6 side effects of dry shampoo you should know about

Dry shampoo is a quick fix for those who don’t have time to wash their hair. Many fitness enthusiasts maybe use it because it is not healthy to wash your hair every day. But they also don’t want their hair to be sweaty and sticky. Overuse of anything is never good. There are no studies or research on the side effects of dry shampoo, but you may recall that a leading company pulled its dry shampoo products from shelves last year due to high levels of benzene, known to be a carcinogenic chemical. Read on to find out if dry shampoo can also damage hair.

What is dry shampoo?

Dry shampoo is a popular hair care product that offers a convenient way to refresh and cleanse the mane without the usual hair washing. It comes in either a spray or powder form and is designed to absorb excess oil, dirt and odor from the scalp and hair, says Dr. Vichitra Sharma, Consultant in the Department of Dermatology at Amrita Hospital in Faridabad. Dry shampoo makes hair look cleaner and fuller, which is what we all want.

Dry shampoo can damage hair. Image provided by: Shutterstock

Dry shampoo is useful for:

• Busy people who don’t have time to wash their hair regularly.
• Frequent travelers who may not have access to showers.
• Fitness enthusiasts who want to manage sweat and oil without frequent hair washing.
• People with dyed hair to prolong color shine.
• People with oily scalps need to absorb excess sebum between washes.
• People with fine hair to add volume and thickness.

Side effects of dry shampoo

Dry shampoo can have many benefits, but it also has side effects. Here are a few:

1. Scalp irritation and allergic reactions

Some dry shampoos contain ingredients that can irritate the scalp or cause allergic contact dermatitis or irritant contact dermatitis, says the expert. Perfumes, preservatives and propellants present in the product are all common irritants. If you suffer from dermatitis of the scalp, it may manifest as redness, itching, burning or flaking.

2. Clogged hair follicles

Regular use of dry shampoo can potentially lead to clogged hair follicles and buildup on the scalp. This buildup can trap dirt, oil, and dead skin cells, potentially causing problems like folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles.

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dry hair
You might end up with dry hair after using a dry shampoo. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Dry hair and scalp

Dry shampoo is designed to absorb oil, which can lead to the removal of natural oils that keep the scalp and hair hydrated. Overuse of dry shampoo can lead to dry, brittle hair and an unbalanced scalp, which can lead to flaking and discomfort.

4. Ineffective cleaning

Although dry shampoo can help absorb excess oil, it doesn’t provide the same level of cleansing as traditional shampoo and water. Relying solely on dry shampoo without washing your hair regularly can lead to a less than clean scalp and hair. This could lead to odor, bacterial growth and an unhealthy scalp environment, Dr. Sharma tells Health Shots.

5. Changing hair color

Some dry shampoos, especially those with tinted formulas, can alter the appearance of colored hair. For example, light colored dry shampoos can leave a white residue on darker hair. Tinted versions, on the other hand, can affect the shine and longevity of the hair dye.

6. Respiratory diseases and cancers

The dry shampoo may contain asbestos fibers and magnesium silicate in powder form. This can present a risk of respiratory diseases and cancers, explains the expert.

Moderation is key, so avoid using dry shampoo daily. Instead, try to use dry shampoo only when necessary, such as on days when you need to extend the interval between regular washes.

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