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Why More Men Should Be Using Dry Shampoo

March 10, 2021

5 Min read

If you’re unacquainted with dry shampoo, then here’s the first thing to know: It isn’t shampoo at all. There’s no cleanup involved, but rather, it soaks up excess scalp oils that might otherwise dampen your style. It’s a savior for guys with oily hair, or for those who like to space out their actual shampooing, in order to preserve the hair’s natural moisture levels (while keeping hair cooperative and intentional with each morning’s styling). Plus, enjoy the hair-plumping texture and volume that comes along with each dry shampoo application.

For more on the benefits of dry shampoo, as well as the dos and don’ts of the hair-raising product, here are a few essential tips from LA-based barber Sofie Pak, co-creator of STMNT Grooming Goods.

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The benefits of dry shampoo

1. Dry shampoo can restore your hair midday

If your hairstyle looks a little lifeless by midday—common occurrence, don’t be ashamed—it might be that there’s too much oil accumulating on your scalp. This midday lift is one of dry shampoo’s top benefits, Pak says. Chances are, a sprinkle,spritz, or puff of dry shampoo onto the roots will help soak up the excess sebum that otherwise tries to weigh down your hair and compromise your intended style. As a bonus, you’ll also prevent it from turning overly shiny or greasy.

2. Dry shampoo can help oily-haired guys maintain perfect balance

The best candidates for dry shampoo are, again, the more oily among us. And one chief concern of any guy with greasy hair is that he can rarely find harmony. He’s overwashing it because it gets too oily every day, but then it’s left parched in the morning, when he otherwise needs it to be cooperative and look its best. Where’s the middle ground? Dry shampoo can help on the in-between shampoo days to soak up the grease, without stripping the hair shafts of their oils. This leaves your overall hair style-ready, and prevents it from any oil spills throughout the day.

3. Dry shampoo can simplify your morning regimen

Depending on how bed-headed you are in the morning, dry shampoo can help you spare a morning shower (assuming you showered before bed, and are still washing your face before venturing out for the day). “Depending on your wash schedule, you can safely use the product as much as once a day although I typically recommend a more modest schedule of 2-3 times per week,” Pak says. “I would say on average, my clients are using shampoo and conditioner every third day and dry shampoo every second day. So their pattern may go: wash/condition day 1, dry shampoo day 3.”

4. Dry shampoo can deliver serious texture and volume

By soaking up oils at the scalp, dry shampoo gives lift to every hair it touches. That’s because the sebum that collects at the base of each strand in turn starts to weigh it down—which allows for oils to make their way all along each shaft and turn the whole thing into a glistening mop. Get ahead of all of this, while enjoying the hair-plumping texture and volume that comes along with each application.

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Dry shampoo dos and don’ts

As wonderful as dry shampoo is, it comes with a rulebook, plus a few stern warnings. Here they are.

1. Don’t spray or sprinkle all over the hair

You want to target the roots of the hair, not the strands and shafts themselves. As you massage the product into place, you will inherently distribute some product throughout the hair—and that’s fine. But dry shampoo is effective when it’s soaking up oils from the scalp, at the base of the hair.

2. Do massage it into place

It’s important to massage the product into place, because this serves doubly to distribute it around the scalp. Dry shampoo left in place can become clumpy and can in turn suffocate hair follicles if it’s left as is. “Massage down the hairline for the best effect,” Pak advises. “Some folks with an extra oily scalp may even use a comb to part their hair into sections, focusing on the most oily hair for dense powder use.”

3. Don’t apply to wet hair

It’s as straightforward as that. Dry shampoo is rendered clumpy and useless if there’s any water in sight.

4. Don’t substitute it for actual washing

“Dry shampoo is not a substitute for washing and conditioning your hair,” Pak stresses. “I would not suggest going more than 3 days between washes.” That’s because it can leave some residue on the scalp after use, so it’s imperative to be washing your hair within a day or two of any application.

5. Do use it with other styling products

Dry shampoo isn’t itself a styling product. It can give you volume and texture, yes, but it’s best used as a precursor to another dry-hair styler, like clay or fiber. After applying dry shampoo to completely dried hair, you can apply any other product of your choice, Pak says.

6. Don’t use it on short hair or dry scalps

“Dry shampoo is less about hair length and more about how oily your scalp gets,” Pak says. Add to this list the people with hair that needs to be styled perfectly every day. It should be used as a supplement to that styling process, only when a desired style requires that volume or texture. If you’re just sitting around the house and nobody is going to see you today, then it’s probably best to skip the dry shampoo.

7. Do shake it well, if it’s a spray bottle

Pak has one final reminder for anyone using a powder dry shampoo: Shake it well. “Sometimes even during use!” she sadds. The product in the bottle can separate, and needs to be evenly distributed as you spray it on.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Adam Hurly has been writing about grooming since 2013. His work has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Men’s Journal, Bloomberg, and more. He is a South Dakota USA native but now resides in Berlin, Germany.

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