Fatty alcohol is really beneficial for the hair and skin in a variety of ways. I'm sure you've read the words cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, or stearyl alcohol on a product listed as one of the ingredients. Fatty alcohol sources can be obtained from animals, plants, or a completely synthetic process. Fatty alcohols provide conditioning and manageability for the hair and cetyl alcohol enhances Behentrimonium Methosulfate, a very popular conditioner and emulsifier that is made from rapeseed oil. Fatty alcohols help to give and enhance that silky/soft feeling we like for our hair and skin.
Fatty alcohols are different from non-fatty alcohols, the big difference between fatty and non-fatty alcohols are the number of carbons in the molecules. A non-fatty alcohol has a lower number of carbons such as one through nine which makes this ingredient a drying substance. Non-fatty alcohols are found in facial products as astringents. Yet, non-fatty alcohols are used in some hair care products since hair can dry quicker by using this ingredient. These alcohols do help to dry hair more quickly but can increase breakage and weaken strands of hair.
Fatty alcohols, such as the previously mentioned, should be embraced for the skin and hair.Fatty alcohols contain a high number of carbons that give the moisturizing quality that are often used to add moisture to the hair or skin. Some fatty alcohols can also add a little bit of thickness to the product as well. Below is a list of fatty alcohols.
Some Fatty Alcohols: