Washing, drying, and styling your hair every single day is incredibly time-consuming… But it’s also not good for your hair! It’s no wonder dry shampoo has become so trendy in recent decades. Dry shampoo can keep us looking and feeling fresh, while saving lots of time and energy that can be better spent on other things.

The only problem is, most conventional aerosol dry shampoo brands contain toxic ingredients that are known to cause or contribute to allergic reactions, fertility problems, cancer, and more.

So in this guide, we’re walking you through the problematic ingredients to look out for and then giving you our favorite non-toxic dry shampoo brands to use instead.

Table of Contents

This post contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a small commission if you choose to make a purchase. We only make recommendations that are genuine and meet our ingredient standards.

Our Favorite Natural Dry Shampoos at a Glance:

+ even more natural dry shampoos try out are listed below.

First of All: How Does Dry Shampoo Clean Your Hair? (Hint: It Doesn’t)

The extent of ‘cleansing’ done by dry shampoo is simply to reduce the oily ‘appearance’ of our hair. This oily material is called sebum, which our sebaceous glands produce as our follicles sprout hair strands.

Sebum isn’t bad—it has a purpose. According to the National Institute of Health, sebum protects, regulates, feeds, and heals our skin. Things like friction, excess moisture in our environment, sunburn, bacteria, and inflammation are all controlled in part by sebum carrying antioxidants throughout our skin.

An excess of sebum can be caused by a lot of different things. Without going into that for this particular article, we do want to acknowledge the obvious: keeping our hair follicles clean is important.

Well Then, How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

Dry shampoo comes in two primary forms: powder and spray. Most dry shampoo spray (though not all) is actually just powder that has been combined with aerosols to make it into more of a hairspray texture for application.

Dry shampoo works in two primary ways:

  • It absorbs oil (sebum), mostly at your hair roots
  • It masks odor to keep your hair smelling fresh

Is Dry Shampoo Bad For You?

Just like with almost any and all cosmetics, personal care, and cleaning products, whether or not dry shampoo is potentially harmful completely depends on the specific brand and/or product you’re using. Many brands use ingredients that are either suspected or known to cause long-term negative health effects.

The good news, however, is that there are plenty of safe (and effective!) non-toxic dry shampoo brands on the market today, which we’ve researched and rounded up for you below.

What Ingredients Should I Avoid In Dry Shampoo?

Aerosols: Even if the active ingredients aren’t harmful, the butane, propane, isobutane, and tetrafluoropropene gasses used to make aerosol dry shampoos to work are toxic for respiratory tracts and can exacerbate allergies. Aerosol sprays are often contaminated with benzene (a known carcinogen), which you may have read about in the news lately. We’ll talk more about this in a minute.

Fragrances: We’ve talked about this before (and will continue to do so), but the word ‘fragrance’ should always raise a red flag. There are almost 4,000 ingredients (many toxic, some not) that are legally fair game to use under the ‘fragrance’ umbrella without having to be disclosed.

Talc: It does have great absorbency, but it may be contaminated with asbestos, which is toxic. Our picks for the best natural dry shampoos are talc-free.

Alcohol: For many, alcohol is just too aggressive. Its harshness can strip too many of the oils our scalp still wants in order to be healthy. If alcohol is in the ingredients list and you’re using it a lot, dandruff, blocked pores, and dry hair are likely.

Phenoxyethanol: This is a synthetic version of a chemical naturally found in green tea. Since it’s synthetic, it’s cheaper and can be created in large quantities. The chemical’s purpose (natural and synthetic) is to fight bacteria. More research needs to be done on the specific potential harmfulness of this ingredient, but as of right now, it’s indicated that it can cause respiratory irritation and can cause issues with non-reproductive organs. It is only approved for maximum of 1% use in the E.U. and Japan. If it’s in an ingredients list and mentions green tea nowhere, pass and look for one that does.

Cetrimonium Chloride: This is used to decrease static, but many people are allergic. It is a completely banned ingredient in the E.U. 

Siloxane, Silicones, & Octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane: These help wet products dry faster because they don’t break down. They build up over time on our bodies and in the environment when we wash them down the drain. 

Sorry, But an Aerosol Dry Shampoo is Not a Safe Dry Shampoo

Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen aerosol consumer products end up in the news because of recalls over benzene contamination. (I’ve provided updates some of those headlines below.)

