Toxic Tresses: What’s Really in Your Dry Shampoo?

Toxic Tresses: What’s Really in Your Dry Shampoo?

At Hello Joyous we’re committed to creating products formulated with all-natural, non-toxic, and highly functional ingredients. Our Natural Dry Shampoo is one of our best-sellers, thanks to its incredible effectiveness at soaking up grease and adding volume and texture to the hair. However, not all dry shampoos are created equal! Today we want to share what’s hiding in conventional dry shampoos and why it’s time to make the switch to an all-natural alternative!

Dry shampoo is an amazing time saver, especially if you’re someone who is always on the go. It's main job is to help you go longer in between hair washes but it also gives your hair some added volume and texture. Washing your hair less often keeps it healthy, but what do you do if you end up with greasy roots and flat, limp hair after more than a day? That’s where dry shampoo comes in!

As amazing as dry shampoo is, what's currently available at your local drug store is not what you want to be using on your hair and there are a number of reasons why!

Natural Dry Shampoo for Light or Dark Hair Hello Joyous

The Problem With Conventional Dry Shampoo

Where to start!?! While we’d love to say that the conventional dry shampoo options on the market today are a better alternative to what was previously available, not much has changed since the days when Johnson & Johnson's Baby Powder was one of the more popular makeshift dry shampoo options (before dry shampoo was cool, that is!).

You may know of J & J's Baby Powder and its role in contributing to several cancer cases, including that of a woman who credited her cancer to the baby powder and was awarded $25.7 million by a Los Angeles jury. J&J have recently, as of last year, finally declared it will remove "talc" from its baby powder. Interestingly, their talc was known to contain asbestos since the 1950s, so this move only took about 75 years.

This situation highlights that we can’t really rely on big corporations to keep us safe from harmful ingredients in the products they make. That means it’s important to be an informed consumer and do some research of your own on the products you use on your body on a daily basis and be an informed consumer. While most people no longer use baby powder as their go-to dry shampoo, the conventional options on the shelf aren’t any better when it comes to potentially harmful ingredients.

Hello Joyous Natural Dry Shampoo for light or dark hair

The Harmful Ingredients Hiding In Conventional Dry Shampoo

It only takes a quick glance at the ingredients hiding in popular conventional dry shampoos to know that they’re likely not the best for you and your health. Here's an example of the ingredients in one popular brand listed below:

  • Butane 
  • Isobutane
  • Propane
  • Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch
  • Alcohol Denat
  • Parfum (Fragrance)
  • Limonene
  • Linalool
  • Geraniol
  • Benzyl Benzoate
  • Distearyldimonium Chloride
  • Cetrimonium Chloride

Let's take a closer look at some of those ingredients!

Hello Joyous Dry Shampoo vs. Conventional

1. Butane, Isobutane and Propane (otherwise known as Liquid Petroleum Gas or LPG)

These colourless, odourless gasses are what comes out of your dry shampoo aerosol can when you spray it. Aerosol propellants are concerning from an environmental standpoint because they contribute to air pollution and they deplete and damage the ozone layer. We need the ozone layer to shield us from the sun's harsh UVA and UVB rays. It essentially acts as a built-in sunscreen.

These chemicals have also been known to take the place of oxygen in the lungs, which can impact lung health and your ability to breathe properly. Some people have reported symptoms such as headaches, nausea and mood swings when in the surrounding area of these gasses. So while it might seem convenient to give your hair a quick spritz and move on, the negative impact on your health and the environment are simply not worth it.

And as of just recently, Unilever announced it is recalling 1.5 million dry shampoo products due to contamination with benzene, a carcinogenic compound. You won't see benzene listed on the label though because it is a contaminant of these other petrochemicals within the product, like propane. This compound has been linked to leukemia, bone marrow cancer and life threatening blood disorders.

2. Alcohol Denat

One of the major roles of dry shampoo is to draw moisture and oil away from the scalp, which is the job of alcohol denat. It is actually denatured alcohol and a petrochemical product that contains Benzyl Alcohol to make it undrinkable. The problem here is that alcohol is very drying to the scalp and can contribute to, or worsen, things like dandruff, dryness and blocked pores. It can also cause skin irritation, eczema and trigger rosacea flare-ups.

3. Synthetic Fragrance

The scary thing about synthetic fragrances is that there can be anywhere from 100 to thousands of ingredients in one scent, many of which have not been tested for safety and contain well known hormone disruptors known as phthalates. Imbalanced hormones can impact everything from skin health to energy to symptoms of fatigue or weight gain. You can learn more about the negative health effects of synthetic fragrances here.

4. Benzyl Benzoate

Used as both a solvent and fragrance, benzyl benzoate is a chemical you definitely do not want in your dry shampoo. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the International Fragrance Association Codes & Standards, the safety of benzyl benzoate is dependent on the user NOT exceeding the recommended dose and/or that the product does not exceed concentration limits.

Unfortunately, we already know the haircare and personal care industry is largely unregulated. However, the EWG also states that it's a possible human immune system toxicant or allergen and may be associated with endocrine disruption, which is a good enough reason to stay far away from it altogether. 

5. Cetrimonium Chloride

You might have a soft spot for this ingredient when you come to learn of its ability to banish hair static, but again, it's not worth your health–especially when there are so many natural dry shampoo alternatives on the market that also help combat static without any harmful chemicals. There is strong evidence that shows cetrimonium chloride to be a known skin toxicant/allergen, according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments and the Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC). 

Healthier Natural Dry Shampoo Alternatives

Hello Joyous Dry Shampoo

Since we love dry shampoo, but aren’t a fan of the chemicals found in most conventional brands, we created our own amazing Natural Dry Shampoo for Light or Dark hair! The benefit of using a natural dry shampoo is that you're steering clear of those harmful chemicals and promoting healthy hair growth, shiny-looking hair and allowing your scalp to breathe. You can see how our Natural Dry Shampoo stacks up against conventional brands here.

Our unique formula uses only non-toxic, biodegradable and organically produced ingredients, including:

1. Organic Tapioca Starch 

A much healthier alternative to talc and well known for its ability to absorb oil.

2. Organic Maranta Arundinacea Root Powder (Arrowroot Powder) 

It acts in a similar way to tapioca starch by helping absorb oil.

3. Organic Oryza Sativa (Rice) Flour 

Since the particle size is smaller in rice flour than say tapioca starch, it offers more surface area to absorb oil.

4. Organic Stellaria Media Extract (Chickweed Extract)

Contains soothing properties that help to remove impurities without drying the skin.

5. Kaolin Clay

A highly absorbent clay that absorbs excess oil.

    Hello Joyous Dark and Light Natural Dry Shampoo


    Both of our Dry Shampoos are naturally scented with essential oil (NOT fragrance!) to make your hair feel, look and smell fresher between washes! If you love dry shampoo, it’s time to make the switch to an all-natural product that guarantees great hair days in just a few shakes!

    Have you used our Hello Joyous Natural Dry Shampoo before? Let us know in the comments!