Dry shampoo is a wonderful invention. Typically made with a starchy ingredient, dry shampoo is used to eliminate and absorb sebum – the scalp’s natural oil that makes hair look greasy after a day (or even two to three) days of no shampooing. It gives your scalp a break from washing that can dry out the scalp and hair. It can also prolong your blowouts and hair color and keep your hair oil-free in between washes, and it can also be used in hairstyling to create volume and body to your hair.
Basically, it’s a miracle product, but it only works when it’s used correctly. Whether you’re using powder, aerosol spray, or foam dry shampoo – most people make mistakes when using dry shampoo that leads to dry hair, dandruff-like flakes, and ashy roots. If you know how to use dry shampoo right, it can serve you well. Here are some helpful tips for using dry shampoo:
Pick the right kind of dry shampoo.
There are different types of dry shampoo – from spray to powder to aerosol to foam. Depending on your hairstyle goals and hair type, you’ll want to use different types of dry shampoo.
Fine hair does best with a spray version or an aerosol spray version of dry shampoo. You don’t want something that will be heavy and can weigh your hair down. These types of dry shampoos also dry fast and add volume. Meanwhile, thicker and oilier hair will benefit more from powder versions.
Your best bet is to read the labels because, like most hair products, it will indicate the type of hair that the formula is targeted to and the results you should see when you use it.
Before opening your dry shampoo, make sure to shake up the bottle or can before use to distribute the ingredients evenly. This is important to keep the contents mixed and evenly dispersed. The starch in aerosol formulas can settle at the bottom in between uses, and shaking it up can ensure that the formula is well-blended.
Move it while applying.
Don’t spray or apply your dry shampoo continuously in one section. This will let you end up with a spot of product at the roots that’s difficult to spread over. Instead, move the bottle or use a sweeping motion to cover your roots in an even, thin layer of product. When applying, move it back and forth in a swaying motion.
Don’t spray too close.
When using spray dry shampoo, hold it 8-12 inches from your scalp before spraying. If you spray it too close, you will likely end up with too much dry shampoo on your scalp that can cause buildup. Make sure to also spray it lightly and don’t go overboard. When you’re using powder, sprinkle it near the scalp but avoid applying it directly to the area where you part your hair because it can look chalky and difficult to remove.
Don’t use too much.
A little product goes a long way. It’s important to apply the product only to the scalp and roots, not through the whole length of your hair. Overusing dry shampoo is a common mistake that makes your hair look stiff, dry, and gritty. Simply shake or spray your dry shampoo onto small sections of your roots. You don’t want to blast your hair with the product – you can always add more if your hair still looks greasy. If you go overboard, your hair will feel stiff and looking dull.
Focus on the scalp and roots.
As mentioned earlier, you don’t have to apply the dry shampoo all over your head and hair. Instead, focus on the roots, all the way down your part, around the hairline, and around your ears. If you’re putting your hair up, don’t forget the back nape area. Lift the hair and spray near the roots and just a few inches of hair.
Before applying the product, it’s best to separate your hair into different layers or sections first. Make sure you’re actually getting the product on your scalp and not just on the hair. Also, you don’t need to spray it all over your head – sometimes, you just need to stick to the top and only apply where your hair is greasiest.
Let it sit.
After you put on dry shampoo, don’t immediately shake it out or brush it up. Let it sit for a few minutes so it can really suck up your oils. To make the most efficient use of your time, you can apply dry shampoo first before doing your own makeup. Then, let it sit until you’re done with your face so it would have time to do its job.
Massage the product into your scalp.
After letting the product soak into your hair, use your fingertips to massage and work the dry shampoo into your roots. Brushing can bring back the oiliness pretty quickly, so skip the brush and use your fingers to work the product to your hair. If you skip this step, the dry shampoo will just sit on top of your hair. Massaging can also help remove any telltale chalkiness. To get rid of white residue, you can use a brush to comb the product through or a hairdryer to blast the roots and help remove excess products.
Don’t use it every day.
Dry shampoo can be beneficial for your hair, but overusing it can cause problems. Despite its name, it doesn’t actually clean the hair as normal shampoo would – instead, it adds starchy buildup to absorb oils. Using dry shampoo too often can be bad for your hair because it clogs your follicles. It weakens hair strength, leading to hair loss and skin issues like dermatitis, infections, and acne. It’s recommended that dry shampoos must only be used once between hair washes. Hair experts recommend only using dry shampoo one to two times a week. For really oily hair, you can use it up to three times a week – but it’s better if you wash your hair instead.
Try using before bed.
While dry shampoo can be applied anytime your hair needs a boost, using it during the night plays a big role in its efficacy. It’s best to use it before bed, as the scalp will absorb it as you sleep so that you can look refreshed in the morning. Who doesn’t love having more time in the morning before going to work?
The night before your second- or third-day hair, brush your hair and apply dry shampoo at your roots. Pull it up into a loose top bun with a scrunchie or any hair-friendly tie to help keep some volume in it. You will wake up to less oil on your scalp. If you feel like your hair is still a bit greasy, you can add more in the morning if needed.
Use it to add texture.
Dry shampoo variants with some grip or hold can give an added texture that your hair might lack. It can double as a texture spray, eliminating one more product you need to add. When using dry shampoo for texturizing, you can apply it within your layers to add volume. Once you’re finished with a layer, spray the texture in before letting down more hair.
You can also try spraying it on bobby pins or other hair accessories before putting it in your hair to give it a little more grip. If you have fine hair, and hair accessories tend to slip out on you, adding dry shampoo can be helpful for you.
Use it to add volume and bulk.
If you have flat and fine hair, you can use dry shampoo at your roots before backcombing to keep it from slipping out. Backcombing is a great technique for adding some lift and volume to your hair. If you mix it with dry shampoo, you can easily fake a ton of volume on your hairstyle.
If you’re not letting your hair down and you want to braid it or put it at a top knot, dry shampoo can add some fake thickness to your hair. Spray it all over your hair before doing your hairstyle. After it dries, do whatever hairstyle you want. Then, gently pull on the outer strands of the braid or bun to get a bulkier look. Dry shampoo will help prevent your hair from falling all out, causing you to start over. It can be your secret weapon to fake thick hair.