After posting my article on 4 Haircare Mistakes You May Be Making, I’ve received a lot of questions in particular about dry shampoo.
Does it really work that well? How do you actually use it correctly? How do you get it to stop making your hair white? What other magical features does it possess?
To start, it might be #1 on my list of useful, life-changing haircare products. That’s a pretty big claim, I know, but this product really can revolutionize your hair routine.
Let’s call it how it is–washing your hair is a complete pain in the you know what. It makes your hair dry and frizzy. It’s either a giant production to blow dry and style it (which I recommend avoiding all together, you can read more about that here) OR it takes forever to let it air dry.
Let’s also not forget how, once it’s done, said hair often becomes flat, limp, falls out all over the place no matter how many bobby pins you use, or starts to look greasy just a mere few hours after you’ve stepped out of the shower.
What gives? Isn’t there something we can do about this?
Yes. It’s called dry shampoo. And here’s what you need to know about it.
What is dry shampoo?
While dry shampoo definitely isn’t new (it was made popular in its first ad, featuring Twiggy, in the 1960’s), it leaves many mystified and overwhelmed as to how to make it work for them.
Dry shampoo can come in two forms: a powder, or aerosol spray. Most contain alcohol, a powdery, starchy substance, or both, which soak up excess oil in your hair without the need for water or traditional shampoo. Many are white in color, but you can also purchase them with coloring in them in order to help blend better with your roots.
The benefits of dry shampoo
Dry shampoo does so much more than just soak up oil from your roots. It makes your hair smell amazingly refreshed, it adds a lot of volume (in my experience, this works better than any “volumizing” product out there to add extra “oomph” to my roots), adds texture, and adds incredible holding power for updo’s.
How to apply dry shampoo correctly
If you’ve ruled out dry shampoo as not for you, you’ve likely been using it incorrectly.
To begin, work in large sections, similar to how you would when using a flat iron. Lift up a long, flat section of hair closest to your scalp, and spray dry shampoo underneath it. Repeat this process all the way around the top of your head.
Then, stop. Let it sit for a few minutes. (Two or three, minimum) before you do anything. Then, work it into your scalp with your fingers. (I tend to use my fingernails in order to avoid transferring excess oil from my fingers to my hair.) Then, brush through thoroughly.
Now, doesn’t your hair look freshly washed?
How do I avoid the white residue it leaves behind?
If you’ve followed the instructions above, and are still seeing white residue, a couple things could be happening: A. You’re using too much product. This can be brushed out with a couple extra brush strokes. OR B. You’re spraying it too close to your roots. Back the bottle up a few inches, and try that.
How else can you use dry shampoo?
Even if my hair isn’t greasy, I’ll flip my head upside down and give it a once-over with dry shampoo before putting it in any updo. This works especially great for buns or chignons, which I’ll tease with a teasing comb after dry-shampooing. The dry shampoo helps your strands stick together with ease, and also helps bobby pins stay in place.
On that note, even if you’re not putting your hair up, dry shampoo is a great pre-teasing agent. If you’re going for extra volume up top, I think this works even better than hairspray.
What if I run out of dry shampoo? Can I use anything else in a pinch?
I ran into this issue a lot when I studied abroad in Italy. If you get into a pinch, baby powder, corn starch, or even a once-over with loose makeup powder or bronzer (yep, I’ve done it) will help soak up excess oil. Does it work as good as the real stuff? Of course not, but it’s a handy trick to have in your back pocket!
What are the best brands of dry shampoo?
I think this might boil down to personal preference, but across the board, Batiste has constantly come in as the front-runner. A drugstore buy that will only set you back a few bucks, there is no excuse not to buy this stuff in bulk. I use it every day. When my hair is clean, it gives it much needed volume, and when it’s dirty, you know, obviously it keeps my hair looking clean. If for some reason your drugstore doesn’t carry Batiste, I also like Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo.
Another product I’m a fan of is Bumble and Bumble Pret A Powder. I would say I like it more than Batiste for its styling abilities, as it makes your hair REALLY textured so it gives you crazy volume and staying power for up-do’s, but it also does a good job of soaking up excess grease.
And finally, while I haven’t tried it myself, Living Proof is considered to be the holy grail of dry shampoo. It’s a little more expensive, but I haven’t heard a bad thing about the product. It has a patented molecular formula which reduces surface friction of the hair–leaving virtually no visible residue or powdery build-up. It also has time release fragrance, so your hair smells just as good at the end of the day as it did in the morning.
Shop dry shampoos: