Cancer Chemical Found in Most Dry Shampoos

Cancer-causing Chemical Found in Many Dry Shampoos 

Consumers who use dry shampoo products regularly may want to look closer at the ingredients before spraying them in their hair. A healthcare and medical research group study found high levels of a cancer-causing chemical in most dry shampoo brands.

The new study released by Valisure found that about 70% of samples tested contained high levels of benzene. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 2 parts per million (ppm) of benzene is an acceptable daily limit for humans. However, researchers tested nearly 150 dry shampoo samples from over 30 brands and found they contained about 170 ppm in a single spray.

Findings from the Study

According to the study by the medical research group:

  • Three samples from one brand contained more than 100 ppm benzene levels.
  • Eleven samples from three different brands had more than 20 ppm benzene levels.
  • More brands were found to have levels between 2 and 20 ppm benzene levels.

According to research, prolonged exposure to just 1 ppm of benzene could cause leukemia.

What is Benzene?

Benzene is a light and colorless liquid with a sweet odor and can evaporate quickly into the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, benzene is one of the top 20 most commonly used chemicals in products.

The FDA said consumers are exposed to benzene orally, by inhalation, or through the skin. Prolonged exposure can result in the loss of red blood cells, anemia, leukemia, and other life-threatening blood disorders.

Petition for a Recall

Valisure sent a petition to the FDA asking to recall benzene and request updated guidelines for its regulation. The CEO of Valisure said the elevated levels of benzene found in dry shampoos should be cause for concern since the products are most likely sprayed indoors, where the chemical could linger and be inhaled for long periods.

List of Recalled Dry Shampoo Products

In October 2022, the beauty and personal care products company Unilever voluntarily recalled several popular-named dry shampoo brands, including Bed Head, Dove, Tresemme, and Suave, due to high levels of benzene.

According to the FDA, the voluntary recall affects the following brands:

Bed Head:

  • Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
  • Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo
  • Oh Bee Hive Volumizing Dry Shampoo
  • Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo


  • Dry Shampoo Fresh Coconut
  • Dry Shampoo Detox and Purify
  • Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness
  • Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean
  • Dry Shampoo Go Active
  • Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral
  • Dry Shampoo Invisible
  • Dry Shampoo Clarifying Charcoal


  • Inergy Foam Shampoo
  • Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist


  • Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive
  • Dry Shampoo Hair Refresher


  • Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean
  • Dry Shampoo Volumizing
  • Pro Pure Dry Shampoo

Benzene-Free Dry Shampoo Products

The potential cancer risk is a significant concern for those who view dry shampoo as essential to their hair routines. But with so many products testing high in benzene, many wonders which ones are safe to use.

The dry shampoos below don’t contain propellant gases, making them safe from benzene contamination.

  • Acure Dry Shampoo
  • Bumble & Bumble Prêt-à-Powder Dry Shampoo Powder
  • Chagrin Valley Organic Dry Shampoo
  • Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo
  • Giovanni Powder Power Dry Shampoo
  • I Dew Care’s Tap Secret Dry Shampoo Powder
  • L’ange Star Dust Dry Shampoo Powder
  • John Masters Organics Dry Shampoo with Kaolin & Palmarosa
  • Odele Dry Shampoo
  • Taliah Waajid Black Earth Products Moisture Clenz
  • Trader Joe’s Dry Shampoo

Watch YouTube Video: 19 Dry Shampoos Recalled Over Potential Cancer-Causing Ingredient. The video from Good Morning America below discusses the recalled dry shampoo products that contain benzene.

Sacramento Products Liability Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento products liability attorney. Were you seriously injured by a defective product? Discuss your case with our experienced legal team at Call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to speak to one of our injury lawyers, who will provide you with free, friendly advice. You can also reach us online through our Contact Us form.

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