Why Do Most Hair Products Contain Isopropyl Alcohol?

Have you ever been curious about the listed ingredients at the back of your cosmetic products? Many of you might have noticed that isopropyl alcohol is a common ingredient among your sanitary items. Why is it a principal component, and how does it contribute to hair growth? Learn more about this chemical ingredient and its effects on your hair.

Getting to Know: What is Isopropyl Alcohol?

Isopropyl alcohol, ordinarily known as rubbing alcohol, is an alcoholic solution used in making detergents, antiseptics, and disinfectants. It is also a significant ingredient in hair growth shampoos and conditioners. Isopropyl alcohol can easily be mixed with water and other solutions. It is an odorless substance that provides cooling effects. It also evaporates quickly, leaving no traces of its existence.

This ome staple can also be found in many hair care items. Its primary purpose is to boost your shampoo’s ability to cleanse your scalp by dissolving the oils.

However, studies show that using isopropyl alcohol can damage your locks. Check out the effects of isopropyl alcohol on your mane.

Effects of Isopropyl Alcohol


  1. It dissolves the oil build-up on your scalp.

Most hair growth shampoos contain isopropyl alcohol for cleansing purposes. This chemical ingredient is comparable to water molecules, which can dissolve the oils on your hair and scalp.

  1. Its antiseptic properties kill bacteria.

Isopropyl alcohol is a powerful disinfectant that can kill all germs dwelling on your pate. Thus, you can avoid dandruff formation with the help of this ingredient.

  1. It can be used as an anti-head lice remedy.
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Though the alcoholic content may not kill these hair pests, most anti-hair lice shampoos use isopropyl alcohol as an ingredient to intoxicate them. If they are intoxicated, it will be easier for you to remove these tiny creatures from your strands.

  1. It allows for more absorption of chemicals. 

Short-chain alcohols such as isopropyl, ethanol, and propyl alcohols can combine well with water. Thus, isopropyl alcohol’s compounds are small enough to be absorbed by your follicles. Therefore, hair products, such as dyes, use alcohol for easier chemical absorption.

  1. It hastens drying time.

Isopropyl alcohol has a low molecular weight. Its evaporative ability is commendable because it vaporizes quickly, even at room temperature. Therefore, this alcoholic solution is added to many hair care ingredients such as shampoos, conditioners, dyes, and sprays so that the applied product dries rapidly.

  1. It strips your hair of moisture.

Since isopropyl alcohol can easily access your follicles, it can dehydrate your mane, causing your strands to become dry and brittle.

  1. It makes your hair frizzy and dull.

Since there isn’t enough moisture on your locks due to dehydration, your strands start forming into tight, curly balls. The alcohol’s drying effect also makes your hair look dull and lifeless.

FAQ: Is Isopropyl Alcohol Safe for your Hair?

Not all alcohols are detrimental to your hair. Some fatty alcohols can soften your hair and scalp. On the other hand, isopropyl alcohol prevents bacterial invasion and oil accumulation. However, prolonged usage of hair growth products with isopropyl alcohol can damage your locks. Not only does it dehydrate your follicles, but it also prevents your hair from looking lustrous and bouncy.

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Choose Alcohol-Free Hair Growth Products.

It is vital to keep your locks well-hydrated. Therefore, use hair growth shampoos and conditioners that do not contain alcohol. It would be better to choose products with moisturizing ingredients such as coconut oil, Shea butter, natural honey, aloe vera, and olive oil. You can also lather your homemade hair mask concoction on your scalp to give your hair a break from isopropyl alcohol’s drying effects.