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How to use dry shampoo

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

The best uses for dry shampoo

Dry shampoo is exactly what it sounds like: A way to clean your hair without using water. And it's a cinch to use!

Woman with healthy shinny hair

A regular shampoo removes dirt, styling products, dandruff and sebum (your hair’s natural oil). A dry shampoo, on the other hand, doesn’t remove anything. Instead, it absorbs sebum and leaves your hair feeling cleaner and less greasy.

Mom tip

When my child’s hair looks greasy, but there’s no time to shampoo, I sprinkle some baby powder on her scalp and brush it through. Looks clean. Smells great!

Step 1:  Choose a dry shampoo

You can find it in stores with regular shampoos and hair styling products. Most commercial dry shampoos are spray-on products.

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Step 2: Brush or comb out your hair to detangle

“Separate your hair into sections,” says Stephanie Vendetti, co-founder of HowToBeARedhead.com. Think about the way your hairstylist sections your hair when cutting it.

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Step 3: Apply the dry shampoo to one section of hair at a time

“Holding the can about ten inches away, spray the roots of the hair,” says celebrity stylist Naz Kupelian. To make sure it's well-applied, “rub in with your fingers,” advises Vendetti.

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Step 4:  Wait for the dry shampoo to absorb the sebum

One to five minutes should suffice, but particularly oily hair may take a bit longer.

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Step 5: Bend over at the waist and brush your hair from the neck forward

Flip your hair back and brush as usual. “Blow dry your hair slightly after using dry shampoo to help refresh your style,” says award-winning stylist Jen Ramos, Nube Nove Salon. “The blow-drying is the most important part!”

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Just think of the possibilities! Dry shampoo is great for those days when you don’t have time to shower and shampoo between work and your kid’s band concert. It’s ideal for camping trips. And it’s great for moms who, with little kids always underfoot, simply can’t wash their hair as often as they’d like.

And if you're having your hair put up for a special occasion, skip the regular shampoo and opt for dry shampoo instead. “Dry shampoo is perfect for any and every up-do because it creates more texture and makes hair much easier to work with,” explains Kupelian. “And because it removes excess oils in the scalp, it adds volume.”

Bottom line: Dry shampoo, Kupelian says, is “a must for any woman no matter the season. This product will be your best friend going from day to night.”

More hair how-tos

How to find a great hairstylist
How to talk to your hairstylist
How to find the right hairstyle for your face shape

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