This Is How to Actually Use Dry Shampoo

Let's be real: we all adore dry shampoo. 

Even if you're telling yourself, as you sit back and read this, that you're not that big of a fan of dry shampoo, it's safe to assume you're probably lying to yourself. Why? Because dry shampoo is the shit

Who were we before we discovered dry shampoo? And how did we even survive early mornings and rushed work routines without it? I sure as hell don't know. But here's the thing: as awesome and amazing as dry shampoo is, it's also full of more crap than your ex was. 

What we once considered to be "dry shampoo" was nothing more than glorified baby powder, which, by the way, is meant for diaper rashes and babies' bums - not your oily roots or greasy locks. But years ago, before brands began cashing in on the dry shampoo craze, there weren't many alternatives to baby powder when it came to wanting to extend the life of your perfectly quaffed hair. It was either dousing your hair in rash powder and hoping you didn't look like you just walked through drywall, or nothing. Luckily for just about every person on the planet with access to a supermarket, we can now buy powdered and aerosol versions of dry shampoos designed to give our roots volume, elongate our styled hair or hold locks in place - all whilst absorbing 3-day-old hair oil. But these miracle "shampoos" aren't all they're cracked up to be. 

Earlier in 2016, I wrote the ultimate dry shampoo review for The Note Passer, in which I revealed that most store-bought, spray-in dry shampoos contain harmful ingredients like butane (what the hell?), harmful alcohols and even liquefied petroleum gas...seriously. Having used an aerosol dry shampoo from my colourist for almost a year, doing research on the chemicals lurking in my favorite dry 'poo had me running for hills towards more natural alternatives. But even then, I was still using dry shampoo completely wrong. Despite having fine, thin hair, I would dump the stuff on my roots and hit the pavement, giving little consideration as to whether I was getting the most out of my dry shampoo. After spending good money on pricey-but-totally-worth-while natural dry shampoos, I figured it was time I started using them correctly to reap the most rewards. I've picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that are surprisingly common among dry 'poo users, but in case you're a newbie to the world of dry shampoo, this guide might be helpful - and addicting. 

Step 1: Choose the Right Dry Shampoo 

If you love your dry 'poo but are also concerned about the health of your hair, skip the artificial stuff and gravitate towards the natural. The claims and rumours that natural dry shampoo is less effective than the over-the-counter, aerosol stuff are just that: rumours. The natural 'poos are just as beneficial for absorbing oil, boosting volume and keeping your days-old style in check. It also helps that most natural dry 'poos are free from artificial ingredients and weird, unpronounceable additives. I personally recommend Captain Blakenship's Mermaid Dry Shampoo, which smells heavenly and is also hella effective. If you're concerned about the colour of the dry 'poo, choose one geared towards darker roots, like Fat and the Moon's Lavender & Cocoa Dry Shampoo. Some brands even craft natural dry 'poos for people with black and red hair, making it easier than ever to use a natural alternative. Whatever floats your boat, just make sure it's not the nasty, fake stuff that will only damage your hair. 

Step 2: Start at the Roots, Work your Way Through 

The best place to start with your dry 'poo is at the roots, but don't forget your hairline, too! Most natural dry shampoos come as loose powders in shaker containers or jars, so your best bet is to sprinkle the dry 'poo along your roots, tipping your head side to side to sprinkle some along your hairline, and anywhere else you feel your hair could use some oil-absorbing power. You don't need to use a lot of the dry 'poo to do the trick, but do ensure that the oily parts are suitably sprinkled. 

Step 3: If You Must, Bake 

"Baking" is a term often used by those well-versed in makeup and its application, but it totally applies to dry shampoo, too. With makeup, "baking" refers to the practice of applying a translucent powder to your foundation-covered skin for a few minutes, allowing your skin's natural heat to set your makeup before you dust off the powder for a seemingly flawless finish. When it comes to dry shampoo, "baking" is similar, but also different. Essentially, when "baking" your hair, you want to apply your dry shampoo to the oiliest parts (such as your roots and hairline) and let the dry shampoo "sit" for 10-20 minutes (or however long you'd like) before you distribute it through your hair. This allows the dry 'poo to better absorb the natural oil your hair produces. You can even "bake" your hair overnight, which leads me to my next step...

Step 4: Apply at Night, not the Morning 

Applying your dry shampoo to the oilier regions of your hair at night before you hit the hay will have you waking up with "clean," flawless hair. Okay, maybe not flawless, but pretty close to! I use this trick whenever I know the following morning will be a particularly early (and rushed) one, and it works wonders. For real. Simply apply your dry 'poo before bed, let it "bake" overnight (meaning, don't distribute it through your hair at all) and in the morning when you wake up, your hair will be oil-free, y'all. This trick might not be convenient for everyone, but I'm willing to hedge a bet that an extra 15 minutes of sleep each morning will be incentive enough to try this trick. You can distribute the dry shampoo through your hair in the AM by brushing, teasing or styling your hair as preferred. But always remember to...

Step 5: Whip that Hair (Upside Down) 

Just like Willow Smith taught us, whip your hair back and forth but, more importantly, upside down. Yes, you read that correctly - upside down! Whether you let your hair "bake" with dry 'poo or not, distribute your dry shampoo through your hair by flipping your head upside down and brushing or massaging it thoroughly throughout your strands. When you flip your head upside down and massage your scalp, hairline and nape (with your hands or a brush, whichever one), more blood flows to your scalp and increases circulation, allowing for more nutrients to reach your hair follicles at the roots. This in turn decreases sebum (oil) production and makes hair appear more voluminous at the roots. It's a trick I use daily to keep oily hair at bay but it also helps dry shampoo absorb faster. Neat, huh? 

Whether you're an avid dry shampoo user or new to the game of powdered bliss, try these 5 steps for a better dry 'poo experience and hair that will look refreshed even if you've skipped washing a few days...or more. 

~ Images in this post courtesy of Unsplash

BeautyJacalyn BealesComment