6 Do’s and Don’ts of Using Dry Shampoo You Need to Know

Whether you’re not willing to part ways with your amazing blow-out or rushing to get ready for work after hitting the snooze button a few too many times, you end up not washing your hair. Though a lot of women are used to washing their strands only every couple of days, your hair may look sebaceous after one day if you’re still adjusting. That’s where dry shampoo comes in. Typically derived from cornstarch, dry shampoo absorbs excess grease and gives your hair that fresh-out-of-the salon look once again.

So, dry shampoo is a complete miracle product, right? Not so fast. When used incorrectly, or in excess, this handy mixture can actually wreak havoc on your hair. To make sure you’re using it right, check out our list of six easy rules to follow.

1. Do try out different mixtures

young brunette with curly hair buying hairspray

Spend some time shopping around for the perfect dry shampoo for you. | iStock.com/JackF

Dry shampoo usually comes in three different forms: powder, liquid, and aerosol spray. And as you may have suspected, not all dry shampoos are created equal. In addition to gravitating toward a particular form, just about every brand has its own take on this medicine cabinet staple. Instead of swearing off dry shampoo because one mixture left your hair sticky, move onto the next option.

There are tons of dry shampoos on the market, so you’re bound to find one you like. However, until you find that perfect dry shampoo, we recommend picking up travel sizes of all your choices. That way, you’ll save money and product.

2. Don’t forget to rub it in…

young lady blow drying long hair

You should definitely rub in the dry shampoo. | iStock.com/fabianaponzi

Unlike hairspray or your signature fragrance, you can’t spritz on dry shampoo right before leaving your house. Though the mixture exists to make your beauty routine easier, it still requires some styling. Most options leave a powdery, white residue on your hair and unless you massage it into your scalp, it’s just going to sit there. Nobody wants to look like they have unkempt grey roots, or like they don’t know how to use dry shampoo, so we recommend you firmly rub your scalp until the white color dissipates. The whole process will be more enjoyable if you think of it as a mini pampering session.

And don’t be fooled, dear reader: Some brands have tinted dry shampoos that are created for blondes, brunettes, and red heads. Not only should you double-check that you’re picking the correct color for your hair, but you should also ensure you’re rubbing it in.

3. … but do wait a couple minutes to do so

woman applying dry shampoo

Patience is key. | iStock.com/LiudmylaSupynska

While it’s important to blend your dry shampoo in with your hair, don’t rub your scalp right away. Confused? Allow us to explain. As we mentioned before, dry shampoo absorbs excess grease so your hair can look luscious. Like anything else, it takes time to soak up all that oil, and massaging your scalp prematurely may hinder the entire process. Instead, Good Housekeeping recommends you wait a couple minutes before rubbing your scalp. We suggest applying dry shampoo before brushing your teeth or perfecting that sweet cat-eye. By the time you’re finished with those last-minute tasks, you’ll be in dire need of a quick scalp massage.

4. Don’t touch your hair

woman holding her hands in hair

Keep your hands off of your hair to prevent it from becoming greasy. | iStock.com/grinvalds

We’re all guilty of touching our hair. Some people twist their strands when they’re nervous, and others methodically rotate from a ponytail, to a messy bun, to a half-up over the course of a single day. Little do you know, you may be doing more harm than good. You touch everything from the subway pole on your morning commute to your delicious lunch at the office. No matter how many times you wash your hands, your fingertips are covered with natural and artificial oils. If you touch your locks, all those oils you worked so hard to cover up will transfer onto your hair. Gross. Do us — we really mean yourself — a favor and keep your hands far away.

5. Do keep your distance

young girl applying hair spray on her hair

Don’t hold the bottle too close to your scalp. | iStock.com/fizkes

Your hair’s grease and oils come from your scalp, so you only need to spritz your roots with dry shampoo. If your ends are starting to look really greasy, the universe is basically begging you to take a shower. If you choose to use an aerosol mix, create some distance between the nozzle. Getting up close and personal is a big waste of product, not to mention it’ll be even more difficult to blend that white residue in with the rest of your hair. Most experts recommend you spray dry shampoo 10 inches away from your roots, but StyleCaster says six inches is fine if you’re crammed for space.

6. Don’t rely on dry shampoo

back side of young female showering under refreshing water

Dry shampoo can’t replace washing your hair. | iStock.com/Anna Omelchenko

Repeat after us: Dry shampoo is not real shampoo. While the hair care wonder is great in a pinch, let’s not forget you’re essentially coating your scalp with unnatural ingredients like clay, cornstarch, and alcohol. And unless you clean your hair afterwards, that mixture just sits there. You wouldn’t apply another layer of makeup without washing your face, so why would you do that with your hair? Plus, adding more and more dry shampoo to your hair can eventually clog your follicles, creating even more problems. Err on the side of caution and alternate between using dry shampoo and giving your locks the deep, thorough wash it deserves.

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