Shampoo Without Chemicals: Does Alcohol Damage Your Hair?

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On a daily basis, I probably hear at least one tip on keeping your hair healthy. Even when I am definitely not looking for them. There’s always an aunt, a grandmother, or an extremely up-to-speed, chic and trendy friend to offer either some old-school advice, or the latest beauty industry tricks.

“If you brush like that, you’ll eventually go bald”. “Stop bringing that dryer so close”. “That product is so not good for you, while this one will make your hair so soft and glistening, plus it smells wonderful”. Seriously, it’s like I am subscribed to a daily dose of hair care advice. Don’t get me wrong, I get some useful pointers from time to time, but it’s mostly just people’s subjective opinion, and it’s not like they are all experts. Useful site.

However, there is one recurring piece of information, which everyone seems to agree on. “Use a shampoo without chemicals, since alcohol is really bad for your hair”. No matter how (un)reliable your sources are, when you hear something so many times, you can’t help but wonder if it’s actually correct.

This is why I decided to take matters into my own hands and check if this is just another hear-say story that circles around, or if there really is something to it. After all, how naive would I be to simply take everyone by their word? So, let’s see what I have found.

Mystery Solved?

First, let me tell you what I have learned about alcohol-free shampoo. It seems to be quite the real deal. If you have a hair type prone to frizz, or if you need to weigh it down, then get yourself this product. By using it, you can get a smoother texture and a neater look.

Furthermore, it allows for more moisture, and can be especially beneficial during winters. Therefore, you should take a look at the complete buyers guide to shampoos free of alcohol here and get yourself the product that protects you hair from the damage caused by cold weather. Or, from any kind of damage, really.

Alcohol-free shampoos are known for using ingredients such as argan oil, rosemary, ginger, and other natural substances that are rather beneficial for the overall quality of hair. They also fight dandruff, soften your hair and give it a healthy shine. Where does the healthy shine come from? Why, from all the health in contained in the product, of course!

Since I couldn’t find a single flaw with this nature-based product, I guess that all my advice givers were right on this one. Mystery solved, right? Not quite. Our question wasn’t if shampoos without alcohol are good for you. They clearly couldn’t be better. But, our question was whether shampoos with alcohol are bad for you and let’s now get to that.

Mystery Solved – Take Two

I could give you a really short and straightforward answer. Yes, alcohol does damage your hair. However, it gets a little more complicated than that. As nothing is ever simple, neither is the question of shampoos. Let me explain.

There are two types of alcohol that manufacturers use in hair products. For the purposes of making this explanation as clear as possible, let’s call them the good and the bad alcohol. While the good one is not that harmful, the bad one can be extremely unsafe and dangerous and you should avoid it altogether.

The bad alcohols are the one with a short-chain structure. In addition to that, they also have a low molecular weight.  They are put in shampoosso that your hair could dry faster. Does that sound like a good thing? Because, it really isn’t.

There is a downside to being able to achieve that dryness effect. Could you possibly guess the very first thing that these products do, and that’s not so healthy? Well, of course, it’s very obvious. They take all the moisture out of your hair and the skin of your head.

Due to that, the cuticle roughens, and the hair becomes frizzy and dry. If you consult a dermatologist, they will tell you that short-chain alcohols disrupt the balance between water and lipid in your dermis, which is what causes the dryness. Additionally, that might lead to dandruff development.

Some of the most common harmful alcohols you can find in products are SD alcohol, denatured, ethanol, propanol, propyl and some more. So, the next time you buy a hair product, make sure to read the ingredients carefully. If they contain any of these substances, make sure to return it to the shelf and not spend money on something that is not good for you. And the next time someone tries to offer me advice on this topic, I guess I’d better listen very carefully.

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