Banishing Bad Hair Days since 1997!™

Baby Powder Is A Toxic Dry Shampoo

Baby powder is a toxic dry shampoo.  So many times I see hair, beauty and related blog, websites and articles which advocate baby powder as a great instant Do It Yourself (DIY) dry shampoo.

Unfortunately baby powder is more ofte thann based upon talc powder rather than cornstarch.  Talc or talcum powder is one of the ingredients listed on the Dirty Dozen List Of Toxic Items consumers use on their hair or body.

There are some baby powders whidh specifically don't contain talc or similar ingredients, but to be safe you have to read every label and make sure that you are not using a baby powder product with talc in the ingredient list.

What Is Talcum Powder

Talc powder is a household item, sold globally for use in personal hygiene and cosmetics.  It is used by many millions every year.

Talc is considered by many, but not all experts, to be a carcinogenic ingredient.  The use or inhalation of talc is considered to be a risk factor for ovarian, lung and skin cancers.  It is also considered to be a lung irritant.

Studies Linking Baby Powder Made With Talc To Cancer

One study by the US National Toxicology Program questioning the link between talc and cancer was published in 1993.  The study found that  cosmetic grade talc containing no asbestos-like fibers was correlated with tumor formation in rats during animal testing.  A 1971 paper found particles of talc embedded in 75% of the ovarian tumors studied.

Safer Alternative

Safer alternatives to baby powder made with talcum powder are either cornstarch or powders that are not made with talc.  Other options include corn meal, flour, oat bran or oat meal.  You can also use baking powder in a pinch.  Baking soda is an option but is less effective than cornstarch and may leave the scalp feeling itchy.

Some experts believe cornstarch is safer in some ways then the various dry shampoos you dab, spray or squirt on your hair.  All of the dry shampoo products made by the many different hair care manufacturers often contain chemicals which may or may not be good for you to be inhaling into your lungs.


One thing is certain, baby powder made with talc is definitely known as a risk factor for various types of cancer.   The last thing consumers should be doing to their hair is sprinkling baby powder on their scalp or strands.  Inhaling baby powder into the lungs may be toxic, especially on a regular basis over an extended period of time.

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