Alcohol-Free Conditioner: Does It Work for All Hair Types?

Spoiler alert: It's not for everyone.

If we asked you what ingredients you want removed from certain hair products, many may join the bandwagon with every wellness junkie out there and ask for the removal of parabens, sulfates and alcohol. However, what some of us may not know is that not every single ingredient is bad for you or your hair, like in the case of most alcohols. Just because you come across an alcohol-free conditioner doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s better than those that do contain the ingredient. Most of the time, alcohols found in conditioners are actually beneficial to the overall health of your hair. Don’t believe us? Read on as we debunk the alcohol-free conditioner myth.

Alcohol-Free Conditioner: To Use or Not to Use

alcohol free conditioner
Keep your hair healthy by using the best conditioner for your hair type.

When you first think of alcohol being an ingredient in a hair care product, many of us tend to associate it with the alcohol we use on our skin to treat wounds. We have good news for you: Isopropyl alcohol, which is used in rubbing alcohol, is not the same alcohol found in your hair product. We can only imagine the drying and damaging effect that form of alcohol would have on hair!

If you find yourself wondering why conditioners are made with alcohol in the first place, it’s simply because fatty alcohols help your hair retain moisture. If you have dry hair and you are seeking to use a conditioner that will help condition and moisturize your hair, using an alcohol-free conditioner may not work in your favor.

On the flip side, if you do come across an alcohol-free conditioner that is said to moisturize your hair, the conditioner may have other ingredients that help retain moisture. In this case, it is up to you to determine what these ingredients are and if they are truly effective.

Who can benefit from an alcohol-free conditioner?

We’re not canceling out alcohol-free hair conditioners altogether. Any conditioner that leaves your hair better than how it was before usage is a plus in our book. There are some hair types that can benefit from using alcohol-free conditioners.

Since fatty alcohols work well at moisturizing hair and help trap moisture into your strands, this also means that it contains substances that produce oil. Oil substances have the ability to lock in moisture which is a good thing for most hair types. However, if you have super oily hair, an alcohol-free hair conditioner may be a better option for you. Fine hair types that would rather not have weighed-down hair can also go for an alcohol-free conditioner. But let’s say you have fine, dry hair—what do you do then? In this case, you can look for a conditioner that does contain alcohol but look for formulas that are lightweight. A great option is Dove Oxygen Moisture Conditioner. It has a lightweight formula that conditions and helps with volumizing flat and fine hair types.