How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

Dry shampoo absorbs sebum and other oils into a powder or fast-evaporating liquid that is brushed out or blown away with a hairdryer. Dry shampoos come in both powder and spray-on forms.

Dry shampooing saves time, lengthens the lasting power of chemical dyes and minimizes hair damage, but it should only be used in a pinch. Traditional water-based shampoo is still needed to remove dirt, skin flakes and other chemicals typically found in hair products. Dry shampoo can be made at home using corn starch, ground oatmeal, baking soda, baby powder or a mixture of any of these items. Cocoa powder can be used as a dry shampoo for dark hair.

Dry shampoo produces desired results in a short span of time; the aerosol spray is applied similar to hair spray and works within a matter of seconds. However, the hair can become stiff and greasy after usage. Sometimes, the powder leaves tiny flakes on the hair that can be mistaken for dandruff. Both products replace traditional shampooing, when washing hair with water is not an option.