As a Black woman with 4A coils and curls, I’ve never used dry shampoo, the product that is said to revive your hair in-between washes, turning it from lack-luster to healthy- and shiny-looking. However, as a grooming and beauty editor, I know plenty of people and readers that rely on the small but mighty product for good hair days. Which is why it was interesting to hear that Unilever, a very popular hair care company, had their dry shampoo recalled.
As it turns out, the recall on October 18th was voluntary from the brand, post-Procter & Gamble’s recall announcement, but the brand found trace amounts of the known carcinogen, benzene, in 19 aerosol spray products from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, etc. All products are said to have been made before October 2021. Although the levels of benzene were so low they would not affect customers, they issued the recall to be super cautious and transparent to its loyal customer base.
“The levels detected in our testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences,” a representative said in a press statement. And to be fair, no customer has come out claiming that it did have effects.
According to the CDC website, benzene is a “natural occurring chemical found in volcanoes and forest fires, and a natural part of crude oil, gasoline, and cigarette smoke.” You can inhale, consume orally, or rub/spray benzene into skin from daily exposure of low levels of motor vehicle exhaust, tobacco smoke, pollution, and other industrial emissions, in addition to grooming products. Although it is not known to cause harsh health issues in small amounts, too much of it could lead to cancer and other blood disorders.
The mega-brand is currently working with suppliers and factories to figure out what went wrong, how to remove the benzene, and how to improve the aerosol. You’ll be happy to know that all affected products have been removed from all shelves, both online and in-store, and all harmful ingredients can be found listed on this website.
Although it’s never a positive thing hearing that the product you might be using is recalled and could potentially cause harm, at least it seems like Unilever is being proactive and transparent about the whole situation. It would be a different story if the recall came out from someone other than them.
If you do happen to own dry shampoo by the brand you can visit their website (unileverrecall.com) or call 1-877-270-7412 to get reimbursed or ask any follow up questions.
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