How To Use Dry Shampoo: A Quick, 9-Step Guide

How To Use Dry ShampooIt seems like every day I get asked how to use dry shampoo.

Like so many products found in our bathrooms, dry shampoos, if used incorrectly won’t function as well as they should!

With improper use of dry shampoo, you could be damaging your hair, creating flakes and not getting the looks you desire.

But once you get the hang of using them, you’ll see just how awesome your hair can look (and how much time you can save).

Dry shampoos can not only salvage second (or third) day hair but can be used after a trip to the gym, a flight or while you’re rocking out at a music festival like Coachella or Bonaroo.

We’ve created a quick, 9-step “How To” guide to help you get the most out of your dry shampoo.

Most of these tips are applicable to both styles (powder and aerosol) of dry shampoo.  And I know it looks liek a lot, but once you get the hang of it, it takes just a few minutes!

The Basics:

Step #1
When using dry shampoo always make sure your hair is dry.  Using dry shampoo on wet or damp hair can lead to major clumping of the powder in your hair leaving an appearance similar to dandruff.  The clumped powder can become gritty over time and instead of providing volume can weigh down your beautiful locks.  Dry shampoo goes on dry hair!

Step #2
When applying dry shampoo to your hair, make sure you position the bottle far enough away from the roots of your hair before you start spraying.  If you’re using an aerosol-based dry shampoo, it’s recommended that you position the bottle 10-12 inches away from your targeted area.  If you’re using a powder-based dry shampoo make sure you position the bottle at least 6 inches away from your roots and make sure you can get enough of a “puff” from the powder instead of trying to lay down powder directly onto your scalp.

Step #3  
When you’re spraying your hair with dry shampoo, make sure you lift up your hair in sections throughout your head.  Spritz lightly underneath each section, spraying your natural hairline, to make sure you not only get your roots but also maximum coverage throughout.

Step #4
If you see some white powder now, don’t freak out!  I promise it’s OK.  We’ll next need to start to tease or blend the hair.  Start by flipping your hair upside down and use your fingers here to rub the powder throughout your hair.  Really work it in, running your fingers back and forth trying to rub the dry shampoo through the roots and any additional strands.  We want to make sure that all of our hair gets treated instead of just certain sections or layers.

Step #5
As I’m sure you’ve noticed after our recent hair flip, we’ll need to do some smoothing out.  Start with a boar bristle brush running it through your hair root to end.

Step #6
Now that you have great coverage throughout your hair, you get to relax and hang out for 2 minutes.  Leave your hair be and let the dry shampoo go to work for you.  If your hair is extra oily you may want to wait longer than the suggested 2 minutes.

Step #7
After the dry shampoo has had a chance to absorb all of the extra oil from your hair, comb or brush the excess out of your hair and style as needed.  You may want to again flip your hair upside down to brush excess powder our and you may want to use a hair dryer on low heat to help.

Step #8
For awesome-looking hair, add a small drop of hair serum (or essential oil) to your ends, not your roots, and work into your style.

Step #9
Last but not least after your hair is set for the day, keep your hands away from your hair.  I know you want to admire your beautiful looking hair that you were able to achieve after reading this guide, but your hair will be better off, and less oily like we wanted in the first place, if you keep your hands out of it.

Help I’ve had an accident what do I do?

If you happen to have applied too much dry shampoo into one spot use a lightweight serum on the area.  Blow dry the area out and continue to brush out the dry shampoo until it has been absorbed or pushed from the hair.

If the dry shampoo powder is leaving your hair with a flaky look, increase the distance you are spraying the dry shampoo from and also spend more time with a brush working the powder into your hair.  If needed use a hair dryer on low heat with a brush to address those accidental over sprays!

Be sure to not just spray the dry shampoo to the top most layer of your hair.  Really lift up the strands and follow your natural hair line to achieve the best coverage.

If you’re hair is starting to itch badly and you have been using a dry shampoo, wet wash your hair with a traditional wet shampoo.  Dry shampooing is not meant to completely replace wet-shampoos and shouldn’t be used for more than a few applications.

After following this guide and becoming more comfortable with how dry shampoos work with your hair, you should be able to achieve great looking, beautiful style after each and every use!

If you’re wondering which brand of dry shampoo to use, check out our updated rankings and reviews of the best dry shampoos.