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Bad hair day? Oof nothing worse! Natural dry shampoo to the rescue. Organic dry shampoos are pretty impressive at prolonging your blowout, pumping up the volume, and giving your roots a little refresh between washes!
Natural Dry shampoo is meant to make your hair less oily, absorb sweat, and masks odors. Not pollute the planet with its non-recyclable and VOC's emitting aerosol cans and suspect ingredients!
Natural Dry Shampoos To Try
We tried to choose brands that have the least amount of packaging, but that's not always easy with clean beauty products. Plastic is a real issue here, but there are a lot of brands trying to make a dent in the plastic pollution that is generated by the beauty industry.
Shopping for sustainable dry shampoos can be complicated, there is a lot to consider. To help you, we've got some guidelines at the bottom of this post that you can follow including: Why Is Dry Shampoo Not Safe To Use?, Why is benzene used in dry shampoo?, How we choose these natural shampoo brands?, PLUS answers your most common dry shampoo FAQs!
Good things come in small packages and that's certainly the case with Fat And The Moon's Lavender + Cocoa Dry Shampoo. It's great for all hair types thanks to its gentle plant-based formula of organic Cocoa powder, organic arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, and organic lavender essential oil all of which will tackle oil and odor whilst soothing the scalp.
Looking for an organic dry shampoo for dark hair? Give this one a try. But not to worry if you have blonde hair, the cocoa only adds a little color and will not turn your blonde tresses brown. For application, its best used with a makeup brush.
Aluminum-free and packaged in a recyclable and refillable aluminum shaker this natural dry shampoo powered checks all the eco-boxes.
About Fat and The Moon
Fat & The Moon wants to offer an alternative to unhealthy beauty standards that aim to tame, eliminate or fix. Instead, founder Rachel Budde created Fat & The Moon to celebrate and empower. Everything is handmade with love by the team.
Captain Blankenship's Refresh Dry Shampoo is what mermaid dreams are made of! It's got simple ingredients that all work together to absorb oil, boost volume, and keep your hair fresh.
- Glacial marine clay absorbs excess oil while reviving strands with beneficial vitamins and minerals.
- Organic arrowroot powder adds natural volume to hair without drying.
- Aluminum-free baking soda fends off odor and freshens hair between washes.
It's talc-free and now comes in an innovative powder sprayer for easy application. For those who have dark hair, they've got their Dark Dry Shampoo, it's the same vegan and cruelty-free formula but they've added a little dose of cocoa and activated charcoal, ideal for brown, red, and black hair. It's lightly scented with essential oils of rose geranium and palmarosa.
A word on their new packaging. After conducting an audit with the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute they settled on Aluminum because "when considering the environmental impact of materials beyond just their carbon emissions. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable and is recycled at a much higher rate than plastic or glass."
The bottle is easy to use, you simply pump and apply it directly onto the roots.
About Captain Blankenship
Member of 1% For The Planet and a B Corp, Captian Blankenship only works with suppliers who focus on sustainable and regenerative farming practices. Everything is sourced from small-scale farms. To reduce the waste stream, they have a partnership with PACT where you can mail back any of your beauty empties to be recycled, you just have to pay $5 for shipping!
kaia naturals Overnight Dry Shampoo is A-MAY-ZING! It's super-charged with charcoal and made to absorb oil, refresh roots and combat any odor. It's best applied just before you go to sleep which is an interesting way to apply dry shampoo. Why overnight?
The brand says it's because some of the ingredients are "time-activated" and work while you sleep to absorb oil and reduce smell, so when you get up, your hair will look better than ever. It's ideal for dry, thin hair.
Along with activated charcoal, you will also find Rice Starch and Arrowroot Power. Missing from this list is talc, synthetic fragrance, and sulfates, making it the perfect natural dry shampoo for fine hair.
This 100% plant-based formula uses a "proprietary Wing-Lift Technology that works to propel 100% powder without hair and scalp damaging propellants, like butane and propane, or benzene, and goes on dry with no wet or white cast."
It's vegan and cruelty-free and made with sustainably sourced ingredients and has a light, beautiful scent thanks to the Japanese Camellia, and thanks to the innovative pump you don't have to worry about residue. A little goes a long way! You will be surprised long one bottle will last.
