Dry shampoo can save you time and effort when you need to run out quickly, but your hair looks a little greasy and oily.
With a dry shampoo, you don't need to wash your hair. It's great right after a workout, where your hair is a little sweaty and oily. Or in situations where you can't wash your hair, such as at a hospital stay.
But, does it actually work?
In certain circumstances, yes, it works fabulously. But, you have to know how to use it right… otherwise, you're going to be left with a sticky mess that's not going to do anyone any good.
Just What Is A Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo is a little bit misnamed, as it's not actually a shampoo and it doesn't do any cleaning. Most of these products are a powder that helps absorb oil, grease, and moisture and helps your hair look clean and good-looking.
Some products are a powder that you sprinkle on, while others get sprayed in. Originally, people use cornstarch and it worked well. Other dried powders added herbs and other absorbing powders.
Many of the spray dry shampoos are alcohol or starch-based that apply a thin layer of these to your hair.
Whatever you use, they soak up the excess oil and grease in your hair, giving it a cleaner appearance.
Do Dry Shampoos Keep Your Hair Clean?
No, dry shampoos don't actually clean your hair. Many of the products leave a residue that can build up over time.
When you use a dry shampoo, you should wash your hair out within a day or two properly to remove the product. They can leave a sandy or gritty feeling to your hair and scalp.
That's because many of the dry shampoos dry your hair out. As a result, the hair can become brittle and easily broken. The residue may cause inflammation or rashes on your scalp, increasing the risk of dandruff.
In a pinch, dried shampoos work very well temporarily. Nurses and caretakers in healthcare settings use it where it would be difficult to move a person to the shower every day.
But if you're looking at a dry shampoo to cut down on the number of times you wash your hair, you're looking at it for the wrong reason.
How To Use Dry Shampoos Most Effectively AND Correctly
Using dry shampoo the right way will help reduce the damage you do to your hair.
- Only use on oily areas
- If using a spray, keep the can at least 6 inches from your scalp
- Massage and brush the product into your hair
- Evenly distribute the product
- Use the right color for your hair
- Uses little as possible – repeat if necessary.
- Plan to wash your hair within one day.
And there are a few tips for specific types of hair you want to keep in mind:
Dry shampoos give the greatest change to greasy hair. But, if your scalp produces a lot of oil, it's time to figure out why.
Generally, your scalp is trying to make up for all the moisture and oils lost from using products too often, drying your hair with too high of heat, and cheap shampoos.
Visiting a specialty salon that helps women deal with hair issues (as opposed to just cutting hair) can help give you insight into what's going on.
Occasionally, dry shampoo on greasy hair can help cover the appearance. But, you should avoid using dry shampoo on greasy hair as often as possible.
Straight hair is naturally dryer and has a harder time holding products. In addition, many people complain about a powdery residue left by shampoos on straight hair. The dry shampoo you use also has a higher risk of creating brakes and split ends in your hair.
Several new products have been made for darker, straight hair that reduces this problem, so be sure to check your product for your hair type.
Dry shampoos wonderfully for curly hair, but you have to be careful about how you apply it. Dry shampoos tend to create frizziness and can straighten out your curls if you try to brush it out. As a result, you look more like your hair is sticking out all over the place and untended rather than fresh and bouncy.
This is especially true for black women with natural hair. The dry shampoo will coat your hair, leaving it heavy and unable to hold a nice curl.
If you give trying shampoo a try, be sure to choose a product for your hair type. Use it sparingly, and make sure you wash it out well when you get the next chance. It's a great tool to help you, but not one that should be abused.