Benzene is a known carcinogen, specifically linked to leukemia. In the short term, high doses of benzene can effect the nervous system (causing drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and more). In addition to cancer, longterm effects of benzene exposure can lead to things like anemia as well as suspected reproductive harm.

It’s not just dry shampoo brands that have been found to be contaminated with benzene, but also other products like sunscreen and body sprays.

The crucial thing to know about the aerosol and benzene problem is that the benzene is not added intentionally. It’s a contaminant. This means you won’t find it on any ingredient labels and there is basically no way of knowing whether or not benzene exists in a product without actually testing it at a lab.

But the point is that there is a very high chance that aerosol products of any kind may be contaminated with benzene, which is why we recommend you go with a non-aerosol dry shampoo option.

P&G Dry Shampoo Recall (December 2021)

[UPDATE #1] In December 2021, P&G recalled 32 of its dry shampoo and conditioner products because they contained “unexpected levels” of benzene in them.

Here are the brands that were affected by this P&G recall:

  • Aussie
  • Hair Food
  • Herbal Essences
  • Old Spice
  • Pantene
  • Waterl<ss

P&G stated that no known negative effects were caused by these dry shampoo brands, and the recall was a voluntary one.

Unilever Dry Shampoo Recall (October 2022)

[UPDATE #2] In October 2022, Unilever also issued a voluntary recall of some of their products for the same reason (elevated benzene). This recall includes products produced before October 2021 for the following brands:

  • Dove
  • Nexxus
  • Suave
  • Rockaholic
  • Bed Head
  • TRESemmé

Batiste & Other Brands Test Positive for Benzene (October 2022)

[UPDATE #3] Shortly after the Unilever recall became public, an independent lab released a report stating that they’d found benzene in 70% of the dry shampoo they tested. These tests actually included brands like Batiste, Not Your Mother’s, Paul Mitchell, OGX, and many more.

Even though these brands were not technically recalled (yet?), it just adds to the growing body of research showing that aerosol dry shampoos are often contaminated with benzene and therefore unsafe.

What to Look for in Safe, Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo

Okay, moving on to what you should look for in healthier dry shampoos!

Non-Aerosol Sprays and Powders

I know, I know… Aerosol can be so convenient when it comes to evenly dispersing the dry shampoo into your hair. But if you’re really serious about using a non-toxic dry shampoo, using aerosol just isn’t worth it.

The recommended brands below are powders that can be shaken onto your head through a pinhole in the bottle, shaken on like you’d sprinkle salt on your dinner, misted with a non-aerosol spray bottle, or applied with a powder brush. If you’re used to aerosol, it might take a little bit of adjustment to figure out how to apply it optimally, but I promise it’s really not difficult!

Natural and/or Organic Ingredients

Look for the following ingredients in your non-toxic dry shampoo:

  • Rice starch, arrowroot powder, cornstarch, cassava kaolin clay, and baking soda: these are all safe, natural ingredients that can effectively absorb oil.
  • Cocoa powder: This can also absorb moisture, and can be a key dry shampoo ingredient for those with darker hair!
  • Witch hazel: A natural astringent that helps to dry out oils while conditioning the scalp.
  • Charcoal: This is a safe “detoxifier” that can help absorb impurities and promote overall scalp health.
  • Essential oils: look for brands that use sustainably-sourced essential oils for scent instead of mystery “fragrances.”

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list; many of the brands below also utilize other natural and nourishing ingredients, too.

The Safest Natural & Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo Brands

The good news is that there are plenty of safe, non-toxic dry shampoo brands available that still get the job done! Here are our favorite ones:

Billie (Best Overall)

Best for: All hair types
Price: $14 for 1.2 oz
Available Colors: Dark & Light
Scented? No, it’s fragrance-free.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Shakes out of one tiny pinhole.

Billie (yes, the popular razor brand) carries non-toxic dry shampoo and volumizer combo, which they call “Floof.” It gets our “Best Overall” win because it’s got a great combination of oil-absorbing, nourishing, and hair-plumping ingredients that generally work for all hair types.

It uses ingredients like biotin (which helps to add volume to your hair), along with rice starch and baking soda (to absorb oil). It comes in two different shades, a blonde color and a darker brown.

