Cetyl Alcohol- This is a fatty alcohol that is derived from coconut and palm oils. Far from drying, this alcohol is actually an emollient (makes hair and skin softer).
Stearyl Alcohol- another fatty alcohol. It is nothing like ethanol, it is is actually a white solid and is insoluble in water. Stearyl alcohol is often used in conditioners and shampoos and acts as an emollient (softener).
Fatty alcohols provide an emollient effect, and bind water and oil to give our favorite conditioners their slip and creaminess. Cetyl and/or Sterayl alcohols are present in most of my favorite handmade products.
Here's a list of good Alcohols: