Remember when dry shampoo first appeared, and we all wondered, “how can we wash our hair without water?” Turns out we can, and almost everyone keeps a bottle of the magical stuff on hand. 

When and How to Use Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is a blessing in disguise for all those busy people out there, especially women who want to always look their best even if they are just staying home for the day. It has so many benefits that the minute a girl gets her hands on a bottle, it makes her happy. You can easily disguise those greasy roots and walk into the office with confidence a day or two after shampooing. Not to mention, you can also flaunt a flawless hairstyle, while having super soft hair; dry shampoo makes it all possible! 

Dry shampoo isn’t just for cleaning your hair. Spraying a little at the roots before or after styling also adds tremendous volume. If you have been contemplating getting a bottle of dry shampoo, then let’s look at how you can use it to its full potential. 

1. Spraying Distance For Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos tend to come in small bottles and many people believe they need to get it as close to their hair to be precise. This could result in too much shampoo getting sprayed in one area, leaving your hair wet. The best way to use dry shampoo is to spray it from a distance of about 8 inches from your hair, holding the bottle in an upright position. 

Lift the hair in sections, spraying different areas of the roots, and also the rest of your hair. Focus on areas where you know your hair can look greasy, such as near the temples. 

After spraying all of the right areas, rub the dry shampoo in gently with your fingers, sort of giving your scalp a quick massage. 

2. Brush It 

Brush It

A common question most women have is whether they need to brush their hair as soon as they use dry shampoo or should they wait for a while. It’s always better to brush as soon as you use the shampoo because this helps to evenly distribute it throughout your hair and also take out the excess product. If you are looking for texture with dry shampoo, then use a comb instead of a brush so you can leave the excess in there. 

Just keep an eye out for any visible product left behind. Most dry shampoos can leave a white residue, which is easily brushed out. But if you aren’t brushing completely, you may notice a powdery look in some areas. It’s no biggie. Just comb it out and enjoy your freshly dry cleaned hair!

Another note about the brush or comb you opt to use. We often hear women asking if there is a specific type of comb or brush that works best with shampoo. While there are specific combs and brushes out there that say they are best for dry shampoo or that they are made just to use with dry shampoo, they are not necessary. We recommend that you use something that can be washed, but since that is maintenance you should be doing anyway, you can likely use the comb or brush you use regularly anyway. 

Comb It

3. Do Not Use It for Days On End 

It is important to cleanse your scalp just like the rest of your body. While dry shampoo is great to use once or maybe twice in a week, using it regularly would be like applying makeup on your face over and over again without taking off the previous day’s make up. This will not allow your scalp to breathe and it will affect the overall quality of your hair, plus it could lead to trouble on the skin of your scalp. 

People need to understand that dry shampoo is not a cleansing product. It is just something that will temporally refresh your hair and help you style it better in between those wash days. However, this doesn’t mean you can replace washing your hair by using dry shampoo regularly. 

4. Use A Hair Dryer After Dry Shampooing Your Hair 

If you are looking to style your hair in the best possible manner, then you need that shampoo to get locked right in there. Unlike regular shampoo, you want the dry shampoo to stick a bit, adding that gorgeous volume. The best way to do that is to use a hairdryer after you’ve sprayed the shampoo. Go from the root to the end of your hair because this will help give your hair an even look and make it easier to handle. 

5. Spray Your Full Hair 

A rookie mistake people make is just spraying the roots of their hair to avoid that greasy feeling. That’s not how you should ideally use dry shampoo. It should be spread evenly throughout your hair to give it a uniform look and increase its volume. Only spraying the roots often makes just the top part of your hair look puffy while the rest of it will look limp. 

Spray Your Full Hair

6. Do Not Substitute Dry Shampoo for The Real Thing 

You must remember that dry shampoo is not a cleanser. Using it multiple times in a week can result in hair loss. If you have been using dry shampoo more than required and started to lose a lot of hair we have shampoos, conditioners, and treatments that help you strengthen, regrow, and revitalize your hair. 

Overuse of dry shampoo could result in an extremely dry scalp that could cause: 

  • Dermatitis of the scalp 
  • Dandruff 
  • Folliculitis 
  • Dirt accumulation 
  • Increased hair loss 

Let’s discuss the differences between these and why they are bad for your hair.

Dermatitis of The Scalp

Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp is a common skin condition mainly on the scalp, but can occur on other areas of the body as well. It creates red, scaly patches of skin that are itchy, and sometimes dandruff appears. If bad enough, these patches can interfere with your hair follicles, negatively affecting hair growth.