Shop Billie

Rahua (Best Volumizing)

Best for: Limp or fine hair
Price: $32 for 1.8 oz
Available Colors: White
Scented? Yes, it has a mild plant-based vanilla scent.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Non-aerosol spray

If you’re used to using aerosol dry shampoo, you should give Rahua a try. Not only does it have the spray feature, but it can really compete with aerosols when it comes to its volumizing capabilities.

The Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo uses organic, food-grade cassava, which is an edible root that’s been a staple for Amazonian people for thousands of years. That’s combined with other natural ingredients like cosmetic clay and star anise (evergreen seed!). It not only leaves hair feeling refreshed and volumized, but the star anise also offers antimicrobial properties that help maintain a healthy scalp.

Shop Rahua

Briogeo (Best Cleansing)

best safe dry shampoo brands brigeo

Best for: Extra oily or greasy hair
Price: $25 for 1.7 oz
Available Colors: White
Scented? Yes, with both natural and synthetic fragrance.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Non-aerosol spray

This is a good option for those days when your hair is in need of some serious help. If you have buildup on your scalp or your hair is over-producing oil, Briogeo’s formulation can provide both short-term and long-term help by drawing impurities out and absorbing excess oil with ingredients like charcoal and organic rice starch.

Like Rahua, Briogeo comes in a non-aerosol pump spray for even dispersement.

This brand does use “fragrance” in their formulation, which is not ideal. However, they are free from phthalates (one of the main concerns in fragrance ingredients) and are Prop 65 compliant as well (which is pretty strict). They’re free from other problematic ingredients as well, including parabens, sulfates, and more.

Briogeo is also widely available at stores like Sephora, Ulta, and Detox Market.

Shop Briogeo

Chagrin Valley (Most Affordable)

Best for: All hair types
Price: $18.50 for 4.5 oz
Available Colors: Light & Dark
Scented? Yes, they offer 3 different essential oil blends.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Several holes on top so you can use either the brush method or the shaker method.

Coming in at $4.63 per ounce, Chagrin Valley is the most affordable organic dry shampoo on our list.

The brand’s non-toxic products are made in Solon, Ohio. They offer three different scents (Fresh Mint, Lavender Rosemary, and Fresh Citrus Mint) They’re one of the few organic dry shampoos that comes with a third-party certification (USDA Organic). Plus, their packaging is compostable and recyclable.

Shop Chagrin Valley

Acure (Best Organic)

Best for: All hair types
Price: $9.99 for 1.7 oz
Available Colors: Light & Dark
Scented? Yes, these come with essential oils of rosemary and peppermint.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Shaker method (several holes on top of the bottle)

A lot of the brands on this list use organic ingredients, but only a few of them actually come with a third-party organic certification.

Acure’s organic dry shampoo powder comes in two different varieties: Rosemary & Peppermint for lighter hair and Rosemary & Cocoa for darker hair. It uses corn starch, arrowroot, kaolin, and sodium bicarbonate to absorb moisture. Not only is it free from all the nasties, but it’s USDA certified organic as well!

Plus, it’s sold by a variety of stores like Target and Ulta.

Shop Acure

Primally Pure (Best Organic Runner-Up)

Best for: All hair types
Price: $16 for 1 oz or $28 for 2 oz
Available Colors: Light & Dark
Scented? Yes, scented with essential oils.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: The lid gives you the option of shaking it out through 5 small holes or one big one. You can then blend with your fingers or a powder brush.

Primally Pure is our “Runner Up” for best organic dry shampoo because even though it’s not certified organic, it’s made with mostly organic ingredients.

This is a great option for pretty much all hair types—it’s simple, yet effective. It uses ingredients like arrowroot powder, kaolin, cacao powder, baking soda, and essential oils. Everything from Primally Pure is natural, sustainably-sourced, and handcrafted in California.

Shop Primally Pure

Act + Acre (Best Baking Soda-Free)

Best for: All hair types, but especially those with sensitive, itchy, or irritated scalps
Price: $26 for .6 oz
Available Colors: White
Scented? No, it’s fragrance-free.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Non-aerosol spray

This plant-based dry shampoo is one of the best options for those with sensitive scalps. Not only is it free of baking soda (which can potentially disrupt the skin’s pH and be irritating for some), but it’s also fragrance-free, so you don’t have to worry about any allergens or irritants there either (even from natural oils!).

