What is Dry Shampoo?

In very simple terms, dry shampoo is a substance that cleans the hair without the need of water. It basically works by absorbing excess oil from your hair and scalp and makes it feel and smell freshly washed. The ingredients in the spray dry shampoo are usually a mixture of absorbing agents, aerosol propellants, conditioning ingredients, solvents, and fragrance.

Dry shampoo is not meant to replace regular washing with water, rather, to help lengthen the intervals between washes. They usually come in two forms; powder and aerosol spray. Whichever your choice, be sure to choose one that closely matches your color, personally, I never go wrong with Dockaholic and Fekkai dry shampoos

Quick NavigationWhat is Dry Shampoo?How Dry Shampoo WorksBenefits of using Dry ShampooHow to Correctly Use Dry ShampooBonus Dry Hair Shampoo TipsHow Often Can I Use Dry Shampoo?How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?Some Dry Shampoo Products You Will LoveDIY Dry Shampoo RecipesConclusion

Dry shampoos are not just great for lengthening the period between washes, though—they are a perfect choice when a normal full shampoo is just not practical. A quick brush of Tigi or Kenra dry shampoo, for instance, can save the day on those mornings when you snooze your alarm one too many times and when you finally wake up, you barely have time to slip on your pants, leave alone wash your hair. And because it adds texture and fullness to your hair, it’s can be a great styling product to help your updos stay in place

If you prefer a natural alternative to commercial dry shampoos, which can sometimes contain several chemicals to help in the absorbing process, you will find organic dry shampoos which are made exclusively from natural ingredients. Better yet, if you have a light hair, you may find it convenient to make your homemade dry shampoo –more on that later.

How Dry Shampoo Works

Basically, dry shampoo soaks up excess oil and grease in your hair and gives it a cleaner, fresher look. But what exactly happens in between those hair strands when you apply your dry shampoo? To understand how it works, it’s important to go a little deeper into the ingredients.

Different brands utilize different components to restore the refresh-feeling and appearance. Generally, most shampoos have an absorbent, an abrasive, and a propellant, which work together to give your hair a refreshed, cleaner look.

The propellant, (which could be butane, propane, isobutene, or alcohol) work to spread other ingredients evenly throughout your hair. This is very important since you are not using water. The active ingredients (silica, starch, and aluminum) act like little sponges that mop up any oily films, moisture, and dirt that cover the hair. These little ‘sponges’ become heavier and can be easily brushed out leaving refreshed, cleaner hair strands behind.

Benefits of using Dry Shampoo

It’s a Time Saver

This is the primary reason most people use dry shampoo. Wet shampooing involves washing, rinsing, rinsing again, blow drying, and waiting for ages for your hair to dry. Dry shampoo, on the other hand, is easy, quick and will prevent your hair from looking greasy, flat, and most importantly, dirty. Some mornings, it’s easier and convenient to just take a shower and not worry about having to wash and restyle your hair.

Good at Volumizing Your Hair

Natural oils in your scalp and hair cause your freshly styled hair to look greasier and flatter as the day progresses. Massaging dry shampoo in the roots of your hair and then combing through your locks will give you a fuller and better hair all day long.

It Makes Your Style Last Longer

Dry shampoo preserves your blow dried or pre-styled hair saving you lots of time and money. So if you want to keep the ‘just styled’ looks going for a longer, simple spray, massage, and comb.

It’s a Humidity Shield

Weather is always uncontrollable and unpredictable. During damp temperatures, straight and fine hair can either blow up or go flat in a real quick. However, a dry shampoo can help you deal with this natural disaster all day long. Simply spray your shampoo of choice to the roots of your hair to maintain your flawless style throughout the day.

It Slows Color Fade

Since the traditional shampoo and water leach your dye, minimal washing means you will go longer before your next touch-up appointment to the salon. This, of course, saves you cash and time.

