How To: Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo can be an amazing product that adds volume, eases the grease, and refreshes hair. However, it can take a little know-how to get good results. But wait! Before you skip to the end, read on and you might find a tip or two! To show how dry shampoo can add volume and refresh hair, the end result you'll see is what I did to my bedhead (I had been up for about 10 minutes prior to this tutorial) . I'm serious! I did this in fewer than 5 minutes. So if I look a little lot sleepy, that's why. Read on:

What Dry Shampoo Won't Do:
  • Clean literally dirty hair (as in mud, glue, or food, etc. You've got bigger problems, so hit the showers!)
  • Act like hairspray
  • Be a permanent replacement for washing your hair

You'll Need:
  • Towel
  • Brush
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair in need of a revival

{clear and spray powder dry shampoo examples}

Choose Your Brand:
  • Determine your hair type/color for the correct type of shampoo you'd like to use. If you're blonde, baby powder, corn starch, or any type of dry shampoo will work for you. Lucky! If you're a brunette, try a clear or brown powdered dry shampoo. If your hair is curly (not wavy), try a product geared toward that, like this one from Tresseme or this one from Pssssst for curly and wavy hair.
  • Many stores will take back products if they aren't for you, so check before you buy. For those that can use anything, Psssst!, Batiste, Suave, Tresseme, or Salon Graffix are great drugstore brands. Oscar Blandi, Bumble & Bumble, Klorane, or Ojon are good pricier options. 
  • The type and smell factor into the choice as well--some have a chemical smell and some give me a headache from the fragrance. Choose spray powder if you'd like to get rid of greasy roots, but there will be a residue left behind--something to consider, my brunettes! A clear dry shampoo won't give as much volume, but helps with freshness and shine. 
{spray 6-8 inches away}
{objects may appear closer than they are!}
{told you I was sleepy--my hair wasn't brushed & no earrings)

How To:
  • Dry shampoo should only target the root of the hair. 
  • Choose sections of hair, hold up/out the sections, and spray in short bursts--you aren't spray painting a wall.
  • Spray at the root, about 6-8 inches away.
  • Once you've completed all of the sections, let hair dry for a minute.
  • Using the towel, rub at your roots, just like you would if your hair was wet. You can use your fingers as well, but I find the towel does better at removing residue, plus I don't like the brown powder on my hands.
  • Use the brush to continue working the product out of the roots to give hair more volume.
  • Style as desired.
  • BONUS TIPS: Try using dry shampoo the night before and then brushing through in the morning.
  • If you're super tired after a long night out, spray all over your hair with dry shampoo, then brush through, to quickly rid stinky hair before sleeping.
{The end result}
{yesterday's hair+ sleep= bedhead} 
{bedhead+ dry shampoo= the pic above}

How NOT to Use:
  • Dry shampoo is not applied to hair the same way as hairspray.
  • Apply at the roots only, not on the top layer of hair.
  • Don't spray heavily and then brush out. Short bursts, towel drying your roots, and brushing will work the best.
  • Use clear or brown powder dry shampoo if your hair is dark to yield best results.
Do you use dry shampoo? What brand(s)?


  1. Nice tips! I've never had much luck with dry shampoo, but it seems I've been doing it all wrong.

  2. Havent found anything better than my rockaholic!

  3. great blog!!!

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  4. Dry shampoo is a must have produkt - i ran out of mine and it's not good! Saves me two weekly hair washes usually!

    Great post as usual and love the wavy curls!

  5. I usually use dry shampoo to add a bit of volume to my hair - I got hooked on Batiste while I was living in London and luckily you can order it on Amazon so I've mostly stuck to that. I tried Tresemme once and really disliked it though.

    Courtney ~ http://sartorialsidelines.com

  6. Elle I did learn something important!! As I am still in recovery mode; I have some dry shampoo however I WAS using it like hairspray and then brushing it through. No more... Roots it is!

    Happy New Years and All the Best in 2012!

    I hope you will come to enter my Giveaway from Serena & Lily!

    Art by Karena

  7. I always forget about this option. Thx for the reminder and refresher!

  8. I've tried dry shampoo and didn't really like it but after reading this post I realized I was using it wrong. now I just may have to try again. Thanks!!

  9. I ♥ dry shampoo so hard. I like the Bumble but honestly, try the Victoria's Secret one...it's truly my fave and it smells delish!

  10. yes, thank you! i got a dry shampoo in my birchbox last month, and had no idea how to apply it.

  11. I invested in dry shampoo almost a year ago. I tried to figure it out a few times, but failed each time. I'm going to try it out tomorrow. I'll let you know what happens. I might hop in the shower after...hahaha

    I have fine hair, so it looks greasier than most people. That's why I end up washing it every day :( But I'm afraid I'm going to bald if I keep that up! lol!

  12. This is awesome! Thanks for the help!

  13. Love the way your hair came out after. I haven't tried dry shampoo yet -- but great tips!

  14. your hair is to die for! it always looks so pretty (:

    i tagged you in a fun quizzy today (:

    thanks for understanding about the mixup about the comment! hehe(: that is wayyy awesome you're going to Disney World! you'll have a blast. (: that's so neat you've been to Disneyland...i've never been, but i'm sure i'd love it also!

  15. OMG you're my hero! I've been looking for a good dry shampoo diy like crazy. Thanks!

  16. Thanks for this! Sometimes I spray it all through my hair.


  17. Never tried dry shampoo, but I may give it a try. My hair gets very greasy after a day, that's why I usually try to wash it every other day. If I could squeeze an extra day out of it with dry shampoo, that would be wonderful!

  18. Elle! you are the best!! Thanks for doing this!! I am going to link directly to your post today!

  19. i love my dry shampoo!! a great how to. love how quick and easy it is :)

  20. I've tried using dry shampoo a few times and ended up looking like George Washington :-) These tips will help immensely!