Plus, the ‘Ioniplex Fulvic Ionic Mineral Complex’ is extra nourishing for itchy, dry, or irritated scalps as well.

Even though it only comes in a white powder, it blends well into all hair colors after a few minutes.

Shop Act + Acre

Prose (Best Customized)

safe customized dry shampoo from prose haircare

Best for: YOUR specific hair!
Price: $26
Available Colors: White/Translucent
Scented? No, it’s fragrance-free.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Non-aerosol pump spray

If you have specific needs or just want to take a more personalized approach to your haircare, you may want to try Prose. Every formulation provides the basic oil-absorbing and volumizing features that you want from a dry shampoo, but then beyond that, you’ll get your own formula based on your scalp and hair needs.

Plus, it’s all GMO-free, alcohol-free, and gluten-free. You can find out more about every one of their ingredients here.

The powder is white, but it’s very fine and absorbs into your hair pretty quickly (even if you have darker hair). Stay tuned because I’ve got a full review of Prose coming soon!

Get personalized dry shampoo from Prose

Fat and the Moon (Best Zero/Low-Waste)

Best for: All hair types
Price: $15.99 for 2 oz
Available Colors: Medium/Dark
Scented? Yes, with essential oils.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Top with several holes can be used with the shaker method or with a powder brush.

This simple dry shampoo only contains a few ingredients: Cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, and lavender essential oil. Most of those ingredients are organic. It’s formulated by an herbalist, and each container is handcrafted in Grass Valley, CA.

It comes in an aluminum container and almost all of the packaging is recyclable and/or biodegradable, with the exception of the sticker label on the front.

Even though it has cocoa, the color isn’t super dark, so this will work for most people with lighter hair as long as you don’t go overboard. (Plus, the cocoa smells scrumptious!)

Shop Fat and the Moon

Captain Blankenship

non-toxic dry shampoo without benzene from captain blankenship

Best for: All hair types
Price: $26 for 1.2 oz
Available Colors: Light & Dark
Scented? Yes, it comes with a light essential oil blend.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Non-aerosol spray

Formally called Mermaid Dry Shampoo, Captain Blankenship is a favorite all-around great natural dry shampoo option. It’s MADE SAFE certified, which is one of the best third-party certifications for non-toxic products. It also comes with several other labels, including Leaping Bunny, B Corp, and 1% for the Planet.

This dry shampoo sets itself apart by including glacial marine clay as its key ingredient. “Also known as Sea Silt, this rich clay from ancient coastal deposits in British Columbia adds beneficial vitamins and minerals to hair and scalp while absorbing oil.” Yes, please.

Shop Captain Blankenship

La Tierra Sagrada

Best for: All hair types, but especially oily or weak hair
Price: $36
Available Colors: Blonde & Brunette
Scented? Yes, it comes with an essential oil blend.
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: The powder comes in an open container, so you can only apply it with a powder brush.

La Tierra Sagrada translates to “the sacred Earth” and is created by an experienced stylist, Stefani Padilla. Stefani’s purpose is to ‘share the wisdom of plant medicine and help educate others about how these sacred ingredients can heal and transform the hair.’  

The adaptogenic ingredients in this gluten-free natural dry shampoo are what really set it apart from the others. It’s got Sun Potion brand he shou wu and mucuna pruriens, which are powerful adaptogens which they say have been used to promote hair growth and overall health for centuries.

This is a more luxurious option, and a great gift idea!

Shop La Tierra Sagrada for light hair and for dark hair

Beauty By Earth

Best for: All hair types
Price: $21.99 for 1.3 oz
Available Colors: Brunette (dark)
Scented? Yes, it’s naturally scented with lavender oil
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Narrow tip allows you to target specific sections of your scalp.

This brand is made in the USA out of mostly organic ingredients like corn starch, arrowroot powder, and turmeric. It’s actually one of the few brands that is certified organic by USDA.

This one is more for those with dark or medium-to-dark hair.

Shop Beauty By Earth

Lulu Organics

Best for: All hair types
Price: $28 for 4 oz
Available Colors: White
Scented? Yes, they offer 6 different essential oils options as well as an Unscented version
Cruelty-Free/Vegan: Yes
Application: Powder that can be used via the shaker method or with a brush.

