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How to Use Dry Shampoo in 5 Easy Steps

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a parent, an athlete, live an on-the-go or #vanlife lifestyle, or are styling your hair or restoring it after a night out, dry shampoo is essential in hair care for many reasons. It was born from convenience in the 1940s (as ‘Minipoo’), and, contrary to the name, it is not a hair cleanser, though it does a great job restoring locks to their freshly-washed glory.   


Dry shampoo works to add instant volume to hair, extending the life of your blowout by absorbing excess oil to help turn limp, greasy strands into a clean coif. Hair stylists also use it all around the world on the sets of movies, for runway looks, or to simply “zhoosh” up flatter hair. 


There are many nuances of dry shampoo, and if you’re not yet a fan of the product, you likely haven’t learned how to use it properly. But don’t worry; we’re here to show you how these cute little cans help absorb oils, add body or texture, and freshen your look.

How to use dry shampoo to refresh your hair or hide oily strands

Dry shampoo offers many benefits, but overuse can also lead to problems. When too much of the product is used on the scalp, it causes a buildup of residue that clogs hair follicles and inhibits hair growth. Yikes! Because of this, most dry shampoos are only recommended for a few uses between your regular hair-washing routine.

Here are a few tips on how to use dry shampoo effectively.

 

How to Use Dry Shampoo Infographic

Step 1: Part hair into sections

Part your hair into small segments so dry shampoo can be properly distributed. To begin, you should tackle the oiliest section(s).

Depending on where you start, work horizontally up or down in subsections. As dry shampoo is tough to remove from dry hair, less is more until you become skilled at applying it. 

Step 2: Hold dry shampoo six to ten inches away and spray directly at the roots

You should spray dry shampoo directly into the roots of the hair at a distance of six to ten inches. Then, spray one section of hair at a time, starting where the hair feels oiliest. Usually, the hairline, nape of the neck, and crown are the oiliest parts.

Pro tip: Before spraying dry shampoo, always shake the can first to help the bottle maintain its "spraying power" and evenly distribute the product - it works just like whipped cream ;) 

Step 3: Let dry shampoo sit on the hair for 10 minutes

If you’re a mess in the mornings like us, we’re guessing you spray your hair and just give it a shake on the way out. Although this method might help a bit, you're wasting precious dry shampoo since the product hasn't had a chance to soak up much oil.

You will see more benefits from dry shampoo if you let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the oils. If you can, let it work for at least 10 minutes. Dry shampoo is the ultimate product for morning multitaskers; spray it on right after waking, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, and drink coffee while it sits. But don't forget to massage and brush before leaving 😳

Step 4: Massage into scalp

Who are we to pass up a good head massage? Even if it is from yourself! Plus, this part is always beneficial, regardless of the specific instructions for your dry shampoo, as it helps distribute the product more evenly. 

To ensure the oil-absorbing action of the product is evenly distributed, massage the product into the roots and scalp with your fingertips. 

Pro tip: To give your hair extra volume, flip your head upside down while massaging the product into it.

Step 5: Brush or run fingers through hair to distribute 

To separate strands and add volume, run your fingers through the hair or brush it quickly to distribute the product evenly. Remember that brushing will take some volume out of your hair, so if fullness is your goal, use a finger brush. This method better imitates an overall hair wash than just spraying your roots. 

Mane Club’s Let’s Cheat Dry Shampoo is infused with charcoal for extra oil-absorbing power, leaving a fuller and fresher-looking head of hair.  

Common dry shampoo mistakes

If dry shampoo has saved you any time by delaying your hair wash day, you’ve already experienced one of the product's key benefits. However, if you're still unsure about the advantages of dry shampoo, you may be misusing it.

For best results, avoid these common mistakes when using dry shampoo. 

1. Spraying too closely to hair 

When you overuse dry shampoo, spraying just a few inches away from your roots, you need to take a step back and reconsider your approach. Using too much dry shampoo can exceed the dangers of over-washing it, so it's a fine line to walk. 

