There are a few different reasons why you might interested in the best alternatives to dry shampoo.
1) You’ve heard some worrying news about a dry shampoo recall and a chemical called benzene,
2) You’re want something with less grit of traditional dry shampoo products,
3) You’re in a pinch and want to know if any household products will work.
If any of those are you, this article has you covered. After all, dry shampoo is a hair product that tends to fall into the need category vs want, so if you’re using dry shampoo weekly or even daily, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the best alternatives to dry shampoo possible.
Why Use Alternatives to Dry Shampoo
Like any hair styling products you put in dry hair, dry shampoo can cause buildup. If you use dry shampoo on a regular basis you’ll want to make sure you are washing it out thoroughly with each shampoo, ideally with a double cleanse of shampoo. Buildup of dry shampoo can clog your hair follicles and cause irritation and itchiness.
The best thing to do is to try to limit your use of dry shampoo to once or twice a week if you can. After all, dry shampoo isn’t cleaning your hair, it’s only giving your hair a clean appearance.
Should You Use Aerosol Dry Shampoos?
Dry shampoo has been in the news lately with the latest recall from Unilever of their brands’ dry shampoos because of an elevated level of benzene which can cause cancer at high enough levels. Benzene is a chemical that is created through use of the propellant in aerosols, so it isn’t related to dry shampoo per use, but rather just the way you would spray it out.
The recall was out of an “abundance of caution” so it’s safe to say you’re not using dry shampoo at high enough levels to cause concern, but if you want to switch to a non-aerosol or powder dry shampoo, there are other benefits as well to trying a new version.
Do Dry Shampoo Powders Work?
One common alternative to aerosols are dry shampoo powders. Dry shampoo powders aren’t terribly different from the dry shampoo you would spray out of a can, except that well…you don’t spray them out of a can.
With some of them, you are meant to shake the powder of the container either onto the part of your hair where you would like it to go, or you can brush it on for a more precise application.
This well-loved powder is part dry shampoo, part style extender and part volumizer. A little goes a long way with this powder but it is well-loved for it's multitasking purposes.
Act and Acre is all about the health of your scalp so there’s no brand I’d more trust for a healthy alternative to dry shampoo. This version still comes with a pump (but a non-aerosol one) which pumps the products onto your roots.
Acure is an affordable alternative AND they have a version for dark hair! They recommend squeezing some powder directly on to your hair brush and combing through for an easy way to apply.
This unique formula starts as a lotion and dries to a powder, so this is perfect if you don’t like the mess of powder and want to avoid white cast at all costs. You just need to massage the lotion onto your roots and it will keep your scalp residue-free.
Clean and cruelty-free NatureLab Tokyo makes affordable hair products with plant-based Japanese ingredients and they make a great dry shampoo that’s also at a low price. This tiny dry shampoo is perfect for throwing into your purse when you’re on-the-go. It also has a light scent and no white cast.
Crown Affair has sleek and elegant products and formulas, and I love that this dry shampoo promises to lack the grit of aerosol products. It also has Crown Affair’s signature fresh scent, so if you’re looking to splurge this is the one.
Natural Alternatives to Dry Shampoo
If a natural alternative is what you’re after or you need something RIGHT NOW, there are lots of powders in your kitchen that can do the trick. Just know that anything not specially formulated for hair is likely going to be grittier, cause more buildup, or leave a stronger white cast than most dry shampoos.
Cornstarch, baby powder, and makeup setting powder are all great powders than can take some of the oil out of your hair. Start with a small amount, especially if you have dark hair, as they will likely leave a strong white cast.
Blotting papers, paper towels, toilet paper, and tissue paper can also help a bit, although their ability to absorb oil will likely be less than powders.
Apple cider vinegar is another great alternative and you don’t need to wait for the shower to use it! Put a drop of apple cider vinegar in an ounce of water in a spray bottle and spray at your roots, waiting a few minutes for it to dry.
So there you have it, the best alternatives to dry shampoo!