This post reviews the best non-toxic dry shampoos. Dry shampoos that are free from toxic chemicals and harmful chemicals such as benzene, but still work really well to keep your hair looking great, to give it volume, and keep it healthy in between washes.
Disclaimer: some of the links in this post are affiliate links meaning I make a small percentage if you purchase the product through the link. This does not cost you anything extra and helps me keep this website running.
In recent years dry shampoos have become increasingly popular as a way to keep your hair looking great, healthy, fresh and non-greasy in between washes and on busy days. Over-washing your hair actually strips hair of its natural oils, which can cause your hair to become dry and brittle or cause extra oiliness and scalp irritation. This is where dry shampoos come in. You can wash your hair less, but still have hair that feels just as clean, and looks just as good as if you wash it daily.
Dry shampoos come in different forms including spray on versions and powdered versions. However, not all dry shampoos are created equally. Some are made with harmful and toxic chemicals and in recent years many of them have been found to be contaminated with benzene, which is a known carcinogen. For these reasons it's very important to choose safe dry shampoos that are made with clean ingredients.
This post shares the best non-toxic dry shampoo brands and the best natural dry shampoos for all hair types including dry hair and oily hair and that are made with natural ingredients, organic ingredients, are cruelty-free, benzene free, fragrance free and abide by eco-friendly standards. All of the dry shampoos in this round up are non-aerosol dry shampoos to help protect the environment and give you a healthy scalp and the most beautiful hair.
Table of Contents
Our top picks:
If you don't want to bother reading through the entire round-up here is a summary of our top picks:
Best overall non-toxic dry shampoo: Primally Pure dry shampoo - shop through this link and use the code PUREANDSIMPLE to get 10% off your order.
Best non-toxic dry shampoo spray: Vegamour Gro dry shampoo
Best foam formula dry shampoo: Innersence dry shampoo
The Best Non-Toxic Dry Shampoos Round Up
1. Primally Pure
Best For: Volume and texture
Ingredients: Organic Arrowroot Powder, Kaolin Clay, Organic Cocoa Powder, Baking Soda, Organic Essential Oils of Grapefruit, Lavender and Peppermint.
Price: $16 for 1 oz or $28 for 2 oz.
Made with all natural and mainly organic ingredients the Primally Pure dry shampoo is is my personal favourite dry shampoo and my overall pick for the best dry shampoo. This dry shampoo powder comes in versions for both light locks and dark locks so no matter what your hair color you can find one that matches your hair type. It features organic essential oils of grapefruit which has natural cleansing properties, lavender which helps soothe the scalp and peppermint to help stimulate hair growth. The Primally Pure dry shampoo is great for absorbing oil, and adding volume and texture to your hair.
Best For: Volume and texture
Ingredients: Clay, cassava root, star anise, vanilla planifolia
Price: $32 for 1.8 oz.
Rahua haircare products are some of the best non toxic hair care products on the market. Their shampoo and conditioners are my absolute favourite and their dry shampoo is also amazing. Made with minimal ingredients the Rahua voluminous dry shampoo uses cassava and clay to help absorb oil, sweat and dirt from your hair. Made with plant-based ingredients, this dry shampoo leaves your hair and scalp clean and refreshed and helps deliver texture, hold and volume. It is also packaged in an environmentally friendly non-aerosol dispenser.
As well, for every bottle purchased, one acre in the Amazon Rainforest is preserved through Rahua’s 1 bottle = 1 acre program. Meaning that this is an eco-friendly focused brand where sustainability is especially important to them.
Best For: Hair growth
Ingredients: Rice starch, kaolin, bergamot fruit oil, water, clover extract
Price: $36 for 3.95 fl. oz.; subscriptions are also available.
The Vegamour gro dry shampoo is formulated to help with oiliness and helps make hair look thicker and fuller. Their award-winning, volumizing GRO Dry Shampoo is made with plant-based phytoactives, and uses an easy-to-use propellant for even distribution. This lightweight dry shampoo formula refreshes the scalp and hair by absorbing excess oils, perspiration and odors for a clean look and feel. This spray on dry shampoo is made with natural ingredients including rice starch, mung bean, red clover and kaolin clay, and is made without talc or benzene.
