Does Dry Shampoo Work on Natural Hair Texture?
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Dry shampoo is either a style-extending post-gym life-saver or a hair-growth blocker, white residue creating “no thank you.” The camp you’re in might depend on your texture, but more likely, how satisfied you are with dry shampoo depends on what you’re using. To find out how you should be using dry shampoo, the best dry shampoos for natural hair and whether it’s even worth it, we tapped pro-stylists for an honest weigh-in, on behalf of all naturalistas.
Holly Mills, Editorial and Celebrity hair stylist
“Dry shampoo does work on natural hair texture. If you’re trying to maintain natural curl, coil or wave, it’s important not to disrupt it by brushing or combing.
You want to use a dry shampoo that doesn’t leave an intense white residue, that way there’s no need to brush it away. I like Playa Pure Dry Shampoo: $22, which boasts the ability to be used on straight, wavy, curly, coiled and tightly coiled hair.
If you are trying to keep your scalp moisturized in between washing, but also feel the need to use dry shampoo, I advise being very precise with your scalp moisturizer. Try using something that you apply with your fingertips directly to the scalp instead of a spray. It also helps to use something that has more of a solid texture instead of something that can spread easily down the hair shaft, like liquid oil. I like Earth’s Enrichments Scalp and Root Pomade: $14.99.”
Diane C. Bailey, Celebrity Hair Stylist and SheaMoisture Brand Ambassador
“Dry shampoos have been around for years, and they work beautifully for women with textured hair. To avoid over-cleansing and stripping hair of precious oils, dry shampoos are wonderful after a workout or a day at the beach to remove surface oil and debris, as well as to freshen curls. For those curly girls that love their week-old curls but want to gently remove odors and exfoliate a dry and flaky scalp, dry shampoos are ideal.
When using a dry shampoo, make sure to spray the product six inches away from your scalp. You just want the product to ‘dust’ your scalp. If you spray too close, you have more powder on your scalp than necessary, which can leave an unwanted film that attracts oil and dirt. To freshen your curls, lightly spray the hair, massage the powder into the hair, and gently finger comb hair to renew your curls. For your protective styles, braids, weaves or cornrows, a dry shampoo may initially be challenging, so the best approach for renewing your hair and scalp is to lightly mist in sections and gently massage into your scalp. For long braid extensions, apply the product into your hands and massage into the entire length of the braid to remove any unwanted odors.”
Amanda Elaine Killen, amika Pro Educator
“Dry shampoo is a girl’s best friend…unless you have a drier scalp and natural hair texture, right? It’s a common misconception that individuals with natural hair textures should steer clear of utilizing dry shampoo because it is overly drying. While this can be the case with dry shampoos that use talc, aggressive starches and contain no moisture balancing ingredients, amika’s Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam: $25 is truly the exception. This foam dry shampoo utilizes Sea Buckthorn Berry, a nutrient-rich super fruit, in conjunction with oil-absorbing tapioca and rice starch to emulsify oils while hydrating the roots and refreshing curly hair types between washes. Just dispense a golf ball sized amount into your hand and then work it in at the roots until dry.”
Naeemah LaFond, Global Artistic Director of amika
“Dry shampoo works on any hair texture. Curls thrive on moisture, so the key is using a dry shampoo that removes excess oils without removing the much needed moisture from the hair.”
Joey George, Editorial and Celebrity Stylist
“Dry Shampoo is formulated specifically for those who have an oilier scalp. This product is perfect for those who don’t have time to wash their hair everyday or those who love that “just washed” refreshed feeling from the powdery resins in the product. Natural textured hair (specifically curly, resilient types, and fros) are typically drier and require products that are more moisturizing therefore dry texture sprays/dry shampoos might not be the best fit.
Your scalp has sebaceous glands, and these glands produce natural oils that are distributed from your scalp throughout your hair. For some people, these glands don’t produce enough natural oil so they have a dryer scalp and require more moisture. Also, some people have glands that produce a lot of natural oil, which is why their scalp can look ‘greasy.’ It is harder for the sebaceous glands to produce enough natural oil to distribute and slide down the hair shaft for dense or course textured hair, than it is for straight hair.”
Helen Reavey, Editorial and Celebrity Stylist
“Yes, in theory, dry shampoo should really work on every hair texture. When you think about how dry shampoo works; you apply a powder-like substance to your scalp in order to absorb excess oil. So, it should not matter if you have natural, fine, coarse, or any other hair texture, the premise of dry shampoo should still work for your hair type.
The biggest constraint I have seen with dry shampoos on the market is the white powder-like substance, which can be more visible in darker hair colors, but many companies are now combating this and releasing new lines of dry shampoos for an assortment of hair colors. The only thing I’ll say here is be careful, sometimes, the deeper colored dry shampoos can get a little messy!”
Benjamin Muller, Editorial Stylist
“Yes, dry shampoo works on natural texture and is a great product to have in your bag. Dry shampoo absorbs your greasy roots in seconds and refreshes your look in an instant. It is the best product to remove oil, sweat, and odor from your hair. You can nowadays even get different strengths of dry shampoo to suit every hair type! My favorites are Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry 2 Day Extender: $20, IGK First Class Charcoal Detox: $27 and Oribe Gold Lust: $46.”