woman applying dry shampoo to hair

Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

I can’t come out tonight, I’m washing my hair! We have all said it!

The process of washing, drying and styling your hair can be a laborious one and we are all often guilty of planning our week around our hair washing schedule.

No matter how well you plan it, there will always be something that catches you out, and it usually comes when your hair is at its greasiest.

That leaves us reaching for the dry shampoo. But have you ever wondered what it is doing to your hair and whether dry shampoo is any good for you?

What is dry shampoo?

Most of us have a bottle of dry shampoo somewhere in the bathroom cabinet, but have you ever considered how this seemingly magical stuff actually gets your hair clean without going anywhere near the shower?!

The reason your hair starts to look greasy is because your hair follicles produce sebum, a natural oil that softens your hair and protects your skin.

However, simple things, from everyday life such as being outside, sweating or touching your hair, can cause oil to collect in your hair, which we would normally wash away.

Dry shampoo uses alcohol or starch-based active ingredients to soak up these oils, making your hair appear cleaner even if it is not.1

There is often a fragrance incorporated into dry shampoo, to help make your hair smell fresher too.

Is dry shampoo good for me?

It is important to remember that despite its name, dry shampoo does not actually clean your hair in the way that the traditional product does.

Dry shampoo disguises the grease and the dirt, and when this is left in the hair for too long it can result in an itchy, dry scalp.

For that reason, it should only really be used as a quick fix, rather than part of a regular hair care routine.

Different products are made for different hair types, so it is important to choose the best dry shampoo for you.

That includes finding something that not only suits the texture of your hair but also the colour, as some dry shampoo is visible in dark hair.

Types of dry shampoo

The most common forms of this hair care hero are dry shampoo powder or an aerosol.

Growing up, you might have found your mum trying to put baby powder in your hair to remove the grease, and this is a cheap alternative!

However, if your hair is dark in colour, it can be quite hard to blend this in.

Many of these non aerosol dry shampoos have been made based around different colours, to make them easier to use, and  they just need to be worked gently into your roots.

Aerosol versions of dry shampoo simply need to be sprayed onto the roots in the areas that feel oiliest, which can often be the hairline, the nape of the neck and the crown.

Some of these dry shampoos can contain several chemicals but there is now the option to use an organic dry shampoo.

Look out for natural and cruelty free ingredients for a more natural and ethical way to treat your hair.

We should point out that dry shampoo is not simply for women either.

Dry shampoo for men is becoming increasingly popular and has fragrances that are more suitable for male users.

Can I make dry shampoo at home?

It is possible to make your own version of a dry shampoo at home, with a few simple ingredients that can often be found in your kitchen cupboards.

Just identify the best items for your hair colour and a few nourishing bits and pieces and you will have the base for the perfect homemade dry shampoo.

How to make your own dry shampoo at home’ gives you all the details you need to put together a DIY natural dry shampoo.

Dry shampoo is a great product to dig you out of a hole, but as with anything in life, make sure you use it in moderation to keep your hair and scalp healthy.

It can help to hide the grease and dirt in your hair but not remove it, so make sure you are washing properly in between uses, to prevent these things from sitting on your scalp for too long.

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Last updated: 31 December 2020

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