  21. My hair stylist suggested dry shampoo, but I've always been scared to try it. However, if I could save time, that'd be amazing! Thanks for the good tips. I'll definitely keep them handy.

  22. Great tips and you look so fresh and clean! I can’t seem to get behind dry shampoo. I’ve tried four kinds and they all smell!

  23. Great tips! Your hair looked awesome after! I also use Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo & I really like it!


  24. I have the Oscar Blandi powder and I hate it. Its smells alright (lemon) but the residue it leaves is gross. I need to find a different brand as I do like it for the most part esp on weekends when all I am doing is running errands and too lazy to wash my hair!

  25. This is an awesome tutorial! Thank you so much for doing this :) I've been using dry shampoo forever but have NOT been able to get the spray version to work for me (I use Oscar Blandi's nonspray formula that you just shake onto your hand and work into your hair)... this makes so much sense!! Best tips for me - spray in short bursts in sections (I'm guilty of spraying it like hair spray and wondering why it made my hair disgusting lol) & also the towel tip! I think that works much better than your fingers... Love love love :) Thanks again <3

  26. Great tips...I totally tried to use dry shampoo this morning and messed it up...I guess I should have checked here first...lol. I seriously threw the can away...digging it out of the trash and using it the right way!


    Happy New Year!!
    ♥ Shia

  27. Haha, as much as I've written about my dry shampoo obsession, it never occurred to me that people could be using it wrong! Great tips! My hands down favorite is Batiste.

  28. Ah! Thank you for this! I have always wanted to try dry shampoo but never bit the bullet and just did it. Great tips!

  29. your hair is GORGEOUS! love those curls. I have been contemplating dry shampoo forever, but just haven't found a brand that gets good reviews.

    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

  30. sounds interesting and like a quick fix for 'cleaning' your hair! x

  31. I've been skipping that towel drying set. I will have to remember to start doing that!

  32. i don't know how i went so long without the discovery of dry shampoo!

  33. I didn't even know they made dry shampoo that was clear or geared towards brunettes. I may have to look for it.

  34. interesting.. it never tempted me, and I've never been in the situation where I needed to properly wash my hair but couldn't do it for some reason.. but never say never.. :)

  35. I always wondered how it worked. I still prefer shower and start over, but this could be an alternative solution for a quick fix. (ps; I'm from Chicago.) xoxo

  36. Ooh I've used something like this before! Works amazingly well!

  37. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  38. Thank you for the towel drying tip - I've never been able to get dry shampoo's to work for me - I feel like I end up greasier than when I started, but this might do the trick!

  39. Great tutorial and you are so right that that is the WRONG way :)

    Hope you're having a great day! xoxo

  40. Your hair looks fabulous! My hair turns really flat when I use dry shampoo, but maybe I've been doing it wrong all the time. Going to try it your way first thing tomorrow!

  41. i've never used dry shampoo before, but will def. give it a try!



  42. i literally couldn't live without dry shampoo!! I use Suave! But honestly so many brands have worked on me I tend to just grab for whichever is onsale!

    xo Jackie

  43. Thanks for all the tips, I have definitely been using dry shampoo all wrong. I hope that after reading this informative post, i will be able to use it successfully.

  44. Great tips! Also - you have such beautiful hair! :) x

  45. Very interesting! I saw this stuff in a hair salon the other day and I was really curious about how it worked. Now I know lol.

    Cool post :)

  46. never used it! thanks for the tips!



  47. great tips! i love dry shampoo.


  48. I always wondered about how to use dry shampoo. Glad you posted this. I woulda used it like hairspray! Thanks for sharing ;D


  49. THANK YOU! I've been struggling with using dry shampoo and I think you have helped to solve my problems. :)

  50. i've been thinking about buying one of those but been hesitant because don't know which one will work with my hair... hmmm!!!

  51. I don't use it but your hair came out great! :)


  52. although i haven't used it in a while, i have the oscar blandi dry shampoo and i do like it very much. great tutorial.

  53. AH-HA! That was my mistake! When I used dry shampoo I used it just like hairspray and my hair looked REALLY greasy! I'll definitely try this again, and spray it further!

  54. love this!! I used to use Oscar but then decided I didn't want to spend 30 bucks on this anymore so for over a year now I have been perfectly happy with Pssst! I use it all the time, except I'm out right now so I've been using baby powder...

  55. I love having 'dry washes' done at the salon, though it's quite different from the dry shampoo!

  56. Awesome review! Love the Suave one for beginners...no fail :D Thanks for visiting my blog love, Happy New Year and hope to see you back soon!

    Peace. Love. LOL!

    Haute Khuuture.com

  57. Nice information. (:

  58. I have been wanting to try this for a while. My hair is only good for one day, then I have to wash again.

    Also, you are costing me more money:) I looked at myglam today. It looks fabulous. I have to wait til they open up again for orders, but I an kind of excited:)


  59. great tips! i use dry shampoo but often mess it up! i have the tresseme one.


  60. ooo, this looks easy enough. i've never tried it but am interested.

  61. Nice tips - thank you. I will give this a try.


  62. I'm hooked on Batiste Dry Shampoo. Love it. It works so well in refreshing hair.
    Great tips as well. I remember when I first started using it, I would use it like hairspray and it would leave white marks! Glad that's in the past.

  63. Great tips, I need to try this out sometime!

  64. I'm convinced dry shampoo is one of the best inventions. Anything that saves me time and makes me look and smell good is A+ in my book!

  65. Hi!! I just sent the link to this post to a friend seeking dry shampoo advice. I told her about how you have all kinds of awesome stuff on here. Yay!

  66. Great tips! Dry shampoo baffled me for so long, but now I love it and can't live without it.


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