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Alcohols and why we use them.

Alcohols and why we use them.

At Noughty, we pride ourselves on being an inclusive brand, committed to offering exceptional performance at an accessible price. We choose to be transparent and informative about the strong values that sit at our core, which include being 97% natural, cruelty-free, and vegan. These commitments and choices play a significant role in our formulation decisions.

One of the ingredients we often get asked about is alcohol so we want to share with you, the role and function of different alcohols in beauty products and in particular explain why we choose to use isopropyl alcohol at very low levels, in just a handful of our own Noughty products. 

In chemistry, alcohols are a large family of chemicals. Just like anything in life, all alcohols aren’t equal nor do they all play the same role when used in haircare. For example, at low levels, ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohols can be used very effectively to disperse fragrances and oils in formulations, ensuring products stay stable and smell great. When used in high levels, these alcohols are known to be drying. Conversely, fatty alcohols, including cetyl, stearyl, cetearyl and lanolin alcohol, function differently on skin and hair. They can be moisturising and are used to help improve the hair’s condition.

At Noughty, we only use very low levels of isopropyl alcohol and we only use it when it allows us to formulate within the parameters of our very important values and commitments. We use it because it's effective to disperse fragrance and oils, and because we know at extremely low levels, it won’t contribute to the drying out of the hair. For us, choosing the right ingredient, at the right level, in the right place to support our important values, drives our formulation choices. We won’t ever use it, where there is a better alternative to do this and we never use more than 0.1%.

It's important to know that when we formulate a product, we juggle a lot of factors, making compromises to deliver on our commitments. But where we won’t compromise, is our values. We recognise that isopropyl alcohol is not compatible with the curly girl method and we don’t like that. But we set out to create products we know our customers want and need, and we have to make decisions along the way that mean some of you have more and better choices, but also mean the product isn’t always right for everybody. So we listen and try to do better. That’s why we are actively engaged in a search for, and evaluation of, alternatives to alcohol that won’t compromise on performance, or price but will meet the needs of our wonderful Curly Girl Method supporters.

So, if we make a product with ingredients that aren’t compatible with how you care for your hair, it’s not because we don’t hear you or appreciate you, or even understand you. We aim to offer a choice. Choice restricted only by the values and commitments we live by as a brand. So sometimes you might not love every product but what we do hope, is that you feel heard, and more than that, we hope we make products that you love. In the meantime, please keep talking to us about what works for you and what’s missing from your bathroom shelf, because guaranteed, we are listening.

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