Beauty + Hairstyles

Are You Dry Shampooing the Wrong Way?

Last week, I learned that I have been using dry shampoo wrong for the last six years.  When I started telling friends about my incorrect technique, I discovered most of them were using it incorrectly as well.  So beginneth the lesson.

Step One.  Holding the can 4-6″ away from your head, lift your hair as shown and spray the roots.  Repeat on the other side, and the back, lifting as many sections as you think are necessary.  I always find it helpful to give the hairline near my ears a little extra spritz, as that’s the first area to get greasy.

{image via R+Co.}

Step Two. Massage dry shampoo into roots for 30-seconds.  This massage blends in the product and gives it a chance to absorb more oil.  As an added bonus, it also volumizes the hair.

I was missing this step, just skipping over the the brush through.  Adding it has extended the effects of dry shampooing, so I no longer end up with that 5pm deflated, unwashed hair situation.

Once the massage is complete brush the hair thoroughly.

{image via treasures and travels}

Step Three.  Lightly spritz a paddle brush with a bit of dry shampoo.  Now, flip your head over and brush through.  This step is also one I was just skipping.  But it has added so much volume, and prevented the itchy scalp that I sometimes got when wearing a dry shampooed updo.

{photo here}

Step Four. The one serious drawback of dry shampoo is that it makes my ends look totally fried.  I have really dry ends due to excessive heat use, and dry shampoo just makes that more noticeable.  Enter Dry Conditioner.

Applying a spritz of dry conditioner just to the ends of my hair gives them a smoother, shinier look.  It also hides flyaways and split ends, and gives curls more bounce.

{image via Birchbox}

Switching to this method has given my hair more volume, more shine, and my hair no longer deflates in the mid-afternoon.  I don’t know how I missed all this great information the first time but better late than never.


As for what products to use, I like Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo.  It’s powerful, which is my main qualification for a dry shampoo.  It also comes in a brunette version for darker-haired ladies.  For a drugstore option, try Psssst or Cake, both are good products that I have used before.

On the dry conditioner front, I like the $8 coconut-infused dry conditioner at Sephora.  I’ve also have good luck with Cake’s Only Locks dry conditioner.



  1. katherine kramer says:

    Have you heard of people styling their freshly washed hair with dry shampoo to help absorb oil as it develops? Someone recommended that to me but I’ve never heard it before.

    November 6, 2018/Reply
    • Masdy says:

      Yup! I do it! I get oily hair quickly (lots of life fine hair) and it gives it volume and less oil. Highly recommend

      November 7, 2018/Reply
      • TheLOOP says:

        I have fine hair that gets oily very quickly. One trick that has worked for me to extend time between washes is a bit counter intuitive – oiling my hair before shampooing. I am not sure why it works but i think it moisturizes the scalp before it is washed and hence minimizes the reactive oil production. I get at least two extra days out of a wash when I pre-oil.

        November 7, 2018/Reply
    • Christine says:

      I do this too!! Total game-changer. I also will sometimes use dry shampoo before bed sometimes and I wake up with easy-to-style, clean hair.

      November 7, 2018/Reply
  2. K says:

    I get good results from Lush’s dry shampoo (which is basically perfumed cornstarch). I first tried a spray kind from a drugstore (maybe L’Oreal) and the feel gave me flashbacks to Aquanet.

    Pretty similar application. Since it’s a powder I pretty much automatically go towards my roots.

    November 6, 2018/Reply
  3. Megan says:

    My roommate swears by applying a dry shampoo powder at night. Then she rubs it in and brushes her hair when she gets up in the morning. Helps her not end up with white residue on her dark brown hair.

    November 6, 2018/Reply
  4. k-t says:

    Thanks for the tips!

    I apply dry shampoo at night, if I know I won’t be washing my hair the next morning. It does a better job absorbing overnight than just in the morning (maybe because I’m not patient enough in the AM?). If it is more last minute, I will apply right before my shower, massage it in, clip my hair up, and let it absorb throughout my shower.

    The Dry Bar brunette spray will leave brown residue on my fingers and pillow cases though, at least for me. I use it mostly when it is the week before getting my roots done.

    The rest of the time, I use a Dove dry shampoo (in a pink can?). Isn’t too chalky, I don’t mind the mild fragrance, and it still does its job (and isn’t too pricey).

    November 6, 2018/Reply
  5. LAURA says:

    I am a Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo fan too. I heard the one for brunettes leaves brown residue on your fingers and clothes though so I haven’t tried it. I find that if I don’t use too much and I rub in well, I don’t have an issue with the color (my hair is dark brown).

    I tried using it at night but my hair is wet around my face (from using a shower cap and washing my face), it didn’t look very good the morning after.

    November 7, 2018/Reply
  6. Lauren says:

    I agree about applying long before. I tend to assess my hair before I get in the shower, add my powder then if need be, so it has at least 20 min before I style. I’m liking Acure powder sold at whole foods, doesn’t give me dry scalp and works well on my fine hair. Plus for travel, it’s not a liquid!

    November 7, 2018/Reply