What is Dry Shampoo?
Millions of people regularly use dry shampoo to touch up their dry hair after workouts or when they don’t have time to wash their hair as usual. Depending on the brand, dry shampoo is alcohol- or starch-based, but there are also brands that contain clay or talc. It’s used to absorb the oils on hair to give it a fresher and cleaner appearance. It’s available in an aerosol spray and some types are even tinted to match specific hair colors.
Application is easy and simple. Spray it in, work it through hair with the fingertips, and brush it out. The term shampoo is actually a misnomer, since dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean the hair. It’s not meant to be used regularly. Dirt, chemicals and pollution collect on the hair every day and dry shampoo doesn’t remove that buildup.
According to the prestigious Cleveland Clinic, dry shampoo can irritate the scalp and cause inflammation, clog pores, trap debris, and lead to bacterial infections. Dry shampoos can also make hair more susceptible to breakage and other types of damage.
Dry shampoos aren’t a new development. Children of the 1970s will probably remember Psssst!®, billed as the original instant dry shampoo. It was touted as the stylists’ secret for cleaning hair between regular shampoos. Dry shampoo was widely used in hospitals. However, dry shampoos have been around far longer than that.
As early as the 15th century, clay powder was used in Asia to cleanse hair. Starch was used in the 1700s by British and American elites for their natural hair and wigs. Minipoo was the first brand of commercially produced dry shampoo in the 1940s with the target demographic women and children. It was marketed for use on surprise dates and when someone was sick in bed.
There are a variety of dry shampoos currently on the market and there’s even a National Dry Shampoo Day celebrated in March. While dry shampoo can be useful for an occasional touch up, there’s no substitute for regular cleansing with soap and water to remove excess oil, debris and pollutants.
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