Dove dry shampoo recall: A reality check for Indian customers

  • Dove dry shampoos are still available on prominent Indian e-commerce websites such as Flipkart, Myntra, and Amazon.

Updated26 Oct 2022, 09:24 PM IST
Unilever recalled dry shampoos in the US
Unilever recalled dry shampoos in the US

This week, consumers using dry shampoo got a major blow as Unilever United States recalled certain Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI, and TRESemmé aerosol dry shampoos because of the potential presence of benzene- a chemical that can cause cancer.

However, the company has only recalled "dry shampoos" and not regular shampoos.

Customers in India should not panic as Hindustan Unilever (HUL) stated that it does not manufacture or sell dry shampoos in India.  HUL is a subsidiary of Unilever, one of the world's leading suppliers of Food, Home Care, Personal Care and Refreshment products with sales in over 190 countries.

“Unilever US and Canada voluntarily recalled select lot codes of dry shampoo produced prior to October 2021 out of abundant caution, after an internal investigation identified elevated levels of benzene. An independent health hazard evaluation concluded that levels of benzene detected do not pose a health risk,” HUL's spokesperson said in a statement. 

“If consumers have any questions, they can visit for more information,” the company added.

What is dry shampoo?

Dry shampoos come in spray form and can be used without wetting your hair. The alcohol or starch-based spray removes the grease and oils from the hair and adds volume.

Are dry shampoos good for hair?

According to WebMD, they can be used once in a while, but should not be a full-time substitute for liquid shampoos.

Dry shampoos also leaves residue on the scalp. Without regular washing of hair, the dry shampoo can leave its residue which may cause rashes and inflammation.

What is the Unilever controversy of dry shampoo?

Unilever has recalled certain shampoo aerosol products produced prior to October 2021 from Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé due to potentially elevated levels of benzene.

Benzene is a human carcinogen. Exposure to it can occur by inhalation, orally, or through the skin. It can cancers including leukemia and blood cancer.

While the FDA hasn’t set benzene limits for cosmetics like dry shampoo, it does say the products shouldn’t contain “any poisonous or deleterious substance".

Other aerosol-related products recalled:

Last year, Procter & Gamble (PG) recalled more than 30 aerosol spray haircare products, including many dry shampoos and dry conditioners, warning that the products could contain benzene.

Cosmetics company L’Oréal has been sued over claims that its chemical hair straightening products put women at an increased risk of uterine cancer.

List of recalled aerosol products:

Unilever products

  • Dove
  • Nexxus
  • Suave
  • TIGI (Rockaholic and Bed Head)
  • TRESemmé

Earlier on 30 March 2022, the FDA recalled Suave's deodorant due to elevated levels of benzene.

In February this year, Sure and Brut's deodorants were recalled because of the same reason.

P&G products

  • Pantene
  • Aussie
  • Herbal Essences
  • Waterless
  • Old Spice
  • Hair Food

The Procter & Gamble Company issued a voluntary product recall to the consumer level of aerosol dry conditioner spray products and aerosol dry shampoo spray products from Pantene, Aussie, Herbal Essences, and Waterless produced in the United States, and discontinued aerosol dry shampoo products from Old Spice and Hair Food, due to the presence of benzene detected in some products on 17 December 2021.

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First Published:26 Oct 2022, 09:24 PM IST
HomeNewsIndiaDove dry shampoo recall: A reality check for Indian customers

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