If you have natural afro or naturally curly hair, you know that your hair needs all the moisture it can get. You also may have heard that it is best to avoid products that contain alcohol, as it can be drying to the hair. So why do we see ‘alcohol’ listed in so many of the natural/curly hair products? Even conditioning products? SOME alcohols can cause dry, frizzy hair while OTHERS can act to condition your hair!
FATTY alcohols are derived from natural sources and are moisturising. They are added to hair creams, and conditioners giving them volume and a velvety texture.They thicken a product and give a smooth, soft feeling to the hair shaft by helping the cuticle to lie flat on the surface of the hair creating softness. Fatty alcohols include: Stearyl alcohol,Behenyl alcohol,Lauryl alcohol, Cetyl alcohol, Myristyl alcohol, Cetearyl alcohol and Propylene glycol, a form of alcohol used because it attracts and helps hair retain water.
As with all ingredients, it is wise to be cautious but not overly so. You may be missing out on some super hair treats by avoiding certain ingredients unnecessarily. Some alcohols may cause curly hair to be dried and frizzy, However, other alcohols help to condition our hair and make it soft and manageable.