Recall: Carcinogens in Dry Shampoo

We had a post go live today, but I sat down this afternoon and wrote a whole entire ‘nother because this is NONSENSE. First, sunscreen. Now, there’s a multi-brand recall due to carcinogens in dry shampoo. It’s the same we’ve been seeing in sunscreen: benzene.

The amount of things being recalled for benzene in the last few years is too damn high. Carcinogens weren’t even really top-of-mind for me when I stopped buying dry shampoo a while back (which I JUST shared before this news hit), but there’s a hell of a good reason!

The Affected Brands

Per the release, which you can read on, this recall applies to products under Unilever’s sprawling umbrella. If you use any of these,

  • Dove
  • TRESemme
  • Nexxus
  • Suave
  • Tigi

You need to check the UPC and lot codes, which you can do here, to see if you need to take further action. Please note that just because you bought it recently doesn’t necessarily mean it was manufactured super recently! CHECK.

If it isn’t one of these, you may be in the clear – but I’ll come back to this.


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Suave Professionals Volumizing Line

Suave Professionals Volumizing
Suave Professionals Volumizing Shampoo & Conditioner

Ever on the hunt for a great shampoo and conditioner for my needs, I decided to try another inexpensive option when it was time to repurchase, recently. (Sometimes inexpensive products that don’t seem exciting can be, after all!) So, for science, I picked up the Suave Professionals Volumizing Shampoo and Conditioner ($4-6). They are claimed to be as effective as Matrix Amplify (but I have not tried the Matrix product so I am unable to compare).

The clear shampoo lathers well (if you’re into that sort of thing…and if you aren’t, steer clear) and rinses cleanly without too much effort. I found the consistency of the conditioner to be thin – not terribly thin to the point of being useless, but not as thick, creamy, and moisturizing as I would generally like it to be. I apply it and leave it for 3 minutes before rinsing while I other things in the shower, but it does not penetrate the hair shaft as much as I’d like.

Both are noticeably fragranced, but neither are unpleasant, and neither of them tend to linger significantly.
After washing and conditioning, I blowdry my hair without any product other than my Tresemme Heat Protector (inexpensive, works great), my hair does look and feel more voluminous than with what I was using previously (Tresemme Moisture), but it isn’t substantial enough to forego mousse if you need some lift at the scalp. It’s more… fluffy, but not truly voluminous.

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Suave Natural Infusion Awapuhi Anti-Breakage

Suave Natural Infusion Awapuhi Anti-Breakage

You may remember that, several months back, I experienced some annoying hair breakage. My normally-healthy, well-behaved locks were becoming tangled, unruly, and brittle. After I diagnosed the issue, I hastily switched shampoos. As much as I loved the TIGI Moisture Maniac, that and its so-called replacement (lies!) are the only prestige shampoo and conditioner I’ve really used; I don’t have any special loyalty or affinity for higher-end hair products, and welcome the opportunity to spend less on this sort of thing. I had purchased Suave Natural Infusion Awapuhi Anti-Breakage shampoo and conditioner some time prior with coupons (that made it almost free thanks to a sale, too), and hey – how convenient, right?

I scoured the ingredient label to make sure it was free of proteins that might exacerbate the issue. It was, so I pressed on. I wasn’t blown away on my first use, but not every shampoo and conditioner is like that. Sometimes, after all, they sneak up on you. I can live with that, so I stayed the course. My hair did improve, but it didn’t feel thicker or fuller like it suggests.

That said, although my hair improved, I’m not sure how much of it to attribute to the, “anti-breakage,” properties of the Suave Natural Infusion Awapuhi formula, and how much was just cutting back on topical proteins applied to my hair. The formula didn’t feel like anything overwhelmingly special. Not a sulfate-free formula (this doesn’t matter to me, but may matter to you), this dye- and paraben-free shampoo lathers reasonably. The conditioner doesn’t feel thick (I’m a sucker for thick conditioner) and doesn’t seem to do much beyond the regular Suave conditioner formulas, which to me feel as little more than slapping thin perfumed lotion that rinses out quickly without imparting much moisture. My hair wasn’t stripped or anything, it just wasn’t as moisturized as well as I like it to be and as a result, I wound up using my Aussie 3-minute Miracle a lot. I found that I needed to use more of each product, too, to thoroughly clean and condition.

One of the things that attracted me to this line (why I chose to purchase it in the first place since I did not buy it in response to my hair issues, but before), was the lure of Awapuhi Ginger and Honeysuckle. Many moons ago, I tried a shampoo from (I think?) Paul Mitchell and I LOVED how it smelled. It was amazing. I figured this might have a similar fragrance because that shampoo was also an Awapuhi-touting variety. Unfortunately, this shampoo did not smell anything like either awapuhi or honeysuckle (and honeysuckle is one of the few florals I’m into) – it had a sweet-smelling strong trying-to-be-floral chemical scent. I just really, really did not dig it.

Unfortunately, I have not tried the Pureology product that it claims to perform as well as, but based on my lackluster experience as compared to the reviews of Pureology products, I’m going to guess it isn’t going to blow your mind. It isn’t a bad product, but it just didn’t do much for me. I see rave reviews for it but it isn’t really anything special, I’m afraid. That isn’t to say I’m upset with Suave or this product – it might have done more or made a bigger change if my hair was crazy damaged (chemical processing, frequent heat-styling, etc).

For the price (less than $4) it may be just the ticket for you, but I’m willing to spend a tad bit more for more noticeable results. Being as that I’ve only used it for about three-and-a-half months and I’m already almost done with the bottles (yes, really, I told you I had to use a ton), I’m looking forward to trying something else soon.

Disclosure: Hey! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links – this means I may get a very small percentage of the sale if you decide to buy something. I only recommend products I’ve tried and verified as awesome, which is kind of the point of a favorites post. Ethical blogging FTW.