Ingredients Matter: Why Your Curls Won’t Pop

Do you struggle to achieve that most holy grail of texture, curl definition?  Do you find that, while some products make your hair softer, they don’t necessarily help your curl to ‘pop’?  The good news is this: it’s not your hair and it’s easy to fix.

Check out the label of some of the products in your bathroom and you’ll see that most leave-in conditioners list glycerin right up near the top of the list of ingredients.    Why?  Because glycerin (when mixed with water) is a powerful and inexpensive humectant (an ingredient that attracts moisture to the hair).   Why would that be a bad thing, you ask?  For some hair types it’s a godsend, because that intake of water into the hair swells the hair shaft and lifts the cuticle, thereby activating curl and making the hair appear fuller.  However, for other types, this same action will make hair frizzy and work against, not with, your natural curl pattern by creating less affinity and more friction between the individual strands.

Glycerin Free  Moisturizer
Glycerin Based Moisturizer

So which hair types, you might ask, like glycerin and which do not? Unfortunately, because hair types are so complex, it’s hard to give a definitive answer.  Some hair types will respond well to a simple water-based glycerin mixture, like Oasis Moisture Gel, but not to a cream that contains both a high percentage of glycerin and oil (this describes the majority of curly hair products).  Tight, low porosity curls generally fall into the former category, but definitely benefit from an oil-based oil or butter, like Shape Shifter, Everyday Leave-in, or Lux Locks,  to further enhance definition, sheen, and moisture retention.  High porosity, S-curls generally see more frizz and less definition with any humectant, including Oasis.  Fine, wavy to curly hair, however, thrives on glycerin-based moisturizers.  The bottom line?  Read ingredients and, when in doubt, sample before you commit.  (We offer Moxie Minis so that you can try before you buy).  Curls are not one-size-fits-all, so if a moisturizer for ‘your hair type’ doesn’t work for you, just leave it behind and move on!

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