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Does Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?: The Downsides to Regular Dry Shampoo Use

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We’ve all been there. You have an event where your hair needs to look first-day fresh, but you will be in a time crunch if you go through the whole shampooing, drying, and styling process just before you need to head out the door. 

Enter, dry shampoo. 

The occasional use of dry shampoo can definitely be a lifesaver. You may save yourself an hour or two of hair prep, your hair will look less oily, probably smell nicer, and you can stretch any previous styling efforts out an extra day or so. 

What’s not to love here? Well, unfortunately, a few things if you overdo it.

Below, we will cover just what dry shampoo is doing when you spritz it on, review the potential downsides to using dry shampoo, and discuss how much may be too much when it comes to dry shampooing.

What is dry shampoo actually doing for your hair?

Dry shampoo is actually a little bit of a misnomer. While it does help to reduce the appearance of extra oils in your hair, they aren’t actually being removed or “shampooed” away at all. They are being absorbed by a fine powder usually made of corn or rice starch, and then just hanging out on your scalp.

The same goes for the buildup of other products in your hair, dust and pollutants you came in contact with throughout the day, or built-up dead skin cells -- everything is still there until you cave and hop into the shower.

If anything, dry shampoo is adding to the product build-up on the scalp, effectively making your hair a little dirtier.

Now, this doesn’t mean that using dry shampoo in a pinch won’t make your hair look cleaner -- it definitely can. By absorbing extra oils from your roots and spritzing a fresh scent, your strand will likely look way closer to post-wash territory than before using dry shampoo. 

The point here is that dry shampoo should be considered a hair styling product that buys you a little time, not a hair washing alternative.

What are the potential downsides of using dry shampoo too often?

The occasional use of dry shampoo to stretch your wash days is unlikely to be an issue. But, when you are using dry shampoo multiple days in a row, or most days of the week, things might start getting a little hairy.

Dry shampoo is basically an aerosolized fine powder that does a pretty good job mopping up oils. The downside here is that a lot of oil can be mopped up, including your natural scalp and hair oils that are meant to condition and nourish your hair. And, some formulas may contain drying ingredients like alcohol. For some, this may lead to scalp and hair dryness if used too often without letting those good oils do their thing. 

Long-term scalp and hair dryness can lead to issues like scalp itching and flaking, and dull, brittle hair that is more prone to breakage.

Aside from the dryness aspect, there may be issues from having dry shampoo, grime, dead skin cells, and other product build-up that isn’t regularly scrubbed off. Scalp build-up can lead to declines in scalp health, or even contribute to dandruff or follicle infections called folliculitis. Studies show that poor scalp health can lead to slowed hair growth or even hairs that are more easily shed.

So, while dry shampoo doesn’t usually cause hair loss. If it is overused instead of a good thorough cleansing, scalp health can decline, and it may contribute to hair loss or exacerbations of existing hair loss conditions.

How much is too much when it comes to dry shampoo?

As a rule of thumb, some hair experts recommend a 2-day rule. This rule suggests that you should not be leaving dry shampoo in your hair (with or without multiple applications) for longer than 2 days before washing it out. Also, you should try to keep your dry shampoo days to under 1-2 times a week. 

When you do go in to wash off that dry shampoo, give your scalp and roots an extra thorough scrub as dry shampoo can be difficult to fully remove.

Dry shampoo and hair concerns: Bottom Line

An occasional dry shampoo day to make your life easier is not a problem, and shouldn’t negatively affect the health of your hair.

But, when dry shampoo is being used more often than a good old shampoo + water shower -- we may have some issues.

Dry shampoo is not a replacement for hair and scalp cleansing. Dry shampoo can dry out your scalp and hair if used too often, or pile on scalp buildup which can lead to dandruff, scalp infections, and increased or worsening shedding if not corrected.

You don’t have to toss your favorite dry shampoo, just use it sparingly. Some trichologists recommend not leaving the dry shampoo on your hair for more than 2 days, and not using it more often than 1-2 times per week.

You can have too much of a good thing -- dry shampoo included!

Strut Health prescription hair loss treatments sold online

If you are experiencing hair loss, you are likely to find some better answers by working with a doctor than by pointing fingers at your hair care products.

A doctor will be able to deduce what the potential root cause of hair loss might be. For most people, hair loss stems from hereditary factors, and this type of hair loss is called androgenetic alopecia, also known as male pattern hair loss and female pattern hair loss.

There are medications available that have been found to help slow the progression of patterned hair loss like Minoxidil and Finasteride.

At Strut, we offer a variety of formulations containing these active ingredients as well as other off-label medications. Our topical or oral options can often be customized to fit your current hair, what you have tried in the past, your preferences, and your ultimate hair goals.

To see if you are a good candidate for one of our hair loss medications, you can have a free online questionnaire and image-based telemedicine visit with our U.S. licensed doctors in under 15 minutes today.

If you are a good fit for treatment, your medication will be shipped to your front door with our fast and free shipping. Any questions after starting your mediation? No problem -- our staff and doctors will be available for free and unlimited follow-ups to help you out.

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