If you have textured hair that suffers from dryness in the winter and tends to frizz in summer, then you have probably researched online for tips on how to prevent both of these common, yet annoying hair issues. One solution that is talked about a lot online among wavy, curly and kinky-haired girls is the avoidance of products that contain humectants during both humid summer weather and dry, moisture-starved winter weather.
What are humectants? They are key ingredients used in personal care products to hydrate the hair or skin. Humectants work by attracting and binding moisture from either the water that exists in the product or the surrounding environment.
Understanding that humecants attract moisture, there is a belief that in humid summer weather a styling product containing any type of humectant may draw too much moisture to the hair, exacerbating frizziness. In contrast, it is also believed that humectants can have the opposite effect in dry winter weather—that they will draw moisture out of the hair because the air lacks sufficient moisture to draw from, resulting in dryness during the winter months.
While not a widely accepted notion, there are still many that closely follow this concept when selecting what products to use and when to use them. If you battle summertime frizz and/or dryness in winter, start reading labels and test this theory yourself! To help you do that, below is a list of humectants widely used by hair care manufacturers.
Sodium Pyrollidone Carboxylic Acid (Sodium PCA)
Of these, glycerin is by far the most commonly used in products, and the most talked about as being the biggest culprit in creating these seasonal issues.
If you decide to monitor how humectants affect your hair, also be sure to check out the healthy hair product recommendations in our app, Hair Alone. In the app, we detail whether or not a product contains glycerin. Happy shopping!