How to Use Dry Shampoo: Best Dry Shampoos To Try

Dry Shampoo Tips & Hacks

What do you think about the magic item that is dry shampoo? I’m a massive fan, and I want to get you in on the obsession as well. I’ll give you all the dry shampoo secrets: how to use dry shampoo to stretch out how often you have to wash your hair, as well as a few other dry shampoo hacks you may not have thought about before. I’ve also read all of the reviews to bring you a comprehensive list of all of the best dry shampoos on the market!

How to Use Dry Shampoo

I discovered by accident (or, rather, through sheer laziness) that the longer I go in between hair washings, the better my hair will look once I do wash it. If I can handle going three days without washing, my hair ends up looking fuller, bouncier, softer, and definitely healthier.

Unfortunately, by the 3rd day it starts looking greasy and flat, so I break down and wash it, and miss out on the wonderful health benefits of not over washing. Nowadays, thanks to dry shampoo, I don’t have to wash on the third day anymore, and my hair is looking healthier than ever.

What Is Dry Shampoo, Exactly?

Dry shampoo is a powdery substance that can be applied either as a spray, or as a powder, to absorb excess oils from the hair and scalp, leaving the hair looking cleaner, more voluminous, and a little more textured. Most dry shampoo formulas include butane, propane, alcohol, or aluminum. More natural formulas feature ingredients like rice or corn starch, and kaolin clay.

How to Apply Dry Shampoo: The Classic Method

This is the classic method of using spray dry shampoo, for when your hair is starting to look greasy, but you don’t want to hop in the shower quite yet. Start with dry, unwashed hair.

How to Apply Dry Shampoo

Step 1: Hold the nozzle about 6 inches away from the face. Any closer, and you risk using too much product. Any further away, and you won’t be applying enough.

Step 2: Start spraying along the part of your hair, front to back. Remember, you are spraying the roots, never the ends of the hair.

Step 3: Spray along the hairline, shielding your eyes from the spray.

Step 4: For more excessive oiliness, part your hair into sections, and spray along the roots.

Step 5: Allow the product to sit in your hair for a minute or two, at least. Some people wait as long as 10 minutes to allow all the oil to be fully absorbed.

Step 6: Here, there are some disagreements. Some experts recommend massaging the dry shampoo into the ends of the hair using the fingers, while others state that touching the hair with the hands at all will add oil to the hair and totally defeat the purpose of the whole exercise. Those latter experts recommend brushing the dry shampoo from the roots to the ends with a brush.

My personal preference is somewhere in the middle: I like to first brush my hair from roots to ends, and then with my fingers to fluff the whole thing up a bit and in the process get rid of excess dry shampoo.

Step 7: If you feel like your hair is still looking a little greasy, you can add a bit more dry shampoo where it seems necessary.

Step 8: The oils are now gone! Style your hair as you wish.

Bonus Dry Shampoo Hacks

• Dry shampoo is an excellent texturizer, so you can use it when you want to add a piecey yet volumized look to your hair.

• If you’ve applied too much dry shampoo, and your roots are looking too powdery, taking a blow dryer to your hair should get rid of the excess product.

• If you’ve seriously over applied dry shampoo, and no amount of brushing or blow drying is getting rid of the excess, using just a touch of your favorite hair oil or serum where you have over applied should do the trick.

Dry Shampoo Tips & Hacks

• You can also use dry shampoo to thicken up your hair, especially if it’s refusing to hold a curl or if your bobby pins keep slipping out.

• For all you gorgeous banged ladies, spray just a bit of dry shampoo under the bangs, to give them a bit more volume, and prevent them from getting matted down on hot and sweaty days.

• It is possible to overdo it with dry shampoo, and over-mattifying your scalp. Try not to apply dry shampoo every day.

• Experiment with when you use the dry shampoo. Some experts recommend applying the dry shampoo as a preventative measure, to freshly washed and dried hair, both to extend the efficacy of the wash, and to volumize and texturize the hair.

• If you haven’t gone with the balayage trend, and your roots are starting to show in an unflattering way, an appropriately colored dry shampoo can double as a temporary hair color to conceal all kinds of laziness.

• If you prefer going the natural route, you can use simple corn or rice starch as a dry shampoo. If your hair is on the darker side, you can add cocoa powder to avoid a powdery look. Just be careful, some people find the starch breaks them out.

