What Are Humectants?
Humectants are used in hair care products to help hair retain moisture. They attract water from the atmosphere into your hair and keep it in. Hair products are designed especially for women with dry, damaged hair with this in mind.
Ideally, humectants work well on dry, thirsty hair but the problem is in a dry desert environment, they work against your hair. As I mentioned in a previous article – 7 Ways to Keep Your Hair Moisturised in Dubai – they will suck in all the dust from the atmosphere into your hair and make your dry hair problems worse while the atmosphere can suck the little moisture you had to begin with out. Additional problems apart from dry hair include fizziness, split ends and breakage.
Examples of Humectants
- Glycerin aka glycerol
- Aloe vera juice
- Agave nectar
- Propylene glycol
- Lactic acid
- Hydrolysed silk protein
Does this mean you should avoid all humectants by any means? Not necessarily. You can use them in minimal amounts between October and February but I’d recommend avoiding them at all other times of the year especially the hottest months.
A quick look through a product ingredient listing before purchase should let you know if the product contains any of these humectants. The higher up the list they are, the more of it is contained in the product.
2 Alternatives to Humectants
- Use products with strong moisturisers such as ceramides and butters rather than humectants in their ingredients.
- Include acidic rinses such as apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and black tea in your regimen.
In conclusion, everyone’s hair is different and some times, what’s not supposed to work might work for you but pay attention. It might be causing long-term damage to your strands.
Do products with humectants work for or against you in Dubai? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to sign up for free updates.