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Is Dry Shampoo Bad For Your Hair? We Asked An Expert

is dry shampoo bad for your hair
Like acid wash denim, horizontal stripes, and sheet masks, dry shampoo has gone through the many stages of being a trend. At first, everyone tries to figure out what it is and if they should try it. For a while, it seemed like everyone and her mother kept a bottle of dry shampoo in their purses for emergency touchups at brunch. Now, finally, we’ve entered the final stage of trendiness: panic that thing you thought was great is maybe not as great as you thought.

If you’re looking for more info on whether or not to keep using dry shampoo on your dirty blonde hair or dark brown hair, read on.


Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

The answer is pretty cut and dry: No. However, you can certainly be using dry shampoo in different ways than it's intended to be used, leading to results that leave you less than pleased. To break the whole situation down for you, we called in Travis Valdez. Thanks to his role as education development manager for Kérastase USA & Shu Uemura Art Of Hair, Valdez is uniquely qualified to break it down for us.


What does dry shampoo really do?

It’s difficult to discuss the consequences of misusing a product without fully understanding what it’s intended for in the first place. In its most popular form, dry shampoo is usually a shakeable powder or spray that can help refresh the look and scent of your hair between washes.

Unfortunately for many dry shampoo lovers, the seemingly magical formula shouldn’t take the place of regular washing. If that’s how you’ve been using it, there may be an easy answer for why your hair feels far from squeaky clean.

Many clients can go a week without getting their hair wet...but eventually the scalp and hair needs to be properly cleansed with shampoo and conditioner to help maintain healthy hair follicle.

While dry shampoo can’t replace the in-shower kind you grew up with, it can be an excellent tool for maintaining styles that took time and energy to achieve.

“Everyone loves a good blowout, so clients try to hang onto their style as long as possible—dry shampoos are perfect for this,” Valdez explains. “There are dry shampoos that actually clean the hair and other dry shampoos that act as an aerosol talc that can give the hair volume and texture. It really depends on what the client’s goals are.”

Now that you know what you should be using a dry shampoo for, we’re onto the next step: using dry shampoo in a way that isn’t bad for your hair.


How do you use dry shampoo?

Think of dry shampoo the way you might a hairspray or a texturizing spray and hold it farther from your head than you might want to. When it comes to aerosol sprays, don’t underestimate how good they are at delivering the formula. Too much dry shampoo and you could run the risk of ending up with powdery, sticky hair instead of the refresh you were seeking.

Valdez has a few general rules for application, but be sure to read your formula’s label before starting to apply it.

“Lift the hair from the roots, hold the can about 10 to 12 inches away, then spray the product equally around the scalp,” he says. “Allow the dry shampoo to absorb for a few seconds, then shake out the hair with your hands.”

Once you’ve applied the product, enjoy your newly refreshed mane. Whether you choose to style it in a braid or a ponytail, know that you’ve earned that extra day without washing.


Which dry shampoo should you buy?

Notably, each dry shampoo formulation comes with slightly different claims. Take note of them before deciding which is right for your hair and routine.

If protecting your color is a priority, Valdez recommends Shu Uemura Color Lustre Dry Cleaner. Formulated for color-treated hair, this delicate quick-dry cleanser purifies roots without drying out lengths. Plus, it can help you avoid the dreaded untimely color fading between appointments.

“For clients with vibrant colors, dry shampoos are a must,” Valdez says.

Got volume and texture on the brain? A formula like Kérastase V.I.P. Volume In Powder Texturizing Spray may be a better fit for your mane.

Armed with all the information you need to use dry shampoo correctly, go enjoy that newly refreshed mane.

For personalized advice about using dry shampoo, use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.