Dry shampoo and I used to get along real well. Like, we were BFFs.
I would get out of the shower, blow dry and style my hair, and then hit it with some dry shampoo just as a safety measure in case my hair got greasy towards the end of the day.
I’d come home, and just before I went back out, I would dry shampoo it up again. And then in the morning again.
Dry shampoo is great for thin hair because it not only absorbs oil that weighs down hair, it adds a little more density and thickness to fine hair (this also applies to hair powders like Toppik, dry sprays, and styling powders).
But it also ruins your hair over time.
Here’s three reasons why:
1. Dry Shampoo Clogged My Scalp
The categorization itself, “dry shampoo” is misleading because it doesn’t actually clean your hair at all.
It’s is a starch/alcohol based product that absorbs oil in your hair and scalp. Sure, it soaks up your unwanted oils but it also soaks up everything else and leaves your hair brittle and prone to breakage.
For me, my biggest problem was my scalp. It was super itchy and flaky due to accumulating dry shampoo. I had small red bumps throughout my scalp, which are signs of folliculitis, a common inflammatory skin condition that affects your hair follicles caused by a fungal or bacterial infection. Over time, this can cause scarring and even permanent hair loss.
Other signs and symptoms of scalp folliculitis include:
- clusters of tiny, red bumps on your scalp that may have a white tip
- sores with yellowish-brown scabs
- sores that drain pus
- burning or stinging sensation
- pain or tenderness
2. Dry Shampoo often has toxic ingredients
The most common ingredient you should watch out for is Talc. It’s a mineral that in its natural state can contain asbestos. But even asbestos-free talcum powder has been connected with ovarian cancer (Google the J&J baby powder case).
The American Cancer Society noted that studies have shown mixed results, “with some studies reporting a slightly increased risk and some reporting no increase.” They encourage people who are concerned about the rick of cancer (but I mean…who ISN’T?) to avoid using the products until more research has been done.
I was super surprised to see that Bumble and Bumble Bb brownish hair powder (a top seller and one that I previously reviewed on my Instagram) has talc in it. The ingredients are hidden on the bottle – you have to peel the sticker to even see the list and then WAY back to see talc as an ingredient. Just try to spot it in the picture below. Shady much?
LPG’s (Liquid Petroleum Gas) Butane, Propane & Isobutane
Alcohol (many “clean, non-toxic” dry shampoos still have this)
Siloxane, Silicones & Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane
For more information on clean haircare, check out my article on the shit we put in our hair here.
3. Clean, “non-toxic” dry shampoos frankly suck (for now)
But their dry shampoo powders (which is great because they avoid aerosols), are really weak and don’t have any hold like conventional dry shampoos do. Furthermore, they’re often chalky white, which isn’t ideal for dark colored hair.
I’d love to see more innovation and advances in this space, but so far, it seems like there’s room for improvement with the clean brands that I’ve tried.
Overall, I’d personally rather wash my hair than spray another dry shampoo product on my scalp. And if I wanna stretch another day, I’m happy to plop a wig on my head and go about my grocery shopping in peace.
My hair will thank me for it!