Dry Shampoo: What It Is and How and When to Use It
What Is Dry Shampoo?
Essentially it’s a powder or fast-drying spray that provides a water-free option for cleansing your hair. Some dry shampoos come in paste form, and some are available in different shades so you can match your dry shampoo to your hair color. Dry shampoo absorbs excess sebum and other oils from your roots, freshens up the rest of your hair and leaves it smelling fresher.
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Why Should You Use Dry Shampoo?
There are so many excellent answers to this question—hence that life-changing attribute!
- To be able to shampoo less frequently. Why is that an issue? Frequent shampooing can strip moisture from certain hair types (coarse, curly, thick, fragile, etc.) so if your fall in to one of those categories, it’s best to shampoo less. Dry shampoo lets you go longer without suffering matted or oily roots.
- To stretch out a blow-out. You invest in a beautiful styling service and of course you want it to last as long as possible before shampooing. You can easily add a few days to your blow-out with dry shampoo.
- To conserve your hair color. Of course you’re using professional shampoos formulated for color-treated hair, right? (Nod yes!) But the fact is, no matter how coddling your shampoo is, hair color definitely loses some vibrancy after a certain number of shampoos—especially semi-permanent and demi-permanent formulas that don’t penetrate as deeply into the hair shaft as permanent formulas do. Swapping out a few regular shampoos for a water-less option between color services will prolong the life of your beautiful hue, and protect your color investment.
- To eliminate odor. Your hair may not look or feel dirty, but perhaps hanging out with all the smokers at the party you attended last night resulted in some pretty stale-smelling strands this a.m. Many dry shampoo formulas feature a pleasant fragrance to instantly refresh your hair.
- To add volume. This is one of the best bonuses of a dry shampoo. Not only does it make your hair look, feel and smell fresher and cleaner, it also gives you a real boost! Directing a powder or spray dry shampoo at your roots immediately adds volume and fullness—as if you’ve just blown-out your hair!
- To refresh a style or curls. Dry shampoo isn’t just for an oily scalp. Mist the rest of your hair lightly, grab your brush and blow dryer and do a quick re-style to perk up droopy waves or curls.
- To save time. Your roommate will NOT get out of the bathroom and you’re going to be late for work. Your crush just texted, inviting you to meet him for breakfast…in 15 minutes. You hit the snooze button one too many times. Whenever there’s no time for a proper shampoo and blow-dry, dry shampoo is your friend and savior.
- To add texture. Silky hair is lovely and desirable…most of the time. Sometimes, though, a little bit of grit is helpful—like if you’re doing a messy bun or a cool, Pinterest-worthy braid. That’s when in-the-know stylists turn to dry shampoo—it gives too-silky strands the heft they need to form and hold a textured upstyle or braid.
- To soothe an irritated scalp. Scalps get irritated for a variety of reasons—like after hair color or lightener is applied. It’s particularly uncomfortable if your scalp is sensitive. The cooling properties of a dry shampoo spray can provide quick relief.
What Should You Avoid in a Dry Shampoo?
- Residue. A good dry shampoo will not leave behind any gunky buildup. It should absorb completely and quickly into your hair. And the last thing you want is a white residue, especially if your hair is dark!
- Stickiness. Touch your hair after using your dry shampoo. Feel that? If the answer is yes, try something else!
- An unappealing scent. This is personal—everyone responds to fragrances differently. Be sure to select a product with a scent that speaks to you, since it’s something you’ll be wearing close to your own nose!
- A too-heavy formula. Particularly if your hair is fine, you should opt for a lightweight formula that won’t cause your hair to deflate.
How to Apply Dry Shampoo Spray
Even though using a dry shampoo is quicker than the whole lather, rinse, repeat routine, it’s still worth taking the time to apply it properly. Here’s how.
- Step 1:
Shake dry shampoo and hold at least the length of the can from the head (8-12 inches). Spray on the root starting at your part line, and divide into smaller sub sections to ensure the whole head gets product.
- Step 2:
Flip your head upside down and gently massage your roots all over with your fingertips. If the spray still feels damp, set a blow dryer on the lowest, coolest setting and aim it at your roots.
- Step 3:
Use pads of fingers or brush to comb through to disperse throughout the whole head
A Few Tips for Your Dry Shampoo
- Don’t spray too close to your head—it will prevent the product from being evenly distributed.
- Less is more. Too much dry shampoo can make your hair look dull. Remember, you can always go back and apply more if necessary.
- Dry shampoo should only be applied to dry hair.
- Don’t rub it in immediately after spraying it on—give it a few minutes to absorb the oil at your scalp.
- Avoid over-dependency. Dry shampoos are glorious, effective time-savers, but regular shampoos or conditioning cleansers are essential for long-term hair health and beauty! If you’re reaching for the can for the third or fourth consecutive time, it’s time to hit the shower!
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