Dry shampoo is a starch or alcohol powder in an aerosol can that refreshes hair when sprayed onto the roots. The powder soaks up the grease and excess oil from your scalp and hair follicles, giving your hair luster and shine. It can also be used for styling your hair to add volume and texture.
While the popularity of the ‘miracle’ beauty product has skyrocketed in recent years, the idea has been around since the 15th century when people used clay powder in their hair care routine. The powdered wigs popular in Colonial America used starch to change the color of the wigs and deodorize them.
What is Dry Shampoo?
Dry shampoo is a waterless hair product, usually sold in a paste or spray can, that is used to freshen the hair quickly and easily. It doesn’t, and shouldn’t, replace cleansing your hair and scalp with soap and water. Most waterless formulas of dry shampoo contain alcohol, cornstarch or rice starch.
The starch or alcohol absorbs the grease and excess oil from your hair while leaving a just-washed feeling. The oil glands in the scalp secrete natural oils, called sebum, to keep your scalp moisturized. However, sometimes the body can produce too much oil, causing oily hair and skin.
The dry shampoo can help regulate the oil production because washing your hair with soap and water can remove the nourishing oils from your hair; too little sebum can cause dry, brittle hair.
Dry shampoo product is spritzed on the hair and massaged throughout the hair using a brush. While you can use it in the mornings, it works better before bedtime because it has more time to absorb the excess oil while you get the recommended eight hours of sleep.
It can also be used as a styling tool to add volume or help keep bobby pins in place. The dry shampoos come in different tints, so be sure the hue you use matches your hair color. Otherwise you run the risk of discolored hair.
Does Dry Shampoo Actually Clean Hair?
Despite having “shampoo” in its name, dry shampoo is not a traditional hair cleaner. It is a powder that soaks up oil and grease from the roots of your hair. Even if you use dry shampoo occasionally, you still need to wash your hair with soap and water regularly.
Real shampoo is necessary to clear away dead skin cells and environmental pollutants.
The dry shampoo shouldn’t be used every day in the place of regular shampoo. The powder form of dry shampoo can dry out the scalp, leaving it vulnerable to dandruff and infected hair follicles that could potentially cause hair loss. However, using it a few times a week is perfectly fine.
To be effective, the dry shampoo needs to be sprayed at the top portion of the hair, not the ends. The can should be two to three inches from your head when you spray it. This prevents clumping. Massaging or brushing the dry shampoo into your scalp and roots is necessary to get the full effect. The excess oil doesn’t reach the ends of your hair, so, using the dry shampoo there can actually cause greasy hair.
Benefits of Dry Shampoo
Many people have hair types that don’t do well with being washed with regular shampoo every day. It often leads to dry, frizzy or flat hair. Dry shampoo can help add body to your hair while removing oil and grease when you’re in-between showers.
Revitalizing hair is one of several benefits of dry shampoo. Other benefits include:
Dry shampoo helps keep hair moisturized. Washing your hair with regular shampoo every day risks stripping essential oils from the hair. Too much oil can be the cause of the greasy hair, but using shampoos with harsh chemicals can be just as harmful to your tresses.
If you’ve recently been to a salon for hair styling, using dry shampoo can let you keep your blowout for a few more days. One of life’s disappointments is washing your hair for the first time after a visit to an amazing salon. You can rarely recreate the look at home.
Washing your hair with soap and water is necessary to clean the scalp and hair follicles of dead skin cells. However, washing your hair also leads to dyed hair fading faster. Dry shampoo keeps your color from fading as quickly.
Dry shampoo is great for eliminating odors without taking a time-consuming shower. This is a great tool if you oversleep the day of an important meeting.
Dry shampoo isn’t just for removing oil and dirt. It can be used as a styling aid to add volume or texture to your mane.
Everyone has had a morning where they sleep through their alarm and have to rush to get ready for work or school. The Bangles even wrote a song about the scenario – Manic Monday. Sadly, dry shampoo wasn’t that popular in the 80s, so people had to deal with being late and not getting paid. With dry shampoo, you can spray and be on your way. No fuss, no muss(ed hair.)
When Should You Use Dry Shampoo
You can use dry shampoo at any time, morning, noon or night. Using it before bed is optimal because the shampoo can absorb the oil and grease longer. You will effectively stop the grease before it can be distributed through your hair or left on your pillow.
Dry shampoo also makes a perfect volumizing agent. It can add the impression of thicker hair by filling in the gaps between strands of hair. Lightly spray the shampoo onto your hairstyle to darken the edges and add dimension.
Oversleeping and being in a rush is probably the most common time to use dry shampoo. But it can also be used in other instances, such as hospital stays or traveling, if you’re in a pinch because you forgot your regular shampoo bottle.
Another great use for dry shampoo is after coloring or bleaching your hair. You can’t wash it with soap and water for a few days, but you can use dry shampoo to help reduce odors and erase greasy hair.
Can You Use Dry Shampoo Every Day?
The short answer to this is: No!
Your scalp and hair need to be cleaned regularly with soap and water. Using dry shampoo every day instead of regular shampoo would be like putting makeup on without removing the old makeup first. A day or two of using dry shampoo is okay; three days is pushing it.
Dry shampoo might absorb oil and grease, but it doesn’t do anything to get rid of the dead skin cells or clean the hair follicles at the root of your hair. If left on the scalp, dead skin cells can clog the hair follicles and cause inflammation and other problems.
The starch or alcohol ingredient in the dry shampoo can build up on your hair and scalp. Using dry shampoo too much can lead to dermatitis, dandruff and even hair loss. At the very least, your hair should be cleaned with soap and water at least once a week to clear the build-up from dry shampoo and other styling products you might be using.
Dry shampoo is a lifesaver (or jobsaver) for thousands of lazy men and women who like their beauty sleep, but it doesn’t replace a good scrub down with regular shampoo. Dry shampoo is meant to be used as to complement your hair care routine, not as the main attraction.