Confused about how to use dry shampoo? I get it. People rave about how amazing it is, but unless you’re using it right it seems to be pointless or just weighs your hair down.
I’ve been using it off and on for years but never really understood the best way to use dry shampoo. It just seemed to make my hair feel overloaded with product, greasy and heavy.
I used to think that I knew the right way to use it until I talked to my hairstylist (the lovely Jenna from Cajah Salon)! I told her how I used it every once in a while but it didn’t work for my hair.
Turns out I was not only using it wrong, but there are so many more ways to use it than just in the morning to soak up some extra oil!
There are also lots of common mistakes people make when using it – many of which I was doing! Tune in below for some dry shampoo tips and tricks!
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First of all, what is dry shampoo and how does it work?
Dry shampoo (as the name implies) is a type of shampoo which reduces hair greasiness without having to use water. It comes in powder form but most commonly in aerosol cans.
You can also make your own dry shampoo. If you search on Pinterest or just good ole Google, you’ll find a ton of DIY recipes for dry shampoo. I’ve never tried them though but I have a few friends who swear by it!
Dry shampoo is usually made with some sort of starch blend which helps absorb oil, dirt and product buildup.
Is dry shampoo good for your hair?
This is a highly debated subject. Obviously you don’t want to only use dry shampoo for weeks on end because it doesn’t actually clean your hair.
However, using it for a few days to eliminate the amount of heat used on your hair (in the form of hair driers or curling irons/flat irons) can definitely prevent you from damaging your hair more from heat.
Just be sure to continue to actually wash your hair and massage your scalp when you do so to ensure you get an product build up cleaned.
6 Tips for How to Use Dry Shampoo
Here are a few tips and tricks for using dry shampoo and some of my favorite brands!
1. Use your fingers!
When using dry shampoo in the morning on day (or few day) old hair, first spray it all over your scalp. It’s best to separate your hair into different layers or sections.
I typically pull all the hair from mid-ear up out of the way and spray my scalp. Then I go up a few inches, spray, and then finish with the top layer.
Make sure you’re actually getting in on your scalp and not just on the hair. Don’t spray the ends of your hair, that won’t do anything if you’re trying to eliminate excess oil!
Wait a few minutes to let it dry. Then use your fingers to massage it into your scalp. This helps it actually do it’s job rather than just sitting on the surface.
2. Use it at night.
The night before your second or third day hair, brush your hair and then spray dry shampoo at the roots. (Use the method I mentioned above to get it throughout your hair.)
Doing this helps absorb oil as it’s produced. That way you’re not waking up to more oil on your scalp, the dry shampoo is working while you sleep! If you feel like you’re hair is a bit greasy when you wake up, you can add more in the morning if needed.
This trick has transformed my hair! When I do this, I wake up with volume in my hair rather than have it flat and limp. This is my favorite trick!
3. Use it for texture.
Use a dry shampoo that has some grip or hold (this one is my favorite!) for added texture. This way it can double as a texture spray and eliminate one more product you need to add (and one less product you need to purchase).
I spray this not only at my scalp but also within my layers to add volume throughout my hair. I always curl or wave my hair in layers. Once I’m finished with a layer, I spray the texture spray in before letting down more hair.
4. Hold back combing in.
Spray your dry shampoo at your roots before back combing. This will help to keep it from slipping out!
I do this when I put my hair extensions in. Nobody wants a weave falling out at dinner! 😉
Back combing is great for adding lift and volume to your hair. When you marry that with dry shampoo you can fake a ton of volume super easily!
5. Add bulk to hairstyles.
Want to add (fake) thickness to your hair? Spray a dry shampoo all over your hair (not just the roots) before braiding or putting it in a top knot.
After the dry shampoo dries, do whatever hairstyle you wanted to do. Then, gently pull on the outer stands of the braid or bun to get a bulkier look.
As you pull out the strands, the dry shampoo will prevent it from all falling out and causing you to start over. Be sure to tug gently so you don’t overdo it!
I love this trick for my favorite hairstyle – it’s my secret weapon to fake thick hair!
6. Don’t spray it too close to your head.
Hold the can about 10 inches from your scalp when spraying! Spraying too close will cause build up and not allow the dry shampoo to do it’s job.
Ok, now that you know how to use dry shampoo, here are some recommended dry shampoos.
Dry Shampoos I Love!
I swear by this one (thanks to the recommendation by Jenna). It is more expensive than a lot of dry shampoos but I’m a believer.
If you have thick hair you may not need this but for someone with fine hair, this dramatically makes a difference. My hair looks way more thick and voluminous with this spray!
Pro tip: Try a travel size first before investing in a full size. No sense in wasting money if you don’t love it!
All the same sentiments as above except this one is perfect for those days when you don’t need as much volume or texture.
I use this one on my roots when I’m doing updos or just having a simple style.
I love how this one smells! It does a fabulous job at actually cleaning my hair and making it feel fresh.
It features fast-absorbing powders to soak up oil and sweat. It doesn’t weigh it down or cause it to feel heavy.
And bonus, it neutralizes odor and has a time-release fragrance that keeps hair smelling clean all day!
This is a great lower price option to the Oribe dry texturing spray. It’s light with some good texture!
I use this one for my day to day so I don’t use up my more expensive Oribe spray when it’s only the kids who see my hair. 😉
You can easily pick this one up at Target which is an added bonus!
I have yet to use this one but it comes highly recommended by Jenna! I use R&Co’s Shine and Texture spray and it has been a game changer with styling my hair so I’m sure their dry shampoo is just as amazing.
And let’s be real, the packaging is amazing on these.
Brunettes, this one is for you! They have an option for dark hair that doesn’t give brunettes a dull, powdery look.
I think Moroccanoil is the only brand that creates a dark tone option!
I actually use this one at night (see #2 above). It’s very inexpensive so I don’t feel bad using it before sleeping and it does a good job at adding volume! 🙂
I hope this helps you find a brand that you love and officially know how to use dry shampoo!
You can see how I use dry shampoo when I do fishtail braids to make them look extra thick on this post or check out this post for 9 mistakes that are destroying your hair!
Are there other ways you use dry shampoo that I’m missing? Let me know!
Thanks so much for reading!