There is nothing like a luxurious steam in the shower or tub to wash away your troubles and stress. But not everyone has time each day to be leisurely about his or her hygiene. There is a lot to do in the morning and even the most casual hair-do takes a lot of time to wash, dry, style and set. After all that work, a styling doesn’t last very long before your locks are limp and greasy and you have to start all over again. Anyone with a particularly busy schedule (which seems to be everyone) needs an alternative to the daily grind for a good hair day. This is where a good dry shampoo comes to shine— or rather, comes to take away that little bit of extra shine.
If you’re thinking that washing your hair without water is a new idea, you’re mistaken! Many cultures have used powdered clay as a hair cleanser for centuries. Colored powders were popular in France over two hundred years ago for their clean look.
The modern practice of a daily shower is incredibly unique in history, and even long after the advent of indoor plumbing, people refrained from washing their hair until their weekly trip to the salon. We no longer live in those days and this seems unbelievable to us, but recent research has pointed in the direction that daily washing actually makes your hair greasier by stripping all of the natural oils from your scalp and forcing your sebaceous glands into overdrive to try and re-balance itself.
So maybe skipping the daily wash is actually most important for those of us with especially greasy hair. To pick up the slack though, and to keep us looking our best, we have dry shampoo.
Dry shampoo is a product that removes excess grease from your hair and scalp without needing to be rinsed with water. That way, you can have fresh looking and beautiful hair while skipping the wet wash and everything that comes with it.
The main ingredient behind any of these dry shampoos is always going to be something with fine particles that is very absorbent. Baby powder gives you the right idea, but it would look a little funny sprinkled all over your head and the telltale scent would give you away. Corn starch, fine clays, baking soda, and fine sand are all ingredients that make a good base. These small particles soak up the oil that clings to your hair and weighs it down, thus letting your hair go back to its fluffy, post-shower state. It also adds volume and texture to hair, thus making it easier to keep on styling, even days after a wash.
Many people start using a dry shampoo in situations where they can’t shower, such as camping or traveling, and end up hooked by the amazing effect it has on their hair!
This volumizing and weight-defying quality also makes dry shampoo an especially great option for those with fine and easily damaged hair. This is because it can keep hair looking light and fresh without constantly having to wet shampoo and scrub it. When the natural oils are completely stripped, as happens with a full shampoo, hair is more brittle and prone to damage. For this reason, fine hair can see great results from foregoing the wet shampoo a little more in favor of the dry.
In addition to powders, many companies sell dry shampoo that comes in an aerosol form. The aerosol versions of dry shampoo work, but they’re really not all that good for you or the environment. They often contain primary ingredients like butane and are loaded with other chemicals that are harmful to your body, not to mention the long-term effects on the atmosphere. The powder version is the better option.
Are you ready to do your hair and your schedule a favor? Here are the top brands to try for your new dry shampoo regime:
1. Hair Dance
This brand is very effective at making your hair look like it was just washed and blown out. Hair Dance Silky Touch Dry Shampoo is made with rice starch and oatmeal, for an incredibly gentle and soothing absorber that takes away the oil without making your hair dry or brittle. Lavender oil and olive leaf soothe as well, making your hair even healthier than it would be without it.
The best part about this shampoo? A little goes a long way. The one ounce bottle is enough for many months of regular use. This product also comes with a simple nozzle so that you can easily apply it directly to your roots wherever you need it most. The scent is light and fresh.
2. Handmade Heroes
Here is a great shampoo that is meant specifically for brunettes. Handmade Heroes’ Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo is made from a rice powder and kaolin clay base, with cocoa powder and bamboo charcoal mixed in for added absorption, as well as for a darker tint to better hide dark hair.
The charcoal also acts as a purifier and deodorizer and a mix of brightly scented essential oils actually stimulate your scalp to increase your energy and soothe your skin. Just pour a little bit into your palm and sprinkle it around your roots to spread it out. It is completely paraben, preservative and chemical free.
3. Captain Blankenship
This product is completely organic, paraben-free, sulfate-free and non-GMO. It is made with a sun-dried arrowroot base, with kaolin clay and aluminum-free baking soda for powerful deodorizing and absorption. Captain Blankenship’s Organic Mermaid Dry Shampoo needs a little bit more than others to fully remove the oil from your hair, but it has a nice, floral scent and is easy to apply straight from the bottle.
4. Lulu Organics
This old-fashioned looking hair powder is a potent dry shampoo. It is made of what is probably the most classic hair powder recipe: corn starch, clay, and baking soda. It contains rice powder and horsetail powder as well, and everything in the bottle is certified organic. It comes in a variety of fragrances, all of which are very well liked. The options are lavender and clary sage, patchouli and amber, and jasmine.
Lulu Organics hair powder also comes in one of the largest bottles of any of the dry shampoos, an impressive 4 ounces, which makes it a very long lasting product.
To apply the dry shampoo, either shake a small amount from the container directly onto your scalp— being very, very careful not to go overboard, or pour a little into your hand and then sprinkle it from there.
Apply it wherever your roots generally look or feel greasiest and then massage it all around to get it to spread evenly around your roots. The problem with these fine particles is that they are generally very light in color. They can give hair a dusty, chalky appearance if you apply too much. The purpose of a dry shampoo is to make your hair look clean, not like a wig! The solution to this is to either use a shampoo that has darker tints added, or to be careful to apply only a very small amount of the product and give it time to absorb and blend in. At this initial point, the shampoo may still be slightly visible, especially on darker hair, but after a few minutes it should have absorbed the oil and disappeared. From here you can either leave it alone or brush it through your hair the rest of the way with a soft brush.
Some people find that they have the best results when they apply the powder and then quickly blow dry their hair. The result looks identical to hair that has been freshly washed. Other people prefer to apply it at night before bed so that the powder has fully absorbed by the morning and they are fresh and ready to be on their way. It might take some experimenting to discover what works best for you.
It is important to note that dry shampoo is not a complete substitute for a thorough lathering in any case.
A dry shampoo is going to continue accumulating in your hair and on your scalp and will need to periodically washed out with soap and water. Otherwise, the buildup of the dry shampoo will begin to feel like grit on your scalp and it can actually begin to damage your hair by smothering the follicles. A good rule would be to thoroughly water-wash your hair at least every week or week and a half.
Many people use dry shampoo on the off days when they don’t shower, and others use it as their regular cleanser. Either way, it cannot be used to completely replace washing with water, just to make washing with water a special treat!
So whatever you’re planning on using it for, whether a daily staple or a quick fix on the go, you’ll find that these natural dry shampoos are easy, fast, and beautiful.