Humectants – what are those, how do they work and how to use them?


Haircare involves the use of various substances, such as humectants. Next to emollients and protein, humectants are part of the so-called PEH group, which is necessary for balanced hair and scalp care. If your hair lacks humectants, check how to use them and what their action is. Enjoy my post.

What are humectants?

A humectant is a hygroscopic substance that dissolves well in water and retains it inside the hair. Thanks to it, hair obtain the proper level of hydration, become soft and glossy. In cosmetology, the humectants are used as hygroscopic moisturizers. Humectants in cosmetology include:

  • hyaluronic acid – replenishes water deficit in hair structure;
  • glycerin – makes hair glossy and prevents dryness;
  • urea – moisturizes, regenerates and makes hair soft;
  • aloe – moisturizes hair and soothes scalp irritations;
  • honey – nourishes and strengthens;
  • panthenol – enhances keratin production;
  • sorbitol – smoothes out and ensures gloss;
  • fructose – replenishes hair structure deficit;
  • lecithin – takes care of bleached hair.

How do humectants work on hair?

Hair is subjected to various external factors. Among many, we can enumerate sun radiation as well as high and low temperatures. Hair can be damaged by all sorts of cosmetics, incorrect stylization or too frequent treatments. In some cases, humectants can help. Their action is to moisturize and retain water inside the hair.

How to use humectants?

When it comes to the use of those substances, humectants have to be applied when the weather is right. Otherwise, your hair will absorb water from its surroundings, that is skin and strands and that will end up in dryness of the latter.

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