Is Propane Safe In Hair Products?

If you read the ingredients on a standard brand of dry shampoo, you might notice unusual substances like propane and butane, which you believed were exclusively used to light a barbecue. This is concerning since you are spraying these chemicals straight into your skin and maybe inhaling them.

Butane and propane are safe in shampoo, according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel, because they evaporate quickly and are used in modest doses.

Although too much dry shampoo might make hair dry if it isn’t getting enough natural oil, Dr. Alan Bauman, a board-certified hair restoration physician, affirms that propane isn’t a problem.

Even if the risk is minor, if you use dry shampoo on a regular basis, you might want to reconsider the amount of exposure you’re getting to these chemicals. When a product is left on the scalp for an extended amount of time, the chemicals are more likely to penetrate into the skin, causing discomfort.

To minimize these hazards, choose a brand with more natural components, or make your own dry shampoo at home. Dr. Bauman also recommends washing your hair with shampoo and conditioner on a regular basis to prevent the powder from building up on your scalp, and using dry shampoo only once or twice between washes.

Your current dry shampoo is safe to use if you use it sparingly, but chemical-containing brands should be avoided until more is known about their effects. Meanwhile, keep away from open flames to avoid any “Michael Jackson Pepsi ad” drama, and check your bottle for hazardous contents before creating a scene at airport security.

Why is propane used in hair products?

Butane, isobutane, propane, and isopentane are volatile petroleum and natural gas products. These substances are used to replace chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC propellants, in cosmetics and personal care products, some of which have been demonstrated to have detrimental environmental consequences.

Why does my dry shampoo contain propane?

Dry shampoo solutions, which are available in spray or powder form, serve to absorb the hair’s surface grease, leaving it looking and smelling fresh and matte. However, understanding the ingredients in your dry shampoo formula is critical to truly understanding what makes it special, as different brands use different components to produce refreshed-feeling strands.

Dr. Michael Zasloff, Chief Science Officer of the illumai hair company, explains via email, “To understand why dry shampoo works, you have to understand what the components are all about.” Most dry shampoos contain a propellant, an absorbent, and an abrasive, all of which work together to clean your hair.

The propellants (butane, isobutane, propane, alcohol, etc.) in the initial component of dry shampoo serve to distribute your contents evenly throughout your hair. Because you are not using water, this is critical.

Following that are active components such as aluminum starch and silica, which absorb moisture and greasy coatings from the hair. According to Dr. Zasloff, the starch particles act as both sponges and scouring pads, absorbing the grease and oil present on your roots.

The starch granules function as sponges when the shampoo is first blasted over the hair, says Dr. Zasloff. When the starch is brushed out of the hair shafts, they function as scouring pads, sweeping across the surface.

Why does my hair mousse include propane?

Mousse, despite its terrible reputation, is one of the most versatile things a curly-haired person can own. Best mousses for curly hair, unlike the style products we used in middle school, won’t make your hair feel crunchy or sticky; instead, they’ll help define and hydrate curls with a blend of nourishing nutrients. Here’s a less-than-fun fact: To help propel them out of the bottle, most mousses marketed in typical spray bottles contain butane or propane (in beauty, these are literally referred to as propellents). All of the mousses described below are packaged in non-aerosol, pump-top bottles, and are thus butane- and propane-free, assuming you don’t want to be spraying these potentially annoying, headache-inducing gasses all over your head and face.

Scroll down to see three of the best mousses for curly hair, all of which are $15 or less on Amazon.

Note from the editor: Do you want to give your hair a boost? Then one of the best mousses for volume can be a better choice.

Is it safe to use butane and propane on your hair?

Propane and butane can have a variety of adverse effects when inhaled. They can induce skin frostbite, headaches, tiredness, lightheadedness, and falling in and out of consciousness in the short term. You could be putting your lungs and central nervous system at risk if you use it for a long time. Furthermore, aerosol dry shampoos are significantly more damaging to your hair and scalp. Itching, flakiness, plugged pores, and product accumulation are all possible side effects.

These chemicals are also very bad for the environment. Butane and propane are common contaminants of water and soil, and when disposed of in landfills, they generate large amounts of carbon dioxide.

It appears that avoiding these harmful chemicals entirely and opting for a comprehensive hair wash may be the better option!

However, this isn’t always the case; there are many of dry shampoos on the market that don’t include propane or butane, making them considerably safer to use and generally more effective.

Is it true that butane causes hair loss?

Gaunitz concurs. He advises that if you are already experiencing hair loss or thinning, dry shampoo should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. “Dry shampoo, in my perspective, will not normally cause hair loss, but it will exacerbate an underlying hair loss condition,” he explains. “Inflammation can be caused by components in your typical dry shampoo, such as butane and other starches that break down on the surface of the scalp, leading to rapid hair loss and exacerbation of scalp diseases.”

