Hair, Skin & Nails

Is Dry Shampoo Better Than Washing Your Hair?

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Washing and drying your hair takes time, especially if your locks are on the longer side of things. Many people turn to dry shampoo for a quick and easy fix. You might wonder if you even need to use traditional shampoos to wash your hair if you can get a similar result from a spray or powder.

Dry shampoo does not clean your hair. Typically, dry shampoos will only serve to absorb some of the oil in your hair, making it look cleaner. It doesn’t remove dirt, dust, and bacteria and is not recommended as a substitute for washing – but there is nothing wrong with occasionally using dry shampoo, especially if your hair becomes oily between washes.

Shampoos can be costly, especially the ones your hairdresser tries to sell you every time you visit. A good shampoo will wash away dirt and bacteria on your scalp, often containing supplements that will strengthen your hair making it silky smooth. Read on to find out more about dry shampoos, how to use them, and why they should not be used as a replacement for regular washing.

What Is Dry Shampoo Anyway?

Dry shampoo typically comes in two forms – either a powder or spray. Their purpose is to absorb the natural oils that build up in your hair since this oiliness is associated with hair that is unwashed. Some people are unfortunate in that they struggle to control the oiliness in their hair, even when they wash it regularly.

Alcohol or starch-based dry shampoos only give the appearance of cleanliness, but don’t do much to actually clean your hair and scalp (1). The resultant dirt, dust, and bacteria can lead to problems like skin infections and you might also notice existing dandruff issues getting worse.

So long as you wash your hair regularly to keep your scalp healthy and clean, it’s okay to occasionally spritz your hair down with dry shampoo if you don’t have time to wash it and dry it.

How Often Should I Wash My Hair?

It’s true that washing your hair is essential for healthy hair and scalp, but if you are overzealous and wash your hair too often you can cause more harm than good (2).

Hair should be washed every 2-3 days. It’s okay to occasionally skip a wash and use dry shampoo if your hair isn’t too dirty – the natural oils protect our hair, but may trap dust and dirt in the air if there is more than necessary.

If your skin becomes itchy or you notice flakiness, it’s time for a good wet shampoo to clean your scalp and hair. There is no hard and fast rule on how often you should wash using a traditional shampoo, what is important is keeping the scalp and hair healthy. 

Too Much Washing Damages Your Hair

We have established that there is no substitute for washing your hair, but too much of a good thing can end up being detrimental. In this case, washing your hair too frequently can strip it of protective oils and cause it to become dry and fragile.

If you live or work in an environment that is dusty, windy, or both, where your hair seems to get dirty quickly, consider covering your hair rather than exposing it to the elements and overwashing it to keep it clean.

For some people, washing every second or third day might even be too much, especially if your hair is damaged or fragile to begin with. So long as your scalp is healthy, itch- and flake-free, you might even be able to go for up to a week between washes by strategically using dry shampoo and covering your hair in inclement conditions.

How To Use Dry Shampoo Most Effectively

Think of dry shampoo as a supplement to your hair-washing regimen rather than a replacement. Used correctly, it can help your hair from getting dirty by removing excess oil and extending the time between washes, but if your hair is dirty, to begin with, it’s like trying to mask BO with bodyspray. It just doesn’t work.

Use your dry shampoo proactively – that is, don’t wait for your hair to become oily. You can apply it even after you have washed it with regular shampoo on areas that are prone to get oily, like around your forehead and the nape of your neck at the roots of your hair.

If you have your hair styled, make sure it is as clean as possible before doing so. You can then use dry shampoo to preclude oiliness and preserve your style for longer. This is a great tip if your styling stresses your hair, like curling and straightening irons.

take care of your hair

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Dry shampoo might get a bad rap from the world of beauty, rightfully so when suggesting it as a replacement for regular washing, because there really is no substitute if you want healthy hair. Don’t forget to nourish your hair from the inside for thicker, stronger and glossier hair!

Trina used to be a full time hospital dietician but now works as a medical secretary in a small clinic. She and Mr. Walker are proud empty-nesters living in Denver, Colorado and looking forward to the next time their children come to visit. On the weekends, Trina enjoys visiting Bonita, Chino, and Bernardo, the golden lion tamarins at the Denver Zoo.

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