Here’s another brand that’s great for all types of hair. Their beautiful packaging and variety of scents (essential oils), come in both 4 oz. and travel size, 1 oz. (You can also get a variety pack of minis to try out all of the different scents!)

You can also use this as an all-purpose body powder if you’ve got some other areas that need some refreshing.

This organic dry shampoo is Certified UCSA Organic & Oregon Tilth Organic. Lulu Organics fiscally supports organizations that politically and publicly protect the health of humans and the planet. 

Shop Lulu Organics

Even More Safe, Natural Dry Shampoo Brands

These brands didn’t quite make our “Best Of” list, but they are still good options as far as ingredient safety is concerned:

  • Afterworld Organics
  • Be Green Bath & Body
  • Flower Mill
  • Hair Dance
  • Qēt Botanicals
  • The Earthling Co.
  • Wellnesse

The Just-Okay Dry Shampoo Brands

Kaia Naturals Overnight Dry Shampoo: This is overall a good product, but it contains “pigment.” Without actually knowing that that “pigment” contains, we can’t fully recommend this one.

Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo: This dry shampoo is actually a foam, and it’s one of the only options that can be applied to either wet or dry hair. It’s mostly fine, but it does contains a few different “just-okay” ingredients, such as benzyl alcohol.

Vegamour GRO Dry Shampoo: If you absolutely HAVE to have an aerosol dry shampoo, this one is the least-bad option I’ve been able to find. It does have isobutane in it, which means it could be contaminated with benzene. It’s also not alcohol-free so it may not be suitable for those with dry scalps.

However, they say their products are free of sulfates, parabens, silicones, gluten, and artificial fragrance. Instead of synthetic fragrances, their dry shampoo is scented with 100% essential oils. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free. So all that being said, if you absolutely cannot give up your aerosol dry shampoo spray, I’d recommend this one over all of the rest. 

Dry Shampoo Brands to Avoid

These brands contain more than a couple concerning ingredients, and we recommend staying away from them:

  • Aussie
  • Batiste (you can read our full article about Batiste right here.)
  • Bumble and bumble
  • Dove
  • Drybar
  • Garnier Fructis
  • Hair Food
  • Herbal Essences
  • Living Proof
  • Love Beauty & Planet
  • Nexxus
  • Not Your Mother’s
  • Old Spice
  • Pantene
  • TRESemme
  • Waterl<ss

Other F.A.Q.s About Dry Shampoo

The Origins of Dry Shampoo 

Throughout our days, weeks, and years, our hair changes… in texture, cleanliness, sensitivity, and so on. Similarly, dry shampoo has evolved over centuries!

Here’s a super simple timeline: 

  • In the early 1400s, clay powders were used in eastern cultures since regular bathing was limited. Different colored clays and even plant pigments were added for style.
  • In the late 1700s, starches (like rice and corn) were used in the U.S. to deodorize and alter the colors of wigs, which were primarily worn by men since long hair signaled masculinity and power/authority.
  • By the late 1800s, a foam-based dry shampoo was used by barbers.
  • Then in the late 1940s, MINIPOO, the first commercially produced dry shampoo product, was used by women and children for a wide range of reasons, from not being able to bathe because of a bedridden illness to freshening up for a last-minute social hangout.

Are You Overwashing Your Hair?

Washing your hair too much can actually lead to an overproduction of oil. Each time you wash your hair in the shower, you’re sending signals to your scalp to produce more oil. So the more you wash it (and get rid of the oil), the more oil it produces. Over time, this can lead to oil buildup on your scalp, which can be difficult to get rid of.

Dry shampoo can help prevent you and your scalp from falling into this cycle by allowing you to go longer in between washes.

And if you already have an oil-overproduction problem, dry shampoo can help you get out of it. By “oil training” your hair, you can re-teach it to stop producing so much oil by washing it less. During your initial phase of oil training, there might be an uncomfortable transition time where you’re walking around with hair that feels… well, gross. Using dry shampoo can help you slowly extend the time in between washes.

How Can Shampoo Be Dry?

