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Is Dry Shampoo Bad for Your Hair? Side Effects and Alternative Options

3 mins

Sangya Shaily

Is dry shampoo bad for your hair? Not if you use it only once in a while. Learn about the potential side effects and alternatives to prevent hair damage.

In recent years, dry shampoos have become a must-have hair product. The total market is increasing at a CAGR of about 7%, and women account for approximately 60% of all users. 

It makes sense considering dry shampoos as a quick fix, but are they really good for your hair? 

Let's find out.

Table of Contents:

  • Is Dry Shampoo Bad for Your Hair?
  • What Are the Side Effects of Using Dry Shampoo?
  • Hair Breakage
  • Blocks Hair Follicles
  • May Cause Dandruff
  • May Dull The Natural Shine Of Hair
  • It May Be Hard to Wash Off
  • A Potential Connection to Cancer
  • What Are the Alternatives to Dry Shampoo?

Is Dry Shampoo Bad for Your Hair?

The answer is yes and no

If you use dry shampoo only occasionally and do not run towards it every time you need to fix your hair, then you should be fine. 

However, if you use it frequently or consistently over a prolonged period, I have bad news for you. It comes with its own set of potential side effects, which you should know about. 

dry shampoo

Dry shampoo works by soaking up the oils and sweat from your hair thanks to ingredients like alcohol and starch bases additives. Due to this soaking process, your scalp appears cleaner and less greasy. 

Before getting into the side effects, you should know the correct technique for using dry shampoo. 

The dry shampoo bottle should be about 6 inches away from your head. Spray the dry shampoo only on areas that look very greasy. Use your fingers to massage it on your entire scalp. 

What Are the Side Effects of Using Dry Shampoo?

Now that we have covered the basics let's look at the side effects of dry shampoo. 

Hair Breakage

Not all, but most dry shampoos contain alcohol. Alcohol leads to dehydration and makes your hair look dry and lifeless. This leads to the cracking of individual fibers when your comb or brush your hair. It gives rise to hair breakage.

hair breakage, damaged hair

Blocks Hair Follicles

Since you are essentially spraying something on your scalp to soak the oil, if you go for long periods without washing it, it can lead to product buildup on the scalp. 

It can block the hair follicles and lead to scalp conditions like folliculitis or itchy scalp. It is limited to that, but it can also cause other issues like limiting hair growth and damage to the hair follicles over time.

May Cause Dandruff

Even though there is no direct link between dry shampoo and dandruff, a very oily scalp can lead to dandruff. 

dandruff, hair dandruff

Every time you leave the dry shampoo on your scalp for a few days, all the oil it has absorbed also stays on your scalp. Plus, the chemicals in the dry shampoo may irritate the scalp. 

One thing you can do is not let the dry shampoo sit on your scalp longer than 2-3 days. This will prevent scalp buildup and everything that comes along with it. 

May Dull The Natural Shine Of Hair

Dry shampoos contain many chemicals, and over time, they can steal the natural shine of your hair and make it look dull and lifeless.

It May Be Hard to Wash Off

It makes sense since you let the dry shampoo accumulate all the oil, dirt, and product buildup. So, you may need to use a harsher shampoo to get a squeaky-clean scalp as your regular shampoo may not be able to effectively do the same.

A Potential Connection to Cancer

Many dry shampoos contain talc, which may contain particles of a carcinogen called asbestos. Multiple studies have shown a link between genital talc and ovarian cancer. 

Although there is no clear connection between talc between dry shampoos and cancer, the American Cancer Society advises that people concerned about the risk of cancer should avoid products containing talc.

What Are the Alternatives to Dry Shampoo?

Let's start with dry shampoos only. If you need to use a dry shampoo every once in a while, make sure it is free of alcohol as it can lead to hair breakage and other issues. 

Today, you can also find dry shampoos with beneficial ingredients. Look for ingredients such as activated charcoal, with hazel, etc. 

Of course, you always have the option of using baby powder or cornstarch when your scalp feels greasy and you need a quick fix. 

dry shampoo

However, do not let those ingredients sit on your scalp for longer than a couple of days either. 

Deep cleaning your hair is another option. This sounds obvious but hear me out. 

If you tend always to have an oily scalp, you should consider going for a clarifying shampoo that deep cleans your scalp. 

Deep cleansing may also help control the oil production to an extent, so pick a shampoo containing ingredients like activated charcoal. 

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo

WOW Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo has detox properties. It deep cleans your hair while providing the right amount of nourishment. 

It removes excess oil & buildup, restores shine and vitality to your hair, seals split ends, tames frizz, and detangles strands. 

Plus, it is gentle on the scalp and does not contain any harmful chemicals like sulfates or parabens. 

shampoo, ACV, apple cider vinegar shampoo, wow shampoos, wow ACV, buywow

After you take a generous amount and massage it gently onto your scalp and the length of your hair, leave it on for 3-4 minutes. Rinse with water and condition. 

You should avoid using dry shampoo frequently due to the plethora of side effects that come with it. Maintaining your hair hygiene is an excellent place to start. For that, I have a product recommendation for you.  

WOW Hair Revitalizer

WOW Hair Revitalizer is a leave-in conditioner spray packed with ingredients such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Moroccan Argan Oil, Jojoba Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and others. Meaning, expect abundant benefits like tamed frizz, stronger roots, fewer split ends, more volume, detangled, and smoothened strands. The super ingredients also help in restoring shine and vitality to your hair. 

You can go all day by spraying this on your hair. Massage it onto the scalp and tresses, and you are good to go. 

Explore the WOW website for more natural hair care products. From our all natural sulfate, silicone and paraben-free hair care collection we recommend Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo and Red Onion Black Seed Oil Shampoo. And if you would like to learn more about apple cider vinegar's benefits or onion oil's benefits check out our ultimate guide on how to use them on your hair. 

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Sangya Shaily

Sangya Shaily is a content writer from Mumbai, India. She loves writing lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and health & wellness-related content, among other things. In her leisure time, she loves to indulge in reading classic literature and spend time with her family.

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Author: Sangya Shaily

Latest posts:

Sangya Shaily

Sangya Shaily is a content writer from Mumbai, India. She loves writing lifestyle, beauty, fashion, and health & wellness-related content, among other things. In her leisure time, she loves to indulge in reading classic literature and spend time with her family.
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