This is How Celebrity Hairstylists Want You to Use Dry Shampoo

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

We know we're not the only ones who have a love-hate relationship with our dry shampoo. On the one hand, we love skipping our regular washes in lieu of a quick spritz session. But on the other hand, deciphering the world of powders, pastes, mousses, and aerosols can be difficult. And how do we avoid those dreaded white spots? Fear not. We tapped six celebrity hairstylists for their tips on using dry shampoo (in every medium) the right ways. Ahead, a step-by-step guide for using dry shampoo, plus common mistakes and how to avoid them.

Meet the Expert

  • Kathleen Riley is a hairstylist with a client roster that includes Sofia Richie, as well as a creator for Mane Addicts.
  • Mark Townsend is a Dove Hair celebrity stylist and the man behind the hairstyles of Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Johnson, and more,
  • Laura Polko is a hairstylist with clients among the likes of Candice Swanepoel, Gigi Hadid, and Lucy Hale.

Step Two: Spray 8-10 Inches Away From Roots

If you're the type to take an aerosol can to your roots and drown your oil- soaked strands in dry shampoo, it's time to take a step back. "I section the hair and spray each section to make sure all areas are getting the attention they need and spray from about eight to 10 inches away," says Riley. "Make sure you're spraying from far enough away from your roots, so the spray isn't too concentrated," otherwise you'll end up with white spots. This rule is true for most dry shampoo formula types except foam, which is applied directly to the root and hair.

Step Three: Wait a Few Minutes For the Formula to Work Its Magic

Chances are, you spritz your hair quickly and shake your head out before frantically running out the door. We're guilty too. However, massaging it in right away defeats the purpose of its oil-absorbing powers. Riley says, "one of my biggest tips is to let dry shampoo sit for a few minutes—it'll brush out, but it also needs time to soak up the oils," says Lawless. He tells us he gives hair at least 10 minutes to work.

Step Four: Massage Formula Into Scalp and Crown

Some dry shampoo formulas require you to massage your scalp/crown in order to activate the formula. Regardless of your formula's specific instructions, massaging the formula into your scalp is always a good idea. "I like to spray Dove Care Between Washes Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo ($5) at the roots of the crown and massage to create lift, says Townsend. This will also help to more evenly distribute the formula.

Step Five: Run Your Fingers (or a Brush) Through Your Hair to Distribute

Next, "Run your fingers throughout the hair to separate and add more volume," says Townsend. "There are so many different ways to use dry shampoo, but my favorite method is using it throughout the hair to create volume while styling." Et voila!

Meet the Expert

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