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How to Use Dry Shampoo

Three Methods:Apply Dry ShampooMake Dry Shampoo Work for YouCreate Dry Shampoo from Scratch

Dry shampoo has become a popular alternative to regular shampoo in recent years. It absorbs the oil that makes your hair look greasy without drying your scalp out, like washing your hair with water every day can do. Learn how to apply dry shampoo, tips for using it to look your best, and how to make your own dry shampoo using the contents of your kitchen cabinets.

Method 1
Apply Dry Shampoo

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    Choose a dry shampoo. Dry shampoos come in the form of a powder or a dry spray-on product that you apply to the roots of your hair. You can purchase a commercial product or improvise by making your own. For a homemade dry shampoo recipe, read to the end of this article.
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    Get your hair ready. Remove hair bands, hair pins, and clips. Comb it to make sure there are no tangles.
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    Apply the dry shampoo. Sprinkle the powder you chose over the top of your head, especially in the areas that tend to get oily, like your bangs and part. Use your fingers to distribute it.
    • If you use a spray bottle of dry shampoo, hold it 6 inches (15.2 cm) from your head and spray. Hold it far enough away so that the shampoo settles evenly over your head.
    • If you wish,brush your hair so the dry shampoo is distributed down the length of the hair shafts. Focus mostly on the roots, but if the rest of your hair needs freshening up, add a little more to the tips.
    • This might get messy, so do it over the sink or be ready to sweep or vacuum when you're done.
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    Let it settle in. Wait 5 to 10 minutes for the dry shampoo to absorb the oil from your hair. If you have particularly oily hair, it may take a little longer.
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    Comb the excess shampoo out of your hair. Turn your head upside down and brush out all of the powder. You can use a hair dryer to help the process along.

Method 2
Make Dry Shampoo Work for You

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    Know when to use dry shampoo. Dry shampoo gives your hair the appearance of being clean, since it absorbs the oil that can make hair look dirty. Find the washing routine that works for you, whether it's three times a week or less, and use dry shampoo every day in between.
    • Use dry shampoo after a trip to the gym. Dry shampoo can also come in handy when you've exercised and don't have time to take a shower before returning to work or school.
    • Use dry shampoo after a long airplane flight or a travel day. It's convenient to carry a small bottle for times when you don't have access to a shower.
    • Don't use dry shampoo more than a few times in a row before washing your hair with regular shampoo and water. Since dry shampoo doesn't clean skin flakes and other debris from your hair, it's necessary to use water regularly.
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    Use dry shampoo on dry hair. If you try to put powder on wet hair, it will get clumpy and look a mess. Don't use dry shampoo until your hair is totally dry. It works on grease, but not water.
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    Don't rub dry shampoo into your scalp. Dry shampoo can accumulate on your scalp and make it itch. If you're using spray-on shampoo, hold it several inches away from your head so you don't spray it directly on your scalp. Sprinkle homemade dry shampoo over your head from a height of several inches.
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    Add a few drops of essential oil. If you want your hair to smell fresh and clean, like it does after washing it in the shower, try smoothing a few drops of essential oil into the middle and tips of your hair after you've given yourself a dry shampoo treatment.
    • Lemon and other citrus oils work well for this purpose. Make sure you concentrate them at the ends, so the roots of your hair don't look oily again.
    • Try eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, lavender oil or rose oil if you don't like citrus scents.

Method 3
Create Dry Shampoo from Scratch

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    Look in your cabinets. You probably already have the ingredients you need for dry shampoo. A mix of powders and starches works well to absorb the oil from your hair. Choose from the following options:
    • Baking soda. This also helps to minimize odors.
    • Cornmeal
    • Corn starch
    • Ground oatmeal (if you use this, grind it to a fine powder in your food processor)
    • Talcum powder or baby powder
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    Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Depending on what you have in your cabinet, mix equal parts of as many of the above ingredients as possible. The mix of course ingredients and powders helps absorb as much oil as possible.
    • If you're missing an ingredient, substitute a like ingredient. For example, if you don't have baby powder, double the baking soda. If you don't have ground oatmeal, double the Cornmeal.
    • Make sure the ingredients are well mixed. If you want to make sure they're ground even finer, you can run them through your food processor together. (Be sure to clean it well if you use baby powder.)
    • To make scented dry shampoo, mix it with dried flowers or herbs (e.g. roses, lavender, hibiscus, violets, mint) in a jar, close the lid, and set it in a dark cupboard for 2-4 weeks. The scent will mix with the dry shampoo so that when you use it, your hair will smell good.
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    Pour the mixture into a spice shaker. An old, clean salt or pepper shaker, or any shaker that was used for a spice, is the perfect dispenser for dry shampoo.


  • Carry a small jar of dry shampoo with you in your purse. It comes in handy in situations you may not anticipate.


  • Don't mix essential oils with your dry shampoo. They may smell good, but the powder needs to absorb the oil in your hair, not the essential oils.
  • If your hair gets frizzy, be prepared with a few drops of oil (jojoba, Vitamin E, even vegetable) to tame it down after using dry shampoo.

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