In the heat of the hot and sweaty summer, shampooing everyday might feel like a necessary evil. It’s time consuming, and, if you shampoo your strands too often, you can actually damage your hair. For those days you need to skip elaborate shampooing, and for the sake of healthy hair, there’s an alternative that’s getting more and more popular all the time: dry shampoo.

Here’s what it does, and how to use it.

What Is Dry Shampoo?
Dry shampoo is usually a spray-in product that boasts some of the same benefits as the soapy, goopy shampoo you slather all over your head in the shower. Bottled like hair spray, dry shampoo is an alcohol- or starch-based spray that claims to reduce the amount of grease and oil in your hair, while adding volume.

How Does Dry Shampoo Work?
The alcohol or starch within the spray absorbs and soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair, giving it a cleaner, fresher appearance or making it look like you’ve showered more recently than you did. You can use actual cornstarch and baby powder to absorb grease in your hair, but a dry shampoo’s aerosol spray dispenser makes it easier to apply, as you can distribute it evenly by applying to your roots, then brushing down to your ends.

How to Use Dry Shampoo
When using dry shampoo, you can minimize its appearance and impact on your hair:

  • Limit your spray to only oily areas,
  • Keep the canister or bottle at least six inches from your scalp during application
  • Massage your scalp after you apply to ensure the product reaches down to your roots
  • Run a brush through any areas with more shampoo than others

How Often Should You Use It?
While dry shampoo is a great way to quickly fix your hair after a workout, on a weekend trip, or when you’re pressed for time, it shouldn’t totally replace washing your hair. It won’t clean your scalp like traditional shampooing. Chemicals and pollutants from everyday life and cosmetic care products – including dry shampoo – can build up on your scalp. Overuse can lead to blocked pores, which can cause pimples or even cysts. Experts recommend not using dry shampoo more than two days in a row.

Which Dry Shampoo Is Best?
There’s no catch-all “best” dry shampoo for every type of hair, but a few brands that we like for their natural ingredients include: Giovanni, Skinny Skinny Organics, Acure, Lulu Organics, and Klorane. Find them at your local drug store or order online.

Enjoy those extra minutes you’ll save in the shower!