Make sure to check your bottle before you give your hair a refresh with dry shampoo. On Oct. 18, Unilever issued a voluntary recall of nearly 20 dry shampoo products due to a potential presence of the carcinogen benzene. Seven of Unilever’s brands were named in the recall, including Dove, TRESemmé, Bed Head, and more — so if any of those are your go-to brands, you might want to check your bathroom. Here’s what you need to know about Unilever’s dry shampoo October 2022 recall, including which products you’ll need to toss out, how to get a refund with the reimbursement process, and more.
According to Unilever’s statement, which was issued by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on Oct. 21, the company issued the recall on “select lot codes of dry shampoo aerosol products produced prior to October 2021” out of an “abundance of caution” for containing “potentially elevated levels of benzene.” Benzene is a “human carcinogen” that’s been linked to leukemia and blood cancer of the bone marrow, as well as life-threatening blood disorders, per the statement. Um, that sounds not the best, but according to Unilever, the recall is very precautionary.
The company conducted an independent health hazard evaluation and concluded that “daily exposure to benzene in the recalled products at the levels detected in testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences.” At the time of the statement issue on Oct. 18, Unilever had received no reports of “adverse events” relating to the recall. But still, you’ll want to see which products you should toss.
In the process of the recall, the company was able to identify the product’s propellant (ya know, what helps the dry shampoo spray) as the source of the benzene and “worked with its propellant suppliers to address this issue.” And don’t worry about accidentally buying a recalled can from the store after Oct. 18, because retailers were instructed to take affected products off the shelves.
Unilever joins a growing list of companies that have detected trace amounts of benzene in their aerosol products over the past year, including Banana Boat and P&G, and the recall process is pretty similar in each instance — except when it comes to refunds. If you have a product that’s been named in the most recent recall, you might be wondering how the reimbursement process works. But before you can get your refund, you should probably double (or triple) check if your dry shampoo product needs to be tossed.
Which Dry Shampoos Are Being Recalled?
The 19 products listed in the recall come from seven Unilever brands: Dove, Nexxus, Suave, TIGI (which includes Rockaholic and Bed Head), and TRESemmé. Dove is the brand most affected, with recalled eight of its products recalled, including Dove Dry Shampoo Volume and Fullness and Ultra Clean. TRESemmé and Bed Head each recalled three products; Nexxus and Suave recalled two; and Rockaholic recalled its Bed Head Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo.
The statement states that “no other products from Unilever or its brands are impacted by this recall,” so if you have products from these brands that aren’t dry shampoos, you should be in the clear.
How To Tell If A Product Is Recalled
The best way to tell if your product has been recalled is by checking the UPC code, which can be found at the bottom of the product’s barcode. The code should contain 12 numbers, including the two small numbers on the ends.
Once you’ve found the UPC code, make sure to cross-reference the code on your item with the UPC codes of the products named in the recall listed here.
You can also check the lot code to see if your dry shampoo was recalled. It should be located on the bottom of the can. The chart on this webpage lists the affected lot codes of each product, so don’t forget to check both the UPC and the lot code before starting the reimbursement process.
Fill Out Unilever’s Dry Shampoo Recall Refund Form
OK, so you’ve determined your dry shampoo is no good. Now what? Unfortunately, the recall statement doesn’t directly address how the refund process works, but you can use the virtual assistant on the Unilever recall website to get the reimbursement process started. Here’s how it works:
- Click the “Get Started” button towards the end of the page, then select your preferred language.
- Select the “Is My Product Affected?” option, click the country you bought your product from, and choose the brand that coincides with your product.
- Enter the UPC of your product in the text box of the conversation.
- Enter the product’s lot code.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll either receive a message informing you that your lot code does not match the affected codes and is safe to use, or a notice that your product has been recalled and should no longer be used.
If your product has been affected, the virtual assistant will ask you to choose if you’d like to be reimbursed with a replacement coupon or a refund check. Depending on your selection, you’ll be asked to provide information like your name and number of affected products before you can submit your reimbursement.
How To Get A Dry Shampoo Recall Refund If You Don’t Have Barcodes
If you don’t have the item in front of you, you can select the “Don’t Have Barcode” to be taken directly to the refund option. However, you’ll only be able to receive one coupon or check without proof of purchase, so if you have multiple recalled cans sitting in your bathroom, you should probably enter the codes manually. If you’re able to access the UPC code but the lot code is a little too faded to read, you can also select the “Don’t Have Lot Code” option to select your preferred refund method.
Once you’ve done that, your refund should be on its way to you in no time. If you still have some questions about the refund process, or the recall in general, you can contact Unilever U.S. by calling (877) 270-7412, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET. And if you experience any adverse reactions to your recalled product, make sure to report them to the FDA's MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program on the FDA website or by calling 1-800-332-1088.