How to Correctly Use Dry Shampoo, According to Experts

Dry shampoo is a beauty arsenal staple for many reasons. It conveniently and easily helps soak up excess oil in seconds, adds instant volume to day-old (or two- or three-day-old) hair, and can significantly extend the life of your blowout.

Still, as popular as dry shampoo is, it’s not always the easiest product to apply (hello, chalk-white roots). Moreover, dry shampoo continues to evolve from its original aerosol version — now there are tinted versions, powders, sprays, and even foams — and just like normal shampoo, different types of dry shampoo tend to work more effectively on different hair types and textures. All of this is to say, it might be time to brush up on your dry shampoo know-how.

Below, experts answer all of our burning questions about dry shampoo, including how to properly apply it, how long you should actually leave it on your scalp before shampooing, and how to choose the right product for your hair type.

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How to Choose the Right Dry Shampoo

As mentioned, dry shampoo comes in many different variations, including aerosol, spray, powder, and foam — and the specific type you use does make a difference.

“For instance, if you have fine hair and you use powder, it might feel heavy and weigh down your hair,” explains hairstylist Adriana Tesler. “I recommend powder for thicker and oily hair because it soaks up the oil and won’t weigh [the hair] down.” On the flip side, those with fine hair might benefit most from a spray or aerosol version, because they tend to dry faster and add more volume, Tesler says.

Additionally, you’d also be wise to “make sure you’re reading all the details so you can get the right product for you,” advises hairstylist Chris Appleton, who counts J.Lo, Ariana Grande, and Kim Kardashian as regular clients. This is because, just like regular shampoo and conditioner, different dry shampoo formulas work better for different hair types and concerns.

“Normally, people with curlier hair need more moisture, while people with an oily scalp don’t,” Appleton says. “Dry shampoos cater to specific hair types, [and] some dry shampoos come with other properties like volumizing and texturizing.”

Basically, just as you would for any other skin or hair care product, read the product description page thoroughly in order to make sure that a formula’s features pertain to your needs. If you have curly strands, seek out a dry shampoo that also has moisturizing elements — Appleton recommends ColorWow Style on Steroids. If you have fine or thin hair, try a lightweight aerosol dry shampoo, such as Kerastase’s Powder Bluff or Klorane’s Gentle Dry Shampoo. For those who tend to have an oily scalp, use a dry shampoo that’s formulated to be super absorbent, such as Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo or Ouai Super Dry Shampoo.

Yet another option is color-tinted dry shampoo, which are made to blend better with specific hair colors and can come in handy when your roots begin to grow out. Some of our favorites: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Light Tones (for blondes), and Batiste Dry Shampoo Divine Dark or Sachajuan Dark Dry Powder Shampoo (for dark brunettes){: rel=nofollow}.

It’s worth noting that all four of the hairstylists polled for this story cited aerosol as their favorite type of dry shampoo delivery system. Why? The pressurization of product combined with the aerosol spray nozzle allows for a more even application, some say, as well as more control. “It also gives us the added benefit of adding a little more volume and texture,” says hairstylist Adel Chabbi.

How to Properly Apply Dry Shampoo

After you’ve picked out your dry shampoo, you’ve got to know how to apply it — correctly, so as not to end up with white roots or stiff strands. Follow these steps for best results.

Step 1: Prep & Part

“Before you even think about spraying it in your hair, shake the bottle up,” Appleton says, referring to aerosol, spray, and foam dry shampoos (you don’t need to shake up powder). “This will make sure the product’s formula is evenly distributed inside of the bottle, making for even distribution on your scalp.”

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