Dry shampoos are supposed to be a convenient way to refresh your hair between washes, but they may come with a hidden danger. A recent study by Valisure, an independent laboratory, found that 70% of dry shampoos tested contained high levels of benzene, a cancer-causing chemical12.
Benzene is a known carcinogen that can damage the DNA of blood cells and cause leukemia and other blood cancers34. It can also cause anemia, low immunity, and excessive bleeding4. Benzene exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact5.
The study tested 40 dry shampoo products from 15 brands and found that 28 of them had benzene levels above the FDA limit of 2 parts per million (ppm). The highest level detected was 29.1 ppm in Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo12.
The FDA has not issued a recall for these products, but some manufacturers have voluntarily pulled their products from the market. Unilever recalled its TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo in October after Valisure detected benzene in it12.
However, many consumers are still unaware of the risk and continue to use dry shampoos that may contain benzene. Valisure has urged the FDA to take action and inform the public about the potential danger of these products12.
If you use dry shampoos, you may want to check the ingredients list and avoid products that contain butane, propane, or isobutane, which can be contaminated with benzene6. You may also want to switch to non-toxic alternatives that do not use aerosol sprays or synthetic chemicals. Some natural ingredients that can absorb excess oil and refresh your hair include cornstarch, arrowroot powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, or oatmeal6.
Dry shampoos may seem like a quick fix for your hair, but they may not be worth the risk of cancer. Be careful what you spray on your scalp and choose products that are safe for your health.