Education, Wellness / Self-Care

What is Octyldodecanol and how can it help my Hair?

Wait, so how do you say it?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jun 25, 2022

Here’s the thing, octyldodecanol is actually common in a variation of products. Since no one can pronounce this word, it’s easy to skip over it when checking a label. From lotion to cologne, octyldodecanol is probably in your dopp kit right now.


What is it? Octyldodecanol is a type of alcohol that is usually used to keep emulsions safe. Emulsifiers are commonly found in products with ingredients that could separate—with an emulsion, they don’t. These products can include shampoo, leave-in, and conditioner.


So, you’re probably wondering if a word that sounds like it should belong on the periodic table is dangerous for you. Let’s find out.


Does octyldodecanol have benefits?

Octyldodecanol is a supportive ingredient. Meaning that, because it helps form those emulsions we talked about earlier, it can make a product easy to apply. Shampoo that’s oily at the top of the bottle and watery at the bottom isn’t appealing for anyone—so we have octyldodecanol to thank for keeping that from happening.


What’s more, this ingredient helps to stop ingredients from foaming when its shaken. Again—no one wants a foaming leave-in. It’s also used in some moisturizers and cleansers for the same reason.


Going back to its benefits for hair, octyldodecanol can directly effect your hair and scalp, not just product ingredients. It’s very moisturizing, and keeps hair smooth. Note how it’s also used in conditioner. Overall, octyldodecanol can improve the health of your scalp, as well. Because it’s an emulsifier, it promotes a healthy skin barrier.


A healthy scalp is a happy scalp, and that means the same for your hair.


Nice, can octyldodecanol work for all hair?

Great news, because it’s in most hair products, octyldodecanol is perfectly safe. You don’t have to worry if you have curly or color-treated hair, either. And if it’s dry, you can look for products with this ingredient—remember, it helps condition.


However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to stick to using more natural products, as this ingredient may be irritating. Though, if you check your products right now, see octyldodecanol, and you aren’t experiencing dry skin, you’re most likely fine.


We’ve talked about the scalp a lot, here’s what you need to know about how the scalp keeps your hair healthy.