Dry shampoo is a godsent. Don’t have time for a shower after work, but need to go out on a Friday night with your best hair? Dry shampoo is the answer. I always come across this common question: How often should you use dry shampoo?
I mean, dry shampoo will turn you from a zombie office worker to Farrah Fawcett in no time. Which is great and all, but I have some tea for you, honey. That’s not the best way to use dry shampoo. There’s an even better way to maximize the effectiveness of this manna in hair product form. Use it at night. Let’s find out why.
How does dry shampoo work?
In case you didn’t know, dry shampoo is for cleaning your hair when it’s dry. Unlike normal shampoo. You use that when your hair is wet.
Am I moving too fast? So all day long your head is producing sebum from your follicles, that oil that keeps your hair nice and shiny. While you want some of this sebum in your hair, too much will make it greasy.
Shampoo uses starch or alcohol to simply soak up that grease. Then after a bit, you brush out the greasy starch and voila! Your hair has been dried of its excess sebum. Plus most dry shampoos have a fragrance that makes you smell as nice as you look.
There is an important caveat. Dry shampoo is different from normal shampoo. It doesn’t clean your hair, it just refreshes it. Think of it like a scented candle (or Fabreze).
It will make your house smell nicer, but it won’t do the dishes or take out the trash for you. So while dry shampoo is good for a convenient fix, don’t throw out your normal shampoo.
How to use dry shampoo at night
So why at night? Most people are using dry shampoo as a quick fix at midday or when they don’t have time to wash their hair in the morning.
But remember that dry shampoo is there to soak up those greasy oils. If you spray it on, wait four seconds, brush it out and then run for the door you haven’t given it enough time to work its magic.
But, if you blast your locks with dry shampoo at night before you sleep, the dry shampoo has all night to party with that sebum.
When you wake up in the morning, your hair will be matte and fresh for the day. If it’s still a little greasy you can spray on a little more and then brush it out. Easy peasy, this tip’s freezys.
Drawbacks of dry shampoo
Ok, ok, before you rush off to buy two dozen more cans of dry shampoo, we do have something to discuss first. It’s a warning.
Dry shampoo, like many amazing things, has some drawbacks. You’ll want to know about these before you bury your head in it everyday.
It’s not shampoo
I mentioned this before but I’ll repeat myself. It does not clean your hair. It just makes it less oily when you don’t have time for your regular hair care routine, or if washing too much is taking a toll on your strands. Or in the rare case that you do not have access to water.
It doesn’t actually remove dirt like a normal wash does, it just hides it.
This should be obvious. That’s the goal right, soak up oil to make your hair more dry.
However, most dry shampoos contain alcohol that can dry your hair too much. Hair that’s too dry is a serious problem.
It can be frizzy, or worse – yes worse than frizz – it can break more easily.
Using a product with alcohol in it too heavily can cause your hair to crack and snap like your favorite breakfast cereal.
This can be even worse if your hair has been colored or has a naturally high porosity. Dry shampoo puts a layer on the hair to give your hair body, fix your hair, or texturize it.
However, when your hair is extra porous it can cling more than it usually would and is more difficult to wash out. You’ve been warned.
It can clog
Your follicles are pretty important. They are what produce that sebum (which is something you want in moderation) and they are what forms the base of your hair strands.
These (again, important) follicles can get clogged by a build-up of dry shampoo. This happens if you use it too often or leave it on for too long.
Even worse than that, using dry shampoo too often or leaving it in your hair for prolonged periods of time without washing it out can make your scalp itch.
It’s possible the build-up could also lead to folliculitis. This is a bacterial or fungal infection in the hair follicle. Trust me, you DON’T want head fungus.
Some dry shampoos contain talc, which can, in its natural state, can contain bits of asbestos. Exposure to asbestos causes cancer.
Nowadays, talcum powders created for beauty purposes in the United States aren’t supposed to have asbestos in them.
Recently, however, some people have been talking about how there might be a link between asbestos-free talcum powder and ovarian cancer.
Now, most of the research on this has been focused on the talc that you use on your… genital area. So there’s no known risk for cancer from the talc product that you use on your hair, but that might just be because they haven’t found it yet.
The American Cancer Society encourages people who are worried about the risk of cancer to avoid using even asbestos-free talc products until they’ve done more research.
How often should you use dry shampoo?
To keep dry shampoo from drying out your hair and clogging your scalp, try to use it no more than two days in a row.
But that’s just for regular use. Leaving it in your hair overnight significantly increases the effects of the dry shampoo.
It will be far more drying and cloggy than if you’re just doing a quick spray.
If you’re doing a leave-in overnight treatment, try to keep it to once a week. Even then try and add moisture back into your hair with hydrating (normal) shampoo and conditioner.
In the end, while this miracle comes with a couple of downsides, it’s still a miracle.
Just don’t use it too much, OK?