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Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know when we think of our hair and hear the word ALCOHOL we all cringe - but the truth is that not all types of alcohol we find in our hair care is necessarily bad. Not convinced? Read on....

We often compare alcohol in hair products to rubbing alcohol, it dries instantly and takes moisture away from the skin on contact; while some hair products do contain alcohol's of this caliber, thats mainly narrowed down to styling and finishing products.

The Good...
Fatty Alcohol's
If you've ever read the ingredients on your mositurizing shampoo and conditioner, you've likely seen one of the following:Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Behenyl alcohol.These types of alcohol are actually benefical to your hair; They will actually help draw moisture to the hair preventing hydration loss. Some of these alcohol's are also used as a product thickener; since they are 'fatty' or more oil based, they work great to thicken formulas.

The Neutral...
Benzyl alcohol is most often used as preservative. It doesn't have any impact on the way your hair looks or feels. Propylene Glycol This alcohol type is often used as humectants in products. They have the ability to attract water and retain it as they are hydrophilic.

The Bad...
(I hate to call them bad becuase they do serve a specific purpose, but these are the alcohol types that have the most drying aspects to them)
Short Chain Alcohol the most common offenders will be: SD Alcohol 40, Ethanol, SD Alcohol, Propyl, Porpanol, Isopropyl. These are the alcohol types mostly found in styling and finishing aids. They help the product evaporate quickly. They can most of the time be associated with dry and frizzy hair.

Even though they aren't the best for the hair, they do serve a specific purpose; if a shine spray or a hair spray did not contain one of these forms of alcohol, it would be impossible to spray the product out of the nozzle. I think caution should be used in the sense that we dont over-use these types of products.


Anyway, that's it for me right now guys, hope this wasn't a bore!
post #2 of 6

Re: Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

Not a bore at all Thanks for the info. I didn't even know there was a good alcohol (except the kind to unwind lol)
post #3 of 6

Re: Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

Thank you for taking the time to explain this. I knew it, but i think most people dont. Everywhere you can se people say that they wont use this or that shampoo etc. b/c its alcohol in it. But the alcohol used in shampoo, conditioner and hairtreatments are not damaging to the hair at all (i looked it up in Wikipedia).
post #4 of 6

Re: Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

Thanks for sharing Gina!


I have an idea for another info thread - How to deal with humidity so one's hair doesn't look like a frizz ball!
post #5 of 6

Re: Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

is that a personal request Carolyn?
post #6 of 6

Re: Your Hair: Good vs. Bad Alcohol

I'll take any help I can get lol
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