Guide to Dry Shampoo

In recent years, dry shampoo has made the rounds back into the spotlight of hair products. It isn’t new by any means, dating all the way back to as early Asia in the 15th-century. It wasn’t commonly known of until 1918 and wasn’t commercially produced until 1940. Now it can be found as part of most women’s beauty routines. But what is dry shampoo?

Dry shampoo is most commonly used to soak up the grease and natural oils produced on the scalp by a person in between wet washes. It can also be used to freshen up a style as needed. It is made up of five key ingredients. The first is Cornstarch. Like in foods, cornstarch binds fatty acids from an oil and reduces the amount of grease. This can also be used as a substitute for dry shampoo if you happen to be in a pinch. Keep in mind that cornstarch on its own may cause your hair to clump together. Kaolin is another key ingredient. This one, while it also absorbs grease the way cornstarch does, it also removes the greasy shine hair might get after not being washed after a day or so. Kaolin gives hair a matte look. Laminaria Saccharina Extract is the next ingredient. The role it plays is as another moisture absorbent that expands. Magnesium Stearate keeps the cornstarch from clumping. The last of the key ingredients is Denatured Alcohol. It suspends the chemicals in the aerosol can without dissolving them. This element evaporates once it reaches the scalp and absorbs body heat to create a cooling effect.

Now is dry shampoo worth all the fuss? There are two schools of thought on the matter. Dry shampoo is an easy replacement for a wet shampoo wash. It’s convenient grab for anyone on the go and with no time for a wash and dry. Speaking of, dry shampoo eliminates the need to dry your hair, thus saving it from additional heat damage it might ensure otherwise. This product then removes the excess oil from your scalp but not your hair, keeping your hair healthier than the oil stripping wet shampoos on the market. While it may not clean your hair as well as its wet counterpart, it can refresh your hair and your style as needed. However, there are some downsides to this product as there are with most things. There are studies that have emerged in the recent time that dry shampoo can cause hair loss. This is due to the buildup of the powder at the root of each hair. It can cause a blockage that stunts the growth of new hair. While hair loss is on the worse end of the spectrum of downsides, there is also the added fact that it will dull the color of your hair, hindering the natural shine your hair takes on. This is once again due to the powder build up as it dispersed through your hair.

While you consider that information, here are some tips for using dry shampoo. First and foremost, this is NOT a replacement for wet wash shampoo. You should really only use it when regular washing isn’t an option and it shouldn’t be used more than two days in a row. Your hair will need to be wet washed to keep the build-up of all the powder at bay. That is what can cause a dry, itchy scalp and hair loss. When using dry shampoo, only spray the oily areas so the product can effectively do its job. While spraying, keep the bottle at least 6 inches from your scalp, this will prevent an unnecessary amount of powder build up. After spraying, massage your scalp to evenly distribute the product all the way down to your roots. You can also use a wide brush to this job as well. To avoid drying out your ends, avoid spraying them. This can cause excess static and damage them.

You should also take note that there are two different kinds of dry shampoo. For each of these, you are going to want to check the ingredient labels. If the list states that a starch is higher than alcohol, it will dispense more powder and absorb more oil. Conversely, if alcohol is listed higher, this will create more volume when freshening up your style but it won’t absorb as much oil. The spray will be noticeably clearer than a starch-heavy product. Be sure to consider your needs and the needs of your hair and lifestyle before making a choice of whether or not this product is right for you.

About Erin Thompson