Alcohol in hair products – The pros and cons

Alcohol in hair products - The pros and cons

Nowadays, consumers are facing a challenge in finding natural and less harmful products. There are so many skins, hair, and cosmetic products containing alcohol and its chemical derivatives that it’s easy for our bodies to absorb potentially harmful chemicals. This can eventually lead to problems with our hair and skincare routines. To avoid this, it’s important to learn about ingredients. It is important to know which to avoid and which benefits you. Check Harmful Ingredients Of Hair Care Products if you want to learn more about other harmful chemicals in hair care products.

There Are Several Types Of Alcohol

Alcohols are not a single chemical but a group of chemicals with various properties. Based on its specific properties, alcohol can be either good or bad for your skin and hair. There is a difference between fatty alcohols and drying alcohols. The molecular structure of alcohol involves a non-polar carbon chain and a polar hydroxyl group (an oxygen atom bonded to a hydrogen atom) connected to one of the carbons in the chain. Different types of alcohols exhibit different properties according to the molecular structure determined by the number of carbon atoms in the molecule. In the manufacture of hair and skin care products, using two major types of alcohol is common:

Drying Or Short-chain Alcohols:

Alcohols of these types are small and have a low molecular weight. Also, they have fewer than three carbon atoms in their structure. In hair and skin care products, these alcohols evaporate quickly and can decrease the time it takes for a product to dry once you apply them. On the other hand, these alcohols wick away moisture from the skin and hair. It makes hair dry, brittle, and frizzy. It also compromises the delicate water and lipid balance in the dermis, leading to dry skin. Some of the most common short-chain alcohols that you will find in hair care products are ethanol, denatured alcohol, propanol, propyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol.

Fatty Or Long Chain Alcohols:

Usually, fatty alcohols contain 12 carbons per molecule and come from natural sources. A source of fatty alcohol is vegetable oil. Due to their higher carbon content, fatty alcohols can provide lubrication and hydration. In addition, they absorb and lock in moisture, preventing hair from drying out. Stearyl, Cetyl, and Cetearyl are all examples of fatty alcohols. You can find fatty alcohols in many hair care products. Fatty alcohols promote softness and effectively smoothing the cuticles of damaged hair.

In conclusion, as you learn more about the differences between alcohol, you can choose products that are best for you. It is important to research your ingredients and determine if the ingredient you are using is suitable for your hair type. In addition, you can look for alcohol-free products that are available in the market. Most companies mention this on the front side of the product.

Frequently Asked Questions About Alcohols In Curly Hair Products:

Do alcohols damage my curls?

If you have curly hair, alcohol can dry it out. You must be aware that curly hair tends to be drier than average.

Are curly hair products supposed to contain alcohol?

It is proven in the hair care world that alcohol is bad for hair! As a result, your hair becomes brittle and dehydrated, which may lead to hair loss. The damage caused by alcohol to weak hair can result in split ends and breakage.

What sorts of alcohols should be avoided in curly hair products?

Cetyl, Stearyl, Cetearyl, Myristyl, Behenyl, and Lauryl are the most common fatty alcohols used in hair products.
Avoid Alcohol denat, Ethanol, SD alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl.

What alcohols are safe for curly hair?

The long-chain alcohols derived from fats (usually coconut or palm oil) are different from ethanol and isopropanol and can be used in hair products.

Is cetyl alcohol harmful to curly hair?

In most cases, we should avoid alcohols that cause our delicate curly hair to become dry and frizzy. Other alcohols, however, such as cetyl alcohol, can help condition and soften our hair.

What are the benefits of fatty alcohols for hair?

Science has proven that fatty alcohols, such as Cetearyl Alcohol, have beneficial properties for hair and scalp! Cetearyl Alcohol hydrates, moisturizes, and smoothes the skin. In addition to softening the hair, it provides slip for more effortless detangling.

Why do companies use alcohols in conditioners?

In conditioners, isopropyl alcohol is primarily used for its drying properties and for its ability to absorb other substances into hair follicles. Therefore, among the evaporating features of this alcohol, companies that produce hairsprays and cosmetics are the most common consumers of these chemicals. But it shouldn’t be used in these products.

What is the source of fatty alcohols?

Fatty alcohols are aliphatic alcohols derived from natural fats and oils originating in plants and animals.

If you have any experience worth sharing, make sure to discuss it in the comments with others. This can be very useful for those who have similar challenges. Have you ever heard of alcohol in hair products? Please share your experience with us in the comment.

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