We are an educated society. Health enthusiasts have trained us to read the labels of our food, checking out the ingredients. Many of us also like to read the ingredients listed on the back of our hair care products. Most of these ingredients have very unfamiliar names. Let’s look at one that is more familiar.
What is that in my hair conditioner?
When reading the ingredients on the back of your bottle of conditioner, there are many names that seem foreign but there is one that is familiar – or at least you may think that you know what it is. That ingredient is Alcohol. Alcohol doesn’t seem like something that is good for your hair. So why is alcohol included in a product that is supposed to condition your hair?
Cetyl Alcohol is not an alcohol that has a drying effect, such as rubbing alcohol. Cetyl Alcohol is a fatty alcohol. It is derived from coconut and palm oils and is used as an emollient and emulsifier.
Emollient is something that is softening and soothing to skin and hair.In your hair conditioner, Cetyl Alcohol is used as a gentle humectant to soften the hair cuticle, soothe skin and prevent moisture loss. It also serves as a lather booster.
An emulsifier is something that causes separate ingredients to become a solution or emulsion.
What is that in my hair spray?
SD Alcohol 40
This is the alcohol that is found in alcoholic beverages. However, if it is in your hair spray, I wouldn’t taste it. In the United States, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau of the Department of Treasury requires is denatured so that it doesn’t taste good.
SD Alcohol 40 is used in many cosmetics and personal care products. When used in hair spray, it helps to carry the product our of the container. Once the important ingredients are out of the bottle, the alcohol evaporates, leaving the holding qualities on the hair.
This not the type that is found in alcoholic beverages. It has a bitter taste and can be toxic.
Isopropyl Alcohol is used as an antimicrobial, bactericide, and fungicide for sterilizing and disinfecting surfaces in hospitals, dairy farms, food processing plants, eating establishments, and in household dwellings. The small amount used in your hair spray it is effective as a sanitizer and as a solvent of other ingredients. Isopropyl Alcohol evaporates as the hair spray dries on your hair.
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