Recall of 7 Major Shampoo Brands in 43 States Warns of Toxin Risk

Updated: Jul. 16, 2024

These products are created for effortless convenience, and they come with an impressive shelf life—but an alert on more than two million called out an "unapproved ingredient" that's associated with cancer.

What did we do before dry shampoo, especially in the heat of summer? A few spritzes save time when your wash is still relatively fresh, and act as a life-saver when you simply don’t have time to re-style.

However, research has identified dangers from dry shampoo—and a new alert hints at how important it is to consider what’s inside that aerosol can.

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On July 1, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published an update to a major hair care manufacturer’s recall of 19 dry shampoo aerosol products. The recall by Unilever was originally initiated in October 2022 to include products from the brands Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (Bed Head and Rockaholic) and TRESemmé, which had been produced as early as in October 2021. According to a press release from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the shampoos were recalled “because testing of the product showed low levels of Benzene.” At that time, the FDA referred to the reason for the recall announcement as “product safety/unapproved ingredient.”

Benzene has been classified as a human carcinogen, as the National Cancer Institute has noted the chemical can lead to cancers such as leukemia and “other blood disorders.” Benzene also happens to be an ingredient in gasoline, according to the CDC.

As part of the original recall, Unilever said an internal investigation had identified the propellant as the source of the benzene. (Propellants in cosmetics and food products such as cooking sprays are often notorious nuisances for concerning chemical exposure.)

The FDA’s update suggests the total recalled products were 1,559,190 cases of Dove, Nexxus, TRESemmé and Suave, plus 559,844 units of the two TIGI brands.

The recalled products are as follows:

  • Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness: 1.15 oz, 5 oz and 7.3 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh Coconut: 1.15 oz, 5 oz and 7.3 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Fresh and Floral: 5 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Ultra Clean: 5 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Invisible: 5 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Detox and Purify: 5 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Clarifying Charcoal: 5 oz cans
  • Dove Dry Shampoo Go Active: 5 oz cans
  • Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist: 5 oz cans
  • Nexxus Inergy Foam Shampoo: 6.7 oz cans
  • Suave Dry Shampoo Hair Refresher: 5 oz cans
  • Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Refresh and Revive: 4.3 oz cans
  • TRESemmé Dry Shampoo Volumizing: 1.15 oz, 5 oz and 7.3 oz cans
  • TRESemmé Dry Shampoo Fresh and Clean: 5 oz and 7.3 oz cans
  • TRESemmé Pro Pure Dry Shampoo: 5 oz cans
  • Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Dry Shampoo: 5 oz cans
  • Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Volumizing Dry Shampoo: 5 oz cans
  • Bed Head Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo: 2.1 oz cans
  • Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo: 2.5 oz cans

If you own any of these dry shampoos, you can check their UPC and lot code against the list of recalled products to see whether they were included.

The products were distributed to 43 states: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin. It appears the recall also affected products distributed into Anguilla.

In June 2024, the FDA categorized this recall as Class II.

What Each FDA Recall Classification Means
Class I Recall This is the most severe recall type, issued for products that could cause serious health issues or death.
Class II Recall This type involves products that may cause temporary or medically reversible adverse health effects.
Class III Recall This is for products that are unlikely to cause health problems but fail to comply with FDA labeling or manufacturing regulations.

Though the FDA reports an independent health hazard evaluation found that daily exposure to the level of benzene in the affected products would likely not cause health complications, Unilever recalled them out of an “abundance of caution.” According to the FDA, Unilever had received “no reports of adverse events” at the time of the original recall.

If you have any of the recalled products, you can visit for instructions on how to get a refund. You can also contact Unilever by calling (877) 270-7412 on Monday through Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST.

It’s an important reminder to shop clean beauty. And if you’re passionate about narrowing down your purchase of cruelty-free products, consider shopping apps like Cruelty Cutter.