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Dry Shampoo

Updated: Feb 27

Dry shampoo is technically not cleaning your hair in this traditional sense. Since water is not used with dry shampoo, these products are focused on using alcohol or cornstarch to soak up extra oils in our hair to give it a temporarily fresh look. Read more...
 

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dry shampoo

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What is dry shampoo and how does it work?



Dry shampoo is technically not ‘cleaning’ your hair in this traditional sense. Since water is not used with dry shampoo, these products are focused on using alcohol or corn starch to soak up extra oils in our hair to give it a temporarily ‘fresh’ look. This is the same concept behind using baby powder under the arms and under the breasts and between the legs to soak up extra moisture that builds up. It can be used to soak up some sweat before you are active - in this case, you would apply before you know you are going to sweat. The other way to use it is to keep it with you- if you start sweating a lot you can spritz some on your hair to dry out some of the excess buildups of sweat.


 

dry shampoo

 


What's the difference between dry shampoo and regular shampoo?



A shampoo is a product designed to clean your hair with ingredients to lift oil, dirt, and debris while leaving some conditioning agents and possibly fragrance behind. Shampoo traditionally works by the use of surfactants that attach to oils in your scalp with a hydrophobic end and are washed away by water with the hydrophilic end of the molecule.



Video: Techei



Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?



Occasional use of dry shampoo is not necessarily bad for your hair. For some people, these products can help manage hair types, hairstyles, and busy schedules buying a little time between hair washes. Dry shampoos cannot take the place of regular shampoos simply because they are not playing the same role in a hair care routine. Dry shampoo can reduce the appearance of excess oil on the scalp, but the oil is still present and adhering to alcohol and starches. These will need to be washed out with routine shampoo to avoid product residue buildup.


There was a recent report came out about benzene found in some dry shampoo products. Remember that benzene is not an ingredient in these products but can appear in the product as a result of the manufacturing process or contamination. Benzene is not an active ingredient in dry shampoo.


Using dry shampoos too frequently can lead to a buildup of residue on the hair and scalp. I tend to recommend considering the use of a clarifying shampoo once or twice a month if you frequently use these products to reduce this buildup.




What are the benefits of using dry shampoo?



Dry shampoos are effective to help manage some hair types, hairstyles, and lifestyles. The process of washing and drying the hair can be a task in and of itself, one that we do not always have time to set aside for on a daily basis. Some people find that excess hair washing contributes to hair tangling and hair breakage and try to reduce the frequency of hair washing. Hairstyles that are intended to last days or weeks at a time may benefit from the use of dry shampoo as well. Time, money, and effort can go into creating certain hairstyles or even blowouts. Washing with these styles will devitalize the look too quickly. Dry shampoo use can give some wiggle room to avoid excess hair washing. And people who exercise regularly and sweat routinely can benefit from dry shampoos to avoid excess hair washing that can overdry the hair.



How do you use dry shampoo on your hair?



I tend to wash my hair at night because of the time involved to care for long hair. I find that a quick spritz of dry shampoo in the morning can revitalize and freshen the look quickly.


Most dry shampoos I have come across use an aerosolized can to apply the product. Part the hair at the crown and along the sides to spray some onto the scalp and gently rub in.



How often should you use dry shampoo?



There are no hard and fast rules on the frequency of dry shampoo use simply because the amount and manner in which these products are used vary widely from person to person. The goal is to freshen your hair look by drying out excess oil buildup. If you use dry shampoo and feel like the oil residue is not improved, it's time to wash your hair with a regular shampoo.




What is the purpose of dry shampoo?



The purpose of dry shampoo is to buy time between washing your hair and reducing the overuse of regular shampoos.


Dry shampoos can be used to soak up some sweat before you are active - in this case, you would apply before you know you are going to sweat.

The other way to use these is to keep them with you- if you start sweating a lot you can spritz some on your hair to dry out some of the excess buildup of sweat.


If you are in a bind then any powder will help dry some sweat. Sweat hair bands that wick away moisture have become very popular. And keeping a fan close by to help evaporate the sweat faster if exercising indoors!


Remember that dry shampoos tend to leave behind a potential white or grayish cast. For lighter hair colors this may not be noticeable but will be on darker shades.


Is dry shampoo safe to use?


A study by Valisure in 2022 demonstrated the presence of benzene in 70% of products they tested. Benzene is not an ingredient so it will not be listed on the ingredient label. It may be produced as a result of the manufacturing process. This has been found in several products in recent years such as sunscreens and hand sanitizers. Take a look at Valisure's website for a list of products tested.



dry shampoo

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