General Question

silverlining's avatar

If alcohol is drying to the hair, why is it an ingredient in most deep conditioning treatments?

Asked by silverlining (78points) June 28th, 2011

I recently just read that I should avoid using hair products containing alcohol because they are very drying. However, the very conditioner I am using to combat my dry, breakage-prone hair has alcohol in it. I did a quick google search to find that other brands contain it as well. Why is this?

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9 Answers

Judi's avatar

I think it’s a preservative

MissAnthrope's avatar

Not all types of alcohol are the same. I researched this a few years ago because I wondered the same thing. Basically, there are several types of alcohols that are on the moisturizing side of the scale, which is why they are used in shampoos and conditioners.

Glow's avatar

I actually use a conditioner that has no alcohol or chemicals in it x3 Apparently it’s a “vegan” conditioner. Many shampoos actually do dry out the hair.

crisw's avatar

Many alcohols used in shampoos are fatty alcohols. These are very different from isopropyl alcohol or ethyl alcohol.

crisw's avatar


Everything on this earth is made of chemicals. A conditioner with no chemicals wouldn’t exist.

Glow's avatar

@crisw – man made chemicals and sulfates.

boffin's avatar

Like what @crisw said these “Fatty” alcohols are actually synthetic substitutes for Whale Blubber. Used a while back in a whole bunch of cosmetic products. Had to come up with an alternative. Since we don’t want to hunt the wahle.

DesireeCassandra's avatar

It makes the hair shine.

cazzie's avatar

The one you want to avoid are the isopropyl (rubbing) and ethyl (the kind you drink which would not be used in cosmetics unless you made them yourself.) You see ‘denatured alcohol’ a lot. This is drying and stings on open cuts.

Very good article @crisw linked to that answers the alcohol question well, I think.

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