Does Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss? Here's Everything You Need To Know!

Medically reviewedby Dr. Amy Revene M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyLuat Duong
Last updated

People have used ingredients like clay powder and starch for over 100 years to keep their hair fresh between washes.

In the 1940s, the first dry shampoo was introduced as a time-saving solution for women and children who were bedridden or surprised by a date.

Today, dry shampoo is a popular option for people who want to refresh their hair without the time-consuming process of washing and drying it every day.

However, as its use has become more popular, concerns have arisen about the safety of dry shampoo and its possible role in causing hair loss.

Some people have even claimed that dry shampoo can be an effective way to reverse hair loss. With conflicting information online, it can be hard to know what to believe.

So, in this article, we will explore the topic "Does dry shampoo cause hair loss?" in detail.

We'll also provide practical tips on using dry shampoo, aiming to help you understand how to use this time-saving product.

How dry shampoo works?

does dry shampoo cause hair loss

Dry shampoo is designed to absorb the dirt and sebum that can build up on the scalp between washes. Sebum, produced by the hair follicles, helps keep the scalp soft and healthy, but it can also make hair look greasy. 

That's where dry shampoo comes in, as it contains active ingredients that soak up sweat and oil from the hair, leaving it looking clean and refreshed, according to most hair stylists. 

Typically, dry shampoo comprises powders and alcohols that absorb moisture in the hair. Additionally, it may contain aerosols that make it easy to apply and artificial fragrances to mask any odours. 

Board-certified trichologist and founder of Act+Acre, Helen Reavey, notes that dry shampoo is often used as a quick fix to freshen up hair between washes. Still, it's essential to use it properly to avoid any potential damage to the scalp and hair.

Why you can trust Scandinavian Biolabs?
TrichoAI Hair Loss Analysis
Our free, anonymous and dermatologist-developed AI analyzes your hair loss in 30 seconds, suggesting personalized solutions to combat thinning. Understanding your hair condition has never been easier.
Yes, I want to fix hair loss

Does dry shampoo cause hair loss?

dry shampoo causes hair loss

There is little scientific evidence to support the claim that dry shampoo causes hair loss when used correctly and in moderation. However, excessive use and product buildup on the scalp can lead to clogged follicles and damage to the hair.

Dry shampoo can cause clogging of the pores

Dry shampoo is a convenient solution for keeping hair looking clean and refreshed between washes.

However, according to hair transplant surgeon Yasemin Turgut, many people use dry shampoo too frequently, leading to a buildup of particles that can clog the pores on the scalp. 

This buildup can prevent the hair follicle from receiving the oxygen they need to grow normally, leading to damage, weakening, and hair loss. If left untreated, this can result in bald patches on the scalp.

In addition to causing hair loss, buildup from dry shampoo and other hair products can also lead to scalp infections, such as folliculitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the hair follicles due to bacteria or fungi.

It's important to note that product buildup can also worsen conditions like seborrheic dermatitis.

To avoid these problems, it's crucial to use dry shampoo in moderation and follow the instructions on the packaging.

Dry shampoo can overdry the hair

The ingredients in dry shampoos, such as charcoal, clay, starch, and alcohol, are designed to absorb moisture.

However, overuse of dry shampoo can lead to overly poor scalp health, weakening hair strands, and making them brittle and prone to breakage, according to hair trichologists.

Additionally, dryness can stimulate excessive oil production, leading to overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia, which can cause inflammation.

This inflammation can result in hair loss, and the treatment for this condition can also cause hair shedding. 

Intense itching can also lead to hair loss, as individuals may pull out hair follicles from the roots.

Hence, it's essential to use dry shampoo in moderation and avoid over-drying the scalp to maintain healthy hair.

How does dry shampoo affect your hair and scalp?

greasy hair

Dry shampoo may offer a quick fix for oily hair, but it can negatively impact the health of your hair and scalp. The harsh ingredients in certain dry shampoos can strip away healthy oils, leading to the following adverse effects:

Hair loss

The accumulation of dry shampoo on your scalp can prevent nutrients from reaching the hair follicles. 

