What Goes Into Dry Shampoo Powder?

Eunice Lucero | 09 September 2018
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The beauty gal’s version of pixie dust.

A lot of us know dry shampoo as one of mankind’s modern-day hair heroes. (First generation versions have actually been around since the 1910s, btw, but we digress.) Not only do they provide a whole slew of benefits and options to cleansing hair without the use of water—everything from extending a new color, to saving water, to helping bedridden people refresh their hair—dry shampoo has been spiking in popularity since it became commercially available in the 1940s. Typically available in two formulations such as a spray and dry shampoo powder, this hair product is fast becoming one of our most favorite alternative ways to refresh in a pinch.

Dry Shampoo Powder: The Basics

One of the earliest forms of dry shampoo came in the form of a powder, when it was used to color and deodorize wigs back during the 1700s in the United States. It’s also been reported to have been used by people in Asia in the 1500s, in the form of clay powder. Nowadays, dry shampoo powder is usually made of an oil-absorbing ingredient like starch (most often cornstarch or rice starch), mixed with either a scented or unscented freshener.

Dry shampoo powder dispensers

Modern ways of dispensing dry shampoo include aerosol and non-aerosol varieties, with the latter usually coming in a squeezable bottle to help dispense the powder through holes at the top.

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Aerosols provide a whole new level of convenience to using dry shampoo.

D.I.Y. versions

Luckily for those fond of a good hair hack, there are ways to create a dry shampoo powder version with ingredients typically found in your kitchen pantry. Baking soda, cornstarch, cocoa powder (for brunettes!) and even a few drops of essential oil for fragrance are all readily available and can do a great job of absorbing oil, when blended in the correct proportions. Additionally, some famous Hollywood actresses have also been quoted as having used baby powder on their hair in lieu of washing and to create lift.

How to use dry shampoo powder

To use dry shampoo powder, first dispense the product onto your roots, evenly sprinkling from front to back. Massage in thoroughly, then let sit for a few seconds before brushing out. To refresh your fringe with a non-aerosol dry shampoo, sprinkle some product onto palms first, then tousle through the bang area to remove grease and revitalize your style.

In the market for a dry shampoo of your own? A list of our faves include Dove Refresh+Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo (hands down our all-time favorite scent!), TRESemmé Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo (nothing beats the mid-day lift we get from this winner), Nexxus Dry Shampoo Refreshing Mist (light and refreshing), Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo (saves us from one more color-stripping wash day!) and Bed Head by TIGI Oh Bee Hive! Dry Shampoo (sexy volume and that clean, refreshed feeling in one spritz).

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