Go to the Gym Easily

Most people are forced to do their workouts early in the morning before styling their hair or late in the evening where they can jump into the shower thereafter. The midday workout is not a favorable option for those who wish to maintain a fresh, clean and well-styled hair throughout the rest of the day. Keeping Aveeno or Amika dry shampoo in your workout pack, for instance, can come in handy for refreshing and cleaning your sweaty hair in minutes after a light midday workout. This can allow you to squeeze some quick workout in your lunch break and still go for that afternoon meeting feeling and smelling fresh.

Minimizes Damage

Shampooing less often means using hot tools and hash chemicals less often. The end result is healthier, stronger hair.

It’s Pet-Friendly

Dry shampoo is great for your pet too. If your dog comes back from a walk looking little too dirty and you just don’t have the energy to drag them into a bath, dry dog shampoo can be an awesome alternative.

How to Correctly Use Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is as good as how you apply it. Doing it all wrong can easily leave you with anything from less than perfect hair to unforgettable bad hair day. Below are the steps on how you should use your dry shampoo for a refresh and clean look.

1. Choose Your Dry Shampoo

Most dry shampoos look more or less like a can of hairspray. Generally, aerosol sprays such as Sephora and Walgreens dry shampoo are much easier to use compared to powders as they thoroughly distribute the product throughout your hair. Apart from buying the commercially available products, you can also improvise your own homemade dry shampoo

2. Get Your Hair Ready

First, wash your hands to avoid transferring any more dirt and oil into your hair. Then remove hair pins, bands, and clips. Thoroughly comb your to eliminate any tangles.

3. Apply The Dry Shampoo

Using an applicator bottle, apply the dry shampoo directly to your hair roots and work it through using a comb or your fingers. Be sure to apply to the areas that tend to be oily such as your bangs. If you are using a spray bottle, hold it about 15cm from your head and spray. Holding the bottle at this distance ensures that the shampoo settles evenly over your head. While it’s advisable to focus majorly on hair roots, the tips may also need some freshening up. This might, however, get a little messy so you may want to do it over the sink.

4. Don’t Overdo It

While it may sound obvious, new dry shampoo users may not easily tell just how much is too much. Applying too much may leave you with white streaks and spots on your hair. You can always tell when it’s too much; you will feel some grittiness at the roots of your hair, plus it can also be difficult to remove it if you over apply. So just apply enough for your hair.

5. Let It Settle

After working you shampoo throughout your hair, be patient and let it do its job. Let your hair settle for about a minute then shake it out using your fingers or by brushing it through. If you have a particularly oily hair, you may need to wait for 5-10 minutes.

Bonus Dry Hair Shampoo Tips

Use Dry Shampoo On Dry Hair

Your hair will look clumpy and a mess if you try to put the powder on wet hair. It works on oil, but not water. So wait until your hair is totally dry before using your shampoo.

Don’t Rub dry Shampoo Into Your Scalp

Sometimes dry shampoo can build up in your hair and make it itchy. If you are using the spray version such as Percy dry shampoo, be sure to hold it at least 6 inches away from your hair to avoid spraying it directly on your scalp. Don’t rub the powder into your scalp either, but just make sure the roots have received a generous amount.

Add a Few Drops of Essential Oil

After you have given yourself a dry shampoo treatment, smooth a few drops of essential oil into the tips and middle of your hair to give it a fresh and clean feel like the one you experience when stepping out of the shower. Citrus, lemon, peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender essential oils are great for this purpose. Be sure to concentrate them at the ends, so that you don’t end up making your roots oily again.

Rotate Different Formulas

A variety of varying products will help you attack all sorts of hair gripe and prevent potential residue buildup

If You Go a Little Overboard, Keep Calm

When you are just starting out, you are very likely to apply more than what you need, when this happens, don’t panic –and certainly, don’t wash it out. Just apply a lightweight serum onto any white spots and chalky areas and work it in. Use your blow dryer on low heat and run your fingers into the hair to further work the formula into your hair.

Don’t Touch Your Hair, Seriously

Once you’ve applied the dry shampoo into your mane and styled your strands, try to resist the urge of continually running your fingers in your hair throughout the day. We all love doing this, but your hands’ natural oil can introduce grease in your hair once again.

