Haircare Essentials, part 2- HUMECTANTS

As I mentioned last time, sometimes it is hard to understand what hair really needs. That’s why I decided to start “Haircare Essentials” series on my blog. In my previous post, I told you more about PROTEINS.  Today it’s time for humectants.  What are they? Why does hair need them? Where they can be found?
The humectant is a hygroscopic substance used to keep things moisturised.  “Hygroscopic” basically means ability to hold molecules of water from the surrounding environment.


They are very important substances in process of moisturising our hair. One of their features is a capability of attracting water and absorb it to hair.

You can find them in professional skin and hair cosmetics or in your kitchen:)

How to recognise them? Here are some examples of the most popular:

  • honey/ (on cosmetic labels-” mel”)
  • sugar,
  • glycerin,
  • homemade linseed/ flaxseed gel,
  • aloe juice,
  • panthenol,
  • hyaluronic acid,
  • urea.

    My absolutely favourite way of giving hair moisture is adding honey to the mask.
    Humectants, as well as any other substances, are quite easy to overuse. In that case, hair looks a bit wet and lifeless with no volume.
    Be aware: if it’s very dry and hot outside (doesn’t happen in England!:P), humectants will give moisture back to the environment. It means that hair can look dry again.
    To avoid it, moisturisers need a good cover- emollients! I’ll tell you more about them in my next post of that series:)

    I’m currently using Russian hair and body soap (Grandma Agafia) instead of shampoo. It works fantastic as a moisturiser because one of the ingredients is Altai Mountain Honey. That soap is a product that I really like and can recommend (No, they didn’t pay me for saying that:)
    If you prefer moisturisers in conditioners, you can try one of those products:

    Garnier Ultimate Blends Strength Restorer Conditioner
    Faith In Nature Aloe Vera Shampoo Strengthening For Normal To Dry Hair
    Dr Organic Manuka Honey Conditioner

    or any other cosmetic that contains humectant substances.

    Please remember that balance between proteins, humectants and emollients is very individual. What does your hair need the most? In the beginning of your proper hair care, you should experiment to check what is the best for you:)

46 thoughts on “Haircare Essentials, part 2- HUMECTANTS

  1. Jen says:

    Funny I should happen upon your article. Was just talking to my teenage daughter this weekend about her hair. She has hair issues. Dry and dull ends, and gets greasy roots after a day, and on top of that falkey bits! I really feel for her. So time to start some experimenting. Thank you.

  2. Monika says:

    I also use Russian cosmetics 🙂 My favorite is the shampoo and conditioner Oblepikha Siberica. They make my hair like silk. But as you said, it depends on what our hair need in a moment.

  3. Lindsey says:

    I am always on the search for better ways to care for my hair. I currently use a mixture of coconut and Haitian black castor oil in my hair and it works great to add moisture and thickness to my hair. I will have to try some of your tips as well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Helen Vella says:

    Great post and very good explanation, I live in Florida and it gets very humid so you have to make sure you use the right product on your hair or it looks a mess. Thanks for sharing.

    • Kat says:

      It’s great you mentioned that! In humid weather we should limit moisturisers- to many of them can make hair puffy/frizzy;) Balance is the key.

  5. Jo says:

    I think I need to try using more natural products in my hair. I have seen a number of posts about honey and it’s so easy to come by. No harm in trying!

  6. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I could definitely use some help for my hair. Thanks for this interesting post! I will follow up with some of your suggestions.

  7. Steven Goodwin says:

    Yeah, I use conditioner almost every day for my beard… I’ll have to check it out to see what the ingredients are and see if it can help to soften it or if I should switch to a different one! Thanks for the great insight!

  8. Carol Cassara says:

    I sometimes need a little help with my hair, depending on the kind of weather that we’re having. I think this is really helpful, this is my first time to hear and learn about humectants.

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