Dry shampoo is a bit of a misnomer because it isn’t really shampoo. It doesn’t actually do what regular shower shampoo does (that is, clean your hair). Rather, dry shampoo is a powder that allows one to go longer in between washes by absorbing oils, giving the appearance of clean hair.

Why Would I Use A Dry Shampoo?

There are a number of reasons you might use dry shampoo throughout you week:
– If you have a midday workout and don’t have time to completely dry and restyle your hair, you might take a body-only shower and use dry shampoo to tide you over until you can wash your hair.
– If you have thick or textured natural hair that can’t or shouldn’t be washed and styled as frequently, you may use dry shampoo to give your hair freshness and volume between washes.
– If you have really straight hair, oil can become more visible because it just slides straight down from your hair follicles to collect all over your head, so you may want to use dry shampoo to reduce that oily appearance.
– You may use dry shampoo as a volumizer, since it mattes at the roots to provide some plump for styling.
– If your hair is producing too much oil from overwashing, you may use dry shampoo as you “oil train” your hair.

Can Dry Shampoo Cause Cancer?

As mentioned above, it is not uncommon for conventional dry shampoo brands to contain carcinogenic ingredients, whether unintentionally (as was the case with P&G’s recalled products), as an unlisted “fragrance” ingredient, or something else.

Some ingredients that are commonly found in dry shampoo like phthalates and talc are known to increase one’s risk of cancer.

That being said… Using dry shampoo a few times is unlikely to cause cancer in and of itself… BUT, when you use conventional dry shampoo combined with all of the other environmental toxins that our bodies are exposed to each and every day, then yes, cancer can be a result.

Unfortunately, some environmental toxins can’t be avoided. That’s why we should avoid carcinogenic ingredients where we do have control… that includes hair care!

Does Dry Shampoo Cause Hair Loss?

Yes, it can. As one former dry shampoo fanatic discovered in interviewing several dermatologists and hair experts, as dry shampoo absorbs oil, it can irritate the scalp and lead to inflammation of the hair follicles. This inflammation can cause weakened follicles, which can then lead to shedding and hair loss.

To prevent hair loss from dry shampoo, experts recommend using dry shampoo only a few times per week, max. Of course, we highly recommend using non-toxic dry shampoo brands that don’t cause inflammation and irritation of the hair follicles in the first place. Trying brands that are alcohol-free, and/or baking soda-free may be helpful as well.

Is Dry Shampoo Safe For Lungs?

Whether you’re using a spray or powder, you’re pretty much guaranteed to breathe in some of the dry shampoo during the application process. We’ve already discussed the toxic ingredients that are commonly used in dry shampoo above, and you really don’t want to be breathing any of that in.

Since breathing in at least a little bit of dry shampoo is unavoidable, you should use a brand with safe ingredients in order to reduce your risk of allergic reactions or other long-term health issues.

Does Non-Toxic Dry Shampoo Actually Work?

The question of quality and efficacy is an important one. Yes, you want to use safe products but you also want them to get the job done!

So, is non-toxic dry shampoo as good as conventional dry shampoo? The short answer is: yes! The brands we’ve recommended here have been tested to not only absorb oil but also provide volume and help encourage healthy hair and scalp.

That being said, since everyone’s hair is very different, you might have to do some trial and error to find the brand that works best for you individually. If you’re used to using aerosol sprays, you may want to play around a little bit to get used to the non-aerosol options.

Is Batiste Dry Shampoo Bad For You?

What about one of the most popular and recognizable dry shampoo brands: Batiste? Is Batiste dry shampoo safe?

To adequately answer this question, we actually have an entire article all about Batiste and its ingredients, which you can check out here.

What Is A Good Alternative to Dry Shampoo?

Wondering what else you might be able to use instead of dry shampoo? Here are some commonly used alternatives:

Can I Use Baby Powder Instead of Dry Shampoo?

Before dry shampoo became trendy, my friends and I used baby powder as dry shampoo all the time. It was cheap and it did the job (although, my friends with darker hair had to mix it with cinnamon or cocoa powder).

These days, however, I know better. I would strongly recommend NOT using baby powder as a dry shampoo alternative. Over the past decade, the safety of baby powder has come into question. The main ingredient in baby powder, talc, is very commonly contaminated with asbestos, which is known to cause cancer.

