Why Your Go-to Dry Shampoo Was Recalled

by Faith Cancro

What you put in your body is not something that should be taken lightly. The food you eat, the vitamins you take, even what you put in your hair. Recently, a significant number of dry shampoos and conditioners have been recalled. The question is- Why?


Some of your favorite drugstore brands- Herbal Essences, Pantene, Aussie, Waterl<ss, Hair Food, and Old Spice- were recalled due to the discovery of trace amounts of benzene in their aerosol sprays. “To date, The Procter & Gamble Company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall and is conducting this recall out of an abundance of caution” (P&G). P&G says “while benzene is not an ingredient in any of our products, our review showed that unexpected levels of benzene came from the propellant that sprays the product out of the can.” On top of that, benzene is found in things like paint, detergents, pesticides, and dyes, amongst other things, so that’s not necessarily something I want to put directly into my hair. 


So, what is benzene? Benzene is a petroleum-based chemical often “used to make plastics, resins, and nylon and synthetic fibers” says the CDC. Benzene occurs in our environment both naturally and as a result of human activity. Volcanoes, forest fires, gasoline, cigarette smoke, motor vehicle exhaust, etc., are all contributing to the presence of benzene in the air we breathe. Obviously, some exposure to benzene is normal, but it is important to note that significant amounts are flammable, as well as carcinogenic (after a certain amount of direct exposure). Allure points out that, “P&G recognizes…that exposure to benzene can occur by inhalation, orally, and through the skin, and it can lead to cancers, including leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as blood disorders.” Dr. Macrene Alexiades, M.D. reasssured in Allure that the P&G products including benzene have not surpassed the hazardous amount. She simply cautioned that the higher levels of this chemical that the skin is exposed to, the easier it will be to breach the skin and the bloodstream.


P&G officially made a statement advising customers to throw away the exposed products and offered full refunds. Although, P&G is not the only one to face this issue, in July 2021, Johnson & Johnson “issued a voluntary recall for several Neutrogena and Aveeno sunscreen sprays… out of an abundance of caution.”


Now, I’m not saying this to send you spiraling into an existential environmental health crisis. The reality is, you’re exposed to benzene every day, and you’re still here reading this. What I am saying is that there are some benzene-free alternatives you might feel a little more comfortable using on the days your hair just needs a quick “10 second tidy”. Here are a few dry shampoos and conditioners that have been recommended by stylists here at Warehouse…


Verb is a great dry shampoo for a quick on-the-go touch up, with a dry shampoo for lighter and darker hair. Verb Dry Shampoo Light is great for blondes and while Verb Dry Shampoo Dark is suited more for brunettes and other deep hair colors.


If you’re looking for a more natural, organic dry shampoo, Onesta has got you covered. Made in the USA with plant-based aloe formulas, Onesta Refresh Dry Shampoo is a great option.



Living Proof offers options when it comes to dry shampoos, so for an average dirty hair day, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo refreshes your hairs look, scent, and feel. On a more severe, desperately needs a wash but has no time type of day- trust me, we’ve ALL been there- Living Proof Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo will provide you with a nice just washed look and feel.



Along with the beautiful packaging, Amika’s dry shampoo uses rice starch to not only give you volume, but also a cleaner look without any lasting white residue. Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo pairs wonderfully with Amika’s Silken Up Dry Conditioner. 



Dry conditioners are a nice addition to a dry shampoo when you need some moisture added to a non-wash day. Keune Style – Dry Conditioner spray will detangle and smooth your hair to freshen it up exactly how you need. Another great dry conditioner that comes in a powder is Blowpro Essentials Faux Dry Dry Conditioner (talc free) which will nourish and revitalize your hair without a wash!



Picking the right products can definitely be intimidating, but with a little bit of research, along with some trial and error, a healthy, manageable haircare routine is right around the corner!

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