Dry shampoo is really a fancier form of baby powder. It’s not a new concept.
I Haven't got the time to wash my hair. Dry shampoo is here for you! Literary one minute is all you need to cut the oil and grease!! This practice has been around for ages. Did you know that back in the day there was a product called Minipoo? It contained talc which is now being linked to ovarian cancer and other disorders. The “advertisements indicated that one could use this shampoo while sick in bed. It was known as the ten-minute dry shampoo, convenient for "surprise dates," and children-approved because no soap would get in their eyes” (source)
Dry shampoo is not meant to clean your scalp and get rid of the impurities on your follicles.
What a dry shampoo does is sit on your hair follicles and absorb natural oils from your scalp. Natural oils are so essential especially if you have natural hair or dry hair. In essence, this type of shampoo acts as a mask - it masks the pollution, the dirt and debris on your hair. If you are using dry shampoo on the regular, you are in essence adding more dirt and grime to your hair. The build up that keeps adding up in your follicles will then grow bigger and bigger each day.
Dry Shampoo and your Natural Hair
What dry shampoo is created to do is take the excess sebum (natural scalp oils) and absorb it. Your body is meant to produce the natural oils in your scalp and your natural hair needs the oils. So when you apply dry shampoo continuously, you get the combination of oil and powder that sits on your scalp and just keeps sinking into your follicles. While none of us wants to walk around with greasy or oily hair, dry shampoo disrupts the natural scalp process and makes your hair worse off over time.
What about a natural (non-toxic) dry shampoo?
Most conventional dry shampoos still contain talcum powder (talc powder). Even the ones without talc powder are just as damaging. Even though you found the one dry shampoo that is non-toxic, it still does the damage. In the long-run, a dry, natural option is still not nourishing or healthy for your hair shaft and hair follicles.
If you are using one that is not natural, you are also doing further build up damage by risking the deposit of synthetic chemicals (and other dangerous ingredients) into your scalp and follicles.
Buildup leads to unhealthy follicles for natural hair
The combination of oil, dirt and powder on the scalp leads to clogged pores on your scalp. You wouldn’t sit with a powder on your face for days without washing it off would you? We hope not :) The powder will lead to breakouts, rashes and other skin texture issues. Same goes for your scalp. The follicles and the pores on your scalp need a clean environment to flourish and push through new hair growth. If your hair follicles are clogged, this can lead to thinning natural hair and hair loss. - ultimately, a dry shampoo can stunt your hair growth.
Dry shampoo attracts bacteria
Your scalp is covered with five layers of skin. This skin can also have pimples and other conditions if you don’t take care of it. When you don’t wash your scalp, you are creating an environment for fungus to grow as well as dermatitis to flourish. Introduce dry shampoo and you’re inviting bacteria to hangout on your scalp - this can then lead to inflammation of the scalp resulting in pimples, cysts and dandruff. All of these conditions can disrupt the follicles and mess with hair growth.
So what if you don’t get breakouts on the scalp? The damage is still happening if you repeatedly use dry shampoo. Your follicles will be weighed down and weak - this will in turn interrupt the follicles normal growth cycle.
So how can I live when I’m literally addicted to dry shampoo?
If you ride or die for dry shampoo, there is still hope for you. Resist the urge to use that spray can to drown your follicles. Think of it like this - hair needs to be cleaned of excess dirt and oils in order to maintain a healthy PH level. Water and a sulfate free shampoo are the best way to clean the scalp. Dirty hair is weighed down, doesn’t have healthy follicles and usually lacks the lustre that clean hair has. Take care of your hair by starting a wash routine that focuses on scalp health rather than a quick, convenient, mask using dry shampoo.
If you’re still going to go ahead and use a dry shampoo, use it sparingly. Some people find they are tempted to increase the longevity of their styling via dry shampoo (e.g. after a blow out). This should not be done at the expense of your scalp and hair. You can use the dry shampoo, but make sure you don’t go days without washing your hair. Your scalp sweats and gets damp - this is not a good combo with the dry shampoo in the mix. In the end, remember that a regular shampoo is necessary to remove bacteria and dirt from your hair and scalp so your follicles can breathe.