Thanks to dry shampoo, I can make it up to five days without shampooing my hair. Seriously, I go through multiple cans of dry shampoo a month. Not only does it absorb grease, but it gives me major volume. My heart nearly stopped when I saw a few dry shampoo horror stories pop up on the internet. Is dry shampoo actually bad for your hair? Can it really cause hair loss and scalp issues? Do I have to wash my hair everyday now?!
It turns out that I should think twice before bragging about how long it’s been since I last washed my hair. It’s actually important to regularly cleanse your hair and scalp. Francesca Fusco, MD, a NYC-based dermatologist, told Refinery29 that “When you’re cleansing, you’re removing dead skin, germs, and bacteria, you’re exfoliating [your scalp], and it’s healthier when you exfoliate. When you’re using dry shampoo every day, it builds up, and it eventually dulls the hair.”
It gets worse. Dry shampoo clogs hair follicles, which can result in pimples and cysts and disrupt normal hair growth. Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., a board certified dermatologist, told Glamour that ingredients in dry shampoo can be harsh on your scalp, which can weaken hair follicles and cause them to dry out (read more here). She explained, “The more you build up the product with repeat or heavy-handed applications, the more it weighs on hair follicles, weakens them and even interrupts the typical growth cycle of the hair follicle.” Weak hair follicles are also more likely to break.
There’s more bad news. Do you have dandruff? Well, using dry shampoo is only going to make it worse. Marie Claire asked Color Wow‘s cosmetic chemist, Joseph Cincotta, Ph.D. Dr. Cincotta said that since dry shampoo powders accumulate on the scalp, which can aggravate conditions like dry scalp, dandruff, and flaking. According to Dr. Cincotta, starches (which are in dry shampoos) on the scalp can also attract dirt and become a breeding ground for bacteria. This creates an unhealthy scalp environment which can lead to skin irritation.
However, before you throw out all your dry shampoo, remember that dry shampoo is fairly harmless in moderation. But if your hair is 90% dry shampoo by the end of the week, it might be time to change your shampooing schedule. Try to wash your hair at least twice a week and you should be fine.