What is Dry Shampoo, and how does it work?

December 08, 2021 7 min read

What is Dry Shampoo, and how does it work?

Dry shampoo helps absorb some of the oil in your hair, letting you go longer in between washes. If you are trying to wash your hair less but could do without the oil build-up, this may be a good alternative for you. Just like traditional shampoo, not all dry shampoos are the same - ingredients matter. Some dry shampoos can give the appearance of clean hair, but their formulas can be drying, leading to damaged hair in the long term. NuMe dry shampoos are formulated with purifying and conditioning ingredients. NuMe's multipurpose dry shampoos refresh the hair in between washes without over-drying while also providing some texture.

Despite how commonplace dry shampoo is, not too many people know much about it or how to properly use it. Don't worry. We're here to provide answers to some of your questions on dry shampoos, like types of dry shampoo, how to apply dry shampoo correctly, how to find the matching dry shampoo for your hair type, and different uses.

How does dry shampoo work?

Dry shampoo is typically formulated with some type of starch to help absorb the excess oils on the scalp. The most common types used are cornstarch or rice starch. Again, not all dry shampoos are created equally - be mindful of the ingredients list. Unlike other brands, NuMe's dry shampoos focus on cleansing and nourishment while doubling as a texturizer and root lifter.

Types of Dry Shampoo

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo comes in many forms, and the type you use will make a difference. For instance, there are powdered, aerosol, and foam varieties. At NuMe, we offer both powder and aerosol dry shampoos.

Aerosol Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo aerosols are the most common type. When it comes to user-friendliness, aerosol dry shampoo ranks better than powdered dry shampoo since there is a more consistent flow of product. To apply aerosol dry shampoo, divide your hair into sections and spray the dry shampoo on your roots, let it sit for 10 to 30 seconds, then massage it into your scalp to absorb any excess oil.

NuMe has two different aerosol dry shampoos - Dirty to Flirty, which is for light to medium hair and comes out white, and Fresh N' Fab for medium to dark hair, which has a tint to it. Both are formulated to refresh your hair, add nourishment, and, as an added bonus, they also double as a texturizer!

Some of the key ingredients in NuMe's Dirty to Flirty Dry Shampoo Aerosol are:
Rice Starch adds shine helps keep it strong and healthy, and absorbs oil
Algae Extract helps with hair loss, is rich in minerals and helps unblock hair follicles, and nourishes

Some of the key ingredients in NuMe's Fresh N' Fab Dry Shampoo Aerosol are:

  • Rice Starch absorbs oil and adds shine, helping keep hair strong and healthy
  • Panthenol, vitamin B5, hydrates hair

Dry Shampoo Powder

Dry shampoo powder is great because a little goes a long way! If you suffer from a dry scalp, powder is definitely the formula for you since it contains little to no alcohol. Dry Shampoo Powder is super easy to apply - simply divide your hair into sections and sprinkle a little bit of the product on your roots, let the powder sit for about 10 seconds, then massage it into your scalp to absorb any excess oil.

Some of the key ingredients in NuMe's Clean N' Mean Dry Shampoo Powder are:

  • Corn Starch soaks up excess oil, makes hair silky, and adds volume without weighing it down
  • Rice Starch adds shine and absorbs oil, helping keep hair strong and healthy
  • Kaolin soothes, detoxifies and cleanses to revitalize the scalp
  • Caviar Extract, a rich source of Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids, works as both a UV protectant and anti-aging

An added bonus of the powdered formula is that it's airplane-friendly! Since it's not a liquid, you don't have to worry about the 3.4oz restrictions when traveling. It's also a great option for the eco-conscious since it is not in aerosol form.

Dry Shampoo Foam

It's important to note that foam dry shampoos do exist, though we won't harp on it too much. Dry shampoo foams should be used very sparingly in the application process, and tend to be extremely drying for the scalp. Because of its drying nature, NuMe does not make any dry shampoos with the foam formulation.