• A few other DIY ingredients include kaolin clay, arrowroot powder, talcum powder, and rice flower. Experiment with different recipes, to make the ultimate customized dry shampoo!

The Very Best Dry Shampoos You Ought To Try!

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo

This product is the classic, with thousands of glowing reviews, a trusted formula, and affordable price. This is one of the best dry shampoos, because it is guaranteed to soak up oils and give your hair extra volume, without taking a toll on your wallet.

Batiste offers 9 different dry shampoos, each one with its own fragrance, so you are sure to find one that will please you. It’s available at Ulta for $7.99.

Best Dry Shampoos: Batiste Dry Shampoo

2. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Natural Tint

While the original Klorane Dry Shampoo is definitely a winner, their Natural Tint version stands out as one of the best dry shampoos for those with dark hair. You get the clean, voluminous hair, and never have to worry about powdery looking roots.
It’s available at Sephora.

Best Dry Shampoos: Klorane Dry Shampoo

3. KMS California Hairplay Makeover Spray

This dry shampoo has a cult following, and for a good reason! It works beautifully, the fragrance is barely detectable, and its ingredients are extremely gentle (no butane in sight!). Additionally, it seems to work well for all hair colors! It’s available at Ulta for $6.99.

Best Dry Shampoos: KMS California Dry Shampoo

4. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo

This dry shampoo spray boasts a few additional benefits, including an ability to eliminate odors, absorb sweat, and overall strengthen the hair. It’s great for all hair types and colors, so you really can’t go wrong. It’s available at Ulta.

Best Dry Shampoos: Living Proof Dry Shampoo

5. Alterna Haircare Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo

For anyone who wants to stay away from sprays, this powder based dry shampoo is an excellent choice. The formula is gentler and more natural than your average spray product, and the results are speedy.

We are not so sure about the anti-age claims, but we are sure it works great. A pointed applicator makes sure you can apply this product to targeted areas without any mess. This dry shampoo is best for those with lighter hair, and it’s available at Sephora.

Best Dry Shampoos: Alterna Haircare Caviar Dry Shampoo

6. Drybar ‘Detox’ Dry Shampoo

This is one of the best dry shampoos to try, when all the others just don’t seem to work! It eliminates all of the grease, and works with all hair colors. A light sandalwood and jasmine fragrance is sure to please discerning noses, as well. It’s available at Nordstrom for $13.00.

Best Dry Shampoos: Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

7. Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Two Day Extender

Redken’s claim to fame with this dry shampoo is its long-lasting effect. Unlike most of these sprays that should be applied in the morning (and may even need a midday refresher), this dry shampoo can be sprayed unto the hair the night before, and is guaranteed to last for 48 hours. It also has some heat protecting properties, to make it a double-action product. It’s available at Ulta.

Best Dry Shampoos: Redken Pillow Proof Dry Shampoo

8. Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo

You’ll be hard pressed to find a cleaner dry shampoo formula than this one. Formulated with clay, tapioca starch, anise, and vanilla, this powder dry shampoo will gently soothe and mattify the scalp. Only drawbacks to this gorgeous natural formula? The powder applicator can be a little messy if you aren’t careful. It’s available at Sephora.

Best Dry Shampoos: Rahua Dry Shampoo

9. Osis+ Dust It

Another option for the dry shampoo powder lovers! In addition to mattifying, this must-have item also volumizes the hair like no other product. If you need easy to achieve height and texture, look no further. It’s available at Ulta.

Best Dry Shampoos: Osis+ Dust It Dry Shampoo

10. Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

This is another classic spray formula, with thousands upon thousands of dedicated fans. Perhaps it is a touch of silica that makes this incredible dry shampoo do the impossible: get rid of the grease, while imparting the most delicate natural shine. It’s available at Ulta.

Best Dry Shampoos: Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo

What’s your favorite dry shampoo? Do you have any special tips and tricks of your own for it? Comment and let us know!

Photos courtesy of @emmahoareau, @gablopes, Instagram

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Written by Maya Adivi
Maya is a makeup artist and skincare expert based in Yerevan, Armenia. She eschews buzz words, in favour of giving accurate and science-based advice. A citizen of the world, she was born in Israel, and has also lived in the US, Canada, and, of course, Armenia. Aside from beauty, she is also passionate about literature, beer, politics, and playing the ukulele.