Dry shampoo has to be one of the greatest gifts the beauty world has ever given us. It disguises greasy roots, gives great texture and allows us to rock second-day hairstyles effortlessly. Plus, it means we’re able to wash out hair less often, meaning we spend less time in our daily shower. So, actually, dry shampoo is helping to save the planet. It’s literally a hero.
If you’re using it correctly, it can do all of the above and more. But if you’re sitting there going ‘why is everyone so obsessed with this product? It does absolutely NOTHING for me’, it may be because you’re not using it quite right.
Here’s every DO and every DON’T to know for your best dry shampoo experience yet.
Don’t sub it for the real thing
“Dry shampoo is not a cleanser – it’s simply a powder that sops up excess oil,” says Lars Skjoth, head scientist and founder of Scandinavian brand Harklinikken, which specialises in hair-loss treatment products. “This powder can dry the scalp, causing reactions like dermatitis, dandruff and folliculitis (an infection that can inflame the hair follicle).” The only way to remove dead cells, sweat and oil is to use real shampoo, says Anabel Kingsley, trichologist at Philip Kingsley.
DO use it to add volume
If you thought dry shampoo could only be used on dirty hair, you were wrong. If you have thin, fine or limp hair, it can also make for a great volumiser. Try spraying it at the roots and then backcombing for a serious lift effect.
DON’T spray too close
Most dry shampoo instructions say to spray from 10-15cm away; Batiste expert Val Benavides says this is because “the product is too concentrated in a small area and could potentially become wet.”
The best practice is to spray from a fair distance away, then leave for a minute or two (to allow the dry shampoo to soak up excess oil) before styling. According to Patrick Wilson, hairdresser and GHD creative artist, the optimal distance is 10cm from the head. “Not too close so that the product becomes too concentrated in one spot but not too far as to not be effective.”
DO brush it through
Spray it and leave it? You’re asking for residue.
“If you are predominately using dry shampoo for sebum or oily roots rescue, brush it through your hair to remove excess product”, says Val.
However, if you’re after texture and volume, Val says leaving it as is “can be a great foundation for updos”.
DON’T use it for days on end
Your scalp, like the rest of your skin, benefits from being cleansed. As Val puts it, “would you keep layering makeup on top of itself day after day without removing it?”
While dry shampoo is the ultimate hair refresher and will keep your style lasting longer than usual, it doesn’t replace a hair wash forever.
“How long you can go depends on your hair and scalp”, says Val. “In general, I would say dry shampoo can prolong a style for a day or two.”