There was a time not too long ago when dry shampoo was looked down upon as a slightly gross product for lazy, low maintenance beauty haters. Hygiene stigma aside, this miracle powder has undoubtedly become one of the biggest beauty success stories of recent times, becoming a staple on nearly every woman’s bathroom shelf.
A quick spritz and the greasiest, lankest of tresses are instantly transformed in to soft, fluffy, voluminous locks. A literal lifesaver.
But have you ever wondered what goes in to these products that keep strands grease-free without a drop of water in sight? Dry shampoos are often made of a base of aluminium starch, chemical derivatives of rice or corn starch and sometimes even talc. They disguise hair with chemical fragrances, synthetic pigments and nearly all of them contain parabens and/or formaldehyde-releasing preservatives, all in a fun aerosol can. Whilst aerosols are very convenient for application, there’s very little control over the spray; some of it lands where it’s supposed to while the rest is dispersed all over the room, not to mention in your lungs. Bad for you, bad for the environment= lose, lose situation.
Oil and dirt naturally accumulate on a daily basis and need to be removed from the scalp so the follicles remains decongested, breathing and growing. But dry shampoos don’t remove impurities, they work to mask the residue and pollutants which in turn, adds more grime to your scalp and hair, adding to problematic buildup. Some stylists claim that prolonged usage can clog pores, causing dullness, dandruff, scalp irritation and in some cases, even hair loss.
As a regular user of dry shampoos for volumising purposes (flat hair, totally care), I’m always on the lookout for less harmful options. I recently discovered Voluminous Dry Shampoo by organic haircare brand, Rahua. It’s a vegan, gluten-free formula made from 100% organic, food-grade cassava starch that absorbs oil and sweat. The added star anise not only has antiseptic properties, but also smells absolutely delicious blended with the vanilla planifolia.
It also comes in an aerosol-free, recyclable, eco-squeeze dispenser for a controlled application that doesn’t harm the environment. Squeeze a small amount on to your scalp, massage and then brush out like a traditional dry shampoo. I prefer to work it in to the roots and leave it for added lift. The great thing about it is that it’s so finely milled that it blends with all hair colours, without leaving flakes or a white residue. A little goes a very long way, and be sure to brush it out thoroughly if you’ve used more than a couple of squeezes to avoid clumping.
So the moral of the story is: dry shampoo is a wonderful option in emergencies and when your hair needs a little extra oomph, but it’s not been designed to replace regular hair washing. Everyone needs a frequent shampoo and thorough rinse to strip away buildup and keep the scalp happy and healthy.