Do Not Use on Sensitive Skin

If your scalp surfers from any form of irritation or sensitivity such as psoriasis, be sure to first test the dry shampoo on a small patch before applying to the whole head to avoid any further aggravation.

Pick the Right Color

Dry shampoos now come in a whole host of colors to make sure they blend into your roots. So to avoid the characteristic white residue that sometimes occurs, be sure to pick the right hue that closely resembles your hair.

How Often Can I Use Dry Shampoo?

Do not rely so much on your dry shampoo for several days a week. Overuse of dry shampoo can clog your hair follicles and disrupt the health balance of your scalp. Additionally, too much use of silica and starch-based dry shampoos can wear away the surface of your hair shafts, causing weakening and eventually breakage. To get sustainable great results and keep your hair safe, use the dry shampoo a couple of days per week and only apply the amount that you can brush in.

How Often Should You Wash Your Hair?

It can be tricky to go around washing your hair especially on those hot months, but trust me, there are plenty of reasons you should not wash your hair on a daily basis. I don’t mean you go a week or two without washing your hair, but skipping a few days per week can mean a huge difference. Here are some reasons you should actually STOP washing your hair daily:

• It Strips Your Hair Of Its Natural Oils: While it’s a fact that too much oil and grease in the hair is not necessarily good, some natural oil is essential for the growth and health of your hair. Over washing your hair can strip it of its natural oils hence leaving it drier and prone to breakage.

• It Fades Color Faster: Most toners and hair dyes eventually fade out; however, this is accelerated by too frequent washing and wet shampooing. To prevent the appearance of brassiness or fading and preserve the color of your hair, consider washing less frequent.

• It Dulls Shiny Locks: Washing less helps to restore the shine of your strands by preventing dryness and preserving luster

• It Causes More Split Ends: washing your hair daily doesn’t give it enough time to replenish its natural oils; as a result, the hair becomes dry, brittle and develops more split ends. Washing your hair every other day can help you solve this.

• Increases need for Heat Styling: Less heat styling is a good hair practice that can encourage faster growth. So when trying to grow your hair long, ovoid over washing and heat styling.

• It’s Expensive: Frequent washing means an additional budget for shampoo and conditioner. If you are on a tight budget, this is going to cost more every month to maintain.

• It Causes Product Buildup: one of the major reasons why we wash our hair is to strip it of styling products; however, the opposite might just be happening. Washing too frequently actually causes you to use more products, more often.

• It’s Time-Consuming: if you love dialing snooze a couple of times every morning like me, you will appreciate a hair cleaning method that takes lesser time, like dry shampooing for example. Having to wash and wait for your hair to dry every morning is not only time consuming but frustrating.

• You’ll Actually Develop Less Grease: while many of times you wash your hair to eliminate grease, it turns out that over washing your hair can cause your scalp to dry up and therefore trigger production of more oil to compensate.

• It Dries Out the Scalp: combining over washing and hot water can cause your scalp to become dry, which might cause dandruff! Recommendation? Skip washing every once in a while.

Some Dry Shampoo Products You Will Love

1. Klorane Tinted Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

The ultra-fine mist of Klorane uses rice powder and oat milk to remove excess oil in your hair without adding weight. When you run your fingers in your strands, they will feel clean even on day 3 or 4 of your style. Even if you have a blond hair, the tinted formula will still work perfectly on you since the color is subtle.

2. Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo Invisible Spray

The Blandi has a delicious citrus smell that is not overpowering and will leave your hair shiny and fresh within a single application. The shampoo was named top in the New York Magazine’s 2012 testing roundup. It’s quite strong and can make your scalp feel slightly dry of you overuse it.

