We’re not usually ones for grand proclamations, but dry shampoo is the best thing to ever happen to the hair industry. Think about it. Our hair care routines require so many steps and countless products—who actually has time to wash their hair every day? Skipping a wash day used to mean dealing with unsightly greasy strands, but limp blowouts are a thing of the past, thanks to dry shampoo.
It's not enough to just have dry shampoo in your bathroom cabinet, though; to reap the full benefits of this miracle product, you need to know how to use it the right way. We tapped Cassondra Kaeding, Redken ambassador and colorist, to find out everything you need to know about dry shampoo, how to use it, and hacks that allow you to prolong your hair color.
What is dry shampoo and how does it work?
Dry shampoo is typically a powder or spray formula that refreshes your hair in between washes. It’s excellent for masking the appearance of oily roots and can sometimes give your style more volume.
While dry shampoo is great at refreshing and extending the life of your style, it should not take the place of your regular shampoo routine. Despite the moniker shampoo, dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean your hair. In fact, skipping multiple wash days and relying on dry shampoo can lead to major build-up on your scalp.
Do you use water with dry shampoo?
You may wonder, “Do I have to wash my hair after using dry shampoo?” but rest assured, these products don’t require you to hop in the shower. Think of them as a shortcut to scoring clean, fresh hair with half the time or effort. Your slashed water bill will thank you later.
Is dry shampoo okay for your hair?
When used the right way, dry shampoo is perfectly safe to use on your hair. Overusing the product (we’re talking more than one or two times per week) can allow product build-up, excess oil, and residue to collect on your hair and scalp. You’ll need to use a regular shampoo and conditioner every few days to cleanse your mane thoroughly.
Benefits of Using Dry Shampoo
Other than the obvious perk of being able to skip washing your hair, using dry shampoo has another benefit for people who salon color their mane.
“Using dry shampoo can help prolong your visits to the salon to get your color done. The more frequently you wash your hair, the more likely your hair color will fade. I like to tell my clients to wait a few days after their color service to wash their hair. A dry shampoo can help them get through those few days,” Kaeding explains.
How many times a week should you use dry shampoo?
While skipping wash day can help you keep your hair color longer, that doesn’t mean you can give up washing your hair for good. Kaeding suggests washing your hair at least once or twice weekly in between dry shampoo applications.
How long do you leave dry shampoo in?
Dry shampoo can remain in the hair until your next wash day, but the exact time frame can vary from person to person. A good rule of thumb is to use a clarifying shampoo as soon as you see build-up accumulate on the scalp or if your locks feel stiff or dry. When in doubt, follow Kaeding’s guidelines above to suds up at least once a week.
When should I use dry shampoo?
Dry shampoo can either be used at the first signs of oily roots or as a preventative measure to keep the grease from showing up. They don’t stop there, though! Dry shampoos also work wonders at giving clean or finer hair added grip, so they better retain their styles.
Pro tip: Apply your dry shampoo to your strands before bedtime and allow it to absorb into your hair overnight. You’ll wake up with refreshed strands without any residue.
How do you use dry shampoo correctly?
Using dry shampoo correctly is contingent upon which formula you opt for. Yes, there’s more than one type of dry shampoo—and the one you choose should depend on the results you’re trying to achieve! Here’s a breakdown of the various dry shampoos and how to use each one correctly.
Dry shampoo sprays are the products you’re likely the most familiar with. These formulas are spray-in, waterless products that absorb oil and refresh oily hair.
How to Use Dry Shampoo Spray
First, thoroughly shake the can of dry shampoo to ensure the product is ready for an even application. Then, hold the can eight to 10 inches away from your head; if math isn’t your strong suit (we’re writers, we get it), use the length of the can of dry shampoo as your marker. Spray the dry shampoo evenly on the crown of your head, and use your fingers to rake the formula through your strands. Lift small sections of hair around your hairline and spray the dry shampoo underneath your strands, aiming the formula towards your roots.
Continue spraying and raking the formula through your strands until you achieve your desired look. For a final step, take a large paddle brush and brush through your hair to make sure the dry shampoo is completely absorbed and leaves no white residue.
Aerosol sprays are the most common dry shampoo formula, but it’s not the only type. If you can only get your hands on a powder formula, fear not because it’s just as easy to use.
How to Use Dry Shampoo Powder
Hold the bottle six to eight inches away from the crown of your head and lightly shake the dry shampoo onto your hair. Use your fingers to spread the formula through your strands. Part your hair on the left and then on the right, and repeat the same steps. Once you’ve achieved your desired look, use a large paddle brush and brush through your hair to make sure the dry shampoo is completely absorbed and leaves no white residue.
