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Does Dry Shampoo Work? We Set the Record Straight

August 15, 2022 3 min read

woman holding dry shampoos

Will dry shampoo work to clean and refresh your hair like regular shampoo? Not quite. But it can make it look like it does. So, dry shampoo makes for a great complement to a regular shampooing routine and can come in handy in a pinch.

What Is Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is a hair care product containing either starch-based or alcohol-based sprays that eliminate oils, dirt, and grease in the hair. As a powder, it uses no water to work and, therefore, offers an alternative to washing your hair with regular shampoo and conditioner bars. You'll often find dry shampoo in the form of an aerosol spray, but you can also find it in dry powder form that's aerosol- and alcohol-free.

Explore Our Dry Shampoo Powder

Some dry shampoos contain additional fragrances to help your hair smell fresh and clean. Whether those fragrances are natural or synthetic may be a factor to consider when you shop for dry shampoo powder.

How Dry Shampoo Works

To understand how dry shampoo works requires understanding a bit about how hair works. Covering the scalp are follicles that not only sprout hairs but also produce sebum, which is a natural oil that makes your scalp softer and helps moisturize your hair. While sebum is necessary for healthy hair and to protect the skin beneath it, it can build up and collect grease, oil and sweat from the scalp throughout the day, giving hair a greasy look.

The starch or alcohol in dry shampoo absorbs excess grease, oil and dirt from the hair, leaving behind a fresher and cleaner look. Note, however, that dry shampoo only offers an improvement in your hair’s appearance; it does not actually clean your hair or physically remove any oil or dirt. For that, you still need to wash with regular shampoo. In any case, when you need your hair to look clean and fresh, dry shampoo can help you delay washing your hair with a shampoo bar without your hair looking greasy and oily in the meantime.

What Can Dry Shampoo Help With?

When you don’t have time for a shower, dry shampoo can help make your hair look like you took one after all. After squeezing in a quick workout midday, just add a little dry shampoo into your hair to look clean and fresh for the rest of your day. When you’ve been traveling a while and you start feeling greasy and grubby, some dry shampoo can help your hair look and feel better until you can wash it fully again. Some people even use dry shampoo to extend the life of a blowout from a salon. It can also be helpful when you run out of regular shampoo or have an issue with your plumbing.

You can make dry shampoo a useful part of your regular hair care routine by supplementing your hair-washing schedule with it. It may not be healthy to wash, blow-dry, and style your hair daily. But, if you only wash your hair every other day, you may want something to help your hair retain its fresh, clean appearance on the off days. Enter dry shampoo!

Dry Shampoo

How to Use Dry Shampoo

Before using dry shampoo, make sure to remove any barrettes, hair ties, or pins from your hair.

Using dry shampoo from there is a simple, two-step process:

  1. Apply it to the hair directly to the roots, remembering to include the hair on the crown of your head, the nape of your neck, the back of your head, and above the ears.
  2. Work it in with your fingers, massaging it into the hair thoroughly.

If you want to add some natural bounce or volume, you can blast it with cool air from a blow dryer. But, otherwise, that's it. When using dry shampoo, give particular focus to the crown of your hair where grease and oil may noticeably collect, making the hair in that area look excessively shiny.

me rubbing in my powder dry shampoo

Will Dry Shampoo Really Work?

Dry shampoo works to help make your hair look clean; it does not work to clean your hair. It works to disguise the grease, oil, and dirt on your scalp, not actually eliminate it. The effectiveness of dry shampoo may depend on the natural texture of your hair. While dry shampoo can make a valuable addition to your hair care product arsenal, beware of overusing it. Like over-washing your hair, overusing dry shampoo can lead to a dry and itchy scalp.

dry shampoos on white

Find a Natural Dry Shampoo for You

Shop Today

Dry shampoo is the perfect addition to your hair care routine to battle any greasiness while holding off on fully washing your hair. When you are searching for a dry shampoo, take note of the ingredients to eliminate harmful products. If you want to shop intentionally, shop mindfully and shop thoughtfully for your hair care needs, shop with The Earthling Co.


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