The RIGHT Way to Use Dry Shampoo


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From refreshing a days old style to gritting up freshly washed hair, the greatness of dry shampoo lies in its versatility and range. It comes in various forms (aerosol, powder and paste) and can be used, as it most widely is, to soak up grease on days when shampooing isn’t an option or when one wants to extend their blowout or style.

How to Use Dry Shampoo

“Regardless of hair texture or density, the most universal way to apply hair powder is to sprinkle it 8 to 10 inches away from the scalp in a dusting motion, let it sit for a moment and then work it in with your fingertips until it disappears. For thin hair, it may be enough to simply do this on the surface of the hair, but for more dense textures, subsectioning the hair parallel to the part and treating each subsection with an application might be necessary,” says Colin McCarthy, a stylist at Bumble and bumble.

And if you’re using an aerosol version that has a somewhat wet application, McCarthy suggests spraying on a light layer, so your hair won’t feel overly saturated.

Work It in Thoroughly

“You want to make sure to brush through the hair after working the dry shampoo into the hair at the roots with your hands to remove any excess oil,” says Allen Ruiz, Aveda artistic director, hairstyling and co-owner of Jackson Ruiz Salon.

Add a Moisturizer if Needed

For those who naturally have very dry hair, Ruiz suggests going back in with a moisturizing styling product to supplement your hair with some softness and shine.

Remove Residue

White residue is common, especially if you have dark hair. To remove the residue, rub and massage hair with fingers or brush the residual powders out with a boar bristle brush. If white residue still exists, use a hair dryer.

Wash Away Buildup

And remember, dry shampoo is not a permanent solution for skipping washing your hair. McCarthy thinks its name is misleading. “Rather than cleansing the hair, it simply absorbs oils, masking their presence. If the product is building up, it’s time to lather up the traditional way.” Ruiz recommends using an exfoliating shampoo like Aveda Invati Exfoliating Shampoo one to two times a week.

Before You Buy: We Rank the Best and Worst Dry Shampoos ]

The Many Uses of Dry Shampoo

Extends Blowouts

Since you’re not wetting your hair, your blowout should last a few more days until your next shampoo. “I love the lived-in quality it can add to hair,” says Bea Watson, Aveda global educator, hairstyling. “[Dry shampoo] is great to take the edge off of a blowdry if it looks too perfect or to keep that blowdry in longer if you are trying to extend your look.” Try: Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo.

Adds Volume to Limp Hair

“You can layer and build the product for that instant refreshed look to hair and it’s also great if your hair starts to flop or look a little tired by the end of the day,” adds Watson.

Fluffs Up Bangs

Many times women with bangs find their moisturizers and serums leave their fringe looking less than perfect. “Simply dust some hair powder (my preferred name for what is often called dry ‘shampoo’) on just that area,” explains McCarthy.

B1MW01_250x430Adds Grit and Texture for Moldable Styles

On freshly washed hair, Laurent Philippon, Bumble and bumble’s global artistic director, loves layering dry shampoo (like Bumble and bumble’s Prêt-à-Powder) over a conservative application of a light pomade (try Bumble and bumble Semisumo) for added grit, grip and texture. This technique is also great as the start of an updo, making hair more moldable and responsive.

Preserves Color

Since dry shampoo doesn’t strip hair, Ruiz recommends it to his clients as a way to extend the freshness of their color. “I’ll have them use dry shampoo for the one to two days after getting their color done so as to really let that color get locked in,” says Ruiz.

Prolongs the Life of Keratin Treatments

The keratin treatment will wear off more quickly if you frequently expose it to water. Thus, with less “wet” washings, your treatment will be able to last a few weeks longer.

[ Tried and Tested: 5 Dry Shampoos That Look Invisible on Dark Hair ]