The Scary Truth About Dry Shampoo

Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

Lately dry shampoo has been a trending subject. There isn’t a reputable hair care brand that doesn’t sell their own version of dry shampoo and lots of bloggers have been jumping on the dry shampoo train and sharing the benefits of not having to wash/style their hair as often due to the magic of this starch and alcohol filled product. I’ve even heard some people brag about going weeks between washes and preaching the benefits of using dry shampoo to make their blowouts last for days. Due to all of this, I too got swept up in the dry shampoo craze and was using it regularly (I wash my hair every 3 days). I noticed my hair health start to visibly decline and that my natural shedding was increasing. I started to research the products I was using regularly and found some interesting information about dry shampoo that I felt compelled to share. There are some scary (and gross) facts surrounding the regular use of dry shampoo and how it in fact can be super detrimental to your scalp health and overall impede the growth of your hair. Although I feel that cutting out the product cold turkey is a bit drastic, I’ve been doing my best to use dry shampoos extremely sparingly. I do think it’s important to be educated about the common ingredients in dry shampoos and learn how to use the product correctly to minimize damage.

Here’s what I found out.

Dry Shampoo Does Not Cleanse Your Scalp

Dry shampoo is commonly formulated with alcohols or starches which are ingredients used to soak up the excess oil in your hair. Often times dry shampoos will also have perfumes used to mask the smell of dirty hair or to give hair a fresher scent. Girl, if your hair smells any type of way it means its been too long since you’ve sudsed up. Although you may feel like since you can’t see the oil anymore that you have cleaner hair after using dry shampoo, all of these harmful ingredients actually train your hair to stop producing the oil necessary to maintain a healthy scalp. Although it could be seen as unsavory to have greasy hair, it is healthier just to wash your strands the traditional way than to add another layer of product onto your hair shaft and scalp. Overall, adding another layer onto your already dirty hair is not a solution, it is a bandaid, and can cause long-term and potentially serious problems for your hair.

Dry Shampoo and Hair Loss

Alcohol based dry shampoo may not leave as much of a deposit as the starchy powdery options, but it is notorious for making hair brittle and weak, if you regularly reach for dry shampoo you may notice your hair growing at a slower rate. This is due to breakage caused by the brittleness that these drying products cause.

Most dry shampoos leave behind a powdery/matte finish. To remove the visible powder you might brush through your hair so it is less visible, while leaving just enough product on your scalp to soak up the oil. Even though you can’t see the product, the dry shampoo left behind on your scalp leaves a layer or buildup that will clog your hair follicles over time and will ultimately impede hair growth, especially if you use dry shampoo on a daily or pretty regular basis. You wouldn’t continue to layer your makeup over and over each day without washing your face, the same goes for the skin on your scalp. Not to mention if you are already cleansing your hair with a shampoo that has silicones or other ingredients that may be left behind on your scalp, this is just another layer of buildup to worry about. Over time you may even start to notice rashes (dermatitis) or flaky patches. Product build-up also causes hair to stick or clump together, this can cause 2-3 times the hair to shed when you brush your hair since they are stuck together.

If you insist on using dry shampoo 2 or more days in a row, make sure you are using a good clarifying shampoo to get rid of the build-up and bacteria in rotation with your regular, daily shampoo.

How to Use Dry Shampoo Correctly

Dry shampoo is meant for the strand of the hair. You shouldn’t be applying it directly to the scalp or root area. When applied as directed, on hair with no dampness and brushed through to remove as much excess as possible, dry shampoo can add a great layer of grit to clean hair to help your curls stay put longer, or give a little volume and texture to your strands. From what I’ve read if you’re a real dry shampoo addict, you should wash your hair every second day to minimize the build-up, aka you probably need to wash your hair MORE if you’re using dry shampoo on the reg. If you’ve paid for a blow out or you have a lot of hair, it can be tempting to try to extend the life of your style for a few extra days, but definitely not at the expense of your long-term hair health. I promise, it’s not worth it.

What To Do Instead Of Using Dry Shampoo

I’m sure you’re wondering how I get away with 2-3 day hair without using a dry shampoo. Well, check out my Instagram feed, do you see a trend? Y’all think I just like to wear a hat for the fashion statement? But really, a hat is one great way to hide the extra oil of second day hair. Sometimes I’ll put my hair up in a messy bun or pony tail, and sometimes I’ll even just wash around my hairline if I’m in a pinch. Overall, if I know I might feel the urge to dry shampoo, I just suck it up and wash my hair, and my hair has been thanking me for it! I have never had more healthy (or long) hair than I do since I’ve cut down on heat styling and dry shampoo.

We all put so much effort into skin care, I think it’s time to share the love with our scalp!


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