatment that you could try out is vegetable glycerin. What most people don t know is that it is actually a good option for promoting strong and luscious locks the natural way.

Glycerin is a natural carbohydrate that is extracted from vegetable oils. It is an odourless, colourless liquid with a sweetish taste and with a rather thick consistency that is soluble both in water and alcohol. This is why it is one of the common ingredients in shampoos, conditioners, hair gels hair oils and soaps.

The natural properties of glycerin are similar to an emollient which softens and soothes dry and brittle hair. It also has strong humectant properties which allow it to retain moisture.

A lot of individuals deal with brittle hair and split ends due to the severe dryness of both hair and scalp. By applying vegetable glycerine directly to the scalp it then seeps into the epidermal layer therefore softening both the scalp and hair from within.


It is best to apply this at night before going to bed, leave it on and wash it in the morning. With glycerin slathered on, it absorbs moisture and humidity from the air. This action is essential especially when retaining scalp moisture and promoting hair growth. Adding to that, glycerin also aids in strengthening the hair making them less prone to breakage.

However, it is important to remember that even though vegetable glycerin aids in rehydrating hair, too much of it can leave flakes on your locks. Therefore it would be wise to apply it sparingly. It works best when it is combined with water, Aloe Vera juice, honey and certain oils; otherwise it would make the hair too oily and weigh it down rather than giving it bounce.

Curly-haired individuals find vegetable glycerin very useful because it helps reduce frizz as it aids in maintaining the curls. Due to its moisture-retaining properties, it gives curls better flexibility, body and definition.

But caution should also be practiced when it comes to using vegetable glycerin because it is a very good heat conductor. This means that it can seriously harm your hair when it is used together with heat styling tools such as curling irons or hair dryers. Vegetable glycerin may be applied but it should only be in small amounts and must be diluted with other liquids.

Another reason why it must be used with other moisturizing ingredients is because instead of attracting moisture, it might pull the water out of the hair instead. This could result to hair dryness and eventual hair loss.

If you want to keep a glycerine spritzer always ready, you can take 5 tablespoons of grapefruit extracts, 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera gel, 3 drops of essential oil, 3 drops of glycerine and 8 ounce of pure water. Mix these ingredients together and place it into a small spray bottle that can easily fit on your purse. This is an easy way for you to retouch your hair especially in humid or very cold weather.

About the Author: Andrew Kim, M.D., is a hair transplant surgeon and clinic director of Australian Institute of Hair Restoration in Sydney and Melbourne. You can visit Dr Kim’s clinic website (

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