Everything You Need to Know About Sorbitol for Hair

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol. It is naturally occurring in a range of fruits and vegetables. Unlike artificial sugar, it is low in calories and therefore, a key addition to sugar-free sweeteners. It may help promote dental health, ease constipation, and proved to be the best sweetener for diabetic people. Sorbitol may also help cleanse your hair and scalp. In this blog, we will discuss sorbitol uses for hair health.

What is Sorbitol?

Sorbitol is a polyalcohol containing more than one hydroxyl group. But what do we make out of this? The multiple hydroxyl groups closely packed together make it one of the most versatile naturally-occurring compounds. 

Sorbitol Uses

It’s the chemical structure of sorbitol that helps the body in several ways. Despite being sweet it is poorly absorbed by the body. As it does not hike the glucose levels in the body, it is touted as a ‘healthy sugar’. It is used in chewing gums, toothpaste, bakery and confectionery items, diet drinks, and ice creams as a sugar-free sweetener. 

Its polyalcohol structure also adds to its ability to attract and retain moisture, making it a perfect humectant. No wonder it is an important addition to cosmetic formulations such as creams, lotions, and serums.

Its mild laxative properties make it an effective remedy against constipation. It is also used in cough syrups for its sugar-free sweet taste and as a slip agent. 

Sorbitol for Hair

Of the many diverse sorbitol uses, the beauty benefits of sorbitol are profound. Its innate properties as a humectant with a thick and slippery texture make it a vital ingredient in skin and hair care products.  

Role of Sorbitol in Hair Care Products

The hair care products are either water-based or oil-based. We pick products based on our hair texture. In both products properties of humectant and surfactant become important. Sorbitol compounds bind oil and water molecules together making hair nourished and healthy. As a surfactant, the compounds bind with dirt and grime, making cleaning easier and more effective. 

Benefits of Sorbitol for Hair

Now that we know what is sorbitol used for, let’s understand more about its benefits for hair health.

Perfect for Hair Hydration

Well, hair hydration is the primary advantage of sorbitol. Its use traps the moisture within the hair strands. This reduces dryness and makes the hair soft and more manageable.

Remedy for Hair Fall

Once the scalp is nourished and the hair strands are well hydrated, don’t you think the problem of hair fall gets sorted automatically? Hydrated hair is less prone to breakage and hair fall.

Helps in Hair Cleansing

Do you know that Sorbitol compounds have a surfactant action? As the dirt, oils, and impurities from the hair and scalp bind with the sorbitol compounds they turn water-soluble. This makes rinsing and cleansing easier.

Improves Hair Texture

Sorbitol has a slippery texture and lubricating feel. It is hygroscopic which helps it attract and absorb water molecules from its surrounding environment. This makes the hair soft, shiny, smooth and tangle-free. 

Adds to Hair Elasticity

Do you know about the plasticizer abilities of sorbitol? The innate property of sorbitol adds to hair elasticity, increasing its tensile strength.

Increases Hair Volume

A healthy scalp and happy hair prolongs the anagen phase or the active growth phase of the hair. This gradually leads to increased hair volume. 

Is There A Wary Side To Sorbitol Use?

Thankfully, sorbitol does not have many side effects that one should be concerned about. But it’s always good to use it in moderation. Also, most of the precautions about safe sorbitol uses are linked to its oral intake. So, all in all, topical application of sorbitol for hair is safe and effective. 


Sorbitol can be safely rated as the latest trend in the haircare world. Despite all sorbitol uses linked to its oral consumption, its topical application is found to be worthwhile. But as it is only an addition in low amounts, the active ingredients in the hair care products are the ones that must be carefully assessed to reap desired results.  

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