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What are the side effects of SAUAVE hairspray?

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My mother is addicted to Suave Hairspray What is she doing to her body and is this stuff worse than large quantities of regular alcohol? ingredients include SD Alcohol 40 B, Water, Acrylates Crosspolymer, Amino Methyl Propanol, Dioctylsodium Sulfosuccinate, Sodium Benzoate, Dimethicone Copolyol (Silica), Cyclopentasiloxane, Masking Fragrance (Parfum), Tocopherol (Natural Vitamin E), Panthenol, Butylene Glycol, AMP Isostearoyl Hydrolyzed Soy Protein
I believe it is called "Ocean Water"

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
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Thank you for choosing DoctorSpring.

I need some additional information from you so that I can help you better.

1.When you say she is addicted , you do mean that she consumes it right ? or Do you mean local application as in rubbing it over the body or mucosal surface ?

2. Does she have any unusual symptoms ? Is she healthy otherwise ?

3.Does she consume alcohol ? Does she substitute alcohol for this hair spray or vice versa ?

You can reply as a followup
Thank you

Patient replied :

She mixes it with a gallon of water then drinks it. She has been known to drink wine but she has to drink a gallon just to feel the effects. Im not sure if this hairspray is doing more damage then if she just drank all that wine or if its all the same. She acts the same if she drinks either. She has no obvious symptoms of ill health otherwise that I have seen.


Thank you. There are different type of alcohol in that hair spray like SD Alcohol 40 B, Amino Methyl Propanol etc . In addition there are different solvents present too. A combination of this can give an 'alcohol' like kick, but different from regular alcohol.

These components can be damaging to health especially used in long term.
Dioctylsodium sulfosuccinate , Sodium Benzoate, Panthenol, Butylene Glycol - all can have side effects ranging from liver toxicity to cardiac effects. Its a good sing that she is otherwise healthy. You should try and talk her out this. You can get a basic set of investigation done to make sure the liver and kidney function has not been affected by this. I recommend a Liver Function test, Renal function test and a complete blood count. You can get back to me with the results or if you have more follow up queries.

Thank you

Patient replied :

I can't get her to the doctor. She knows she can't quit and doesn't want to know the damage. I can't stop her from drinking. If I get her to drink regular alchohal instead of this stuff can I extend her life at all? Would the damage be less than the hairspray? The way I see it she either drinks a gallon of wine or a bottle of hair spray I just don't know which is worse


This is actually a tricky question. We do not have data on how dangerous the hair spray is. Still I would suggest to get her off the hair spray. If that alcohol can be limited to 1 or 2 drinks she will be fine. If she is going to drink too much alcohol then it will be equally or even more damaging.

So try to withhold the hairspray. And then slowly cut down on alcohol amount. If you can get the blood test done meanwhile it will be great.

Hope this helps
Thank you

Patient replied :

Will the testing do any good if I can't stop her drinking? She's been drinking for a long time and shows no signs of stopping. I'm sure the damage is irreversable. Is there anything a doctor could even do?

If the tested values are normal, it is kind of reassurance. But you are correct if you cannot stop her drinking then there is no point in testing. The only treatment is to stop its consumption.

Thank you

Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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