This buildup can cause inflammation and blockage of the follicles, leading to weakened hair strands and increased shedding. Overusing dry shampoo can result in hair thinning and bald patches.


Using too much dry shampoo can disrupt the natural balance of oils on the scalp, leading to an overgrowth of skin cells that causes dandruff. To prevent dandruff, keeping the scalp clean and balanced is essential.

However, relying too heavily on dry shampoo can make maintaining a healthy scalp environment challenging.

Hair breakage

Dry shampoo often contains alcohol, which can be drying for the hair. When the hair is dry, it becomes brittle and prone to breakage. 

Aerosol sprays can also cause individual hair fibres to crack and snag on each other during combing or styling, leading to hair breakage.

Is dry shampoo bad for your scalp and hair?

Dry shampoo is a popular alternative to normal shampoo as it doesn't require water and is easy to use. However, it's essential to understand that dry shampoo isn't actually shampoo at all. 

Instead, it's a starch and alcohol-based product sprayed or sprinkled onto the hair to absorb excess oil and make it appear less greasy.

While dry shampoo can effectively make the hair appear cleaner, it's important to note that it doesn't remove dirt and oil as traditional shampoo does through water and scrubbing. 

Though it is mostly safe for most people, using dry shampoo as a substitute for regular shampoo may not be the best option for maintaining a healthy scalp and hair.

How often should you use dry shampoo?

To prevent any damage to your hair and scalp, experts suggest limiting the use of dry shampoo to no more than two consecutive days.

Here's how you can use a dry shampoo properly without losing hair:

  • Hold the shampoo bottle about 5-6 inches away from your hair.
  • Spray the product on your hair and not on the scalp.
  • Spray just the areas where the hair is the most greasy. This is usually at the temples and crown of your head.
  • Use your fingers or a wide-toothed comb to loosen any accumulated spray near your roots, redistributing it evenly through the oily areas.

Alternatives to dry shampoo

Keeping your hair clean and conditioned is essential for its health, but how often you wash it depends on its type and the treatments it has undergone. 

If you are worried about the chemicals in conventional dry shampoos, consider using an organic one or making your own with ingredients from your pantry. 

You can use absorbent starches like cornstarch or rice starch, and if you want to add colour to match your hair, sprinkle in some cinnamon or cocoa powder. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to give your DIY dry shampoo a pleasant scent.


Dry shampoo is not a substitute for washing your hair as it does not clean it but instead absorbs the oil in your hair with the help of starch and/or alcohol in the product. 

Using it occasionally will be fine for most people. However, excessive use can lead to hair breakage and scalp issues. 

To keep your hair and scalp healthy, it is advisable to limit dry shampoo to only 1 or 2 days a week. 

To avoid chemical-based products, you can make your own dry shampoo using natural ingredients like kitchen starches and spices.


Can dry shampoo cause hair loss? 

Excessive buildup of dry shampoo on the scalp has been associated with issues like blocked hair follicles. Overusing dry shampoo can lead to inflammation, increased shedding, and hair thinning.

How often can I use dry shampoo without causing hair loss? 

It is recommended to use dry shampoo no more than two days in a row to prevent damage to the scalp and hair follicles. Keeping your scalp clean and balanced is essential to avoid inflammation and blockage.

Can switching to an organic dry shampoo prevent hair loss? 

Switching to an organic dry shampoo can be a good alternative for those concerned about the chemicals in traditional dry shampoos. However, limiting the frequency of use and keeping the scalp clean and balanced to prevent hair loss is still important.

Is hair loss associated with dry shampoo use permanent?

Overusing dry shampoo can cause hair loss from inflammation and blockage of hair follicles. If the strands are not too damaged, the hair may grow back with a healthy scalp care routine. However, if there is scarring, the hair loss may be permanent. Avoid overusing dry shampoo and seek professional advice for scalp issues.



Read more:

Luat Duong

Luat Duong is a Copenhagen-based writer and content strategist specializing in hair loss and health. His work has been featured in MyHealthGuide, The Right Hairstyles, and Woman's Era. He is a graduate of Vaasa University. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.