My freshman year in college, in the early nineties, a friend taught me the fine art of hiding hair grease. After a busy night out and waking a bit tired – or hungover, whatever – she didn’t always have time to shower, wash her hair, dry, style and go. But her thin, straight hair never looked greasy outside the dorm room. Her secret? Baby powder. By tipping her head over, shaking a bottle of powder and brushing the white stuff through, it dried up all that grease and gave her a few more hours to get to class without looking, or feeling, like a member of the T-birds.
But 20 years later, we now have healthier, cleaner options. Dry shampoo has been around since the 1960s, but, only fairly recently has it been on store shelves, and gaining popularity.
Why use dry shampoo?
As our hair gets used to the practice of less washes, there will definitely be days where there’s more grease build-up than we prefer. This is where dry shampoo comes to our rescue. Dry shampoo is more than baby powder, it’s formulated with healthy hair stuff that not only dries the grease, but nourishes the folicles. So, it’s not just that it’s drying out the heavy build-up, it’s protecting your hair.
How can you use dry shampoo?
Dry shampoo is available in two forms: spray and powder. Most stylists I’ve talked to prefer the spray, because it goes on more evenly. When you apply a shampoo spray, apply from about 6 inches away and let it rest for a few minutes to absorb your natural greases before combing through.
Let me say that again: let it rest for a few minutes to absorb your natural greases before combing through.
This is one of the biggest dry shampoo secrets. Most people I talk with are shocked that I use dry shampoo. The number one comment: but doesn’t it leave white powder in your hair?! My friends. Yes. When you first spray or powder in the shampoo, you will see a white powder. Do not panic. Let the shampoo do it’s job. Just like your moisturizer or your sunblock or glue on an art project, something won’t work unless you give it time to do it’s job. And, really, it only takes about 2 minutes. And in those two minutes it will absorb the grease and give you a lift and life to your hair.
Also, don’t point and shoot. The idea of dry shampoo is to give a clean body to your hair, so if you spray too close or aim just at the roots, you’re not helping, your coating. Dry shampoo should hit everywhere from your roots to your ends, and will help you style all of your hair, and dry the grease from roots to tips.
After you wait the two minutes, brush it through. Or don’t. Treat your hair as you normally do. Most curly girls don’t even own a brush, unless it’s a round one for straightening. You don’t need to comb through your shampoo if you don’t usually. Style your hair with your fingers or a brush as you normally do.
How often do you use dry shampoo?
I’ve read not to use it more than two times without a wash, but I prefer to only use it once. And, usually, I use it on my fourth day, or if I was sweating at the gym with no time to wash.
Dry shampoo is for dry hair.
It seems kind of obvious because it’s called dry shampoo, but I have seen friends wet their hair, and then use dry shampoo, rather than washing. Or spray the dry shampoo onto their scalp that is still sweating from a work out. This doesn’t work. Dry shampoo is meant to dry your grease, not your wet head. Wait until your hair is dry and greasy before spraying it in.
Sold! Now which dry shampoo should you use?
Just as there are levels of good, better, best shampoos; there are for dry shampoos, too. I haven’t tried them all, and it’s pretty likely that your hair is a different texture than mine. I’ve used a few different dry shampoos including Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray, Tresemme Fresh Start Smooth Dry Shampoo, and Redken Refresh 01 Aerosol Hair Powder Dry Shampoo. And, just like with your favorite shampoo, there is a slight difference. Do they all do their job? Yes. But the pricier dry shampoos are pricier for a reason. There’s no doubt that if I were getting on stage, making a presentation, or had a big date night, I’d grab Redken for a better lift. But the Suave and Tresseme are both perfect for everyday. I keep Suave in my gym bag (especially now the locker rooms are closed for 12 weeks at my gym) and use Tresseme at home.
Have you used dry shampoo? What brand is your favorite?