GREENSBORO, N.C. - Lauren Agnew says she's been through the long and short of just about every hairstyle without any damage done to her do so far.
"Never. never. I mean my hair takes color all the time,” she said.
But then she says she tried Batiste dry shampoo so she could skip washing it for a couple of days.
"Your hair is coming out in clumps. Drying your hair, your hair is coming out in clumps. Trying to put your hair up and you just run your fingers through it and you have 20, 30 hairs coming out,” she said. “You just look at it and you just cry.”
Lauren's not the only one to report problems. A picture of a bald spot posted on Facebook by Nicole Baxter in England was shared 33,000 times. The post says Nicole's dermatologist and doctor blamed dry shampoo for a large bald patch. The post led to dozens of articles and blogs asking is the product harmful for your harm?
Both woman say they used the brand Batiste. The company would not tell us if hair loss is a possible side effect. But they wrote 2 Wants To Know:
“Batiste Dry Shampoo is committed to producing quality products which are used every day by millions of loyal customers globally. We would like to assure our customers that all Batiste Dry Shampoo products comply with all government regulations. As with any beauty product, use only as directed and discontinue use if any sensitivity occurs. For any questions or concerns, please contact our Consumer Relations Department at 1-800-952-5080.”
That doesn't mean a whole lot though because under a law that's been in effect since 1938, the FDA has limited power to regulate cosmetics.
"We're talking baby wipes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, hair gel," said attorney Tina Sigurdson with the Environmental Working Group. “There's no legal requirement that a company makes sure a product is safe before they sell it. FDA has no access to safety records. They have no legal power to get those."
So is dry shampoo safe then? Three hair and skin experts all say it can cause problems if you overuse it. Spray too much and the product builds up.
"It's almost like a huge pimple will grow and they have to get it lanced from a dermatologist,” said Stephanie Johnson, a licensed hair stylist and trained cosmetology educator for Aveda.
She says the natural oils that need to escape your scalp can be trapped by dry shampoo if you use it too much.
"They are literally creating an oil cake in their hair and then we see it," she said.
Dermatologist Dr. James Ralston says dry shampoo can plug the hair follicle and trap bacteria.
"And the trapped bacteria causes inflammation in the follicle which leads to pimples or cysts. brushing it leads to scabs and disrupts the hair follicles which leads to hair loss," he said.
Dry shampoo user and dermatologist Dr. Christy Riddle though says don't dump dry shampoo just yet. Avoid spraying it directly on your skin to save your scalp from: "acne, enflamed hair folicles that are itchy, painful, bumpy. It's an irritant," she said.
Still Lauren says she followed the directions and didn't over use the product.
"I've cried every day about it,” she said.
So for Lauren's trouble, Batiste sent her a check of $8 as a refund for the product. Writing her: "Given individual sensitives, it is difficult to determine what may cause a reaction in one person and not in another."
2 Wants To Know also wants to point out Consumer Reports says Batiste is also one of the top reviewed brands of dry shampoo. And experts have the following advice for using any dry shampoo product: You want to keep it six inches from your head. Don't get right down in the roots to spray the dry shampoo. And don't use it more than twice a week.
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