Benzene in dry shampoos - what's the deal?
It's no secret that we love hair. Or that we love our products that allow you to style your hair - in every possible way. That you can use a hairspray when you have time, or dry shampoo when you don't - and still look fresh. We love a sick look. But not to the extent that it can actually make you sick. It's a completely different kind of sick.
Unfortunately, there is a reality out there. Researchers from the independent laboratory Valisure have tested 148 batches from 34 of the most popular brands of spray-on dry shampoo. They found that 70% contained benzene - a toxic chemical known to cause blood cancer. "What the hell?" you say? Yes, we hear you, but before we dive in to learn more about benzene and how to avoid it, we have something to say:
We want you to know that The Everys dry shampoos, and all our products, are 100% benzene-free. Using such bad ingredients is simply not how we work. The Every is about delivering killer looks, not delivering products that could potentially kill you.
What is benzene in dry shampoos?
Benzene is a colorless and flammable liquid with a slightly sweet smell. It is used in many industrial processes, including the manufacture of plastics, rubber and synthetic fibers. It is also found in gasoline and cigarette smoke. Ugh.
Why is benzene in dry shampoos dangerous?
Exposure to benzene can cause serious health problems, including leukemia and other blood cancers. Benzene is a known carcinogen and can also cause other health problems, including anemia, immune system damage and reproductive problems. The risks of exposure to benzene are well documented and it is important to avoid exposure whenever possible.
Can benzene in dry shampoos cause cancer?
Yes, benzene can certainly cause cancer, including leukemia. In fact, benzene was classified as a human carcinogen back in the 1970s, so the chemical's nasty carcinogenic tendencies have been known for a long time.
Why is benzene present in dry shampoos?
That is an excellent question. Benzene is not supposed to be in dry shampoo at all. Period. It has no role in absorbing hair oils or masking odors and is not a known ingredient in dry shampoos. Instead, the most likely explanation is that the benzene has made its way into the affected products through contamination during the manufacturing process. It's not an excuse, but at least it doesn't seem intentional.
How common is benzene in dry shampoos?
Unfortunately, this seems to be ALL too common. As we started to mention, a recent study conducted in 2022 found that benzene was present in 70% of the most popular dry shampoo brands. If you want the full list, you should head over to pages 13 to 18 of the actual report on benzene in dry shampoos published by Valisure and note the brand names yourself. Otherwise, just in case, may we suggest you get rid of the dry shampoos you have at home and pick up some of our benzene-free dry shampoos instead?
How can you make sure you only use benzene-free dry shampoos?
Telling whether a dry shampoo or hairspray contains benzene is difficult because the chemical is not an actual ingredient but a contaminant. Benzene is made from petroleum, just like butane and propane which are some of the most common propellants in sprays - it's what makes the spray come out of the can. So if the presence of benzene is to be blamed on pollution, butane and propane may be the likely culprits. Both propane and butane are supposed to be purified and tested to ensure no traces of benzene reach consumers, but that doesn't seem to have been the case here.
3 ways to ensure your dry shampoo is benzene-free
So, back to the question of how to determine if your dry shampoo contains benzene. Here are our suggestions:
- Start by checking out the full list of affected brands at the link above and then get rid of those on the list if you have any at home.
- Check the contents of your dry shampoo for "butane", "isobutane" or "propane". If any of these are mentioned and the label does not specifically state that they are confident that the product is benzene-free, we would assume that it does contain benzene and you should get rid of them.
- Safe before unsafe. Only use guaranteed benzene-free dry shampoos from brands like The Every that are sure their products are benzene-free. High-quality ingredients are more expensive than low-quality ones, and following regulations and conducting the necessary tests is also more expensive than ignoring them and simply hoping for the best. We're not saying that all budget brands and products are bad - but make sure you don't sacrifice your health just to save a few bucks.
Stay safe: only let those you really trust into your life - and into your hair!
If you feel upset and frustrated by the presence of benzene in dry shampoos and other hair care products, we understand. If you feel a bit scared to use dry shampoos again, don't be! But be sure to follow our advice and make sure you always use benzene-free dry shampoos, like The Everys.