I remember fondly trying to hunt down a can of Batiste Dry Shampoo before I went to Reading Festival in 2007. A secret shared by a blonde haired friend who swore by the solution to keep hair looking fresh without having to wash it, I must’ve traveled to around five different chemists before I finally found the elusive last green can lingering on a bottom shelf. Things have certainly changed since then, with dry shampoo being one of the staples in every woman’s hair care routine and every brand out there now offering their own version.
As we move further into yet another lockdown and our motivation to wash our hair diminishes by the day, dry shampoo has become a crutch we’re collectively leaning on to get us through last minute Zoom calls or trips to the supermarket. But did you know if you don’t use it properly or overdo it completely, dry shampoo could cause you more problems than it helps to solve? Here’s how to use dry shampoo properly and why it could be causing you issues if you spritz a little too often…
WHY COULD MY DRY SHAMPOO CAUSE ME ISSUES?
Dry shampoos are designed to draw out moisture from the hair and scalp, removing the ‘lank’ feeling that can often occur between washes. However, when overused they can actually remove too much moisture and leave your scalp feeling tight, dry and itchy. The powdery formula soaks up the oil that our bodies produce to lubricate the surface of skin, but if the scalp can’t lubricate itself fast enough to combat the effects of frequent use then discomfort and even dandruff is an inevitable side effect.
Although it may look harmless, a build-up of dry shampoo can also block the pores – causing pimples, pustles and even cysts on the surface of your scalp. It can potentially stop the growth of healthy new hair too, if the strands can’t make their way to the surface over all that dry shampoo.
If that wasn’t enough, when used too often dry shampoo can leave hair coated in a fine film that makes it much harder to style. Roots can become ‘dusty’ and dark hair can start to look grey, posing all manner of future dilemmas caused by a need for ten extra minutes in bed.
When used in the intended way, dry shampoos are actually incredibly useful and provide a real solution to a problem we all face on the regular; but it’s important not to overdo it and think that they’re a complete replacement for a good old fashioned regular hair wash.
HOW SHOULD I BE USING DRY SHAMPOO TO GET THE BEST RESULTS?
TIP 1: Always apply your dry shampoo a hand-span width from the scalp, so you don’t overload the surface with product. Most of the problems associated with dry shampoos are because too much is applied to closely to the hair line. Spritz evenly in sections, separating the hair like you would if you were dying it.
TIP 2: Leave the dry shampoo to absorb oil for at least one minute before touching your hair. Often we’re too keen to get started on styling, preventing the product from getting to work and re-applying to get the benefit we need.
TIP 3: Disperse the spray by brushing hair in all directions, leaving behind a refreshed texture and hair that’s full of bounce. Using a hairdryer to blast on a cold setting will also help remove residue; never use it on a hot setting as this will bring out more sebum to the surface, counteracting the good work of the dry shampoo.
TIP 4: If you’re concerned about residue appearing throughout the hair (or white marks giving the game away,) apply your dry shampoo before bed and sleep on it. Don’t brush your hair in the morning, but instead just use your fingers to comb through and add volume to the crown.
TIP 5: To counteract the dry feeling dry shampoos can often leave behind, use a small amount of leave-in conditioner on the ends to provide a hydration boost (using any excess on the top of the head for added shine.) This will help restore the texture you get from freshly-washed hair.
WHICH ARE THE BEST DRY SHAMPOOS?
You can’t go wrong with a good old bottle of original Batiste, although it is known to leave a chalky white residue that needs some attention. I personally love Klorane’s original formula as a lightweight, non chalky alternative that contains calming and soothing ingredients that are great for sensitive scalps, as well as Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day for lots of volume at the root without a tonne of residue. I’ve also tried Moroccan Oil‘s tinted version which comes in a supersized tin, as well as Aveda’s Shampure which is incredibly lightweight and in pure powder form. They’re all great in their own way, but with dry shampoo it’s all about testing out the ones that suit your budget and discovering the one that works for you personally.
Just use your chosen weapon responsibly!