Is Dry Shampoo Bad for Your Health?
The simple answer to this question is YES!
Please bear with the length of this article; we want you to have all the information in one place.
With over 2 billion spent annually on dry shampoo, it is likely that many of you reading this post have a can of dry shampoo sitting on your vanity now. In full transparency, we write this with the hope that once you have all the information, you will ditch the toxic dry shampoo once and for all!
In October 2022, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced an Unilever dry shampoo recall , instructing consumers to stop using 19 of their dry shampoo brands, which contain elevated levels of benzene contamination from the propellant used by the manufacturer.
In December 2021, a similar Proctor & Gamble dry shampoo recall was issued, which impacted 32 separate lines of aerosol dry shampoo products containing elevated levels of benzene.
Since the dry shampoo products in both recalls are intended to be applied directly to the hair and scalp, health officials warned that benzene could enter an individual’s bloodstream through inhalation, orally, and through the skin, which, over time and repeated use, could result in adverse health effects from benzene exposure.
On November 1, the independent online pharmacy Valisure announced it has found high levels of benzene in most dry shampoo spray products it tested. After reviewing the results of its own benzene testing, Valisure filed an FDA Citizen petition to have the products pulled from store shelves for public safety.
Long-term health effects of exposure to benzene (per the CDC)
- The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
- Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.
- *Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
- The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs.
*We do not condone animal studies but the above is directly quoted from the CDC.
Have you decided to ditch your traditional dry shampoo yet? If you still need convincing, sadly, we are only just getting started!
Aerosol dry shampoos use a chemical propellant that sprays out of the can, onto your hair and into the air. This colorless, odorless gas is called LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and is made up of butane, propane and isobutane. If you didn’t catch that, they contain PROPANE!!! Does it make sense to you to use a product on your head and around your face that has an “extremely flammable” warning on it?
Not to mention that with repeated exposure these gasses pose serious risks such as respiratory issues, headaches, hormone disruption, organ damage and can cause long-term harm to the body. It’s also terrible for the environment; Mother Earth cries a little with every spray.
Many dry shampoos on the market today also contain talc, which is often contaminated with asbestos, including the powder-based dry shampoo formulas!!! And despite the claims that brands make stating “our talc is tested and asbestos free” please know that there is NO FOOLPROOF WAY OF KNOWING TALC IS FREE OF ASBESTOS WITHOUT TESTING EACH AND EVERY BATCH EXTENSIVELY! 99% of brands are NOT doing this!
And yes, the oil absorbing properties of talc are effective, but its potential deadly side effects are simply not worth it! The use of talc can cause many issues including: skin irritation, organ system toxicity, respiratory distress, and serious cancer risks. With all the data available about the potentially lethal effects of talc, in our opinion, any brand that continues to use talc in their products, FULLY UNDERSTANDS that they may be putting your health at risk.
If you haven’t already, check out the HBO Max documentary series, Not So Pretty. It does a beautiful job at laying out the facts and showing real life examples of people living (and dying) because of using products with talc.
We could go on and on for days about the dangers of talc use in personal care products, so please check all your product ingredients carefully, as talc is likely hiding in a good number of your cosmetics!
Outside of the serious health implications that we’ve outlined above, below are just a few more issues associated with the use of dry shampoo.
Every spray of an aerosol hair product is anywhere from 10-70% gas, the rest being your actual hair product. If accidentally inhaled (which is almost always, as the product that doesn’t make it in your hair, is just hanging out in the air), people may see respiratory problems, asthma attacks, nausea, and/or vomiting.
As dry shampoo builds up on the scalp it can prevent nutrients from being able to reach the hair follicle. This can result in inflammation of the scalp and blockage of the follicles, which could lead to potential hair shedding, hair thinning and ultimately hair loss.
Dandruff is frequently experienced due to an oil imbalance that causes skin cells to build up and then shed. To avoid this, you need to keep you scalp clean and balanced, which is the opposite effect of what dry shampoo use ultimately produces.
Not only can the use of dry shampoo cause potentially deadly health issues, it’s also TERRIBLE for your hair and scalp health. And this is still not an exhaustive list of the health challenges with dry shampoo; for that we’d have to write a novel!
Ok…it’s time…head to your bathroom and get rid of the toxic dry shampoo once and for all!
THE GOOD NEWS – THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES!!!
We highly recommend giving Scalpfix™, our all-natural dry shampoo alternative, a try. You will not experience the same results as what you are used to, but if you stick with it, your hair and scalp will adapt to this new routine. Within a few weeks, your scalp health will start to return, and your hair will look healthier than ever!
If you feel like you still need the “powdery” effects of a traditional dry shampoo, you can always use Scalpfix™ in conjunction with a non-toxic powder formula. Here’s a DIY recipe that is totally safe and works beautifully!
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder.
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda.
- (For non-platinum-blondes) 1 to 2 tablespoons of coloring powder (cinnamon for lighter color, cocoa powder for darker hair).
Mix the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly. Apply onto roots with a cosmetic brush and blend with your fingertips. If needed, blow dry for a few seconds to further blend it in.
Questions? Feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com.
XOXO, Carter + Jane