Man's hand holding water bottle

Glycerin, also known as glycerine and glycerol, is a natural alcohol derived from the animal or vegetable fats used in the soap-making process. Commercially available as an emollient in toiletries and cosmetics, glycerin is also a preservative in foods. With a viscous, or syruplike, consistency, glycerin's colorless, sweet and odorless properties make it a relatively safe and versatile ingredient for making your own laundry detergents, soaps and lotions or extending the life of beauty products. Mixed with water, glycerin can be used as a homemade natural hair and scalp moisturizer.

Measure glycerin and distilled water at a ratio anywhere between 1-to-4 and 1-to-1, one at a time. These ratios are recommended for best consistency for use in the spray bottle. Measure 2.5 ounces of glycerin and 5 ounces of water (a 1-2 ratio) to start. If needed, adjust ratios after using the mixture depending on the hair's texture and reaction.

Pour distilled water into the bottle, followed by glycerin. The glycerin should try to settle on the bottom of the bottle because it is viscous.

Shake the bottle for 10 seconds until the solution is homogeneous. Glycerin is water- and alcohol-soluble, so it will dilute easily. For mixtures with a higher amount of glycerin, shake longer until it dissolves completely.


  • Add a few drops of essential oil(s) for added benefits to scalp or fragrance such as lavender or jojoba.

  • Find pure vegetable glycerin or glycerol at Henry's Marketplace, Whole Foods and Michaels craft stores.

  • Using a ratio heavy on the glycerin will make the solution tougher to dissolve and may not spray as well.

  • Measure by volume, rather than weight, as glycerin is heavier than water.