For many of us, dry shampoo has been a hair rescuing life-saver! With busy lives and tight schedules, spritzing on some dry shampoo is not only quick and convenient, but it actually makes hair look fuller and freshly styled. No wonder we use it as much as we do!  However, you may have recently seen a news story or two questioning if dry shampoo can actually damage hair. Because we know this may cause a sense of panic with visions of stringy locks and matted manes, we wanted to clarify this concern for you and our patients.

hair1-300x234The short answer is that occasional use of dry shampoo should not be a problem.  That means using a dry shampoo once a week is not going to snuff out follicles. However, using it in lieu of washing (even if just every other day) for a prolonged period of time can eventually be damaging; and it may cause hair loss.

The problem with over-using dry shampoo is that your follicles miss out on the washing and rinsing you get from normal shampoo and water.  This not only has the potential to dry out hair, which could cause breakage, but your hair and scalp can get a buildup of natural oils and dirt as well. This can not only lead to irritation, but if you are not regularly cleansing your hair, it can eventually affect the health of your follicles and scalp as well (again leading to hair loss).

On another note, by limiting the actual hair washing days, you may observe an apparent increase in shedding when you finally suds up.  In reality, this occurs because the hairs you normally shed are becoming dislodged all at once, rather than in smaller amounts at multiple times with normal grooming.

Also, just like with any other product we use on our hair and skin, there is a possibility you may have an allergy or a reaction to an ingredient in a particular dry shampoo. Irritation to the scalp means inflammation and can be traumatizing to follicles. If the product is repeatedly used, some hairs may eventually jump ship and shed from the continuous irritation to their follicles. If you notice hair loss or irritation when you use a dry shampoo, stop!

Regardless of the points mentioned above, the important thing is to practice moderation with dry shampoo. Using it for the occasional lazy morning or last minute dinner date should not be an issue. However, if you start to see signs such as irritation or increased breakage or shedding shortly after using the product, it is important to stop using the product to see if those negative effects subside. If you ever think that one of your products is having a negative impact on your hair or scalp, or if you start to experience these signs of hair loss or damage, it is important to see a hair loss specialist that can help guide you in making good choices for your hair health. Call on Medi Tresse if you have hair loss issues and you’d like to schedule an appointment to discuss solutions.

Posted by Lacey Sellati, RN, PA-C