We know—by Friday, your hair is basically 90 percent dry shampoo. Here’s how to make it work better.

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Dry shampoo is one of those miracle beauty products that comes into your life, let’s you skip a shampoo or two, and makes you wonder how you ever lived without it. But if you’re one of those people that just don’t understand all of the dry shampoo hype, this is for you.

Maybe you’ve read the reviews, watched the tutorials, even laughed at the memes, but after trying it, felt disappointed... like all you got was a white powdery mess (maybe it even made your hair—gasp—worse). I feel you.

Celebrity hairstylists rave about dry shampoo, but after trying a few brands over the years, I just didn’t understand why. I have naturally curly hair that I only wash once or twice a week—and I do whatever I can to preserve it. (I wear shower caps and wide headbands. I even reschedule workouts.) Most often, dry shampoo left my dark brown hair dull and feeling dirtier than before I applied it.

Turns out, I was doing it all wrong.

As a brunette, I’ve found that sprays tend to blend better than powders (the ones you sprinkle in with the pointed nozzle, which my blonde coworker prefers). My favorite right now? Tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo ($19; sephora.com)—it’s vegan, has attractive packaging, comes in a travel size version for your gym bag, and smells amazing.

I'm strategic about application, too. Rather than spritz the dry shampoo directly onto my roots, I spray it onto a paddle brush, then comb it through my hair. This way, I get the oil absorption power without the leftover white cast. On days when my hair is really dirty, I spray directly onto my strands. For the best results, create a deep side part, spray at an arm's length, then massage it in with your fingertips. Repeat this on the other side. To finish, run a brush through hair to evenly distribute the formula. And for even more volume, flip hair over, massage scalp with fingertips, then brush. 

In dry shampoo we trust! (Part two.)

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