Dry Shampoo: What Is It & How To Use It

Dry Shampoo: What Is It & How To Use It

Dry shampoos are a favourite product for those who don't have time for daily hair washing, particularly for people with long hair. But is dry shampoo actually good for a hair refresh and are we using it correctly? Here, we look at what dry shampoo is, how to use it to get the best results and when not to use it.

What is dry shampoo?

The name dry shampoo is a bit misleading because unlike their wet counterparts, dry shampoos don't actually wash your hair. Instead, dry shampoos typically contain powders, like starch, cornflower or talcum powder, which absorb the grease and oils that build up, naturally, in your hair

How does dry shampoo work?

These powders in dry shampoos, when applied correctly, will soak up the excess sebum – the natural moisturiser that your skin and hair produces – on your hair follicles and scalp. This can give your hair a fresher appearance and feel.

Does dry shampoo clean your hair?

Dry shampoo does not clean your hair. It's important to note that although it absorbs the oils that can make your hair feel dirty or greasy, it isn't cleaning your hair. You will still need to wash your hair regularly to make sure your hair and scalp stay clean. Overuse of dry shampoo, without washing, can lead to dry hair and an itchy scalp.

How to use dry shampoo

Dry shampoos come in an aerosol-based can that enable you to spray it onto your hair. You should apply to the roots of your hair to get to the primary build-up of oils on your scalp and roots of your hair follicles. You can also spray over oily parts of your hair as needed, spraying from a minimum distance as stated on the container. Once applied, brush through your hair and massage into your roots and scalp. This will ensure the best absorption. 

Dry shampoo can be used to refresh your look, concealing greasy roots, giving volume and lift to your hair and generally making your hair feel cleaner. 

The best tips to remember when using dry shampoo are:

  • only spray oily areas, not all over
  • distribute around the scalp with massaging, rather than overspraying
  • gently brush through hair
  • don't use on ends, as this will overdry them and can cause splitting

How often can you use dry shampoo?

We recommend you use dry shampoo for two to three days. After that, you will need to use a wet shampoo to wash your hair properly. You can use dry shampoo multiple times per day, to restyle and remove greasiness as needed. 

Do not use with wet hair

Dry shampoo shouldn't be applied to wet hair. This is because it will absorb the water rather than any oils in your hair. You could also end up using too much and then be left with clay-like clumps of powder on your hair.

Best dry shampoos

There are lots of dry shampoos on the market, some with scents or tints – which can be helpful for covering up roots that are showing in dyed hair. A couple that we would recommend are:

Your dry shampoo FAQs: Answered

Can dry shampoo cause hair loss?

Overuse of dry shampoo can cause hair follicles to break, leading to hair loss. Dry shampoo is a quick, cover-up for oily hair but not a way of cleaning your hair. Think of it like a hairspray that needs to be washed out regularly. 

Can dry shampoo cause dandruff?

Dry shampoo can clog the pores in your scalp creating dry skin and spots, so don't over-rely on it. If you leave it on your hair, without washing with regular shampoo, your hair will stop getting the natural oils it needs to stay healthy, which can lead to dermatitis and dandruff.