Dry Shampoo Might Be Making Users Go Bald, Say Experts

In an effort to save time and, in all honesty, catch an extra 15 minutes of sleep in the morning, Olga Khazan of the Atlantic writes about her recent obsession with dry shampoo — she'd spray it, shake her hair around, and everything would look less oily and smell almost fresh. But when she began to notice her hair thinning, she did some Googling and, horrified by the images of bald patches and thinning hair from similar users, conducted an unscientific poll of 11 experts on the matter.

The consensus? Dry shampoo is, in fact, too good to be true. Women, she writes, "have fallen pray to a mass delusion that dry shampoo is actually shampoo. It's not." It soaks up the oils, which irritates the scalp and doesn't clean anything.

"[Dry shampoo] deposits substances to coat the follicle that can build up," one L.A. dermatologist tells her. "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."

One dermatologist told her not to use the product more than twice a week, while all 11 experts said that cutting back on real shampooing won't make one's scalp produce less oil. "You either have an oily scalp or you don't — just like your complexion," an assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins says.

(In other cosmetics news, see why Johnson & Johnson removed formaldehyde from its baby shampoo in 2014.)