Dry shampoo can be just the solution your busy mornings need. But could there be any consequences to this whole "dirty hair" trend? Mona Gohara, M.D., a dermatologist at the Yale School of Medicine, and celebrity stylist Sunnie Brook Jones reveal the truth behind our favorite bad hair day fix.
While dry shampoo has major benefits—it can extend your blow-dry, soak up oil, and add texture to limp strands—it may also cause harm to your scalp and strands when overused. “For some, it can create irritation, or inflammation of the hair follicles,” Gohara says. “Most of the time, the scalp is un-fazed by dry shampoo, but when irritation does set in, it’s not fun.” So how much is too much? Gohara and Jones both recommend using dry shampoo no more than two days in a row. “My general rule of thumb is two times a week max for any leave-in product that doesn’t involve washing the hair, unless it’s a hydrating oil,” Gohara says. Here, a few other tips on the healthiest way to use dry shampoo.
Not all dry shampoos are created equal. Jones recommends staying away from formulas that list alcohol as one of the first few ingredients, as it can majorly dehydrate strands. A good one: Klorane Dry Shampoo ($10 for 1 oz., sephora.com) lists alcohol as the fifth ingredient, and it contains rice starch to absorb oil and oat milk to help soothe and hydrate hair.
Spray the Right Way
Rather than dousing your whole head in powder, “Only spray the oily spots where you need it,” Gohara says. Also, make sure to apply it to your hair—not the scalp directly—to prevent product build-up from clogging the hair follicle, which can lead to inflammation and irritation (read: an itchy, flaky scalp, and even potential hair loss). If your hair is dry, avoid spritzing the length of it to keep strands from turning rough and brittle.
When it is time to wash your hair, use a clarifying shampoo, like Suave Naturals Daily Clarifying Shampoo ($1, walgreens.com), followed by a nourishing conditioner, like Head & Shoulders Nourishing Care Conditioner ($5, target.com). This combination will wipe out any product build-up, while replenishing moisture. Between washes, use an oil, such as Ouai Hair Oil ($28, sephora.com) from mid-shaft to ends to keep strands hydrated.