3. Prive Volumizing Dry Shampoo

It might be slightly expensive, but it’s highly recommended for those wishing to create a beautiful and fresh-looking volume that will make it worth the price. The delicious smell is another plus mark

4. Pantene Original Fresh Dry Shampoo

Pantene’s dry shampoo is a perfect option especially in the morning when your mane has picked up some unwanted scent –it will see you power your blowout through one or two more days. With the clean feeling and fresh-smelling signature fragrance, no one will be able to tell you skipped a shampoo.

5. Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo

One of the biggest hassles of using a dry shampoo is the process of working and blending out the white residue that most products leave behind. The Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo comes in two colors; one for brunettes and a violet hue for higher colors. This lessens the hassle and provides just enough hold and texture to restore any areas that look a little flat.

6. TRESemme Fresh Start Shampoo, Dry

The TREsemme Fresh Start is made of some powerful ingredients including Starch, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Limonen, Citrus Tangerina Peel Extract (Tangerine), among others. The Fresh Start Dry shampoo transforms lifeless, limp hair into fresh clean hair while injecting volume. If you need to remove some strange scents and excess oil and still maintain your hair color with less washing, then this is your best bet.

7. Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo

Suave Keratin Infusion is a relatively cheap dry shampoo, but let that not deceive you. Suave’s formula works just as efficiently as most luxurious dry shampoos in the market. It’s particularly beneficial for frizzy hair.

8. Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo

Aveda is a non-aerosol powder mist that instantly revives your senses and hair by absorbing the excess oil between shampoos. It revives your hair after a workout, extends a great blow dry, and transforms your hair before a night out. The therapeutic aroma contains 25 pure plant and flower essences.

9. Batiste Dry Shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo can help keep your hair looking beautiful by instantly reviving lifeless, limp locks. It’s formulated with natural tapioca that helps to absorb excess oil and leave your hair looking refreshed. The Batiste dry shampoo is allergy tested and you can use it in between washes to give you fresh feel without having to worry about any nasty side effects.

10. PSSSST! Dry Shampoo Spray

Psssst Instant Dry Shampoo transforms your dull dirty hair instantly without washing. The product contains a perfect mix of powders to absorb excess oil, eliminate product build up and odor while boosting volume. Psssst contains Butane, Propane, Starch, SD Alcohol 40-B and Fragrance that work together to make your hair look, smell and feel freshly shampooed without using water.

Some other popular brands in the market include Aussie, Garnier, Fructis, Percy, Umberto, Argan, Sachajuan, and Furterer dry shampoos. Feel free to try out several brands before settling on what perfectly works for you.

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes

Cornstarch Dry Shampoo Recipe

Add a little bit of cornstarch to your roots then blend it through your hair. Give it 2-5 minutes to soak up the grease and dirt, then brush it out.

Salt + Cornmeal Dry Shampoo Recipe

Mix 1 cup of cornmeal and one tablespoon of salt, and put the mixture in some sort of shaker –a pepper or salt shaker can work just fine. Shake a bit of the mixture in your hair and brush to remove the oil and dirt.

Oatmeal + Baking Soda Dry Shampoo Recipe

Mix a cup of baking soda and cup of ground oatmeal, and put the mixture in your bathroom. It will come in handy as a dry shampoo on those days that you just don’t have time to wash your hair.

Cornmeal + Orris Root + Almonds Dry Shampoo Recipe

Combine one tablespoon of orris root, one tablespoon of cornmeal, and one tablespoon of very finely ground almonds. Be sure to brush your hair well before applying the mixture and brush it out to remove the dirt and oil after working it in your hair.

Arrowroot powder + Cocoa powder + Essential Oil Dry Shampoo

For those with dark hair, mix 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder, 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder and 3-5 drops of essential oils such as peppermint, lemon, rosemary, lemongrass, bergamot or lime. Apply as a normal powder dry shampoo.


Dry shampoos are not only a big time and money saver, but they work hard to keep your hair looking, smelling and feeling fresh all day long. It will lessen washing and traditional shampooing which often weakens your hair strands, fades your dyes and disrupts your hair style. So if you need to get rid of dirt and excess oil in your hair, just spray your favorite brand in your roots, work it in and brush it out for a refreshing new look.