Is Dry Shampoo Bad For Your Hair?

Hollie Shirley / Hair & Skincare Editor

We get the lowdown on dry shampoo – is it a sin or a savior for your hair?

We all love dry shampoo for those in between wash days, but is it really bad for your hair? In principle, dry shampoos are not bad for your hair, the real problem is overusing dry shampoos and not washing off build up. This can make your scalp irritable, flaky and itchy.  

How does dry shampoo cause hair loss and scalp issues? 

Your hair is usually oily a few days after you wash it, thanks to the sebaceous glands in your scalp which are always producing a waxy oily substance known as sebum. Applying dry shampoo to your scalp absorbs the excess oils and adds a little lift to your roots. However, the powder (your dry shampoo) doesn’t leave your scalp, even with brushing leaving powder particles on your scalp. This is where the problems can begin.

If used day after day, those powder particles in combination with the absorbed sebum, sweat, specks of dirt, air pollutants, and even chemicals from other hair products create a buildup on the scalp. This can put your scalp at risk of developing fungal overgrowth and/or seborrheic dermatitis, both of which can lead to hair loss, bald spots and more problems. Seborrheic dermatitis as defined by the Mayo Clinic is a skin condition causing scaly patches, red, inflamed and itchy skin, and stubborn dandruff. 

Can dry shampoo cause dandruff?

Yes it can, but it’s the incorrect usage of dry shampoos that can lead to dandruff and other problems, and not dry shampoos themselves. People often assume dry shampoo will clean your hair when in actual fact, it absorbs excess oils and adds fragrance to your hair. 

More so, scalp irritation is not the only problem that may arise from overusing dry shampoo. Applying dry shampoo day in day out, without washing out its buildup can weigh down and weaken hair follicles, eventually disrupting their normal growth cycle. This equals bald patches. Dried-out hair roots and shafts are another common implication of overusing dry shampoo. This is probably due to the alcohol content which many dry shampoos contain. Dry hair plus dry shampoo buildup is a sure way to get sticky hair that is more prone to falling off. 

If you cannot go without using dry shampoo, here are some things to consider when using it.


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Don’t use dry shampoo day after day.

The overuse of dry shampoo as we have explained above can cause a whole host of problems, from an itchy scalp to hair loss. Limit your usage to twice a week maximum (and even then, only if you really need to use it)  and ensure you thoroughly brush your hair through when using it to ensure it is evenly distributed over the hair, and don’t forget to wash your hair thoroughly afterwards to get rid of any build-up.


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Wash your dry shampoo buildup off as soon as possible

It is important to wash your hair a day after using dry shampoo in order to get rid off of all the buildup that can lead to fungal scalp infections.  Ideally, wash your hair within 24hrs of use, thoroughly cleansing your scalp and applying a conditioner to replace any moisture lost. Avoid using dry shampoo back to back. Instead, use your greased roots to your advantage and disguise your hair with braids, twists and slicked back hairstyles. 

Embrace organic or natural dry shampoos instead 

Home-made or DIY dry shampoo made from purely natural ingredients such as arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch, cocoa powder, and essential oil of choice (optional) can be used instead of the stuff from a can. Light or dark hair can mix warm water, arrowroot or cornstarch, vodka or witch hazel, and essential oil(s) of choice, in a spray bottle instead for a wet/dry shampoo is awesome for their hair type. 


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Did you see my post on @nestingwell? Have you made this yet?! I seriously used to wash my hair every other day… this dry shampoo is the bomb? now I can go 3 days between washes?? ——————— This dry shampoo is all natural and, because of the essential oils, promotes a healthy scalp. Did you know the excess use of dry shampoos that contain alcohol can lead to long-term hair and scalp damage?! When dry shampoos are used too often, it can cause dryness and clogged pores. . <Rosemary essential oil: unclogs scalp pores and balance hair oils. <Cedarwood essential oil: supports hair strength. <Lavender essential oils: supports healthy hair growth and helps control dandruff. Dry Shampoo: Ingredients 1/4 cup cornstarch* 1 Tablespoon baking soda Unsweetened Cocoa powder as needed**(this is used to darken for darker hair) 2 drops lavender essential oil*** 2 drops rosemary essential oil 2 drops cedarwood essential oil Directions Combine all ingredients in empty salt/spice shaker or empty baby powder bottle. Sprinkle on roots of hair and massage into scalp. (I like to use a makeup brush and brush it onto my roots) Leave on for 2-3 minutes to absorb hairs natural oils. Brush through hair. . *you can replace with arrowroot powder **cacao works perfectly also! ***you can replace with tea tree essential oil . . #oilykids #oilymama #younglivingessentialoils #yleo #dryshampoo #dryshampooislife #rosemaryessentialoil #lavenderessentialoil #cedarwoodessentialoil

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Hollie Shirley
Hair & Skincare Editor

Hollie Shirley is SILKUP’s hair and skincare editor. She’s obsessed with all things hair care and results-driven skincare, that is kind to the environment and your wallet. She has a weakness for limited edition eyeshadows and is always testing out the newest and greatest deep conditioners. Hollie has a passion for hair and is studying Trichology, working towards becoming a Member of the Association of Registered Trichologists.