Best For: All hair types
Ingredients: Corn starch, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, sodium bicarbonate, rosemary oil, peppermint oil
Price: $12 for 1.7 oz
Acure makes great non-toxic products and their dry shampoo is no exception. The Acure dry shampoo is a non-aerosol powder formula made with natural ingredients that are meant to absorb oil and remove dirt and grime without having to use water. This dry shampoo is a powder form that comes in two different types - an all purpose formula and one meant specifically for brunette and darker hair depending on your needs. This natural dry shampoo is also one of the most affordable formulas on the market.
5. Captain Blankenship
Best For: Volume and oil absorption
Ingredients: Maranta Arundinacea Root Powder, Kaolin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Silica, Lactobacillus Ferment, Sea Silt, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Cymbogon Martinii Oil
Price: $26 for 1.2oz
The Captain Blankenship dry shampoo is a very popular natural dry shampoo. Their talc-free powder formula is especially designed to absorb oil, boost volume and keep hair refreshed in between washes. It is made with an innovative powder sprayer for super easy application. Captain Blankenship is also a certified B corporation and their products are MADE SAFE certified and Leaping Bunny certified. They also make a Dark Dry Shampoo that is specifically formulated for darker hair shades by adding cocoa powder and activated charcoal to blend into red, brown and black hair.
6. Beauty by Earth
Best For: Oily hair and dark hair
Ingredients: Organic Zea Mays (Corn Starch), Organic Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot) Powder, Kaolin Clay, Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda), Organic Theobroma (Cocoa) Powder, Organic Lavandula Hybrida (Lavender) Oil
Price: $21.99 for 2.5oz
Beauty by Earth makes a great organic dry shampoo that is a powdered form that comes in a squeeze bottle for easier application. This dry shampoo is made with natural ingredients and is especially great for oily hair and dark hair types. It helps add volume and the lavender oil gives it such a relaxing, beautiful natural scent.
7. Lulu Organics
Best For: Scent options
Ingredients: Organic non-gmo corn starch, white clay, baking soda, essential oils
Price: $28 for 4oz.
Lulu Organics makes many different dry shampoo powders. They actually have 7 different natural scents for you to choose from including lavender and clary sage, unscented, geranium, rose musk, jasmine, patchouli and amber, and vetiver and black pepper. Their dry shampoo is a loose powder that is made with all natural ingredients and is benzene free, and made without talc, butane, propane and alcohol. Lulu Organics dry shampoo is also vegan and gluten-free.
8. Morrocco Method
Best For: Damaged hair
Ingredients: Montmorillonite, Bentonite, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Powder, Emblica Officinalis (Amla) Fruit Powder, Opuntia Ficus-Indica (Prickly Pear) Powder, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Powder, Arrowroot, Basil, Bladderwrack, Burdock Root, Cardamom, Charcoal, Chlorella, Dandelion, Fennel, Gingko, Kelp, Marshmallow, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Shavegrass (Horsetail), Thyme, Turmeric
Price: $25 for 7.4 oz
The Morrocco Method Volcanic Powder Dry Shampoo is an all natural dry shampoo made with raw ingredients. It combines the finest clays, minerals, and botanicals to help draw out impurities from the roots and follicles of the hair while also protecting the scalp's natural oils. The Morrocco Method dry shampoo's unique formulation assists in reversing chemical damage caused by synthetic shampoos, giving hair a beautiful natural glow without leaving any dusty residue. It is also one of the more affordable all natural dry shampoos on the market.
9. Hair Dance
Best For: Volumizing
Ingredients: Organic Rice Starch, Organic Colloidal Oatmeal, Silica, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf.
