Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Know Your Ingredients: Types of Alcohol In Your Hair Products

This is an article that I wrote for Coco Magazine that was published last month, unfortunately I missed it since I am now catching up on my reading. If you haven’t already, read the full article here! Don’t forget to follow the Coco Magazine on facebooktwitter, pinterest, youtube and instagram!

Before I started taking care of my hair I NEVER checked the list of ingredients in my hair products, I was swayed by attractive packaging, words and pictures on the front of a product. If a product had words like olive oil, jojoba, coconut and avocado written on it I did not hesitate to buy because I grew up knowing these things were good for hair. Little did I know that some of these hair products were also full of unwanted ingredients like drying alcohols so while one ingredient was suppose to be adding to the health of my hair others were doing the exact opposite. Certain types of alcohol can be drying to our hair while others help add moisture to it; hence all alcohols are not created equally.

Short Chain Alcohols

These are the drying alcohols that are BAD for our hair; they evaporate quickly taking our precious moisture and natural oils along with it. Keep your beautiful kinks, coils and curls away from these damaging alcohols:

§  SD Alcohol

§  SD Alcohol 40

§  Propanol

§  Propyl Alcohol

§  Isopropyl Alcohol

§  Ethanol aka Ethyl Alcohol

§  Alcohol Denat aka Denatured Alcohol

Long Chain Alcohols

These are the fatty alcohols that are GOOD for our hair, they help draw and lock in moisture. They are usually derived from natural sources and are often used as an emollient in hair products. Apart from helping to provide lubrication and leaving the hair smooth and soft, some of these fatty alcohols are also used as thickeners. These are the good guys that we don’t mind having in our hair products:

§  Cetyl Alcohol

§  Lauryl Alcohol

§  Stearyl Alcohol

§  Cetearyl Alcohol

§  Behenyl Alcohol

§  Myristyl Alcohol

§  Isocetyl Alcohol

§  Lanolin Alcohol

§  Isostearyl Alcohol

§  C30-50 Alcohol

Checking ingredients when purchasing hair products is a great healthy hair practice, always remember that what is written in the list of ingredients is more important than things like packaging.

Do you peruse the list of ingredients when purchasing hair products? Let us know in the comments below.

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