Stearyl alcohol (also known as octadecyl alcohol or 1-octadecanol) is an organic compound with the formula CH3(CH2)16CH2OH. It is classified as a fatty alcohol. It takes the form of white granules or flakes, which are insoluble in water. It has a wide range of uses as an ingredient in lubricants, resins, perfumes and cosmetics. It is used as an emollient, emulsifier, and thickener in ointments of various sorts, and is widely used as a hair coating in shampoos and hair conditioners.
Stearyl alcohol is prepared from stearic acid or some fats by the process of catalytic hydrogenation. It has low toxicity.