Price: $17.99 for 1.6oz
The Hair Dance Volumizing Dry Shampoo Powder is a natural and organic dry shampoo that is made in the USA. This is a safer and more environmentally-friendly alternative to aerosol dry shampoos. This dry shampoo formula is also vegan and cruelty-free and contains no talc, parabens, baking soda, benzene or phthalates. The Hair Dance dry shampoo is great for all hair colors and textures and is specifically formulated to help add volume to your hair.
10. Handmade Heroes
Best For: Volumizing
Light hair formula: Kaolin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Charcoal, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower (Geranium Rose) Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil.
Dark hair formula: Kaolin, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Charcoal, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Powder, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower (Geranium Rose) Oil, Lavandula angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil, Mentha Piperia (Peppermint) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Leaf Oil
Price: $9.99 for 1.8 oz.
The Handmade Heroes Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo is a non-aerosol dry shampoo powder that is made with 100% natural and vegan ingredients. Its designed for both men and women comes in two different formulas - one meant for light and blonde hair and one for medium and dark hair colours. The Handmade Heroes hair volume powder helps degrease and volumize hair instantly without water. It can also be used as a texturizing powder to help style shorter hair. You will also love that it's made with no benzene, no propane and isobutane, no synthetic fragrances, no parabens, and no artificial preservatives or synthetic chemicals.
11. Franklin & Whitman
Best For: Volumizing
Ingredients: Maranta Arundinacea Powder, Kaolin Clay, Oryza Sativa Starch, Equisetum Arvense Powder, Rhassoul Clay, Proprietary Blend of Essential Oils.
Price: $19.95 for 2oz.
Franklin & Whitman makes two different natural dry shampoos: Spring Garden dry shampoo and East Falls dry shampoo. Both formulas come in options for light and dark hair. The Spring Garden formula is infused with a crisp and clean blend of grapefruit, rosemary and eucalyptus to help leave your hair looking clean and healthy, while also smelling so good while the East Falls formula is infused with a blend of lemongrass, bergamot and clary sage.
The Franklin & Whitman dry shampoo powder is made with all natural ingredients, is great for absorbing oil and giving volume to hair. They donate part of the proceeds from each sale of dry shampoo to a dog rescue organization and if you send them back 6 empty containers they will gift you a free clay face mask ask part of their internal recycling program and sustainability efforts.
12. Qet Botanicals
Best For: All hair types.
Ingredients: Maranta Arundinacea (Arrowroot Root) Powder*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Oil*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Flower Oil*. *Organic Ingredient
Price: $26 for 1.3 oz.
The Qet Botanicals Lavender Powder Dry Shampoo is great for all hair types including curly hair, straight hair, fine or course hair, and all hair colours. This natural dry shampoo powder is made with a blend of lavender flowers and organic plant ingredients to help extend your style in between washes. The Qet Botanicals dry shampoo helps to absorb excess oil while naturally freshening your hair and the rosemary essential oil provides beneficial effects for your hair and scalp and helps give it a fresh, clean feeling.
Best For: If you prefer a foam formula.
Ingredients: water, witch hazel leaf extract, tapioca starch, alcohol, caprylyl/capryl glucoside, citrus aurantium dulcis peel oil, caprylic/capric triglyceride, corn starch, decyl glucoside, lauryl glucoside, dehydroacetic acid, benzyl alcohol, galactoarabinum, pullulan, glycerine, xanthan gum, potassium sorbet, sodium benzoate, honey, sorbic acid, panthenol, hydrolyzed rice protein, hydrolyzed quinoa, matricaria flower extract, eucalyptus globus leaf extract, ginkgo blob leaf extract, aspalathus liners leaf extract, honey extract, tocopheryl acetate, linalool, limonene.
Price: $24 for 2.37 oz.
The Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo is a unique foam to powder type dry shampoo. It can help eliminate excess oil, create volume, create texture and renew second day or third day hair. The tapioca starch and witch hazel help neutralize oil, while organic honey helps add body and shine. This dry shampoo is also gluten free, cruelty free, paraben-free and sulfate-free. It is also great for all hair types, colours and textures.