Dermatitis is usually treated fairly easily with a medicated shampoo prescribed from your dermatologist. Many people find natural alternatives such as tea tree oil to also be helpful. 


Dandruff causes dry flakes to shed from your scalp, which can be very annoying as it may be seen in your hair, or even on your clothing. 

Dandruff is a result of dry scalp or a fungal condition on the scalp. It can usually be kept under control with dandruff shampoos, or natural essential oils such as tea tree oil or thyme.


Folliculitis is an inflammatory condition of the hair follicles. Sometimes little red bumps or pimples can be seen or felt around the hair follicles, as a sign of folliculitis. This can cause blockage around the hair follicles and that is not good.

To remedy folliculitis, keep the scalp clean, and occasionally use a hot compress, such as a warm washcloth, held at the infected areas. This helps to soothe the inflammation and drain any pustules if necessary.

Sometimes antibiotics are needed to cure folliculitis. Consider adding plenty of garlic to your diet if you are having this type of fungal issue. Garlic is known for its antifungal properties. 

Dirt Accumulation

This one is pretty obvious. We can enjoy our dry shampoo when needed, but there is no substitution for washing our hair with water and shampoo, if too much grease and dirt has accumulated. A clean scalp equals happy scalp and happy hair. 

It is ok and important to give your scalp and hair a break from regular shampooing. Just remember that dry shampoo isn’t actually cleaning the dirt out of your hair. It is, however, making it manageable for a day. Just like with everything else in life, balance is the key.

Increased Hair Loss

We know what increased hair loss is, so there isn’t much need to explain. It is important to understand that our scalp needs to stay nourished and moisturized to give us a better chance at reducing hair loss. 

Dry shampoo has its place. We just need to not use it too often, so our scalp doesn’t dry out and put us at risk for things like hair loss. 

All of the above scalp conditions we discussed aren’t directly caused by dry shampoo. Dry shampoo is a wonderful and helpful part of our beauty routine. However, dry shampoo does not add moisture to our scalp, and cannot truly clean our scalp. So, the danger comes with overuse. 

Just as you wouldn’t want to add an oil absorbing product over and over to your face, never adding any moisture, the same goes for your scalp. It can be easy to forget that our scalp is skin. We need to treat it delicately, even though we cannot see it. 

You should wash your hair regularly with your everyday shampoo and water if you want to maintain good hair health. Giving your hair a break from that shampoo once in a while is helpful for your scalp. Whether using regular shampoo or the occasional dry shampoo, watch for dryness in your hair and scalp, and take steps to remedy the dryness as soon as you see the first signs.

Add moisture when necessary according to your scalp health and hair type. Speak with your hair stylist about moisturizing recommendations for your hair. A few days a month, set aside the time for special moisturizing treatments that could help keep dry scalp issues away, and your hair looking and feeling beautiful.

7. Use Dry Shampoo to Add Volume 

Your hair will start looking dull and limp the second day after shampooing. If you need to go somewhere or you have a function that you have to attend, use dry shampoo to add volume to your hair and get that bounce back. 

Use it to Add Volume

This works especially well for fine, thin hair. If you have a hard time adding some “oomph” to your hair, or making it last, dry shampoo can be really helpful. Use it in place of your shampoo for a night out, or add it to your roots after washing and drying. You’ll notice the difference immediately. It can really poof up your roots. 

8. Use Dry Shampoo When You Travel 

If you are a frequent traveler and you need to constantly go places for work or personal commitments, then using dry shampoo on these trips could be a good idea. Some places have hard water problems which could affect the quality of your hair. If you don’t want to risk washing your hair in an alien place and the trip isn’t too long, you can always use dry shampoo and make your hair look fresh. 

9. Keep Dry Shampoo in Your Office Drawer 

We all have those bad hair days. While it is fine on a normal office day where no one really notices your hair, it could become a nightmare if there is a presentation or a client meeting and you know all eyes will be on you. Keeping your dry shampoo as backup to just let your hair loose when you have to shine is a smart move. All you need to do is run to the ladies’ room, spray it, brush it and boom, you are ready to rock it. 

10. Carry Dry Shampoo in Your Purse 

If you suddenly decided to go out on a date or a random evening out with your girl gang, there’s no shame in wanting to look your best. Dry shampoos come in really tiny spray cans, making it easy for you to carry around. If you feel your hair is too frizzy or greasy for the evening, spray on some shampoo and you will be ready to make the most of your night.

Is Dry Shampoo Safe if I Color My Hair?

