Blame it on the a a a alcohol

Q: How do you spot a naturalista in the hair and beauty aisle while shopping?

A: They’re the ones scrutinizing the ingredients on each product they pick up! 

If you’re anything like me, you would be standing with a product in one hand and your mobile in the other, trying to Google ingredients because bliksem, they have long strange names! Well, fear not dear naturalista, Cape Town Curly is here to help. I’ve done some research on alcohol in products to begin with. The perception is that alcohol dries out your hair – True, these are called drying alcohols. We’re not going to concentrate on them because, well, they’re bad. We’re going to concentrate on the alcohols in products that can actually help your hair! Let me break it down for you without getting to sciencey.


Fatty Alcohols

These are the good alcohols. Fatty alcohols are derived from plant oil (eg. coconut oil & palm oil) and animal oils. They are used in products because of their emollient and thickening properties. Ever wondered what gives your product that extra slip while detangling, why some products help moisturize your hair or why a particular product makes your hair feel so soft? Well we have fatty alcohols to thank for some of that.

The good alcohols you need to look for are:

Cetyl Alcohol

Lauryl Alcohol

Stearyl Alcohol

Cetearyl Alcohol

Myristyl Alcohol

Behenyl Alcohol

When you see any of these listed in the ingredients, you’re safe. And they said alcohol was bad for you!

Let me know if you found this post helpful and I will do more research. Is there a particular ingredient you want me to break down? 





  1. Janine
    03/07/2017 / 09:26

    WOW … thank you so much for this Amanda. Even though I am one of those naturalist that stands and reads the ingredients, a decision needs to be made quick and data is expensive.. LOL Most times I walk out with nothing, unless I have read a review and just have to try it myself.
    I am more informed now, cause when I eventually get to research the words in the ingredients I forgot half of it. 😀

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 09:38

      Hi Janine, thanks for your comment. It’s my pleasure. Let me know if there is anything else you want me to blog about.

  2. 03/07/2017 / 09:41

    Love this. Very helpful article!

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 15:06

      Thanks Juwayra!

  3. bree
    03/07/2017 / 10:15

    Mandy to the rescue once again .all this alcohol was just Greek to me before 🙈 now I have an idea of what to look out for atleast 👍🏼 awesome piece

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 12:07

      Thank you Bree! Glad I could help

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 12:01

      Thanks so much Melanie

  4. Angela
    03/07/2017 / 12:26

    Tell me what can I use on bcz I was using damatol but now my hair is hard i don’t even know how to style it pls give advice what to use

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 12:33

      I am not familiar with damatol. What is your hair routine? Do you use oils on your hair?

  5. Tuba
    03/07/2017 / 12:31

    Sweet short and to the point post! Thank you

    • capetowncurly
      03/07/2017 / 15:06

      Thanks Tuba. Short and sweet is the best way to go.

  6. 04/23/2017 / 08:55

    Thanks for some other excellent post. Where else may just anyone get that kind of info
    in such a perfect manner of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m at the search for such information.

  7. Nikki Chothia
    04/25/2017 / 21:57

    Thanks Mandy, I’ve been avoiding all alcohols. Nice to know some are actually good for you.
    The post was short and sweet and to the point.
    Love it! And love your writing style.

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