14. Act + Acre
Best For: Adding volume and neutralizing odor
Ingredients: Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Tapioca Starch, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Powder, Silica, Water/Aqua/Eau, Ioniplex Fulvic Ionic Mineral Complex.
Price: $26 for 0.46 oz.
The Act + Acre plant based dry shampoo spray is a best selling, category leading dry shampoo that is made with fulvic acid to help restore the scalp microbiome. Unlike many dry shampoo formulas that are made of chalky powders that clog hair follicles, this dry shampoo detoxifies and nourishes the scalp and hair. This dry shampoo helps add volume, absorb excess oil and neutralize odors. It's great for all hair types, all hair colours and is meant for all genders to use. The Act + Acre dry shampoo is a non-aerosol formula made without talc, without benzene, without alcohol, without parabens, without phthalates, and is fragrance free.
Ingredients to avoid in dry shampoos
Now that I have reviewed some of the best non toxic dry shampoos on the market, I wanted to give you even more information as to why it's so important to choose dry shampoos made with safe ingredients, and the health risks associated with some of the chemicals and toxic ingredients that can be used in traditional dry shampoos and why you want to avoid them.
For even more information regarding the potential toxicity of these ingredients, please see the extensive reference list I have provided at the end of this post.
I also have a free printable download with a list of ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products to avoid that you can take with you to reference when shopping:
Benzene is a known carcinogen and can also cause other health problems such as aplastic anemia. Unfortunately, in the last few years thousands of aerosol products, including dry shampoos, sunscreens, antiperspirants etc have been found to be contaminated with benzene. Because of this, millions of dry shampoo products were recalled in 2022 in Canada and the US. To keep up to date with the latest recalls related to benzene contamination be sure to follow the FDA recalls website and the Health Canada recalls website depending on where you live.
Butane, propane or isobutane
These three ingredients are typically found in aerosol spray dry shampoos and are concerning because they can be contaminated with butadiene, which is a carcinogen.
Mica can be contaminated with asbestos, which is a known carcinogen. Now, companies can get certified asbestos free mica, so you can check with the brand to see if they take this extra step, because if they do, mica itself is safe to use.
Talc is used in the personal care and beauty industry for many different reasons including absorbency, as an anti-caking agent, bulking agent, opacifying agent, and anti-slip agent. The problem with talc is that it can often be contaminated with asbestos which is a known carcinogen and can cause respiratory toxicity.
Studies done by the National Toxicology Panel have also demonstrated that cosmetic-grade talc free of asbestos is a form of magnesium silicate that can be toxic and carcinogenic.
Ethanolamines (DEA, TEA, MEA)
The European Commission and Health Canada prohibit the use of DEA in cosmetics and personal care products due to concerns regarding the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines. However, these chemicals are still allowed to be used in other countries.
There is also concern that ethanolamines can negatively impact male fertility as in vitro studies have shown they impair sperm motility and viability. Animals studies also shown concering neurological effects. TEA is also an immune and respiratory toxin.
To avoid ethanolamines, look for DEA, TEA and MEA on ingredient lists.
Parabens are used as preservatives and as part of fragrance formulations. The issue with parabens is that some of them are known endocrine disruptors, or hormone disruptors. They can also cause developmental and reproductive toxicity.
You can identify these in ingredient lists as they end in "paraben". When reading labels watch for ethylparaben, butylparaben, methylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben etc.
Parabens can also be hidden in a products fragrance formula so also avoid any products with the terms fragrance, perfume or parfum in the ingredient lists.
Certain phthalates are known endocrine disruptors and have been shown to have many negative health effects including decreasing sperm counts, contributing to heart disease, contributing to early death, weight gain and diabetes.
When reading product labels watch for the ingredients Dibutylphthalate (DBP), Dimethylphthalate (DMP), Diethylphthalate (DEP), Di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP), Diisononyl phthalate (DiNP), Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBzP), Di 2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), Diisodecyl phthalate (DiDP), Di-n-hexyl phthalate (DnHP), Dimethyl phthalate (DMP), Di-n-octylphthalate (DnOP).
