Are All Alcohols Drying?

I've been asked this question 5 times in the past week!

Here's a list of the 'okay' or 'fatty' alcohols:

Behenyl alcohol
Cetearyl alcohol
Cetyl alcohol
Isocetyl alcohol
Isostearyl alcohol
Lauryl alcohol
Myristyl alcohol
Stearyl alcohol
C30-50 Alcohols
Lanolin alcohol

Fatty alcohols provide an emollient effect, and bind water and oil to give our favorite conditioners their slip and creaminess.

Cetyl and/or Sterayl alcohols are present in most of my favorite products (Pantene R&N Breakage Defense Mask, Herbal Essence Hello Hydration, DevaCare One C). I found the following descrptions on Treasured Locks:
  • Cetyl Alcohol- This is a fatty alcohol that is derived from coconut and palm oils. Far from drying, this alcohol is actually an emollient (makes hair and skin softer).

  • Stearyl Alcohol- another fatty alcohol. It is nothing like ethanol, it is is actually a white solid and is insoluble in water. Stearyl alcohol is often used in conditioners and shampoos and acts as an emollient (softener).
I hope this clarifies some things chicas!


7 Weigh in!:
Justme said...

Wow how surreal! I was looking at the ingredient list of a new organic conditioner I purchased recently and was thinking "what is it with all these alcohols!!" It contained cetyl alcohol. Well, thanks to you Nikki, I know better today. :=) Thanks!!

Anonymous said...

I never knew that. Thanks!

Amina said...

thank you so much for the information
when i first stated using qhemet products and she has some of these alcohols listed, i was like...eeuh..i thought it was all natural..
now i understand better

~marti26. said...

Thanks so much for this info!! I've tried to find this stuff out in the past and it ust left me confused. Thanks again.

Maria said...

Thank you Nikki. Alcohol dries out my hair more than mineral oil! I stay away from it at all costs.

JessB said...

THX!!! i'm a stickler about what's in the products that i use in my hair & have been going a lil nuts tryin to find something w/o alcohol in i can gain my sanity back! LOL :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much! This is great information. I've been checking ingredients on products and I was really confused by the different types of "alcohol."

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