Jun 18, 2024

How to Use Dry Shampoo Like a Pro

Ahhh, our good friend the dry shampoo.  Few hair care products are as unique and versatile as this grease-absorbing superstar, making it no surprise that numerous dry shampoo products have garnered their own cult followings throughout the years.

Some say that the dry shampoo can trace its origins back to the Victorian Era in Europe when the practice of wig-wearing was at the height of its popularity.  As beautiful and exquisite as these wigs were, they were also incredibly fragile and nearly impossible to wash without being ruined.

In order to properly clean the wigs from the inevitable dirt and grime that would accumulate in them, wig-wearers found a creative and ingenuous solution by using a variety of starches and powders as powerful grime-absorbers.  Fast forward to today, and the market is filled with all kinds of dry shampoo products in the forms of aerosol sprays, powders, and even foams that absorb grease and oil without the need for an actual hair wash.

Aside from functioning as powerful hair cleaning aids for situations in which hair washing isn’t available, dry shampoos have also garnered significant popularity for a variety of other uses, including the ability to impart massive volume and texture for styling.  With so many options for dry shampoo products out there and with so many different uses for it, it can seem a bit overwhelming and confusing to really understand the best way to use dry shampoo for your hair.  Fret not, as we look to demystify the dry shampoo and turn you into a dry shampooing pro!

Why to Use Dry Shampoo

There’s no shortage of reasons to use a dry shampoo, and users have found a number of creative uses for this product type over the years. 

Avoiding Hair Washing

Given that the name contains the word “shampoo”, it’s obvious that dry shampoos are used mainly as a cleaning aid.  Many times, such as within 72 hours following a hair coloring treatment or when suffering extreme hair dryness, it may be inadvisable to wash the hair with shampoo or water.  However, to remove any buildup or grime, a dry shampoo offers a perfect compromise, allowing you to absorb grease and oils without damaging your hair with water and shampoo.

Volume and Texture Boosting

Aside from its powerful grime-absorbing benefits, dry shampoos are fantastic at giving the hair extra volume and body while imparting a bit of grit and texture.  This makes dry shampoos a fantastic option for those who want a more casual, messy look without the strong hold of a hairspray or pomade.  Additionally, dry shampoos are a fantastic option for those with thin hair, as it helps to enhance the appearance of hair fullness.

On-the-Go Assistance

Whether you notice your hair becoming greasy throughout the day or you’ve lost volume and style by late-afternoon, a portable dry shampoo option is a perfect way for a quick touch-up without having to completely wash or re-style your hair.  Simply apply your desired form of dry shampoo and the results will come in mere seconds!

Types of Dry Shampoos

As we mentioned, dry shampoos aren’t a singular, across-the-board product that comes in one form.  There are a variety of forms of dry shampoos on the market, and each one may offer a different advantage for your hair needs and hair type!  Each of these products can be used to clean the hair or provide some sort of pre or post styling benefit, and its up to you to experiment and find which works best for your own needs.  Read through each of these product types to find one that fits your hair needs, while also understanding how to best use and apply these products.


The most common form, the spray version of dry shampoo utilizes an aerosol spray can to disperse dry shampoo powder throughout the hair in a quick and mess-free fashion.  This form is the best way to save time and is perfect for those looking for a quick touch-up in the morning or when on the go.  Some dry shampoos sprays also double as styling products, functioning as a sort of ultra-light hairspray that can add noticeable texture and light hold to a finished hairstyle. 


For those with shorter hair or looking to have more control over the application process, a powder dry shampoo product is the way to go.  Deposit the powder into your hands and easily work into the hair, or deposit directly at the roots for a full and thorough clean.  As a styling product, the powder form of dry shampoo can double as an excellent way to provide massive volume to the hair without the need for a blow dryer, helping you reduce the amount of heat styling you expose your hair to. 


A recent addition to the hair care game is the dry shampoo paste, which usually comes in the form of a lightweight clay or hair cream that has been infused with a decent amount of dry shampoo powder.  These products are better utilized as styling products as opposed to strictly cleaning products, given that they are slightly heavier and provide more hold than a powder or spray.  When used on damp hair prior to blow-drying, dry shampoo pastes can provide the hair with an incredible amount of volume while helping to bind individual hairs together, giving fullness and body to fine hair.  As a post-styler used after blow-drying, a dry shampoo paste provides a lightweight, lived-in hold that gives the hair extra texture and volume without weighing the hair down or looking too formal.

Tinted Shampoo

Lastly, here’s an option for those of us with color-dyed hair.  Numerous dry shampoos, whether in the form of powder or spray, are now designed with specific hair color shades, helping to prevent any white-cast or lightening of the hair and effectively blend in with your hair type.  Additionally, these products are a fantastic option for those whose roots have grown out, as these tinted dry shampoos can be applied directly at the roots to camouflage any mismatches in hair color.