Q. Are haircare products containing alcohol bad for your hair and scalp?
A. It depends on the alcohol! There are many different types of alcohol. While some are certainly harsh and drying (such as rubbing alcohol, used in disinfectants), others are actually moisturising, emollient and protective. The ‘good’ types of alcohols are called fatty alcohols, and are used extensively in cosmetics as thickeners and emollients. Examples include cetyl alcohol and stearyl alcohol. So, an ‘alcohol free’ product is not necessarily better than one containing alcohol – it may even be worse.
Q. Do hair products cause build-up on your hair?
A. Shampoos and conditioners should not leave a residue or build-up on your hair. If you find that your hair feels limp, coated, and/or oily after washing, this is most likely because you are using products that are too heavy for your hair texture. It may also be because you are not rinsing out your shampoo or conditioner thoroughly enough. Non-lathering shampoos in particular may be harder to rinse out, and often require extra time under the shower.
As for styling products, you can remove whatever you put on your hair simply by washing it with a well-formulated shampoo that is correct for your hair texture. If you have used a lot of styling product, give your locks a more thorough shampooing than usual. You do not need special ‘clarifying’ shampoos to remove excess residue - shampoos, by nature, are already clarifying.