How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

Whether you’re amid globe trotting/digital nomading, are getting your sweat on before a busy day of work, or need a refresher between wash days, dry shampoo will always be there for you. You can count on dry shampoo to help you reduce grease, oil, and dirt buildup in your hair when in a greasy situation. Its name comes from the fact that you can apply dry shampoo on dry hair – what an idea! 

There is no need to wash dry shampoo out of your hair, and it is usually applied to your crown and nape of the neck, where oily buildup may accumulate. If you sweat a lot at the gym or want a longer-lasting blowout, dry shampoo is an excellent way to refresh your hair.

But how does it work exactly? Let's find out. 

How dry shampoo works

Sebum is essential for hair and scalp health as it softens your hair and protects your skin. But after sweating or even going about your daily routine, your hair collects oil and sweat. Even though some oil is normal and unavoidable, oil buildup on your hair gives it a greasy appearance.

Dry shampoo works by soaking up oil and grease in your hair, usually through an alcohol or starch ingredient, resulting in a cleaner, fresher appearance. They are traditionally aerosol products but may come in a paste or shaken powder format and often contain fragrances to keep your hair smelling fresh between washes. However, dry shampoo is not a shampoo since it doesn’t wash out the oil; it just absorbs it. Wet shampoo and water are still required for a real cleanse. 

Does dry shampoo work for different types of hair? 

Your hair texture and how you use dry shampoo will determine its effectiveness and might affect how dry shampoo makes it look.

Pro tip: Always remember that dry shampoo isn't meant to clean your hair; it's intended as a quick fix for excess oil and grease. Dry shampoo overuse can cause a dry and itchy scalp.

Greasy hair

Those with naturally oily hair are most likely to benefit from dry shampooing. Dry shampoo may be helpful for a quick fix when your hair looks oily after a quick workout or humid commute.

In addition to dry shampoo, ensure you wash your hair on a schedule that suits your type of hair to maintain a clean scalp and clear pores.

Mane Club’s Let’s Cheat Dry Shampoo is the perfect addition to your hair care routine as it helps absorb excess oil, instantly refreshes, and adds body to your locks for a freshly washed look. Charcoal, the main ingredient, deep cleans the scalp, removing any impurities that might cause your hair to be weighed down.

Fine/thin hair

Dry shampoos may be necessary if your hair is naturally thin, dry, or particularly fine. In this case, you may not need a dry shampoo to absorb oil but to add volume and extend the life of textured styles on days 2 or 3.

Pro tip: Dry shampoo may appear flaky if you have dark brown or black hair. But there are ways around this. Let’s Cheat Dry Shampoo provides an invisible finish with no chalky residue, making it excellent for dark hair.

Curly hair

It is also possible to freshen curly hair with dry shampoo, but you might have to change how you apply it. 

Once your hair is dry and you have applied the dry shampoo, don't brush or comb it; just use your fingers to distribute the product and move it around. You may end up with dry, frizzy curls instead of fresh, bouncy curls.

Color-treated hair

Regardless of your hair color, dry shampoo can work wonders. The beauty of dry shampoo is that it won't fade or affect your hair color if you don't have time to wash it on a given day. Using dry shampoo in between your regular wash routine may maintain the color of your hair since you might be able to skip a shampoo or two.

Dry shampoo is very versatile, so many people use it every day. In addition to cleaning, freshening, and boosting hair, it does not weigh it down or mask its natural texture. You can revive lifeless strands by setting them with bouncy waves, and curls can rebound between washes. In terms of its utility in a hair care routine, dry shampoo is unrivaled.


dry shampoo hack infographic


Does dry shampoo keep your hair clean?

Although this product won't permanently remove your oils and dirt, it will help disguise them until you can use running water again. And, of course, when and how you use dry shampoo will determine its effectiveness. 

Maintaining the health of your hair and scalp requires regular rinsing and washing. Dry shampoo can keep your hair and scalp clean if you're traveling without a shower, if you're injured or ill, or as a quick fix if you simply don’t have time for a wash – we’ve definitely been there! 

You can't deny that your hair can get gross, and only a wet shampoo can remove dirt, bacteria, and yeast from your scalp over time. So, unfortunately, dry shampoo can’t replace washing your hair. In the same vein, washing your hair daily is not recommended, so dry shampoo can extend the length between washes if your hair is oilier. But only for a short time – just a few days at once. 

How to use dry shampoo

When using dry shampoo, it's essential to understand how to apply it correctly. Here are a few important tips for using dry shampoo:

  • For even coverage and to avoid buildup, spray in a sweeping motion. 
  • For a refreshed look in the morning, use dry shampoo before bed. 
  • Shake the dry shampoo before use so it will be evenly distributed.
  • Spray dry shampoo from ~6 inches from the hair/root– otherwise, it can look chalky and makes it harder to wash.
  • Using too much can cause your hair to feel stiff. Apply only where needed.
  • Start with a small amount at the roots of your hair. Then wait and decide if you need more.
  • Give your dry shampoo a few minutes to absorb your hair's oil before brushing it out.

Want more info? Read through our more in-depth guide on how we like to apply dry shampoo.

Looking for a new dry shampoo? Try Mane Club’s Let’s Cheat Volumizing Dry Shampoo for an instant refresh or Going Viral 3-in-1 Texturising Dry Shampoo for effortless beach waves.

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Let's Cheat Volumizing Dry Shampoo Let's Cheat Volumizing Dry Shampoo
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Going Viral texturizing dry shampoo Going Viral texturizing dry shampoo
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