Is Dry Shampoo Damaging Your Hair?

Dry Shampoo


"I have so much extra time when I get ready in the morning, I don't know what to do with myself!" That's one statement you can bet that you'll never hear.

It seems like no matter how early you wake up or how well you plan, it's always a rush to get out the door in the morning. Many people "solve" that problem by skipping washing their hair and using dry shampoo instead.

Is that really a solution, though? Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

It turns out that it comes with some risks you need to know about.

Potential Risks of Dry Shampoo

Most convenience products come with downsides, and dry shampoo is no exception. If it's a regular part of your routine, you're taking some risks with your hair and scalp health.

Hair Impurities

The word "shampoo" is a bit deceptive. It might look like you've washed your hair, but it does nothing to clean your hair. In fact, it adds to everything that's already there.

Throughout the day, your hair picks up pollution, dirt, and other debris from the air. Don't forget that hairspray, heat protectants, and other products leave their mark, too.

All these particles combine and leave a buildup on your hair. That build-up can hurt your hair's health and its look long-term and short-term. When you use dry shampoo instead of washing your hair, you add to that problem.

Scalp Irritation

Your scalp is the cornerstone of your hair health. After all, it's responsible for both growing new hair and nourishing the hair you already have. When you use dry shampoo, you don't do any favors for your scalp.

The scalp already accumulates oil, dead skin cells, and debris throughout each day. When you skip washing your hair, you leave all that on your scalp to fester while adding dry shampoo buildup to the mix.

All these things will come together and clog the pores in your scalp. This leads to irritation and possible infections in your hair follicles. The more days that you use dry shampoo between washes, the worse the problem becomes.


Dry hair is one of those problems none of us want to deal with. It leads to frizzy hair that is difficult to style. If the dryness gets bad enough, your hair can start to break too.

If you have dry hair and you use dry shampoo often, that could be part of the problem. Most dry shampoos are aerosol products that contain alcohol. That alcohol sucks the moisture out of your hair in a hurry.

Higher Risk for Dandruff

Most people think dandruff is flakiness from having a dry scalp. The opposite is actually true: an oily scalp causes dandruff.

Dandruff flakes are dead skin cells mixed with sebum (the natural oil in your scalp) and other particles. When too much oil sits on your scalp for too long, it flakes off while irritating your scalp and making it itch. 

Dry shampoo doesn't remove oil from your scalp. It absorbs it to disguise it, but the oil is still there. When you go too long between washes because you're using dry shampoo instead, you're leaving yourself vulnerable to dandruff.

Possible Hair Loss

Allow us to be clear: we aren't saying you'll go bald from using dry shampoo. You could see your hair thinning, though.

As we mentioned above, dry shampoo and the buildup that comes with it can clog and irritate your pores on your scalp. That irritation can block some of your follicles from producing hair.

When your irritated follicles do produce hair, that hair is more likely to fall out later because the follicles aren't healthy enough to support it. 

Tips to Keep Your Hair and Scalp Healthy

After you're done having a mini-panic and wondering if you've already damaged your hair with dry shampoo, take a deep breath. There are plenty of ways to nurse your hair back to health and avoid the risks above in the future.

Use Dry Shampoo Sparingly

What's the best way to lower the risks from your dry shampoo? Use it less often.

The general rule of thumb is to use dry shampoo no more than two days in a row maximum. Even that is a stretch.

That doesn't mean you can use it for two days, then wash your hair once, then use dry shampoo twice again. Stick to two uses per week, tops.

Find Ways to Fit Hair Washing Into Your Schedule

For most people, the reason they use dry shampoo is to save time. Instead of compromising your hair health, find ways to make washing your hair more time-efficient.

One option is to use a quick-dry hair towel so you don't have to spend extra time with a hairdryer.

You could also adjust your routine so you're washing your hair in the evenings or at another time of the day that's less rushed for you.

Read the Ingredients List

If you're going to use dry shampoo, it's important to be smart about it. Before you buy, check out the product's ingredient list.

If possible, find a dry shampoo without alcohol and without talc to skip other potential risks.

There's also the option to use a natural home remedy instead. Cornstarch or rice starch will absorb oil in a similar way to dry shampoo but with fewer chemicals. You can sprinkle in some cinnamon or cocoa powder so it blends better with your hair color.

Is Dry Shampoo Bad? The Final Verdict

When it comes down to it, is dry shampoo bad for your hair? To a degree, yes, but the largest factor is how often you use it.

If dry shampoo has become a regular part of your routine and you're ready to turn it around, shop for hair towels today.