Dry shampoo is a common necessity these days. We live in a fast-paced world, and if you’re a busy mom, you likely use it on a fairly regular basis. As a curly girl with 2C/3A hair, I use dry shampoo at least once per week.
Unfortunately, however, many dry shampoos can have some nasty chemicals in them that can do more harm than good (both for your hair and for your overall health).
After reading this article, we’re hoping you’ll find a trustworthy non-toxic dry shampoo that you can’t wait to try.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I could be compensated if you decide to make a purchase. You can read my full disclosure here.
The Best Non-Toxic Dry Shampoos
I’m loving this brand of non-toxic dry shampoo. I haven’t tried all of their products (yet), but the ingredients in this make me happy. It’s plant-based and uses rice powder instead of talc. It also comes in an easy-to-use bottle. If you’re used to aerosol sprays, however, this one may take some getting used to.
Acure is an easy-to-find natural beauty brand (you can purchase on Amazon or Thrive Market, and I’ve even found it at TJMaxx). This dry shampoo has a short ingredients list, doesn’t include any of our no-no’s, and it’s cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny certified too! If you’re allergic to peppermint oil, however, this isn’t the best option for you because it may cause irritation and breakouts.
Made with a mere 5 ingredients, Rahua’s dry shampoo is one of the cleanest on our list, and it gets exceptional ratings from customers too. People are blown away by how well it works, and it smells great too.
Created from kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, and cocoa powder, Primally Pure’s natural dry shampoo is great at absorbing oil. There are only 7 super-clean ingredients in this product!
The Benefits of Using Dry Shampoo
For busy women around the world, there are a ton of great benefits to using dry shampoo. Some of our favorite benefits?
Dry shampoo prevents hair from getting too dry. Washing your hair every day can strip necessary oils from your hair and leave your hair lifeless. Replacing your regular shampoo routine with dry shampoo a few times a week can really bring a lot of life back into your hair and make it healthier. Plus, when you shampoo less, you’re less likely to use heat styling tools like blow dryers and straighteners, and styling products (like natural hair gel) which can dry out your hair even more.
Dry shampoo adds volume. Dry shampoo can actually add quite a bit of style and volume, especially for those with thin, straight hair. It can also hold styling products a bit better, so you can keep the same look for days at a time.
Dry shampoo is convenient. This one is a given, and I think it’s why most people use it. But that’s why I had to add it to the list. Using dry shampoo drastically cuts down on your morning routine, so you can get back to things that really matter. It’s convenient for traveling too, and it’s perfect for hospital stays. It’s always in my hospital bag when I’m having a baby! You can also keep some in your gym bag for post-workout spruce ups.
Is Dry Shampoo Better than Regular Shampoo?
No. Dry shampoo is not better than regular shampoo, but it’s ok to use from time to time. When you use dry shampoo too often, it can contribute to poor scalp health and may cause dandruff. This is because it doesn’t actually cleanse your hair or scalp; it just soaks up oils.
That being said, we stand by our statement that you should not shampoo your hair everyday! If you need dry shampoo between washes, that’s ok.
What Ingredients Should I Avoid in Dry Shampoo?
Talc. Talc is a controversial ingredient, and unfortunately, it’s found in a ton of different products throughout our homes. The problem with talc is that it can be contaminated with asbestos, which can cause cancer.
LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas). LPG is a petroleum compound mixed with propane and butane. You can find it in aerosol sprays (which is why they always have a flammable warning label on them). In the short-term, LPG can cause dizziness and nausea, but when you’re exposed to it for an extended amount of time (like when you use it in your beauty routine everyday), it may lead to nervous system disfunction.
Aluminum. There isn’t a ton of research on the effects of aluminum and aluminum powder in beauty products, but some people believe that too much exposure to aluminum can contribute to Alzheimer’s disease because it builds up in the body over time. Others link aluminum to breast cancer. Without enough scientific research available to confirm or deny these claims, we think it’s best to stay away from aluminum when possible.
Phenoxyethanol. Unfortunately, you’ll often find this ingredient in dry shampoos that are labeled “natural” or are otherwise non-toxic. Phenoxyethanol is a preservative, and while it may be better than other alternatives (parabens), it’s still not a clean ingredient. It can cause severe skin irritation and may pose other health risks as well. In fact, it’s heavily regulated or banned from certain products in Japan and the EU.
Fragrance. Many brands often add fragrance to their dry shampoos in order to give them a fresh, clean smell. As much as we may enjoy these scents, fragrances usually are not safe for our health. Because the term fragrance isn’t regulated by the FDA (it’s considered a trade secret), brands aren’t required to list the ingredients they use in them, and they may be full of nasty phthalates and other unsafe chemicals.
Alcohol. Alcohol is a drying agent (which sounds great for a dry shampoo, right?). Unfortunately, alcohol can be extremely damaging to our hair and scalp, stripping those good-for-you natural oils that keep your hair healthy.
Silicones. If you have curly hair like me, you’re probably familiar with silicones, but they’re an ingredient that most people should avoid in their hair products. Silicones give your hair a clean and sleek feel, but they actually weigh your hair down a lot (giving you less volume). Unfortunately, they’re not water-soluble either, and they’re really difficult to wash out, which means they can build up over time and make your hair hard to manage.
What Can Replace Dry Shampoo?
Baby Powder. Sprinkling a bit of baby powder on your roots can give you a very similar result to using dry shampoo. Just make sure you’re using a non-toxic baby powder!
Cocoa Powder. This one is best for girls with darker hair, but cocoa powder can actually work just as well as (if not better than) your favorite dry shampoo. You can also mix it with a little bit of cornstarch to lighten it up and allow it to absorb more oil. Bonus: it makes your hair smell amazing! (But you might be craving brownies all day.)
Apple Cider Vinegar. ACV is great for your hair, and it makes a terrific substitute for natural dry shampoo too. Mix it with water and put it in a spray bottle to create a (wet) dry shampoo.
Arrowroot Powder. Arrowroot powder (which we use regularly in my house) works well as a dry shampoo too. Grab a makeup brush and blot a bit on your roots, and voila!
I hope this post was helpful! I’d love to know if you have a favorite dry shampoo that we didn’t list. Let me know in the comments!