Phthalates are also commonly included in a product's fragrance formula so also be sure to avoid products with the terms fragrance, perfume or parfum in the ingredient lists.
If you have read any of my previous health related posts you have probably heard me talk about the potential risks of fragrances before. Fragrances are considered to be trade secrets, which means that companies don't have to disclose the ingredients they use to make their fragrances. This is problematic because fragrances can often contain harmful ingredients, especially hormone disruptors, and you have no way of verifying if those ingredients are in a fragrance or not. Because of this I recommend avoiding products with the terms "fragrance", "parfume" or "perfume" in the ingredient list for this reason.
Butylated compounds (BHT and BHA)
Butylated compounds such as BHA and BHT are known endocrine disruptors and are also toxic to other organs. The are also likely carcinogenic. They are especially concerning for pregnant women and children. To avoid them look for BHA or BHT on ingredient lists.
Ethoxylation is a process where ethylene oxide is added to other ingredients to make them less harsh. Ethoxylated ingredients include many chemicals that end in “eth,” like ceteareth and oleth. Ethoxylated ingredients on their own are of little health concern, however, the process of ethoxylation can leave behind small amounts of carcinogens including 1,4-dioxane and ethylene oxide.
Unfortunately, labels will not indicate the presence of these contaminants, so to be safe, check labels for ingredients with PPG, PEG, and polysorbate in their name and ingredients that end in –eth such as laureth, steareth, ceteareth. Some companies do have policies to remove these harmful contaminants, so if your favourite product has one of those ingredients, check with them to see if they take this extra step to ensure product safety.
Formaldehyde releasing preservatives
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that is toxic to both humans and animals and certain preservatives release formaldehyde so you want to avoid these specific preservatives that are known to do that:
- DMDM hydantoin
- Imidazolidinyl urea
- Diazolidinyl urea
- Polyoxymethylene urea
- Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate
- 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bronopol)
Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES)
The issue with sodium laureth sulfate or SLES is that it is often contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. So while SLES itself isn't known to be harmful, it's the chemicals contaminating it that are the problem. Now there are some brands who take the extra steps to ensure the SLES they use is safe and free from 1,4-dioxane so if there is a product you love that contains SLES I would research the brand or reach out to them to see if they are taking these precautions.
Polyethylene glycol compounds (PEGs)
PEG compounds are used in personal care products as penetration enhancers, thickeners, softeners, and moisture-carrying agents. PEG compounds are formed by condensing water and ethylene oxide. While PEG compounds themselves are usually safe for health, like other ingredients we previously discussed, they can be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane, which is a known carcinogen. And because PEGs are penetration enhancers, depending on what other ingredients are in the product, they can potentially make other toxic chemicals even more harmful as well.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, there are many brands of dry shampoo that are made with non toxic ingredients.
There are many brands of dry shampoo that you will want to avoid. Avoid any brands that use fragrances, aerosols, talc, SLES, parabens, phthalates, benzene, SLES, PEGs and other harmful ingredients.
I would not recommend using Batiste dry shampoo as it is made with fragrance, and they do not disclose what fragrances they use. This means there could be harmful ingredients hiding in the formula. Without knowing what specific ingredients are in their fragrance formula it's impossible to know if it is safe to use or not.
In the last few years millions of dry shampoos have been recalled due to the presence of benzene in the products. This includes dry shampoos from many different brands including Dove, Bed Head, TIGI, and Tresemmé.
Batiste dry shampoo has not been recalled.
Other health info you will be interested in
- The best non-toxic deodorants
- The best non toxic body lotions
- The best non toxic toothpastes
- The best non toxic sunscreens
- Is there mercury in your mascara?
Dr. Erin Carter, MD, FRCPC, is a physician with board certifications in internal medicine and rheumatology. She is passionate about environmental health and low toxicity living and has been doing research and publishing information in this area for years. She is also a self-trained chef and has been creating and publishing recipes since 2015. Her recipes have been featured on many different websites and online publications.
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