To ensure all areas get the attention they need, try sectioning the hair and spraying each section from about six to ten inches away. By doing this, you will avoid white spots and avoid suffocating your hair follicles. 

2. Spraying only the top of the hair 

Another strategy to avoid is only spraying product on the parting of their hairstyle or just on visible roots. 

Sectioning to the rescue again; sectioning your hair once or twice and spraying the roots in between sections will use less product and distribute it evenly. This strategy also helps give you more volume if you have thinner hair! 

3. Relying on dry shampoo for too many days at a time 

Keeping your scalp clean is an essential part of the dry shampoo experience. Using dry shampoo instead of regular shampoo is the same as using deodorant instead of showering. It works in a pinch, but not all the time. 

Dry shampoo can't replace washing your hair forever. But you can still use it to avoid washing your hair, add texture to your hair, and keep it smelling fresh!

4. Brushing through hair too quickly after spraying dry shampoo

Allowing dry shampoo to sit on your hair for around ten minutes after application enables it to absorb all the oils and refresh your locks. You waste the product by brushing it out right away instead of allowing it to soak up the oils. 

Pro tip: Using your hairdryer after applying dry shampoo is an amazing hack for extending your blowout.

How often to use dry shampoo 

Our experts recommend using dry shampoo 1-2 times a week, depending on how oily your hair is. 

Many people who are too busy to wash their hair every day or choose not to wash their hair with liquid shampoo enjoy using dry shampoo. But when it comes to dry shampoo, it's possible to have too much of a good thing. Especially when the obsession is REAL, it's important to practice moderation to avoid product buildup and to keep your hair looking fresh. 💁🏼‍♀️

But don’t just take it from us. Celebrity hair stylist, Jessica Elbaum, known for her work on Modern Family & Magnum PI, recommends the following when it comes to dry shampoo, “A general rule of thumb is 1-2 times a week. However, it varies based on your hair type and lifestyle [...] someone with dry texture or curly hair will most likely use this product less than someone with thin or fine hair.” 

How to get dry shampoo out of hair

While dry shampoo is a great option when you don't want to wash your hair or think it doesn't smell as fresh as it could, it shouldn't replace your regular shampoo. Traditional liquid or bar shampoo is the only way to eliminate sweat and dead cells. 

You should use a clarifying shampoo between dry sessions to break down buildup. Dry shampoo overuse can result in dry hair breaks more quickly, so clarifying shampoo will cleanse your scalp and allow oil to return. When you notice product accumulation on your scalp, it's time for a clarifying shampoo. 

Can I use dry shampoo on clean hair?

Can hair ever be “too clean” to style? In short, the answer is “yes,” but we thought this question could do with a response from our Celebrity Hair Stylist. 

Jessica Elbaum says: 

"I love to use dry shampoo on clean hair as well. A good dry shampoo also acts as a texture spray & a good trick is to spray the product into your roots, leave it on for 10-15 minutes & then massage it or brush it into your hair. That gives the maximum benefit, soaks up any oil & creates volume."

Clean hair can benefit from dry shampoo because freshly washed hair may not have enough grip and volume for your desired style. You can even use dry shampoo on damp hair (90% dry), and it will stick to the hair strands, making it appear fuller, thicker, and voluminous, giving a "no product" look.

 

Our Dry Shampoos

"Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" —Derek Zoolander… and Mane Club Dry Shampoo users

Mane Club's Going Viral 3-in-1 Dry Shampoo

 

The overachieving 3-in-1 dry shampoo will stop dull hair in its tracks. It's the perfect undone texture you thought only existed on Instagram. This dry ‘poo absorbs extra oil, volumizes, and texturizes hair for extraordinary results. 

Mane Club's Let Cheat Dry Shampoo

 

Looking for a refresher? Charcoal-infused dry shampoo instantly absorbs excess oil and unwanted odor, leaving hair feeling freshly washed. The Mane benefits are oil absorption, instant refreshment, and extra body-ody-ody. 

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