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View Full Version : Alcohol in hair products - how bad is it?



milque
April 17th, 2014, 04:15 PM
I have always been of the opinion that alcohol-containing products are bad for your hair and have always stayed away from things like hairsprays because of that. Then I found that the much loved Aubrey Organics HSR has alcohol denat. in it, and so does most their other conditioners. I use the HSR myself and have no problems with. So I'm curious, does that mean alcohol in hair products is not that bad after all?

In2wishin
April 17th, 2014, 04:42 PM
First, there is the list of the "good" alcohols

Fatty Alcohols (Provide emollient effect, lubricity, emulsion stabilization):

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

The drying alcohols like denatured, isopropyl, methanol, SD alcohol 40, Witch hazel, ethanol (good for other things :toast::alcoholic::beer: ) are often used as solvents to help certain ingredients mix with other ingredients and also may have some preservative properties. If it is really low on the ingredient list, I wouldn't worry too much.

lapushka
April 17th, 2014, 04:55 PM
I have always been of the opinion that alcohol-containing products are bad for your hair and have always stayed away from things like hairsprays because of that. Then I found that the much loved Aubrey Organics HSR has alcohol denat. in it, and so does most their other conditioners. I use the HSR myself and have no problems with. So I'm curious, does that mean alcohol in hair products is not that bad after all?

The only thing I'm really wary of is alcohol in my gels! It's *always* drying alcohol, and it flakes to hell and beyond if that's in there.

milque
April 17th, 2014, 05:12 PM
Hi In2wishin, thanks for the informative reply. The alcohol in AO HSR comes in third in the ingredients list:

Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat. (38b, Lavender Organic), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) (Organic), Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice (Organic), Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (Organic), Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil (Organic), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Foeniculum Vulgare (Fennel) Fruit Extract, Humulus Lupulus (hops) Extract, Melissa Officinalis (Balm Mint) Leaf Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Extract, Beta Carotene, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Angelica Archangelica Extract, Chrysanthemum Sinense Flower Extract, Magnolia Biondii Flower Extract, Ascorbic Acid


I have also read that some people have used it as a deep conditioner, and I have used it myself as a normal conditioner with no ill results. Could it be that all the other ingredients (botanical oils and extracts) kinda cancel out the drying effects of the alcohol?

lapushka, yes I am wary about that too! That's why I stay away from hair gels and the sorts. It caught me by surprise that a brand like AO would have a drying alcohol so high up in the list.

I'm only just beginning to learn about the ingredients in hair products and what they do in conjunction with others, so I apologize if I'm asking too many questions!

In2wishin
April 17th, 2014, 05:27 PM
Hi In2wishin, thanks for the informative reply. The alcohol in AO HSR comes in third in the ingredients list:

Water (Aqua), Cetyl Alcohol, Alcohol Denat. (38b, Lavender Organic),

It looks like it was used to do something with the lavender, probably extract it. I think you are right that the cetyl alcohol (one of the "good" fatty alcohols) and the amount of oils (shea, wheat germ, jojoba, rosa rubiginosa, soybean) combined will be more than enough to counteract any potential drying effects of the denatured alcohol and witch hazel.

milque
April 17th, 2014, 07:36 PM
It looks like it was used to do something with the lavender, probably extract it. I think you are right that the cetyl alcohol (one of the "good" fatty alcohols) and the amount of oils (shea, wheat germ, jojoba, rosa rubiginosa, soybean) combined will be more than enough to counteract any potential drying effects of the denatured alcohol and witch hazel.

Yeah I think that does make a lot of sense.