There have many several lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson over the past several years, and the company has paid out billions of dollars to families because of this. In fact, talc-based baby powder isn’t even sold on shelves anymore in many countries. Just stay away.

Can I Use Talc Instead Of Dry Shampoo?

I wouldn’t! (See above.)

Other Dry Shampoo Alternatives

Instead of baby powder, if you’re looking for an inexpensive DIY dry shampoo alternative, you can try cornstarch (which may need to be mixed with cinnamon or cocoa powder depending on your hair color), powdered foundation or makeup setting powder (just make sure it’s a non-toxic brand!), or apple cider vinegar (put into a spray bottle).

Is Powder Dry Shampoo Better Than Spray?

This is totally a personal preference. Most of the non-toxic dry shampoo brands come in powder form so they don’t have to worry about those toxic aerosols, so that’s what I recommend trying. Several of the brands above offer non-aerosol spray options to help evenly disperse the spray on your hair.

If there are any dry shampoo brands that you’re wondering about and aren’t listed here, just let us know in the comments below and we’ll look into it!

About Jaclyn

Jaclyn Stephens is an artist, farmer, and writer. Her work generates associative play between environments, materials, meanings, and sensory perceptions. Utilizing a variety of mediums, her work suspends the buoyancy we experience between the known and unknown about nature. Cultivating a relationship with landscape is both a way of living and a way of making, but primarily what connects everything she is constantly doing.

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  1. Hi! Wondering what you think of waterless cleansing foam (mousse) no rinse shampoos as an alternative to dry shampoos? They still have a propellant… and the Batiste one for example does have butane, isobutane and propane in the ingredients list. Is there a risk that these products are contaminated with benzene as well? In fact, could any hairspray or mousse be contaminated? Lastly, what do you think of just using pure rice flour in a shaker rather than buying these products? Thanks!

    1. Hi Denise – Yes, unfortunately at this time, pretty much any aerosol product could potentially be contaminated with benzene, so I would suggest staying away from them when you can, especially if it’s a product you use regularly. But yea, you can totally make your own DIY powder! I personally haven’t tried rice flour, but it looks like other people on the internet have. 🙂 Other options include things like cornstarch and arrowroot. Or some combination of those. You can also add cocoa and/or cinnamon if you have darker hair.

    1. Hi Venkatesh, I’m only able to find the Wella Eime Dry Me dry shampoo in an aerosol, so unfortunately I can’t recommend it right now. It also looks like it contains “fragrance,” which means it could potentially contain endocrine disruptors like phthalates or other things such as allergens. 🙁

  2. Two non aerosols I love are R & Co Skyline dry shampoo and Klorane Oat Powder dry shampoo. Are the ingredients in these safe?

    1. Hi Jen,
      It looks like R & Co. does not list the ingredients in their fragrance, so we unfortunately can’t recommend them. They also include other not great ingredients like styrene, colorants, and several ethoxylated ingredients.
      Klorane looks a little bit better, but they also don’t list their fragrance ingredients, so we can’t tell if they’re free from things like phthalates.

  3. The only non-aerosol, prepared, retail option for me is Lush. All I know about it is that it’s in a simple glass jar and has some kind of citrus scent.

    Any more info on this product? Is it good for dark hair? What are the ingredients and price?

    1. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend Lush because they don’t list their fragrance ingredients and they also use talc, which can potentially be contaminated with asbestos. 🙁

    1. Hi Sylvia! It’s really difficult to say whether or not a certain dry shampoo brand contains benzene since benzene is a contaminant and not an intentionally-added ingredient. (You can read more about that here if you want to.) I can tell you that Anomaly is more likely to be contaminated with benzene since it’s an aerosol spray (we usually recommend non-aerosol sprays when possible).

  4. What about Forget the Wash aerosol dry shampoo? I just love it. I like the pressure behind the spray…

    1. Hi Patricia,
      Yes, aerosol sprays can be nice because of the way the product is dispersed as it comes out of the can, but unfortunately, aerosol sprays are much more likely to contain carcinogens like benzene, which is why we don’t really recommend aerosol dry shampoos in this article. (You can read more about this issue in our article about Batiste’s dry shampoo.)
      But in addition to that, the actual ingredients in Forget the Wash don’t look too good either. It contains several questionable ingredients, including “fragrance.”