Is it true that butane in dry shampoo is harmful?

While some people are concerned about harmful substances coming into direct contact with their scalp and hair, others are concerned about inhaling them. Butane and isobutane, the propellants used to spray dry shampoo into the air, have been linked to allergies and irritation of the skin, eyes, and lungs, which isn’t good news for a substance blasted in your face and mouth’s airspace. Concerns of contamination of these chemicals with the known carcinogen butadiene exacerbate the situation. Choose a dry shampoo in a non-aerosol container to prevent butane.

What is the purpose of propane in shaving cream?

There are hundreds of different shaving cream brands available. When you’re standing in the grocery aisle, trying to decide what to buy, it can assist to know that the basic ingredients of major commercial brands are generally the same. Here are a few substances you’ll find in most, with the bolded ones being potentially dangerous.


Water makes up more than 80% of any shaving cream. Surfactants, or soaps, are used to break the surface water tension and allow water and other mediums, such as gases, oils, or dirt, to mix more easily. They essentially let the chemicals in shaving cream to combine and foam up. When the mixture comes into contact with your skin, it allows it to clean your skin more thoroughly.

Stearic acid may sound frightening, but it’s a natural soap that’s commonly found in shaving creams. It aids in the mixing of the components and gives support for the tiny soap bubbles that form. Triethanolamine stearate is made by combining triethanolamine with stearic acid. It’s made by combining ammonia and ethylene oxide, which is a petroleum waste.

Because it has been discovered to be a moderate skin irritant, there are restrictions on how much triethanolamine stearate and triethanolamine can be used in cosmetic goods. It’s also not authorized to be used with N-nitrosating compounds, as this produces nitrosamines, a carcinogenic component.

Laureth-23 and sodium lauryl sulfate are two more popular surfactants (SLS). These chemicals are excellent at foaming up products, which is why they’re so common in soaps and shampoos. According to studies, they might irritate the skin and exacerbate skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis. They’ve also been discovered to be dangerous to aquatic life.

Humectants and Oils

Humectants are substances that moisturize or soften the skin or hair, but they can also aid in shaving lubrication. Mineral oils or more natural alternatives are frequently used in products. Because mineral oils are made from petroleum, their use has some environmental consequences. They don’t moisturize the skin; instead, they build a barrier that keeps moisture from escaping.

Though data is inconclusive, there are fears that these substances may bioaccumulate in the body over time, posing long-term health risks. Lanolin is a natural substitute made from the washing of sheep’s wool. Coconut acid, or coconut oil, is also often utilized, though large amounts might clog pores.

Glycerol is a naturally derived component that can be found in both food and personal care products. It works as a lubricant to assist the razor blade glide over the skin more effectively, but it also moisturizes the skin. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, making it ideal for soothing skin after shaving.

Propylene glycol, ethylen glycol, and butylene glycol are all alcohols that are mostly synthesized from petroleum byproducts. They have additional functions besides acting as a moisturizer in shaving cream, and propylene glycol is most commonly utilized as a surfactant. Other petroleum compounds used on our skin raise similar issues.


BHT, or butylated hydroxytoluene, is a synthetic compound that can also be created naturally by algae and other plants. It’s utilized in human meals and several medications, in addition to cosmetics. It functions as a preservative since it is an antioxidant. However, some people may develop a BHT allergy after using items containing this component. A rash, elevated skin, or blisters can all be signs of this.

Although parabens are commonly used in cosmetics due to their antibacterial and antifungal characteristics, there have long been concerns regarding their abuse. They can permeate the skin and accumulate in our bodies, as well as in the bodies of wildlife exposed to paraben waste, according to research. Parabens have been detected in breast tumors in studies, but there isn’t enough information to tell if they cause cancer. Parabens are also known to impact human hormone levels by imitating estrogen in the bloodstream.


Fragrances are arguably the most straightforward category for us to comprehend. These are included to give the product a nice aroma. Most products, however, do not specify the scent ingredients since they are considered a trade secret. Because many persons with sensitive skin are sensitive to these compounds, fragrance-free products are frequently promoted to them.


If you use shaving foam instead of shaving cream, you’ll have to be wary of another set of chemicals called propellants. Isobutane and propane are both volatile gases that come from petroleum and natural gas. They’re employed in aerosol cans to propel shaving cream out of the can, where it mixes with it to make foam. These substances have been proven to have a deleterious effect on skin in studies, however they are thought to dissipate fast when used in this context, implying that they are not harmless.

Butane is used in hair products for a reason.

Aerosol shaving creams, skin fresheners, makeup, hair conditioners, deodorants, cosmetics, and personal hygiene items use propane and butane as propellants. Propane and butane are propellants that are used as inert ingredients in pesticide products.