Your Dry Shampoo May Have a Carcinogen in It

Proctor and Gamble has recalled 32 dry shampoo and conditioner products due to the presence of benzene — here's what you need to know, including safer formulas to buy instead.

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While dry shampoo has saved us from many bad hair days, it may be time to say goodbye to your go-to pick. On Friday, Procter & Gamble issued a voluntary recall of 32 aerosol products from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, and Waterl<ss, in addition to formerly discontinued products from Old Spice and Hair Food, due to the presence of benzene.

32 Procter & Gamble Dry Shampoos and Conditioners Have Been Recalled

Benzene is a known human carcinogen and was the focus of a widespread sunscreen recall over the summer. As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) define benzene as a carcinogen via inhalation, skin absorption, ingestion, and skin and/or eye contact.

In a press release on P&G's website, the company says that people around the world have daily exposures to benzene indoors and outdoors from multiple sources, and that this voluntary product recall was issued out of an abundance of caution. "To date, The Procter & Gamble Company has not received any reports of adverse events related to this recall," it continues.

"Based on exposure modeling and the cancer risk assessments published by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (IRIS database), daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences," it continues. "Benzene is ubiquitous in the environment."

As board-certified dermatologist Heather Rogers told in the summer, benzene exposure can have a cumulative effect, so minimizing exposure to it, and any cancer-causing ingredients, is a good idea. Since dry shampoos and conditioners come in direct contact with the scalp, and they can be inhaled in small amounts during normal styling use, it'd be best to opt for ones that are benzene-free.

If you own one of the products on the recall list, P&G will offer you a full refund. Those affected can fill out an online form or call the Consumer Care team at 1-888-674-36319 Monday through Friday from 9 am to 6 pm ET.

Here, find a few of our picks for safer dry shampoos.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

benzene-free dry shampoo

This cult classic lives up to the hype and is perfect for people with even the most sensitive of scalps. Thanks to its ultra-gentle oat milk-rich formula, this dry shampoo not only absorbs excess oil from the scalp, but it nourishes and soothes it, too.

To shop: $20,

Odele Dry Shampoo

benzene-free dry shampoo

This powder dry shampoo does everything it should and gives hair a little extra oomph thanks to its volumizing and color-safe formula. To use, hold it six inches away from the scalp, spritz, and once it's sat on the scalp for a few moments (giving it time to absorb excess moisture), gently massage it into your head.

To shop: $11.99,

Briogeo Blossom & Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Root Powder & Dry Shampoo

benzene-free dry shampoo

Is it a dry shampoo? Is it a volumizer? It's both! Plus, we love that this clean beauty product uses ingredients such as ginseng and ginger extract to stimulate blood flow to the scalp to support healthy hair growth.

To shop: $24,

ACURE Dry Shampoo

benzene-free dry shampoo

This USDA Organic dry shampoo powder works for all hair types and is 100 percent vegan. If you have black or brunette hair and are worried about how white powder will look after using, the brand also offers another version created specifically for people with dark hair.

To shop: $10,

Vegamour GRO Dry Shampoo for Thinning Hair

benzene-free dry shampoo

Tackle thinning hair and excess oil in one with this dry shampoo formula. Vegamour is known for its clean, plant-based, and effective formulas, so you're in great hands if you test out this product. After clinical testing, the brand found that phytoactives in the formula visibly increase hair density, giving the illusion of fuller, thicker hair.

To shop: $32,

Captain Blankenship Dry Shampoo Powder

benzene-free dry shampoo
Captain Blankenship

Another clean, talc-free, powder pick is this drugstore-priced one that smells like roses by the beach. It uses clay and baking soda to absorb excess oils, and organic arrowroot to give roots a bit of lift.

To shop: $14,

Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo

benzene-free dry shampoo

Unlike the other products on this list, this dry shampoo uses a foam formula. To use, apply two pumps of product onto your hands and gently massage it into your scalp, around your hairline, and at the nape of your neck. The tapioca starch and witch hazel in it will soak up excess oil while the organic honey gives hair a boost of shine.

To shop: $24,

Playa Pure Dry Shampoo

benzene-free dry shampoo

This botanical-rich formula absorbs oil, nourishes the scalp, eliminates impurities, and restores volume. We love how soft our hair feels after using it, and since it works well on all hair types, we love how we can share it with our friends, too.

To shop: $24,

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