The good news is that dry shampoo is safe for all types of hair. Even if you color your hair, you can use dry shampoo. It is just recommended that you find a shampoo that specifically says that it is formulated for hair that has been colored or dyed. Many dry shampoo options are safe, but it is best to make sure if you aren’t sure. There are even some types of dry shampoo out there that add in a slight hint of a specific color when you use it. That can make your color even brighter just by getting a cleaner and volumized look to your hair. 

What About Permed Hair? Can I Use It Then?

The chemicals used to perm hair can be harsh on your hair. That makes using dry shampoo often potentially dangerous. However, if you need it for an occasional boost, it shouldn’t do anything to your hair that would lead to long-term damage. Just like we mentioned for color-treated hair, we recommend that you look for a variety of dry shampoo that is specially formulated for more fragile hair. That way, your risk of doing damage to your hair is minimized. 

Can I Apply Dry Shampoo to Extensions?

We do not recommend that you ever apply dry shampoo to a weave or extension. It can damage the hair, even if you only apply the shampoo to your natural roots. 

Can Men Use Dry Shampoo, Too?

While most dry shampoo products are marketed and even made for women, that does not mean that only women can use the product. There are plenty of companies producing dry shampoo for men as well. They come in less feminine scents and they are specifically made to combat some of the normal issues that men’s hair can face. 

What is Dry Shampoo Made Out of?

Unlike regular shampoo which is made out of water and cleansing agents used to rid your hair of dirt and oils, dry shampoo focuses on absorbing that oil. That is why the main products in dry shampoo are often alcohol, clay, talc, and starch. 

The problem is alcohol is very drying for your hair. To opt for a dry shampoo without alcohol, read the labels, and look for a powder form that you sprinkle at your roots rather than a spray. The alcohol is needed in the spray to allow the dry shampoo to dry quickly.

Is Dry Shampoo Vegan?

For those that want animal-safe products to use, you can rest assured that nearly all dry shampoo products on the market are vegan. To be sure, make sure you read the bottle or can of the dry shampoo you want to purchase. However, it is often a safe-bet to use dry shampoo and not have to worry about any type of animal product used in your shampoo.

Making Dry Shampoo at Home

If the last thing you want is another chemical to spray on your head, or you simply enjoy making things naturally and at home, there are some very simple ways to achieve a dry shampoo, clean and volumizing look, with products in your kitchen. 

Basically, you will want both cornstarch and baking soda. That is all you need! Cornstarch will actually do the trick, but baking soda is a great addition because it absorbs odor. Let’s face it, sometimes after a few days without a thorough washing from our regular shampoo, hair can begin to truly smell kind of oily. 

There are plenty of recipes out there, but most suggest about ¼ cup cornstarch and a tablespoon of baking soda if you want to add that. You can even add a dash of unsweetened cocoa powder to the mix if you have dark hair. Isn’t that brilliant? This way the white powder won’t stand out against your dark hair. 

Other ingredients you can try are arrowroot, which is similar to cornstarch, charcoal, especially for dark hair, even cinnamon for red hair or a strawberry blonde. Imagine how yummy that would smell! Just don’t eat your new dry shampoo! 

After experimenting and mixing up your new concoction, funnel it into a cleaned-out salt-shaker or any kind of shaker bottle for easy shaking of the product onto your roots. Or you can keep it in a container with a lid, and use an old, but clean make up brush to apply to your roots. Have fun with it! The more you experiment, the more options you will find that will suit your needs and provide the results you are looking for. Just don’t forget to keep an eye on the condition of your hair between uses and keep it moisturized so it stays healthy.

Should I Use Dry Conditioner, Too?

On top of using dry shampoo, there are also different makers of dry conditioner. This can be used following your dry shampoo to help increase the moisture in your hair. This should go on the ends of your hair and keep split ends away. This is a great way of adding just a little extra moisture to your hair. However, it is not going to reverse damage if you use dry shampoo too often, so make sure that you keep its use to occasional. 

Overall Dry Shampoo Benefits

Overall Dry Shampoo Benefits

Most dry shampoos are specially formulated to soak up excess oil on the scalp and hair and add a volumizing boost and a pleasant scent. Dry shampoo has its fair share of benefits when used properly. However, just like any other product, you need to avoid overusing it or you will risk damaging your hair. Keep in mind, if your hair is thinning or you are losing your hair, it could be due to an underlying health issue. As always, you should see your doctor to get to the root cause of your health and hair problems.

Make sure that when you do use the hair product, you use it the right way so that you get the maximum benefit out of it. It’s not rocket science and you can spray it on really quickly, making it the ideal solution for the busy independent person. Now you never need to worry about a bad hair day again!

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