How to Use Dry Shampoo Paste
Dry shampoo paste is probably the least common option, but it comes in handy for more than just a quick hair revival. These dry shampoo-meets-styler hybrids create undone, effortless texture when applied to wet or dry hair and are ideal for precise application onto smaller areas of the hair (such as your hairline or part line).
Rub a dime-size amount of dry shampoo paste between your fingers to warm it up, then massage it onto areas of the scalp that appear oily. Pro tip: The paste can also be run over unruly hairs to smooth down flyaways.
Searching for the best dry shampoo to add to your routine? Keep scrolling for nine of our top formulas to try.
Our Best Dry Shampoos
Our Best Dry Shampoos for A Deep Clean
Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo
Have you ever skipped the gym for fear of messing up your hair? Well, that stops today with Redken’s two-time award-winning dry shampoo formula, Deep Clean Dry Shampoo Jumbo. The product is formulated with rice and tapioca starches to provide maximum oil absorption on all hair types and provides a cooling sensation for a deep clean feel. No wonder it snagged the "Best Dry Shampoo" award from both Allure and Refinery 29. The same highly-praised formula now comes in a new jumbo size, so you can spend less time worrying about running out and more time reaping the benefits of your fabulous hair.
“Redken’s Deep Clean Dry Shampoo, provides maximum oil absorption on all hair types and helps bring day three or four hair back to life,” Kaeding says.
Biolage Professional All-In-One Intense Dry Shampoo
Biolage Professional’s All-In-One Intense Dry Shampoo is another dry shampoo to pick up if you need a serious refresh between washes. Made with rice starch, this formula absorbs oil to deeply cleanse, prime, and refresh for healthy-looking and clean-feeling hair. You can extend your time between washes for up to four days.
Our Best Dry Shampoo for On-The-Go
Redken Dry Shampoo Paste 05
No matter your hair type or concerns, we’ve all experienced that moment when our strands desperately need to be washed, and we just don’t have the time. If you need to hide the look of oily roots in a flash, look no further than Redken’s Dry Shampoo Paste 05. It refreshes hair by absorbing the grease and works as a styling product, too—use it to add volume, sculpt styles with mild hold, or add reworkable texture to short hair. Plus, this small dry shampoo paste is TSA-friendly!
Our Best Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Dry Shampoo
Refresh the finest of hair (without weighing it down) with Matrix’s lightweight Total Results High Amplify Dry Shampoo. It quickly absorbs oil while refreshing your style and prolonging volume.
Our Best Dry Shampoos for Dark Hair
Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo
Brunettes, you know the struggle of spraying dry shampoo through your hair, only to spend the next 10 minutes trying to conceal the white powder the formula left behind. That’s why a formula like Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo is perfect for anyone with dark hair. This lightweight, fragrance-free, no-residue dry shampoo refreshes your hair (without letting anyone know you didn’t wash it).
“Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo absorbs excess oil from the hair and eliminates the risk of product residue—it’s great for all hair colors and textures,” Kaeding says.
Matrix Total Results Miracle Extender Dry Shampoo
Another flake-free favorite, the Matrix Total Results Miracle Extender Dry Shampoo absorbs oil and refreshes second-day hair with just a few spritzes. The lightweight formula also won’t leave your strands feeling crunchy or stiff.
Our Best Dry Shampoo With Hold
L'Oréal Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Dry Shampoo
Looking to cut down on the number of products in your hairstyling routine? Get a dry shampoo that does double duty with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Dry Shampoo. This spray contains starch to absorb excess oil on the scalp weightlessly and mineral salt to give hair sexy volume, hold, and body, which means you can skip hairspray.
The Best Dry Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair
Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo
If you have color-treated hair, you’ll want a dry shampoo that helps you stretch the time between color touch-ups while doing the most to protect your hue. Pureology’s Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo removes oil build-up and freshens up hair so you can restyle instantly. It’s also made with the brand’s exclusive AntiFade complex, which protects hair color vibrancy and shields your mane from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
Our Best Dry Shampoo for When You Need a Scent Boost
Kérastase Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo
In search of a dry shampoo formula with a seriously sexy scent? Look no further than Kérastase’s Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo. This luxurious shampoo is formulated with a long-lasting neroli scent you will be obsessed with. Just don’t blame us when your dry shampoo takes the place of your perfume.
Searching for more hair products? Shop the best salon-quality products at Hair.com.
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