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Mane Beauty Boutique

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Alcohols and Your Hair

Posted on March 23, 2014 at 8:35 AM

I received a question today about a specific alcohol found as an ingredient in a product. The person wanted to know whether a specific alcohol was a good or bad alcohol. Now, for most people looking through product ingredients today and they desire moisture, alcohol can be an immediate red flag, but it should not be. I hope this information helps…

ALCOHOLS: There are two basic categories of alcohols used in hair products: short chain drying alcohols (bad) and long chain “fatty” alcohols (good). Short chain drying alcohols evaporate quickly, so they are used in products to decrease the time it takes hair to dry. In contrast, long chain “fatty” alcohols are lubricating, moisturizing and “film-forming” in order to lock in moisture.

WHO NEEDS TO KNOW: Everyone.

WHY: Short-chain drying alcohols should be avoided whereas long-chain fatty alcohols are fine and can be sought out for their moisturizing properties.

Drying alcohols: SD alcohol, SD alcohol 40, Alcohol denatured, Propanol, Propyl alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol

Fatty alcohols: Behenyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Isocetyl alcohol, Isostearyl alcohol, Lauryl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Stearyl alcohol, C30-50 Alcohols, Lanolin alcohol


"Curls 101- FAQs | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care." Curls 101- FAQs | Curly Nikki | Natural Hair Styles and Natural Hair Care. N.p., 1 May 2010. Web. 23 Mar. 2014.

Categories: Hair Talk

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