Dry shampoo is one of those things that seems too good to be true because it is.
Olga Khazan of The Atlantic wrote about her thinning hair, which appeared to correlate with an excessive layer of dry shampoo use: her hair part kept widening as she cut corners off a morning routine. After Googling to see if dry shampoo was the culprit behind all the clogs in her drain, she saw some disturbing photos and personal accounts (honestly the result of almost all Google searches).
She “unscientifically” polled 11 hair experts and dermatologists on their dry shampoopinions, and it looks like many women’s hair dry shampoo woes are the product of over-product:
According to them, women have fallen prey to a mass delusion that dry shampoo is actually shampoo. It’s not, in that it doesn’t clean your hair. It soaks up excess oil, and in the process, it irritates your scalp. That can lead to hair loss, as can the clumping that dry shampoo and other hair sprays sometimes cause.
“[Dry shampoo] deposits substances to coat the follicle that can build up,” Sonia Batra, a dermatologist in Los Angeles, told me. “The resulting inflammation can weaken the follicles and increase shedding. These products can also cause hair follicles to stick together, so that a hair that would normally shed during brushing may take two or three strands along with it.”
Basically, your clumpy dry shampoo is taking all your healthy hair with it. Most of the people she spoke with said that more than 3 times a week is excessive for dry shampoo use, and also that you should definitely avoid anything with talc in it, which has recently been linked to cancer.
Khazan also says that training your hair to get less oily by washing it less is a myth according to an actual dermatologist. If you have an oily scalp, you have an oily scalp. (As an amateur hair-haver, I disagree. I made the transition to washing less, which was harrowing, but worth the journey.)
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