Skip the suds: Try dry shampoo


Woman applying shampoo to dry hair

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Put down that shampoo bottle and step away from the suds. You can battle greasy hair with dry shampoo. No water required. Yes, really.

Woman holding wet shampooed hair

Commercially produced dry shampoos have been gaining popularity over the last few years, as they appeal to our desire for all things convenient. It’s putting whole new meaning into “wash and go.” Dry shampoo works its magic by containing absorbent substances that suck up all that nasty oil before being brushed or blown out of your silky strands. A perfect quick fix for after your workout, that morning you slept through your alarm or just lazy days when you can’t be bothered.


Turn off the shower

Scared to skip the shower? We’re 100% on Team Personal Hygiene, but it turns out we might be washing our hair way more often than we need to. The experts at WebMD assert that there is very little reason to shampoo hair every single day, as the foaming agents in most liquid shampoos are harsh on hair and remove excessive oil and skin cells from the scalp. This can result in dull-looking hair that is lacking in fiber and is difficult to work with.

All shampoos — even the gentle ones — strip away the protective sebum, or oil, from the outer layer of hair, exposing the cuticle, explains chemistry professor Joe Schwarz to the Washington Post. “As rough adjacent hairs rub against each other, transfer of electrons can produce a static electrical charge,” Schwarz writes. “The result is the dreaded affliction of fly-away hair.” Shampoo: solves one problem, creates another.

We don’t all have the determination to quit shampooing cold turkey and embrace the alternative “no-‘poo” lifestyle. But dry shampoo can help even those with the most finely textured, straight hair tide over for an extra day between traditional washings.


More than a passing fad

Dry shampoo may sound like something straight out of an episode of “The Jetsons;” I mean, clean-looking, non-oily hair without all the burden of more showering, blow-drying and styling? What is this witchcraft? Sign me up! However, it turns out the hair-having portion of the world’s population has been embracing dry shampoo for ages.

In the 1890s, French hairdressers began offering a chemical-based dry shampoo for a very practical reason — lack of indoor plumbing and water heaters. Even further back in the history of hairstyling, powder used as a dry shampoo had become an essential toiletry item of well-to-do men and women by the end of the sixteenth century. In fact, the absence of powdered wigs or locks signaled not only a lack of concern for one’s cleanliness, but was also believed to signal a social inferiority marked by “black and greasy hair.”