Dry Shampoo’s Dirty Little Secrets

Who doesn’t love the simplicity that comes with using a bottle of dry shampoo to create that second-day fresh style? If you went around and asked any girl what their go-to hair product is—there’s a good chance they’re going to tell you it’s dry shampoo. Every hair product company has a bottle of this magical stuff with their name on it and hair stylists swear up and down that this could be the cure-all to our hair woes, but what if I told you that dry shampoo has a few dirty little secrets that may actually be damaging our hair.

dry shampoo

Instagram / @raziya.aki

Is Your Hair Looking Thinner? Dry Shampoo Could be the Factor

I get it, looking beautiful can be excruciatingly difficult in a world where we have little time to do so. We already have minimal time since we’re sometimes working 40+ hours a week, trying to maintain a healthy weight, cleaning our houses and cooking healthy meals for our families. Where are we supposed to find the time to look pretty with our limited free time? I think that’s why dry shampoo has been such a huge household staple for women, but if you’re noticing a thinning hairline you may have to start wondering if the product isn’t exactly as miraculous as you first thought. A few leading experts have given the definitive “yes” that dry shampoo is the cause of hair loss including a dermatologist named Sonia Batra. Here’s what she had to say when Olga Khazan of The Atlantic explored the topic:

“[Dry shampoo] deposits substances to coat the follicle that can build up,” Sonia Batra, a dermatologist in Los Angeles, told Khazan. The resulting inflammation can weaken the follicles and increase shedding. These products can also cause hair follicles to stick together, so that a hair that would normally shed during brushing may take two or three strands along with it.”

Remember Not All Dry Shampoos are Created Equally

Our society is constantly told to watch out for harmful ingredients because they may cause cancer. Dry shampoo is no different with many claiming that talcum powder found in some dry shampoo product lines could be cancerous and toxic if accidentally ingested. It was first discovered that the ingredient could be harmful when a woman sued Johnson & Johnson claiming that the baby powder she was using gave her ovarian cancer. After a 3-week ongoing trial the woman won the lawsuit and was awarded $55 million dollars from the company. Johnson & Johnson now faces 1,200 similar claims. I would suggest being extremely cautious if you are using dry shampoo or baby powder as a dry shampoo that has talcum in it because there will be ongoing research as to whether the ingredient is actually harmful to humans.

Dry Shampoo is Harmful for Your Hair’s Natural Shedding Process

Again, we’re going to look at how dry shampoo limits the natural process of your hair’s ability to shed. Dermatologist Sonia Batra explained that dry shampoo can get clumped in our hair causing excessive strands to be pulled out when we brush. If you suffer from conditions like dandruff and psoriasis using dry shampoo as a shampoo alternative is actually going to worsen your future hair growth. People with these conditions should be using shampoo so they aren’t damaging their scalp or the health of their existing hair. If you do have these conditions make sure to discuss the products you’re using with your doctor and hair stylist so that you may find an alternative, less damaging product.

Dry Shampoo Isn’t a Shampoo Replacement

There are many days where I’m late, and I reach for a bottle of my miracle cure-all Batiste Cherry Fruity & Cheeky Dry Shampoo to solve my hair woes. Trust me, before I use it I don’t smell like a dream but after using it I smell like cherry-scented success. I’ve been complimented so much on my cherry scent that I’m constantly reaching for it over my alternative coconut-scented Phytojoba’s hydrating shampoo. I love my shampoo, but I don’t receive nearly the same amount of compliments after using it. I actually have to remind myself that using dry shampoo is not a shampoo alternative on a daily basis. If it weren’t for my love of singing in the shower I probably would argue that the dry shampoo benefits far outweigh the time and exhaustion of using regular shampoo and then blow-drying my hair. Just remember that unlike shampoo, dry shampoo doesn’t actually cleanse the scalp and the product buildup is guaranteed to throw off the balance of your hair’s health and ability to create natural oils.

Dry Shampoo DIY Time

I’m not trying to tell you to completely eliminate dry shampoo from your life, but I’m suggesting to use it sparingly and to find alternatives to the product. If you’re going to use dry shampoo then there is a pretty simple DIY project that you can make in a matter of minutes with just a few household ingredients. If you have really sensitive skin and your scalp is easily irritated by fragrances and alcohol, this suggestion will be extremely helpful. Here is a DIY recipe for those with dark and light hair.

Dark Hair:

● 2 tbsp Corn Starch
● 2 tbsp Cocoa Powder
● ½ tbsp. Cinnamon
● 2-3 Drops Essential Oil (Optional)

Light Hair:

● 4 tbsp Corn Starch
● ½ tbsp. Cinnamon
● 2-3 Drops Essential Oil (Optional)


1. Mix ingredients and add to a clean spice container.
2. Sprinkle on scalp.
3. Brush in thoroughly.
4. Section out your hair and repeat steps 2 & 3.
5. Celebrate clean and shiny hair with your new natural dry shampoo alternative.

Dry shampoo is the easiest way, but there is also less harmful alternative. Check out our “Hairstyles for Greasy hair” article for more inspiration for a second day hair.