How to Use Dry Shampoo for the Most Effective Results

Want to know how to use dry shampoo correctly? Then step this way...  

three images of a woman with medium length wavy brown hair and bangs, smiling wearing a striped top



You Will Need

Ah, dry shampoo. It’s saved many a girl from a sticky (or should we say, oily?) situation. For those who aren’t familiar, it’s essentially just shampoo in a dry powder or spray form and let’s just say it pretty much is what its name implies. While that may seem obvious, there are many who don’t know how to use dry shampoo properly or the extra styling benefits that come with it.

Don’t worry, we’re here to clarify. Read on and discover how to actually use this miracle product, plus some top tips, tricks and styles to test out, too!

Dry shampoo: How to use it for the best results


Start with unwashed hair.

When using dry shampoo, start with unwashed, ‘second-day’ hair. 

Why? Because the dry shampoo will absorb any oils in your strands, helping to give them a refreshed look.

woman with medium length wavy brown hair and bangs, touching her hair, touching her face and smiling wearing a striped top

Part hair.

Using a comb or a brush, part your hair into small sections, focusing on your the oiliest areas.

woman with medium length wavy brown hair and bangs, combing her hair and smiling wearing a striped top


Hold the can about 8 inches away from your head and spray the sections in short bursts.

We love the VO5 Refresh Dry Shampoo for giving us a quick fix solution to oily strands – plus it has a translucent formula, so no need to worry about any tell-tale white residue!

Hair hack: Gently shaking your hair during application will help prevent product build up in any one area.

woman with medium length wavy brown hair and bangs, spraying dry shampoo into her hair

Massage product in.

Now that you’ve sprayed all your sections, massage your head and allow the product to fully absorb any oils.

woman with medium length wavy brown hair and bangs, touching her hair and smiling wearing a striped top


Et voila: you’ve taken care of any greasy strands and can now style your hair any way you like.

Oily hair? Not here!

woman with medium length wavy brown hair, wearing a striped top and a baker boy hat

Other ways to use dry shampoo

How to use dry shampoo: Brunette model with straight hair
Time poor? At a festival? Dry shampoo is your hair solution!

How to use dry shampoo spray for fine hair

Dry shampoo is sn awesome root lifter. When the oil is absorbed, it helps give thr oot lift, plus it can be used to add grip to updos and braids. – Elena Diaz, ATH Global Hairstylist.


Limp locks? For flat and thin hair, dry shampoo is great for helping to lift the roots and create volume. So, if the illusion of fuller-looking locks is what you’re after, spraying from the root down to the middle of the hair shaft can help promote texture.

Brunette model with voluminous hairstyle
Why not try using a dry shampoo prior to styling your locks?

How to use it as a styling product

It may not be a well-known fact but aside from its oil-zapping properties, dry shampoo actually doubles as a useful styling product, too! Those in the know not only use it to help banish oily roots when a wash is overdue, but they’ve also repurposed it as a secret styling weapon.

One great hair hack to try with dry shampoo is to use it when braiding, creating updos or voluminous looks. By using a dry shampoo prior to styling your locks, you’ll be providing your tresses with more grip, helping to hold your pins and woven strands in place.

The overnight miracle

Don’t have time in the morning to wash and condition your hair properly? Another clever trick we’ve discovered on how to use dry shampoo is to apply it at night before you hit the sack.

Sounds weird, right? Well, just a few sprays of VO5 Refresh Dry Shampoo on the roots before bed will work as a preventative measure on locks that are on the verge of looking greasy. By morning, it should have absorbed any excess oil, leaving you with less oily roots, so you’re ready to take on the day!

Hairstyles to create with dry shampoo

Brunette woman pulling on boxer braid from opposite sides
Dry shampoo is a life-saver at the gym. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Gym-worthy braids

If you love to work up a sweat in the gym but hate it when your go-to style falls out mid-rep, a dry shampoo could help save the day!

Whether you choose a quick and easy top knot or a more elaborate plaited style, spraying your strands with dry shampoo before styling will give extra grip to your hair, extending the lifespan of your ‘do. Plus it’s also a great preemptive attack on sweat and oils that could ruin your look.

Next read: Learn how to do boxer braids for your next workout.

cute hairstyles for long hair: close up shot of woman with beehive updo, wearing floral top and posing in a studio
This has cute written all over it! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Night-out beehive

Got a hot date this weekend? Or perhaps you’ve planned to have a girl’s night out? Either way, a plumped-up beehive will see you through in style.

Simply grab your VO5 Volume Dry Shampoo and learn how to create this timeless night-out look with our step-by-step tutorial!

How to do a messy bun with long hair
Messy chic is what we’re after! Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Messy bun

You know it, we know it, everyone knows it: a messy bun is the holy grail of speedy hairstyles!

Throw it together for a casual Sunday brunch or use to dress down a formal outfit. Just remember to spritz your mane with dry shampoo first to give it that extra undone-and-fabulous vibe.

brunette woman in a yellow dress with wavy hair
Waves that even Ariel would be jealous of. Credit: Verity Jane Smith

Textured waves

Now it’s not all about updos and braids, oh no! If you’re a life-long lover of curls and waves – and want a way to give them a more textured, beachy vibe – a dry shampoo should be your first port of call…

We love the TONI&GUY Matt Texture Dry Shampoo for giving us the root boost we need, plus it’ll leave you with an effortless matt finish all day!



You Will Need

Sign up to our newsletter and get exclusive hair care tips and tricks from the experts at All Things Hair.