Speaking of bottles, kaia uses post-consumer recycled content or PCR. PCR is material made from things like aluminum, cardboard boxes, paper, and plastic bottles. Typically these items are collected from recycling facilities and melted into smaller pellets. They use PCR in all of the pieces of our deodorant packaging.
PCR is defiantly better than other types of plastic but the ideal solution would be no plastic at all... but that's not realistic!
For application simply pump it directly onto the oily roots.
About kaia naturals
kaia naturals Founder, Mary Futher a.k.a. @madamesweat has been helping people smell better with her collection of natural deodorants and now dry shampoo. Her products are revolutionary and are shipped and packed directly from her 50-acre farm.
Where possible, they use biodegradable materials in their products to minimize the number of materials that end up in landfill. Thier goal is to make products refillable where possible, giving consumers the ability to make sustainable purchase decisions.
PS. If you want to detox your armpits, check out kaia!
Absorbs residue and combats odors, two qualities we look for in a sustainable dry shampoo, and thanks EcoRoots you'll get that and more! Formulated with high-performing plant-based ingredients like Organic Aloe Leaf Powder, Green Clay, and Baking Soda but without all the nasties like Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, and Aluminum.
You'll get instant volume and the aloe vera will help to promote a healthy scalp, which can aid with hair loss. The special enzyme found in aloe, called proteolytic, effectively breaks down dead skin cells on the scalp that may clog hair follicles.
For the best application use the brush it comes with. Dip a makeup brush into the powder and tap off the excess. Part your hair at its oiliest sections and sprinkle the powder directly to your roots using the brush.
This eco-friendly dry shampoo comes packaged in a 4 oz. glass jar and is vegan, cruelty-free, and made in the USA.
EcoRoots will have you well on your way to a sustainable bathroom thanks to their zero-waste deodorant, vegan shampoo bars, zero-waste floss, and eco-friendly loofahs. As you can see they carry a wide selection of beauty essentials, but you will also find other eco-home must-haves like laundry detergent and zero-waste swaps.
Female-founded and a member of 1% For The Planet, EcoRoots is "an endless mission to provide you with the best eco-friendly and low-waste products out there."
Honeywild Apothecary is just the cutest little low-waste shop with an organic dry shampoo that comes in three shades dark, medium, and untinted, and five scents including an unscented version.
Fair Trade organic Cocoa powder is used for medium shades and organic black cocoa is used for darker shades. Cocoa contains proteins and antioxidants for scalp health, while also providing perfect tones for darker hair.
This plant-based dry shampoo is made with simple ingredients all working together to keep your hair feeling fresh and soft between washes. And at $12, it's one of the most affordable natural dry shampoos we could find.
Magnesium hydroxide powder is an essential mineral for hair and scalp and is great at absorbing moisture. Paired with Arrowroot powder and kaolin clay, it's a match made in hair heaven!
The container it comes in is non-aerosol, plastic-free, and is made without propane, parabens, perfumes or other harsh chemicals. Other notables include - Additive Free, Aluminum Free, Talc Free, No artificial fragrance, and Synthetic preservative free!
It's simple to use sprinkle or tap powder directly into your roots and work the powder into your hair with an old make-up brush, your fingers, or a hair brush.
Brush your hair thoroughly to remove any excess powder. We recommend applying to hair just before bed for perfect to-go hair the next day.
About Honeywild Apothecary
Born in the USA, they offer a range of zero-waste skin and body care. They ship all of their items plastic-free. They are not 100% Vegan, they use locally sourced honey in some products, and certified sustainable palm oil in others.
Another adorable shop on Etsy to support! Katie Mae Naturals believes in the "physical and metaphysical healing properties of Nature" and we could not agree more.
Their handmade dry shampoo is packed full of hair-loving ingredients that include Organic Arrowroot Powder (skin soothing and moisture absorbing), Non-GMO Corn Starch (absorbs oils), and Kaolin Clay (detoxifies and is good for sensitive skin).
If you need an all natural dry shampoo for blonde hair this is it. Brunettes don't worry they've got you covered as well. There are nine scents to choose from including an unscented version but with concoctions like Lavender Vanilla, Lemon Chamomile, and Clary Sage Lime your mane with smell divine!
