Is Batiste Dry Shampoo Safe? The Answer is No: Here’s Why
In December of 2021, Proctor & Gamble (P&G) announced a voluntary recall of over 30 dry shampoos from their product lineup. This recall included dry shampoos from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, Waterless, Hair Food, and Old Spice. (1)
This recall was because P&G performed an internal analysis of their dry shampoo products and found detectable levels of benzene—a highly carcinogenic compound. While Batiste’s dry shampoos are not a P&G brand and not part of this recall, it’s brought the potential safety risks of using dry shampoos into the public eye.
Batiste is one of the most popular dry shampoo brands available, found virtually anywhere that dry shampoo is sold. Along with the recent news about the P&G recall, many people have wondered if Batiste’s dry shampoos are safe to use.
The unfortunate reality is this: Batiste dry shampoo is NOT safe to use. This investigation will show why you should ditch these products if you have them in your home.
What is Benzene and Why Is It Dangerous?
The Proctor & Gamble recall was issued because their internal analysis found benzene in some of their dry shampoo products. Benzene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet smell—and it’s also a known carcinogen.
Exposure to benzene has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, particularly leukemia. (2) This is because benzene targets the bone marrow and interferes with the creation of blood cells. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can also cause drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, and tremors. (3)
While the long-term effects of low-level exposure to benzene are not as well known, it’s generally accepted that there is NO safe level of exposure to this carcinogenic compound.
Does Batiste Dry Shampoo Contain Benzene?
The simple answer is: we don’t know. Benzene was found in the Proctor & Gamble dry shampoos as a contaminant, but the company has not released any information about how the benzene got into their products.
However, given that P&G’s dry shampoos—which are also in aerosol cans—were found to have benzene, there is the distinct possibility that Batiste dry shampoos have the same issue.
Batiste Dry Shampoo: Ingredient Deep Dive
Batiste is not entirely transparent about the ingredients in its products. On their website, while some of their dry shampoos list the ingredients, many do not.
We had to dig for information on their formula ingredients and piece them together. Let’s closely examine the ingredients in Batiste’s dry shampoos.
Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG)
Batiste’s dry shampoos are in aerosol cans, which use odorless gasses like butane, isobutane, and propane as propellants to get the product out of the can and into your hair.
Aerosol cans are terrible for the environment—especially the ozone layer. They also contribute to air pollution inside and outside the home, and have potential health impacts.
First, these gasses are highly flammable, meaning that if exposed to flame, your hair could potentially go up in flames. Yikes.
Secondly, repeated exposure to these gasses can result in adverse health impacts ranging from headaches and respiratory issues to organ damage.
It’s virtually impossible to avoid exposure to these gasses when using aerosol cans of dry shampoo, so we recommend avoiding them altogether.
Chemical fragrance is used in all of Batiste’s dry shampoos. At Better Goods, we recommend avoiding products with artificial fragrance for a few reasons.
First of all, “fragrance” is a catch-all term that can include up to 3,000 different ingredients, many of which are synthetic. The FDA does not require companies to disclose the individual ingredients in their fragrance blends, so we don’t know what’s in them.
We do know that many fragrance ingredients are associated with health concerns like endocrine disruption, cancer, and allergic reactions.
Phthalates are a group of chemicals often used as plasticizers and solvents. They’re also found in fragrance, so if a product contains artificial fragrance, it’s likely to contain phthalates.
Some phthalates are considered to be possible human carcinogens, and they’re also endocrine disruptors. This means they can interfere with hormone function, leading to a host of health problems.
It’s impossible to know if Batiste’s dry shampoos contain phthalates since the ingredients in their fragrance blends are kept secret. But given that they do use synthetic fragrance, it’s likely that phthalates are present.
It appears that Batiste has recently started including talc in some of its formulations. For example, their Volumizing Dry Shampoo lists talc and several other ingredients we recommend avoiding.
Talc is a powdery mineral often used in dry shampoos to absorb oil and reduce shine. It’s also used in baby powder and other cosmetics.
The problem with talc is that it can sometimes be contaminated with asbestos, a known human carcinogen. Asbestos exposure has been linked to several types of cancer, including ovarian cancer and mesothelioma.
Because dry shampoo is used around the head, inhaling some of the product is a virtual certainty. And when asbestos-contaminated talc is inhaled, it can cause serious health problems.
Denatured Alcohol (Alcohol Denat.)
While not an inherently unsafe ingredient in dry shampoo, we recommend avoiding denatured alcohol. This ingredient is added to dry shampoos because it draws moisture away from the scalp.
This is where the problem lies. Over time, denatured alcohol can dry out the scalp and hair, leading to problems like dandruff, scalp irritation, and brittle hair.
Does Batiste Cause Hair Loss?
Several reports on the internet from users of Batiste shampoo claim that the product contributed to hair loss.
- Is Dry Shampoo Making You Go Bald?
- Is Batiste Dry Shampoo Causing Hair Loss?
- Batiste dry shampoo caused hair loss and breakage. I am so upset! Anything I can do? (Reddit)
The truth is that dry shampoo in general can lead to hair damage and loss by virtue of the way these products work. Dry shampoos are made with ingredients that absorb oil and moisture, so overuse can lead to overly dried hair and breakage.
Additionally, some of the ingredients in Batiste’s dry shampoos (like denatured alcohol) can further contribute to hair damage and loss.
So while we can’t say definitively that Batiste is responsible for hair loss in these cases, it’s certainly possible. If you’re concerned about this issue, we recommend switching to a dry shampoo that’s made with safer ingredients.
Was There a Batiste Dry Shampoo Recall?
Although the recall affected several consumer brands of dry shampoo, they were all brands owned by Proctor & Gamble. As of the date of publishing, Batiste dry shampoo has not been involved in any recalls.
Who Owns Batiste?
Batiste is owned by Church & Dwight Co. They own many other consumer brands like Nair, Orajel, Arm & Hammer, Trojan, Oxi Clean and Xtra.
Is Batiste Cruelty-Free?
No, Batiste is not a cruelty-free brand. (4) The brand opens itself up to potential animal testing in areas where it is required by law.
Our Recommendation: Avoid Batiste Dry Shampoos
Based on the ingredients they use and the potential health concerns associated with them, we recommend avoiding Batiste dry shampoos.
There are many other cruelty-free and vegan dry shampoo brands on the market that don’t use potentially harmful ingredients like synthetic fragrance, phthalates, talc, and denatured alcohol.
If you’re looking for a safe and effective dry shampoo, we are currently writing a full in-depth guide on non-toxic dry shampoos. Stay tuned!