Is alcohol bad for hair?

Before I started my hair journey, I didn’t pay much attention to product ingredients. Now I know that alcohol is bad for hair. However, I have also learnt that there are some ‘good’ alcohols!
First, let’s talk about the bad alcohol!

‘Bad’ alcohols (short chain alcohols)
These alcohols are added to hair products (usually hair sprays, mousses and foams) to shorten drying time. However, they can make the hair cuticle rough and leave it dry. Examples of bad alcohols to watch out for in hair ingredients include propyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, ethanol, SD alcohol, etc
Is Alcohol Bad For My Hair? (

Good alcohols
They are a different group of alcohols called fatty alcohols and they do not behave like ‘bad alcohols’.

Examples include: Cetyl alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Cetostearyl alcohol. They are commonly derived from palm oil and coconut oil and are usually found in hair conditioners (both rinse-out and leave-ins). They do not penetrate the hair but can make it feel soft.

They mainly function as:

  1. Viscosity-increasing agents (thickeners). They are responsible for the creamy look of conditioners. During conditioning, fatty alcohols are responsible for allowing conditioner to spread easily over the hair.
  2. Emulsifiers. The help the oil and water ingredients in our hair conditioners mix.
  3. Foam boosters.

Next time, you’re thinking of buying a new product and you see any of these ‘good’ alcohols in the ingredient list, fret not! They’re not one of the bad guys!

About the author
Dr Fomsky

Nigerian-born Dr Fomsky is a God-lover, a wife, a mom of three, a medical doctor by day. Plus she owns a Nigerian-based online hair product store called Sizzelle.
Dr Fomsky is very passionate about hair, skin and weight management. Since she's had her babies, she's been struggling to keep her weight and her tummy down!
At night, she likes to read books, write blog posts and leave comments on other blogs. She lives in Alberta, Canada and is also the author of Solving your relaxed hair breakage book .
LAST RELAXER DAY: December 15th, 2016
BIG CHOP: January 14th, 2017
Natural Hair, Unknown Porosity, Fine Hair strands, Low to Moderate Density

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