All of Katie Mae's earth-friendly goods never contain parabens, phthalates, or chemical preservatives of any kind! Their dry shampoo comes in the cutest little glass jar that can easily be reused and they even offer refills which are shipped in a wax paper bag.
Although this shampoo is vegan, they so use local and sustainably sourced beeswax in some of their other beauty products.
About Katie Mae Naturals
As a small business, Katie Mae Naturalswe is dedicated to lowering the impact they have on our beautiful planet's health. Their focus is on less waste, fewer plastics, and reusable, biodegradable, and compostable packaging. All orders are shipped plastic free in recycled and biodegradable or compostable materials.
Made in the USA, Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company offers a range of zero-waste and biodegradable products that include natural deodorants, haircare, salves, face care, men's grooming, and gentle baby formulas.
Their dry shampoo for natural hair, called Fresh Locks™, uses USDA-Organic certified ingredients that work to transform greasy, dull, lifeless hair into fresh locks that are full of body.
The stars of the show here are the Organic burdock root and Plantain, both promote healthy hair, add shine and even help to soothe an itchy scalp. They've got two scents to choose from fresh citrus mint or lavender rosemary and have light and dark shades too.
It comes packaged in recyclable paperboard tubes with a small plastic sifter cap and it is really simple to use, simply sprinkle a small amount of it directly onto the scalp, in areas where oil forms. Massage gently into your scalp, working from the top down.
Made with organic essential oils - not synthetic fragrances, it's also Non-GMO, talc-free, gluten-free, vegan, and cruelty-free (Leaping Bunny certified). Although they don't use palm oil in thier dry shampoo, they do use Certified sustainable palm by RSPO (The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) and Palm Done Right.
About Chagrin Valley
They have some pretty impressive environmental commitments like making sure all the packaging is actually biodegradable, working with suppliers to ensure transparency, and even outfitting their office and manufacturing space to be more sustainable.
How awesome is the name of this company? The Earthling Co. offers plastic-free alternatives to everyday products, noting that "sustainability is naturally at the core of our company DNA." Not only do they sell fabulous eco-friendly and zero-waste dry shampoo, but you will also find shampoo and conditioner bars and other eco-home goodies for your kitchen and bathroom.
Let's talk dry shampoo. Two shades are available dark and light. It's no surprise that these little wonders do so much at giving your hair a boost with their hair-loving formulas that are safe for all hair types!
Brimming with nutrient-dense ingredients like Bamboo stem powder which absorbs excess oil and softens your hair while rice protein and biotin work together to add fullness and volume. If you want a natural dry shampoo for curly hair, this is it!
This protein-packed formula helps add that extra oomph on days when your hair is falling flat. It has a gentle, fresh scent from plant oils that give you that “just washed” smell (even if you didn’t). The best part? It’s aerosol-free, plastic-free, sulfate-free, vegan, palm-oil, and cruelty-free.
Manufactured in the USA The Earthling Co. natural dry shampoo is packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled paper which is recyclable and compostable.
It's easy to use, the brand does say "w recommend opening the cap slowly. A powdery explosion should not happen daily if the tube is stored upright on a countertop or in a cabinet."
About The Earthling Co.
As a Climate Neutral Certified business The Earthling Co. endeavors to cut out manufacturing processes and ingredients that are toxic to humans and the environment. They try to consider all aspects of sustainability including the shipping weight of glass vs. aluminum, evaluating the recyclability of their packaging choices, reducing the use of virgin materials, and choosing non-petroleum-based inks for our labels.
To date, the Earthling community has diverted close to 900,000 plastic bottles by choosing plastic-free, solid form shampoo and conditioner bars!
Why Is Dry Shampoo Not Safe To Use?
We are talking about conventional dry shampoo here, ones that come in aerosol containers. It's a great and complicated question. At the end of October 2022, Unilever announced they were voluntarily recalling some of their dry shampoos - TRESemmé, Nexxus, Dove, Suave, Rockaholic, and Bed Head- due to suspected elevated levels of a know human carcinogen benzene.
In a company release, Unilever said, “Based on an independent health hazard evaluation, daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.”
This was HUGE news, in Canada alone, 1,574,426 units of the affected product were sold! In response to this, Health Canada issued a mass recall of Unilever hair products.
