Dry shampoo is a relatively newer product in the scope of things. However, people have been dealing with greasy hair forever, and people from cultures all over the world have experimented with using various common pantry items as dry shampoo alternatives. In fact, as more studies are being done, these alternatives to dry shampoo could be safer.
The experts say that dry shampoo was developed as a means to refreshen your hair, but not to replace actually washing your hair using water. Dry shampoo only helps remove oils from your hair; it doesn’t remove dirt that collects on the scalp.
This article will provide a brief background on the history of dry shampoo and a list of the best dry shampoo alternatives.
What Is Dry Shampoo?
Dry shampoo can be used to absorb oil, grease, and dirt from your hair. It helps give hair that clean look without having to get it wet. Many use it to freshen up after a workout, during humid weather, or by disabled people that have a difficult time with showers. Regardless of the reason, these dry shampoo alternatives can work just as good, and according to recent studies, they could be a healthier option for those frequently using dry shampoo.
The History of Dry Shampoo
The first dry shampoo product was launched in 1972 by a French hair cosmetics company called Klorane. The product line quickly caught the attention and was marketed to women who had physical limitations and could not wash their hair. However, before long, the original genre expanded, and dry shampoo became a common use product for women of every type.
Disadvantages of Dry Shampoo, Why Alternatives May Be Better
While dry shampoo can be useful, that does not mean it replaces the traditional wash-and-rinse method. It can cause problems from scalp rash to infected hairs; this study even suggests frequent dry shampoo usage can result in inflammation and reduced hair growth. The following are some other reasons why dry shampoo alternatives could be better for you.
Dry Shampoo Don’t Clean Your Hair
The product only gives the appearance of clean hair by absorbing the oils instead of actually cleaning it. It cannot clean your hair and scalp the way shampoo and water do.
It Can Cause Hair Breakage
Aerosol-style hair products commonly contain alcohols, which can dry out your hair. If hair becomes too dry, it will break down the fibers, which increases the chance of hairs getting caught or broken when combing or brushing.
Clogged Hair Follicles
Using dry shampoo too frequently, even leaving it in your hair for long periods of time before washing, could result in product building up on the scalp. This can cause an itchy or inflamed scalp. You could even end up with a fungal or bacterial infection within the hair follicles, known as folliculitis.
Dry Shampoo Is a Potential Cancer Risk!
Possibly the biggest downside to using dry shampoo is the potential cancer risk. Certain products contain talc, a mineral powder that could contain asbestos particles in its natural form. However, in the U.S., products that contain talcum powder are no longer allowed to have traces of asbestos.
However, there are recent concerns that there may be a connection between ovarian cancer and asbestos-free talcum powder. Because of these concerns, studies are investigating talc used in certain products marketed for genital areas.
Currently, there are no known cancer risks from the use of dry shampoo products containing talc. Although, the American Cancer Society has suggested those with concerns regarding the potential cancer risks avoid using dry shampoo products until additional research can be conducted.
What Can I Use Instead of Dry Shampoo?
Are you wondering what you could possibly use as a dry shampoo alternative? The following is a list of things you can use in place of dry shampoo when you run out or if you have concerns about the potential cancer risks but still want a quick refresher.
These are some of the more common things people have used for decades, but what works for some may not work for others. Don’t be afraid to experiment with this list to find which dry shampoo alternatives work best for your specific hair type.
Top 10 Dry Shampoo Alternatives
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Cornstarch
Mix cornstarch and baking soda and store in an empty spice jar or airtight container. A ½ cup of each, add in activated charcoal, cinnamon, or other dry ingredients to help give it a nice scent or added benefits. You can apply it in many ways, and a little will go a long way. As a bonus, this alternative to dry shampoo can be much cheaper too!
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Baby Powder
If you’re a new parent, chances are you have a constant supply of baby powder. That’s right, this dusty white powder can be used as a dry shampoo to pull the oils from your hair. While it shouldn’t be a frequent substitute and not a replacement for washing your hair, people have been using baby powder in a pinch for decades.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Apple Cider Vinegar
Yes, you read that correctly… a liquid as a dry shampoo alternative, but it works! Simply mix a drop of the vinegar with water in a spray bottle. Then spritz your hair and rub it in!
The key behind using apple cider vinegar as a dry shampoo alternative is giving yourself time for it to dry. An added bonus, you won’t have to worry about leaving powder in your hair, and vinegar is good for the scalp too!
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Hand Sanitizer
Because the alcohol in hand sanitizer will help with ridding hair of oils and grime. Simply put a little in your hands, then massage it into the roots. Be careful not to use too much, so it doesn’t stay wet and damage your hair.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Setting Powder
This dry shampoo alternative works best for light oily hair. Simply massage a small amount of translucent setting powder along the roots and part of your hair. If you don’t use too much, it will absorb the oils and not leave the white residue that is common with dry shampoo.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Blotting Papers or Paper Towels
If your hair is very oily and you’re in a pinch, grab some blotting paper or paper towels. Simply take sections of your hair, and run it through. The oils transfer and leave your hair with less oil.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Dry Clay
In addition to working like a dry shampoo, dry clay leaves behind a light fragrance. The silica helps pull oils from your hair and scalp. Any dry clay product you have access to works for this, including red, white, green, agar, powdered orris root, and others.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Salt and Cornmeal
Grab the cornmeal and salt from the pantry for this one. Mix 2 tbsp of salt per 1 cup of cornmeal. Works well in a Parmesan cheese shaker. Simple shake before use and sprinkle it on your hand or hair, then use a brush to pull all the dirt and oils out.
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Perfume
Something many people have is perfume or cologne, and this can be used similarly to hand sanitizer to break down oils, thanks to the alcohol content. As an added benefit over hand sanitizer, your hair will smell great all day!
Dry Shampoo Alternative: Oatmeal and Baking Soda
Another combination you can make from the pantry is baking soda and oatmeal. Again, a 1-to 1-ratio is all it takes to create an all-natural dry shampoo alternative. Finely grind 1 cup of oatmeal and 1 cup baking soda to create a powder, and mix well in a bowl. Then, use an empty spice container or baby powder bottle for storing.
As with most of the dry shampoo alternatives listed here, sprinkle a small amount in your hands or hair and massage it into your roots. Brush or style your hair as you desire, and you’re ready to move on with your day!
Last modified: October 23, 2022