I know, I know Dry shampoos do magic to your hair. When you travel, the best way to keep your hair non-oily is dry shampoo. It “apparently” cleans your hair and makes your life easy when you are travelling. You don’t have to wash your hair to clean it with water every time. But I can bet you only know all the good things about dry shampoos. Let me tell you everything you should know about them and at last leave it up to you to use them or not.

First thing first…

What Is A Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is a type of shampoo that reduces hair greasiness without the need for water. READ AGAIN! It reduces greasiness and does not clean your scalp. It usually comes in a powdered form and is packed in an aerosol can.

History About Dry Shampoos

Dry shampoo isn’t new. The name “Dry shampoo” is new. The first reference of dry shampoo was around the late 15th century. People used clay powder in their hair as a dry shampoo. In the U.S. ground starch was used to colourise and decolourise the wigs during the late 1700s and early 1800s.

The public wasn’t much aware of the dry shampoo until American Journal describes its concept and use in 1918. Later in 1940, Minipoo was the first commercial dry shampoo.

What Is Inside A Dry Shampoo?


Human scalp secrets sebum (an oily secretion of sebaceous gland). Cornstarch binds to fatty acid chains in sebum through weak electric interactions. This helps in reducing the greasiness on your scalp. So if not a dry shampoo, try cornstarch.


Kaolin is a soft clay that absorbs grease and covers the shine of unwashed hair. It has aluminium silicates that help in reducing the reflectivity and creating a matte look for your hair. Aluminium silicate is negatively charged because of which it activates a protein that triggers blood clotting. This builds a barrier between the scalp and the air.

Magnesium Stearate

Magnesium Stearate acts as an anticaking agent on the starch molecules to help them from clumping.

Liquified Petroleum Gas

LPG is usually used in aerosol cans to pump out all the chemicals. Aerosol cosmetics like hair spray used Chlorofluorocarbons until the ’70s. After that scientists realised that CFC’s are not a boon to the earth, so the alternative was butane, propane, isobutane – basically LPG. Key features for LPG is that it has a boiling point below 0°C under normal conditions. LPG is kept around 50 psi to pressure the bottle in its liquid state. But…



The liquid alcohol helps in suspending solids without dissolving them and absorbs quickly after spreading in the roots. The cooling effect after spraying is caused by the endothermic process and soothes an itchy scalp.

How Dry Shampoos Work?

The alcohol in the product soak up the excess oil and grease in your hair and gives it a clean appearance. But clean appearance doesn’t mean clean.

Does It Actually Clean Your Hair?

Dry Shampoos build up a residue in your hair that can lead to hair drying. It can remove excess oil from the scalp but not really clean your scalp.

Is It Healthy To Use A Dry Shampoo?

Apart from making millennials lazier, is dry shampoo doing anything good to us? Okay, let me tell you what dry shampoo does to your scalp. All the big manufacturers like Wella professionals, BBlunt and Dove claim that the dry shampoo is healthy for their customers and using a dry shampoo will not damage their hair. But is it true?

The Truth Is…

  • Oil, dirt and sweat accumulate on the scalp on a regular basis and needs to be removed so that the scalp is balanced and breathing. Dry shampoos do not remove the dirt from your hair it just absorbs the excess oil from the scalp. It leaves alcohol on your scalp leaving your hair dry. A dry hair follicle is more likely to break.
  • When you apply dry shampoo on your scalp, it keeps absorbing the oil leaving the scalp with a combination of dry shampoo and oil. This combination clogs the follicle and leads to hair loss.
  • People with scalp conditions like psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis should not use dry shampoos. In fact, they should use keratolytic shampoo. It helps to dissolve the scales on the scalp.
  • Dry shampoo is not advisable to people with thin hair.
  • Too much of dry shampoo can cause friction between the hair strands and breakage can occur. Overuse of dry shampoo can make the scalp itchy and flaky.
  • Over the time there will be a heavy build-up of powder, oil and dead skin cells on your scalp which can lead to clogged pores.

How often Can A Dry Shampoo Be Used?

Understand that dry shampoos contain alcohol and your hair strand has water. Alcohol sucks up all the oil but it affects the water content as well. Dry shampoo will make your hair dry. So keep it for emergency purposes. It is not an everyday use option. When you are travelling and do not want to waste your time in the washroom to wash your hair, it is understandable to use a dry shampoo. But not on the regular basis. It is important to wash your hair to remove all the dirt and dry shampoo chemicals. Regular usage of dry shampoo will just damage your hair and nothing else.

Alternatives for Dry Shampoo

  • Baby Powder
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Perfume
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Brushing hair with paper towels

Dry Shampoo Hacks

It’s not like dry shampoo is of no use at all. For the people who are convinced that dry shampoo isn’t good for your hair and have already invested in them, here is something for you to use the shampoo.

  • Hairstyling
    After you style your hair, spray a little dry shampoo on the hair to make the style last longer.
  • Boost Volume
    Lean over so your head is upside down, apply the dry shampoo at your roots, massage the scalp for even spread and then comb.
  • Clean Your Carpet
    Remove oily carpet stains with clear dry shampoo, time, and your vacuum.
  • Eyebrows
    Tame your eyebrows. Spray some dry shampoo on your fingers and tame them.
  • Stinky sneakers?
    Spray some dry shampoo on the sneakers and leave overnight. Remove if any residue in the morning.

This was everything you should know about dry shampoos. Now the decision will be yours to use it or not. Meanwhile, maybe you can have a look at what organic shampoos can do for you.


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