If there is one product many of us can’t live without it’s dry shampoo. That’s because most of us use it almost daily and don’t give our miracle-in-a-can a second thought.
So much so it has attained a kind of cult following. It can sop up grease, volumize, revitalize and texturize all with one styling product.
So what’s not to like?
But is dry shampoo bad for your hair? Depends. Yes it can kill the shine temporarily, leave behind unwanted buildup, maybe impact the health of scalp or cause flaking. Still if you don’t abuse it as your “go to”, every day styling solution it shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to know exactly how to keep it from ever becoming one read on to find out to use it without destroying your hair.
Truth is fanatics might want to rethink their dry shampoo addiction. Especially if they misunderstand the product’s purpose in life.
So what are we talking about?
As a user of the stuff should you be worried?
Why is it that some feel dry shampoo is bad for your hair?
Not knowing the answers to questions like that we set out to find out more. And if you’re the least bit curious you should keep reading.
Quick Section Navigation
- How Dry Shampoo Works
- Does Dry Shampoo Cause Scary Hair Loss?
- Why the Loss of Shine?
- Suffering from Scalp Irritation
- Does Dry Shampoo Block Follicles?
- How Much Dry Shampoo Is Too Much?
- Related Content
Let’s start at the beginning by briefly exploring …
How Dry Shampoo Works
As you know we’re talking a powder or spray that is used to absorb grease, oil and dirt. This styling essential can easily rescue you from bad hair days when you don’t have time to shampoo. The talc or starches suck up the gunk keeping oiliness at bay. That leaves you with hair that is refreshed and frees you from actually having to wash it.
For this reason some feel this waterless wonder is a miracle worker that …
Refreshes curly hair.
But … it’s only miraculous if you use it right.
And that’s where some of us get into trouble.
Does Dry Shampoo Cause Scary Hair Loss?
Two words no woman wants to hear ever. Hair loss.
Such news can be terrifying as our mane isn’t called our crowning glory for nothing and any potential for badly thinning hair can be a cause for real panic.
Okay some may need to breathe into a paper bag if necessary to get a grip.
In the meantime maybe we can agree anything we use has a greater than zero chance of adverse side effects?
Still it would seem there’s not really any serious risk of hair loss IF you use dry shampoo in moderation and IF you follow up with clarifying washing to keep your scalp cleansed and healthy.
As quoted in Glamour magazine in 2016 hair and scalp doctor Anabel Kingsley pointed out “Noticeable hair breakage may occur if someone roughly works dry shampoo throughout their hair on a consistent basis.”
I’d point out the word “consistent”.
And there’s the rub.
Common sense suggests overuse of any styling product will eventually expose your strands to damage of some sorts.
Plus if enough people are using something an extreme adverse reaction is likely for a few. These are chemicals after all.
But just because I break out in a bad case of the hives after eating strawberries doesn’t mean you will.
Another concern is dullness.
Why the Loss of Shine?
Hair that glistens in the sun is something we notice right away.
Maybe that’s because we’ve had drummed into our heads healthy hair is shiny hair. Which is why anything that sabotages the gloss is attention worthy.
Now the mere mention that dry shampoo can turn out the lights, well, tell me more. Please.
It’s 100% correct to say that the oil absorbing powder can create a bit of a dulling matte finish on your strands.
This is why you want to lift your hair and spray the underside so you get the roots – otherwise known as where the grease is. The top layers are best left more or less untouched with their shine potential intact.
TeenVogue quoted dermatologist Debra Jaliman who pointed out how the powdery formula dulls the shine.
So yeah you need to understand that by its very nature dry shampoo will impact the shine by leaving behind that matte finish.
But over washing is also a shine killer.
So your mission is to find the happy medium so you aren’t found guilty of crimes against shine, know what I mean?
Suffering from Scalp Irritation?
In that case maybe the problem goes deeper.
Maybe it’s not our hair but our scalp most at risk of dry shampoo abuse.
This may be the root of all problems associated with over use actually.
To get to the bottom of this Cosmo magazine asked another hair and scalp expert, Iain Sallis, for his take.
He warned that excessive use of dry shampoo “can cause your scalp to become irritable, itchy and flaky”.
He further noted “that not washing your hair as often as you should can cause ‘microbial’ build up, which can lead to problems such as Seborrhoeic Dermatitis – a condition that leads to red, inflamed, itchy skin.”
