In this article:
Taking care of your luscious locks is an integral part of everyday life, and selecting the right product can be a really tough experience. With so many options out there, it’s easy to get tangled up.
One hair care ingredient that has sparked some debate is benzyl alcohol. While some sing its praises, others have fears about its potential harm to hair.
According to experts, benzyl alcohol is safe for your hair but may have some side effects when used excessively.
This article will get to the root of the matter and explore whether benzyl alcohol is a yes or no for the hair.
According to experts and dermatologists, excessive use of benzyl alcohol on the hair can dry out the scalp, leading to dandruff and other scalp issues. This is because benzyl alcohol has a drying effect on the hair and can strip it of its natural oils, leaving it dry and brittle.
Furthermore, experts warn that benzyl alcohol can cause irritation and itching, especially in those with sensitive skin. However, these negative effects only arise with a very high concentration of benzyl alcohol, which isn’t usually seen in hair products.
Also, with limited research, not much can be said, except that benzyl alcohol isn’t bad for your hair when used in moderation.
As far as hair care goes, benzyl alcohol is a pretty safe bet. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel has evaluated the safety of benzyl alcohol and concluded that it is safe for use in hair care products at concentrations up to 5%, and for hair dyes, the limit is 10%. (1)
But some people might have an allergic reaction to benzyl alcohol, which could result in itchiness and redness. (1)
Uses of Benzyl Alcohol for Hair
Benzyl alcohol mainly plays a preservative action in hair care products, but it may also have other benefits and uses.
Here are some of the benefits of benzyl alcohol.
1. Has preservative power
Benzyl alcohol has an incredible ability to keep hair products from going bad. Do you know how you don’t worry about your expensive shampoo being bait to fungal or bacterial growth? It’s all because of benzyl alcohol. (2)
2. Fights frizz
When used in hair conditioners, benzyl alcohol can help tame flyaways and smooth out frizz.
3. Serves as a solvent
As a solvent, benzyl alcohol can dissolve other ingredients in hair products, making them easier to apply and allowing for effortless hair care. (2)
4. Removes lice
Say goodbye to pesky critters called lice and hello to healthy, lice-free hair with the use of 5% benzyl alcohol.
In one study that involved over 600 people, over 75% of the people who used benzyl alcohol lotion (5%) were completely lice-free. (3)
5. Provides a pleasing scent
Benzyl alcohol is also used as a fragrance in some hair care products. So not only will your hair look good, but it will also smell amazing. (2)
The Role of Benzyl Alcohol in Hair Care Products
Here are some of the common uses of benzyl alcohol in hair care products.
1. Shampoos and conditioners
2. Hair dyes
Benzyl alcohol is used as a solvent to dissolve dyes and as a preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi. This means your hair color will last longer and won’t fade as quickly. (1)
While benzyl alcohol lotion (5%) is a common ingredient in hair care products, it’s important to be aware of its possible side effects. These can include skin, scalp, and eye irritations.
Don’t worry, though – like with any medication, if you follow the instructions on the label, you’ll be able to enjoy all its benefits while minimizing the risks.
One thing to keep in mind is that benzyl alcohol lotion should only be applied to the scalp or hair. Also, it’s not suitable for children under 6 months old. (3)
Can benzyl alcohol cause dandruff?
Benzyl alcohol has a drying effect on the hair and scalp, which can lead to dandruff.
Is benzyl alcohol safe to use in hair products?
Benzyl alcohol is generally safe to use in hair products.
Benzyl alcohol is a versatile ingredient commonly used in hair products as a preservative and conditioning agent.
While it has several benefits for the hair, it can cause dryness and irritation in some individuals. It is, therefore, essential to use hair products that suit your hair type and to avoid using them excessively.