It was also super scary for the millions of people who use dry shampoo to avoid a bad hair day. You see high levels of benzene over the long term come with a high risk of cancers, like leukemia. That's because we use dry shampoo inside, allowing benzene to linger in the air and be inhaled for a long period of time.
Did you know natural sources of benzene include volcanoes and forest fires?
Benzene is used in many products we use daily, such as paint, glue, dyes, and detergents. It's commonly used as an industrial solvent and gasoline additive. It can be found in cigarette smoke too.
According to the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, Old Spice and Secret deodorant sprays, some Pantene and Herbal Essences hair products, and sunscreens were found to have a high level of benzene.
So we're around this stuff quite a bit, but the question remains...
Why is benzene used in dry shampoo?
Well, here's where it gets interesting! Some experts say that it's most likely a byproduct of the gases - butane- used to create the propellant for the spray. Butane and propane are two very common ingredients used in aerosol cans and both are not great for our health or the planet.
From our research on this topic, it's evident that there are major issues with the supply chain. There is no quality control in the manufacturing process which makes the risk of benzene showing up much higher. If the propellant used is made from cheap petroleum the risk of contamination goes up.
We talk about supply chains a lot on The Eco Hub and this is another example of why it's so important for brands to be transparent about their supply chains and manufacturing process. We realize this is not always easy and we applaud the brands, many of them featured here in the hub, who are making waves in the industry.
If we get rid of the benzene, are aerosol cans safe? We don't know for sure. But my guess is NO! That's because there are other crappy toxins in there to avoid:
- Parabens & Phthalates are two ingredients we want you to avoid in your skincare products. Both are suspected endocrine disrupters!
- Aluminum is a heavy metal that can cause headaches and has been linked to Alzheimer’s.
- Others contain alcohol, talc, artificial fragrances, and other synthetic ingredients.
How do we choose the best zero-waste and natural dry shampoos?
Like all things with sustainable skincare we look for the following:
Good ingredients: We want products made of the finest natural ingredients possible — that will not harm us or the environment. Certified organic ingredients and products are always the best. It means no pesticides or other harmful chemicals throughout the production process.
Vegan: We favor products that have ZERO animal ingredients or derivatives. Look for certifications like:
Cruelty-free: steer clear of any products that could be tested on any animals. Look for certifications:
Palm oil-free: Palm oil is quite taxing on the communities where it is produced. With ethics and sourcing issues that are still very tenuous and very present, we try to look for alternatives. Some brands do use Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). We will make note of this.
Sustainably sourced: Choose products that are not only safer for us to use but safer for the planet and the people involved across the supply chain.
Dry Shampoo FAQs
How Does Dry Shampoo Work?
Between washes, sebum builds up. Our scalps naturally produce sebum, an oil that keeps our scalps and hair healthy. But after a few days, it can leave our hair greasy, limp, dull, and dirty!
Natural dry shampoo uses ingredients like clay and baking soda to absorb that oil, giving your hair a hair lift with more volume and body.
Why use a natural dry shampoo?
It saves you time as you don't have to wash as often. Saves you money, as you are using less shampoo. They are great to use after a long flight or even a good sweat sesh!
What are the cons of using dry shampoo?
After a few days of using it, it can cause build-up on the scalp, leading to inflammation and even dandruff. It's not recommended that you use this daily on a regular. We think using it two to three times a week is just fine.
How to use dry shampoo?
Step 1: Using a comb part your hair in small sections. Part the oiliest sections.
Step 2: Using an applicator brush, sprinkle a little powder onto the brush, not too much, less is more here.
Step 3: Gently dab the brush onto your oily roots
Step 4: Use your fingertips (make sure your hands are clean) to gently massage and distribute the power into the scalp and hair.
Step 5: Brush your hair, this helps to distribute the power more evenly.
Only apply dry shampoo to the areas that need it and the amount of product you use will depend on how oily your hair is.
Applying it the night before will help all the ingredients do their dirty work by absorbing the excess oil.
A final word on sustainable dry shampoo
We think natural dry shampoo made with simple ingredients is the best way to give our hair a little extra TLC between washes. Always read your products' labels and avoid ones you can't understand. The aim is to look for fewer ingredients, ones that are organic and/or natural.
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