Alcohol in Hair Products Guide: Are they bad for your hair?

alcohol in hair products

When you hear about alcohol in hair products, you may be automatically inclined to associate this ingredient with dryness. However, all alcohols are not bad for your hair, some are actually good! Short-chain alcohols are the ones you want to steer clear of, while fatty alcohols are a better choice derived from natural sources like coconuts.

alcohols in hair products

Short Chain Alcohols in Hair Products (Bad ingredient choice)

  • Alcohol Denat
  • Ethanol Alcohol
  • Ethyl Alcohol
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Isoproponal Alcohol
  • Proponal
  • Propyl Alcohol
  • SD Alcohol 40

If any of the above ingredients are in the top 5 components of a product you are considering there is a good chance it will dry your hair out. Short-chain alcohols evaporate rapidly, which is why it is not a good choice for textured hair.

coconut fatty alcohols

Fatty Alcohols (Good ingredient)

  • Behenyl Alcohol
  • Cetearyl Alcohol
  • Cetyl Alcohol
  • Lauryl Alcohol
  • Myristyl Alcohol
  • Stearyl Alcohol

Fatty alcohols help to moisturize the hair, add slip to products and aid in conditioning the hair.

Read more about ingredients you should look out for when evaluating a product’s formula.

Now you know alcohol in hair products isn’t always a bad thing.

Evaluate your decision based on the type of alcohol it is. Women with curly textured hair should choose fatty alcohols over short-chain alcohols.

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