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Fall down a Reddit rabbit hole, and you’re bound to stumble upon some intense debates about dry shampoo. People are understandably confused—especially on the curly and textured hair circuit. For many, the idea just seems so foreign. The thought of adding something dry to hair that’s already prone to dehydration seems like a recipe for disaster. For others, it’s a day-three or -four hair necessity. Kellon Deryck, L’Oréal Paris celebrity expert, helped get to the root of how even the most textured of textures can up their style game with the help of a little spray powder.
Sop Up Oil
If you’re prone to oily scalp, no matter what the texture of the strands coming out of it, dry shampoo will help soak up the scalp sebum that weighs hair down, making it look limp and greasy. Remember that there’s a fine line between shiny and greasy, but anyone with an oily scalp knows the difference.
Pump Up Fine Strands
If your hair is on the finer side, the struggle to achieve volume is very real. What dry shampoo does is adds texture, grit, and essentially a light layer on top of your strands to help make it look thicker. Also, by absorbing any oils or any lingering product buildup at your roots, you’ll be able to see more volume at the crown and all around. Deryck uses the L’Oréal Paris Magic Root Cover Up ($9) to both cover any grays and to add texture to finer hair. Keep in mind that curly doesn’t always equate to thick. Even with a head full of curls, your hair can still be limp at the root. “Fine hair benefits from dry shampoo the most. The added texture creates an illusion of volume, which is perfect for thinner hair textures,” says Deryck. You won’t need it often, so reserve your use for when you really need it.
Skip a Wash Day
What you don’t want to do is create one issue trying to solve another. Particularly for curly and textured hair, shampooing more than once a week is just out of the question. Since curls tend to be drier, you can easily overdo it, which can ultimately lead to overdrying and breakage. Be careful not to rely solely on dry shampoo. Going too long without properly clarifying to remove dry shampoo or other product buildup away from your roots can potentially clog the hair follicle and lead to hair loss. Not to scare you straight, but the point is to treat your scalp the same as you do your face. So if you’re using dry shampoo several times a week, you’ll need a proper shampoo at least once every seven days.
Look for the Right Formula
If this all sounds like a too-good-to-be-true win-win for team dry shampoo, know that there are a few things to keep in mind: Not only can overusing it completely suck the moisture out of your hair, but it can throw off how your curls lie. Deryck adds that formulas that have low amounts of alcohol are best—and that applies to every hair type—not just curls. Alcohol will make the hair more brittle over time. Although it may seem counterintuitive, some newer variations actually have oils added to help balance and replenish any moisture lost while absorbing.
If you’re ready to jump into a whole new world of dry styling, check out these top texture boosters with benefits for curly hair.
R+Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist
An upgrade from traditional formulas, this version uses a micellar water base, infused with a cleansing powder to remove residue without leaving anything behind. If you’re wearing braids or need a scalp refresher, meet your new best friend.
$28 at R+Co
Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder Très Invisible (Nourishing) Dry Shampoo
Infused with oils to help replenish moisture to hair as it soaks up sebum at the roots, this product also has UV protection—because your scalp can burn too.
$29 at Bumble and bumble
Verb Dry Shampoo Dark
If you’re concerned about creating a white cast along your hairline, as many traditional dry shampoos do, try a tinted version, made specifically for dark strands.
$16 at Verb
ColorProof FreshStart Soft Dry Shampoo
The all-in-one styler soaks up sweat, sprays on sheer, keeps hair color vibrant, and works as a heat protectant up to 450 degrees.
$25 at ColorProof (available July 1)
TREsemmé Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Mineral clay helps soak up excess scalp oil, sweat and dirt, while a citrus scent gives strands a just shampooed smell.
$5 at Target