Lab Finds Benzene in More Dry Shampoo

Early last week, I wrote an informative and scathing piece on carcinogens in dry shampoo. The news on the matter was focused on brands under Unilever’s umbrella, but unfortunately independent analytical lab Valisure found benzene in more dry shampoo.

How Many?

Not in a few. 70% of the latest round of tests, featuring 150 batches from 30+ brands across multiple parent companies, came back with high levels of exposure. Here are just some of the affected brands:

Not Your Mother’sIGK
PantenePaul Mitchell
Herbal EssencesSebastian
Sun BumRedken
Garnier FructisKlorane
Eva NYCPureology
Kristen EssDrybar
HaskBumble & Bumble

The Problem ISN’T Isolated to Drugstore Brands

If you choose to continue buying products like this, don’t let sales associates or your salons bullshit you and tell you that whatever they’re shilling is immune to the problem.

The reality is that they have no idea if that is true. They aren’t hounding their quality teams because they don’t have the time and even if they did, they doesn’t have the influence.

So there’s Benzene in More Dry Shampoo…what now?

This is a pretty big issue and it’s not going away anytime soon.

So what does that mean for you? Well, you can continue spraying carcinogens into your lungs but I don’t really recommend it. If you absolutely cannot live without dry shampoo, you’re going to have to weigh how comfortable you are with those risks.

Food for Thought

To help you consider that risk, your benzene exposure may not just be your dry shampoo. Aerosol deodorants and sunscreens are common offenders in this same way. Hand sanitizer has been cited as well. These are products many people use EVERY DAY, sometimes multiple times a day. That makes it non-negligible.

Here’s an example of my thought process for my needs and risk tolerance:

  • I may choose to use an unscented aerosol antiperspirant for the very rare occasion where I absolutely must have antiperspirant (i.e., formal attire; I don’t use it otherwise).
    • Since that is about once a year at absolute most, I feel like I can make that call without taking on too much risk.
  • But I will choose to avoid aerosol dry shampoo because that’s something I use almost daily.

Even if FDA moves to compel these manufacturers to get their act together, the FDA is not fast – and compliance measures will have a grace period. We’re a year away, at minimum, before we’ll see something that should be safer. That is, of course, unless companies voluntarily get their shit together. Some may, but don’t count on it.

Or, you could just do what I do these days, and use tapioca starch or cornstarch. Cheaper, safer, not a hazard to you and your family.

The Bottom Line

This is a reiteration of my previous conclusion: the common denominator here is likely the propellants either having contaminants or having some sort of previously-unchecked chemical reaction with another component.