Not sure what that is exactly but it sure sounds like something you’d want to avoid.
But he also pointed out, “It’s not so much the ingredients in dry shampoo, but the act of using it ‘instead of’ actually shampooing your hair. Its fine for getting away with that extra day of ‘not washing’ … just not an extra week!”
Again in extreme cases your scalp can become irritated. All the more if you have convinced yourself you don’t need to lather up with ‘real’ shampoo because dry shampoo is an adequate substitute.
Then there’s this.
Does Dry Shampoo Block Follicles?
Not exactly. But it can block pores.
Admittedly there’s no way to make blocked pores sound sexy. And it’s even less likely an outbreak of pimples on your scalp is anywhere near desirable.
While this is unlikely any discussion of the risks of over reliance on a product should at least bring it up as a possibility.
Celebrity hairstylist Christina Flach told Slashedbeauty “too much dry shampoo can lead to a build-up on the your scalp that can block pores which can create painful cysts and nasty pimples”
And she wasn’t the only one to mention such potential consequences. Quoted in an article in the DailyMail stylist Lee Stafford pointed out that misuse of dry shampoo “can also clog up the pores, leading to spots and sore patches.”
Another warning sign might be products that go heavy on the scent. You know, the kind that give you an instant headache?
By itself what makes it smell can be aggravating to your scalp and even cause allergic reactions with constant exposure.
Besides who wants to come off like smelling like a walking ad for cheapo cologne your grandmother wouldn’t wear?
Still let’s circle back to the elephant in the room. This is where you want to start to pay attention if you’ve just been speed reading to this point.
Mistake It For Real Shampoo.
I’m sure you don’t but some have the mistaken notion dry shampoo is a substitute for regular shampoo.
Making real washing optional.
I know that sounds crazy and all, but if by some off hand chance this is you stop it.
True, dry shampoo works to buy you a reprieve from shampooing for another day or two. But it’s not a replacement for washing our hair. And this is the biggest mistake you can when using dry shampoo.
Does all this make you cringe? Misuse is seldom a pretty thing and I’ll let you be the judge
Powders seem to be bigger offenders. Anything with aerosol is less likely to leave piles of unwanted residue behind.
This might be a good time to add that top knots, messy buns, braids are all ways to style greasy hair that don’t require dry shampoo to pull off.
Such styles are great for keeping everyone guessing when you washed your hair last.
So no, seems to me the dry shampoo’s sky is not falling if it’s not overused or misused.
There’s no reason for you to lose sleep over every powdery spritz AS LONG as you don’t go crazy.
From what I can tell there was a period of hysterics about three years back.
But now that wave of scare articles in fashion mags about dry shampoo has died down to about zero it seems clear this indispensable styling tool isn’t likely to make your hair fall out, cause your scalp to break in pimples on top of rashes or anything that ghastly for the most part unless you use it daily and like never wash your hair.
Just remember the big takeaway here.
Over reliance on dry shampoo has consequences.
But if you lean on dry shampoo often the simple solution is to break out the clarifying shampoo maybe once a week to remove any and all leftover residue.
Doing so will insure clean healthy hair with limited risks of any of less than pleasant side effects.
How To Apply Dry Shampoo?
Applying it right can go a long way to keep you out of trouble. You’ll likely need less and get better results.
By reading the directions on most cans you’ll be advised to spritz 10 inches away from your hair and to aim towards the roots.
Then brush it through.
Give it 90 seconds or so to do its thing.
Then brush it out.
Spraying too close means you’re applying a coating to your scalp and it’s not hard to see how that can go wrong eventually.
How Much Dry Shampoo To Use?
I can understand how it might be good to know how much dry shampoo is too much?
To help with that let’s return to the Trichologist from Cosmo magazine UK Iain Sallis. He states that too often is day after day without ever washing your hair as the build-up on your scalp and around the hair follicles will sooner or later get you.
“It’s not so much the ingredients in dry shampoo, but the act of using it ‘instead of’ actually shampooing your hair. Its fine for getting away with that extra day of ‘not washing’ …just not an extra week!” warns Sallis.
Then too as GoodHousekeeping magazine pointed out like many styling products it’s easier to apply more than remove what you’ve already spritzed. So start with less since you can always reapply if needed.
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