Is dry shampoo damaging your hair?

Dry shampoo is a life saver when you’re in a rush and haven’t got the time to properly wash your hair.

Whether you’ve slept through your alarm, finished a workout or simply want to style your hair, with dry shampoo you’ll be ready for the day in no time. But is dry shampoo, although very convenient, damaging our hair in the long run?

In 2016, there was much concern on social media after a Facebook post by teenager Nicole Baxter went viral. She claimed that Batiste’s dry shampoo gave her a bald patch on her head and damage to her scalp.

“I had wee red sores and blisters all over my scalp and a terrible burning sensation all over my head – to the point where I would wake up several times a night,” she said.

Dry shampoo comes in powder and spray forms and are generally very affordable, with Batiste’s dry shampoo range selling from around €3 to €6 on Boots.ie. The three main types of dry shampoo are anti-dandruff, colour protection and hair loss protection.

For those who prefer to use cruelty free products, there’s the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, which retails on Boots.ie for €10.99, and is free from parabens, sulphates and colourants.

Experts say it’s bad to wash your hair every day because it strips the hair of its natural oils. They say you should wash your hair every two to three days, but this can be difficult for those with fine hair as it gets greasier and limp more quickly.

For people with fine hair, dry shampoo improves the appearance by giving the hair more volume, which makes it easier to style.

It’s recommended that you apply dry shampoo at night before going to sleep, as it gives the shampoo time to soak in and absorb. To apply, you lift up sections of your hair and spray the shampoo at a distance, work the formula into your roots with your fingers and then brush it through your hair.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of Batiste’s Dry Shampoo, which includes the gases butane, isobutane and propane, which are all safe for use in cosmetics. The other ingredients, including starch and centrimonium chloride, have all been certified as safe for use.

Dry shampoo soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair, but when not washed out correctly, the shampoo causes a build up that leaves your scalp irritated. In extreme cases, where dry shampoo is used every day and not washed out, it can cause dandruff and even hair loss.

If you use dry shampoo more than you wash your hair, it causes a build up of the pollutants from the environment, dirt and the hair product, which can result in an itchy scalp.

Of course, using dry shampoo is not a substitute for washing your hair, but at times it’s necessary. If you use it in between washing your hair, it’s perfectly safe to use.

Courtney Fitzmaurice

Image credit: Alison Clair