Using powder to clean the hair is not a new idea. The Victorians used to sprinkle arrowroot powder on their hair to absorb grease. Other powders, including corn starch and even oatmeal, have been used in the past. These days, dry shampoos use such ingredients as powdered rice protein, aluminum, tapioca starch and even clay, delivered in aerosol form.
Dermatologists and salon educators said that it is not the dry shampoo itself that is dangerous. Problems can come up when people misuse it or use it too much and the product builds up on their scalp.
‘Overuse of dry shampoo and not washing hair at regular intervals after using dry shampoo, can plug hair follicles and trap bacteria. Long term use can damage hair and lead to hair loss.’
However, the problem is that dry shampoo is not actually a shampoo at all. Trichologist Iain Sallis, of the Hairmedic group of hair loss clinics, explains, "The word shampoo in this case is a misnomer." He said that a conventional shampoo cleans the scalp and hair using a combination of detergent-type ingredients, which help to break down and remove dirt. But dry shampoo does not work like that. All it does is to absorb the oil so that hair no longer looks or feels greasy. It does not clean the hair and scalp and so, like any other cosmetic product, it needs to be washed out regularly, and if it isn't, this can cause problems. It can block pores and cause irritation and scaling and can lead to seborrheic dermatitis, characterised by red, itchy, flaky and inflamed skin, which can cause hair loss.
"You can suffocate your scalp, It's almost like a huge pimple will grow and they have to get it lanced from a dermatologist," said Stephanie Johnson, licensed hair stylist and trained cosmetology educator of Deep Ellum Hair Studio. She said the natural oils that need to escape your scalp can be trapped by dry shampoo if someone uses it too much. It creates sort of an oil cake in the hair.
Dermatologist Dr. James Ralston of Dermatology Center of McKinney said dry shampoo can plug the hair follicle and trap bacteria. The trapped bacteria can cause inflammation in the follicle which leads to pimples or cysts. Brushing it leads to scabs and distrupts the hair follicles which leads to hair loss. Dr. Ralston also pointed out that users can become allergic to it. Allergy can lead to scars which causes permanent hair loss.
Dry shampoo user and dermatologist Dr. Christy Riddle of White Rock Dermatology advised don't dump dry shampoo for good just yet. Dr. Riddle said to avoid spraying it directly on skin to save the scalp from irritation. Using dry shampoo once or twice a week is alright. It cannot be a substitute for washing your hair.
Experts suggest a few tips that people should keep in mind when it comes to dry shampoo usage.
1)It's Not Bad to Not Wash Your Hair- Hair should not be washed daily. Natural oils are seeping into the hair, so hair is actually getting healthier. Itchy scalp is a sign that hair needs washing.
2)It's Not About Clean Hair, Per Se- Shampoo was never made to clean your hair, it was made to clean the scalp. You shouldn't be shampooing the scalp and then lathering the ends, it dries out your hair. Basically, rinse whatever lather that remains from washing the scalp out of your hair. Treat the ends with conditioner, not more shampoo.
3)Brush It If You're Not Washing It- Dry shampoo is basically just absorbing the oil left in the hair, but one should not go too long without washing it.