How to Apply Dry Shampoo Correctly

Applying Dry Shampoo

There are a few different factors to ensure you get the best results from your dry shampoo. Choosing a dry shampoo from a brand with a low-quality formula, applying too much or too little, and the type of dry shampoo you use all impact the results.

1. Choose your Dry Shampoo Formula

Whether it is powder, aerosol, or foam - be sure to choose the formula that suits your hair type and goals the best.

2. Aim and Apply Carefully

To ensure an even application, be sure to section the hair first and apply the product correctly by following the instructions on the product package. If you use an aerosol, shake the can before spraying to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. Target the oiliest (or most visible) sections first in case you would like to reapply in some key areas afterwards.

3. Pause and Massage the product in with your fingers

The most essential part of the application process is massaging the product into your scalp. After applying the dry shampoo, let it sit for about 10 to 30 seconds, then massage it in. If you have thick hair, you can go for less time; if your hair is thinner, you can benefit from letting it sit for longer. This will ensure it is well distributed and able to absorb oil more evenly.

Run your fingers or a brush through your hair to further distribute the product. This will help get rid of any excess residue from over-application and also let you see if there are any spots you may have missed in the initial application, allowing you to go back and target those areas.

How Long Can You Rely On Dry Shampoo?

This is a question many people ask without getting a clearcut answer. To answer this question, we have to make it clear that while dry shampoo can help you extend the life of your hairstyle in between washes, in no way does it replace real shampoo. It's important to still wash your hair with shampoo, conditioner and water. If you're wondering, "How often should I wash my hair?" we have already addressed this in a previous blog, though the general answer is about twice a week.

How to Choose the Best Dry Shampoo

Dirty to Flirty

As mentioned earlier, dry shampoo comes in different types, including aerosol, spray, powder, and foam. Any kind you choose will make a difference. Hence, you have to be careful when you make your choice. We recommend using an aerosol as it's the easiest and gives the most consistent results.

If you have fine thin hair and use powdered dry shampoo, chances are that it will make your hair heavy and weigh it down over time. So, for those with fine hair, a spray or aerosol dry shampoo could be the ideal type for you as these types tend to add more volume to the hair and also dry faster.

Again, ensure that you read the product's use instructions. Most dry shampoo products come with a product guide that describes the dry shampoo formula, how to apply it and the hair type it works best on. Reading this will go a long way to let you understand the product you are buying for your hair type.

Another tip to bear in mind, which might sound basic but very important, is this: people with curlier hair need more moisture more than those with oily scalp.
So, if your hair is curly, ensure that your dry shampoo formula has moisturizing elements. If your scalp is the oily type, you should go for a dry shampoo that has absorbent elements.

Common Dry Shampoo Mistakes

Many people have come to develop some misconceptions about dry shampoo and how to make use of it for the best result. For instance, some people believe that since they have dry shampoo at hand, they should rarely wash their hair. But the truth remains that dry shampoo does not remove dirt on your hair but makes your hair appear voluminous and neat. NuMe's formulas are different from other dry shampoos because they actually include cleansing ingredients to truly refresh your hair, rather than just mask it.

Spraying it too close to your scalp

Spraying a dry shampoo close to the scalp can lead to applying too much product and leave you with a powdery residue. The best way to avoid this is by spraying from 6 to 8 inches away from your scalp.

Using more dry shampoo than you need

While it's not entirely a bad practice to spray a dry all over your head, it's not always needed. There are areas of the head that are more oily than the others. You should concentrate more on these areas so you won't waste product on areas where it is only lightly needed.

Only using it on dirty hair

Some make the mistake of using dry shampoo only when they feel their hair is dirty. While it helps refresh the hair, dry shampoo does not totally clean dirt off your hair. Be sure to give your hair a quality wash when necessary.

NuMe dry shampoos also double as texturizing sprays, meaning not only can you use them to refresh your day-old hairstyles, you can also use them to add some volume and texture to your hair!

Dry shampoos are wonderful if applied the right way. Now that you've read through our tips, you should be able to pick a good shampoo product that fits your hair, avoid the common mistakes discussed, and apply it correctly.

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