Dry Shampoo 101

All you need to know about hair’s favorite life-saver

Dry shampoo...for the straight/wavy haired beauties – this product is a lifesaver. Even those with curly and coily hair may find dry shampoo in their arsenal of hair supplies! Unlike regular shampoo which strips oils from the scalp and roots of your hair, dry shampoo simply absorbs the oil at the roots of hair which allows you to keep rocking your style for longer without drying out your ends.  

Perhaps you are new to the dry shampoo game, have tried one and did not fall in love…or maybe even you are totally overwhelmed by the different types, formulas, shades and scents of dry shampoo that are available. No worries, we are going to break down the different types of dry shampoo out there, and explain why they are different, and which type can give your hair the best results.  

Let’s start with the basics –

What is dry shampoo?

Dry shampoo is a hair product, usually in a powder or aerosol spray, that cleanses hair and removes oil without using any water. The idea is that dry shampoo removes excess oils that make your hair look limp and greasy, and also helps to combat any odor that second or third day hair may have. 

For example, think of how baby powder is used after a shower to absorb moisture and keep skin dry all day long and absorb moisture - dry shampoo does the same thing for your hair. The active ingredients in dry shampoo are similar, usually a form of silica powder, starch or clay,  and work to absorb sebum at the roots of your hair.

This helps to improve the appearance and feel of your hair, and freshen up the scent. Dry shampoos also have the added bonus of giving some extra volume to give hair body after wash day.  

Typically, curly and coily haired friends need that excess oil to maintain the moisture levels in their hair – so this product is typically loved most by those with straight to wavy (types 1 & 2) hair that tend to become oily and weighed down more quickly after washing.

Using dry shampoo 2 or 3 days after you wash your hair can help to extend your style an extra day or two, which in turn helps with not over cleansing and drying out your ends.  

Dry shampoo comes in two forms – a power and an aerosol spray (like a hairspray can). The ingredients are similar, but they have some different results. Typically, powder forms will more effectively absorb excess oil but have a “grittier” to the hair feel once applied, while spray forms are more simple, and have the added features of being tinted, scented or increasing the texture in your style.  

How do I use dry shampoo?


woman with long type 1 hair spraying

If you are using an aerosol spray form of dry shampoo – it’s easy! Be sure to err on the “less is more” side of application, as some dry shampoos can look a tad bit chalky if too much is applied due to the powder base ingredients. 

Step 1: Section your hair into 3-4 sections, and part your hair to expose the roots The roots should be areas where your hair typically gathers the most excess oil, like the crown of the head, near the forehead, and the nape of the neck.

Step 2: Hold your can of dry shampoo about 8 inches away from your scalp, and spray the roots in short bursts. Aim to hit all of the roots per section with product, but remember that less is more!

Step 3: Allow the product to sit for about 30 seconds, and then massage it in with your fingers. Be sure that your hands are clean! The goal is to absorb oil, so try not to add any with unwashed fingertips. After working in the product, feel free to use a brush to even out the texture.  

If you are using a powder form of dry shampoo, application is simple – albeit with a chance to be a bit messier.

Step 1: Section your hair into 3-4 sections, and part your hair to expose the root. The roots should be areas where your hair typically gathers the most excess oil, like the crown of the head, near the forehead, and the nape of the neck.

Step 2: Sprinkle a small amount of dry shampoo powder onto the roots.

Step 3: Allow it to sit for about 30 seconds, and then work the product in with your fingers. Use your hands to massage the dry shampoo in and spread the product throughout your roots.

Afterwards, feel free to brush through to get rid of any excess chalky appearance or product that is still visible.

Looking for more volume? After using dry shampoo, backcomb the roots for extra volume. The texture of the dry shampoo will help to hold the backcombed style without the need for added hair spray.

Is your hair prone to oily roots and limp styles? Apply dry shampoo at night on day 1 hair (freshly washed and dried) before going to bed! The product will work to absorb excess oils overnight, and prevent roots from ever becoming greasy or weighed down. You can also apply before bed on nights 2-3 to continue the absorption and extend your style even longer!  

What other benefits does dry shampoo have?

Slows down color fade  

Experimenting with hair color is fun and exciting –but the quickest way to transform bright hair color into pale, barely-there hair color is with too-frequent shampooing. Swapping out as many shampoo sessions as possible with your dry shampoo will help to extend the life of your hair color.

Adds volume to your styles

woman with long type 2 hair

While some dry shampoos are marketed specifically as “volumizing” or “texturizing”, all dry shampoos provide body and fullness to hair by absorbing the oil that weighs it down If you have particularly oily roots, look for a dry shampoo that claims to have extra volumizing power.

Helps to hide your roots

Some dry shampoos are formulated with just a small tint of color. You can usually find these tinted in a blonde, red, or brunette shade.

Using these products not only helps to soak up oil, but can help to prevent the “chalky” appearance from some dry shampoos that over-emphasizes any regrowth. Adding a quick blast of color helps to blend your shade from root to tip.

Saves time in the morning

Using dry shampoo even one day a week to skip a wash can save you over an hour of washing and styling time.

Locks in bobby pins

Dry shampoo isn’t sticky and doesn’t have mega-hold like hairspray, but it does have a tiny bit of hold that can help bobby pins to “grip” to your hair and stay in place longer!

Use a tiny spritz of dry shampoo on a section before placing your bobby pins in your hair for extra hold.

Saves you from having “gym hair”

A quick spritz of dry shampoo before/after a gym session can save you from having to wash/style after each workout!

woman exercising with hair in ponytail

For a detailed blog on gym hairstyles and tips to extend your style without washing – read our blog on gym hairstyles.

Preserves your hair health

If your hair is already damaged from heat exposure, chemical processing, or hair coloring – cleansing with normal shampoo too often can really dry out your ends. By using dry shampoo to save 1-2 washes a week, you can make a huge difference in your hair’s health – and your ends won’t feel like straw!  

Big picture? 

Dry shampoo is a pretty innovative product that allows us to go a few extra days between washes – effectively cutting down on the use of harsh cleaners, while extending style and adding extra texture and volume for that “bedhead chic” look. It can be found in powder and aerosol form – both are great, depending on your needs.

Those with curly and coily hair may not use this product often, but straight/wavy haired gals will find that using dry shampoo in their routine is a game changer! Bye bye greasy strands; hello bouncy, glowing locks.

Using dry shampoo after styling with a tool like the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer will help you to lock in your Rev results for even longer, and cut down on drying shampoos. RevAir uses low heat and tension to dry hair in a healthy and effective way – and cutting down on shampooing/harsh cleansers while also using the RevAir simply bundles the hair-healthy effects.

If you have any questions about using the right hair products for your hair type, the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer, or hair health – feel free to contact us and talk to a knowledgeable agent today.

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