HAIR CARE Dry Shampoo Powder vs Dry Shampoo Spray: What's the Difference?

by Better Natured

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For many women throughout the world, dry shampoo is the best thing since sliced bread. There's no more greasy, not-so-great smelling hair when we've hit the snooze button too many times and don't have time to wash it. All you need to do is quickly apply dry shampoo and you are good to go, ready to dominate the world.

What exactly is dry shampoo though?

Dry shampoo, hailed as the most miraculous of inventions by women who like to live fast and sleep late, is a type of powder or spray that helps to absorb the excess oil and grease in your hair, leaving it looking and feeling cleaner and fresher.

Unlike wet shampoo which needs to be applied while you're in the shower or bath, dry shampoo can be applied while your hair is dry - it's in the name really! It doesn't need to be washed out of your hair, which saves you plenty of time.

How it works

Your hair follicles don't only produce hair, but also sebum which is a natural oil that gives hair the texture it has. It also softens your scalp. The problem with sebum is that, while it is there to do good to our heads, it also does bad to our hair. When we go about our day, or especially after exercising, this oil collects in our hair. Too much sebum in your hair, and you'll look like the male cast of grease lightning on a bad day - "We've got chills. They're multiplying!"

What dry shampoo does is it soaks up the oils and sweat from your hair through its alcohol or starch-based active ingredients. With the oil removed from your hair, it looks cleaner and fresher, and it'll smell great.

A breath of fresh hair

So, that's why dry shampoo has become so popular. Especially as our lives get busier and busier, whether that is work-life or social.

It's important to note here that dry shampoo isn't a replacement for the good old wet shampoo. It's designed to extend the life of your blowout or if you are simply too busy to wash your hair with water.

Enter the Dry Shampoo Powder and the Dry Shampoo Spray

If you are a gent reading this, we've probably lost you. If you are still with us, great! The thing is, there isn't just one type of dry shampoo - you get dry shampoo powder and dry shampoo spray.

When it comes to the powder and the spray, the difference is in the details. Let's look at the differences between the two.

The differences

Each of the two products is made up differently, with different formulas. This causes them to do different things to your hair.

Dry shampoo powder

With dry shampoo powder, you'll get a higher amount of powder and starch to absorb the oils in your hair. There are generally fewer ingredients in the powder format, which typically comes in a container with holes punched into the top that let you sprinkle an amount of powder onto your hair. This makes powder products often more popular than the sprays.

A common ingredient in dry shampoo powder is 'arrowroot', which is a tropical tuber native to Indonesia that is turned into powder. This mattifying powder absorbs oil and adds volume. It also has clay in it, which draws out toxins and gently absorbs oil without over-drying your hair.

The essential oils in the powder then add a scent with a bit of nourishment for your scalp and your hair.

Some powders, such as the Better Natured powder product, have 'tapioca starch' in them, which swells up when it comes into contact with oil and water. This helps to absorb the oil, leaving your hair feeling clean and fresh.

Dry shampoo spray

Dry shampoo spray come in aerosol form. It's a lot easier to apply to your hair as you can target specific areas, and it doesn't leave any visible residue in your hair after application (if done properly). While it is much easier in its application, it features a fairly extensive list of ingredients. This includes propane, isobutane, panthenol, alcohol, wheat protein, and phenoxyethanol. Whoa – say what now?

A common ingredient in dry shampoo spray is the tapioca starch we mentioned above. They also have alcohol in them, which helps to evaporate any excess oil on your scalp without over-drying it out.

Generally, dry shampoo sprays don't last as long as their powder cousins. Another downside is the list of ingredients we mentioned above, which does make some people cautious of the spray option.

The active ingredients in each of the two types of dry shampoo do the same thing - they essentially soak up the oil in your hair. The difference lies in how they are applied, and what ingredients are used.

How do you apply dry shampoo powder?

Dry shampoo powder is best applied to dry hair. Start by spraying your roots with a volumizing spray. This will give the powder something to grip onto. Next, sprinkle a small amount of powder into your hand and rub it between your palms. Apply the powder to your roots in a patting motion, concentrating on the oily areas.

Some powder products, such as our Better Natured Fresh Dry Shampoo Powder, feature a pump which allows you to spray the powder on to your hair. These are great products as you can pump the powder directly on to your roots.

Dry Shampoo - Better Natured

Once you've applied the powder, use a brush or your fingers to work it through your hair.

How do you apply dry shampoo spray?

Start by spraying it onto your roots, holding the can about 6 inches away from your head. Next, use your fingers to massage it into your scalp. Make sure you don't apply too much in one area - spread the love!

Once you've massaged it in, use a brush or your fingers to work it through your hair.

Dry shampoo and hair types

Greasy hair: For hair that holds a lot of oil, dry shampoo is great. This is especially true if you have just had a sweaty workout. It's a great quick fix for greasy hair. It's important to remember you still need to wash your hair if it gets greasy quickly. Otherwise, you won't be cleansing your scalp and preventing blocked pores.

Natural hair: For those with natural hair, you may need to look at a dry shampoo that has been specifically designed or made for your type of hair. If you do have dark hair, remember that dry shampoo (both the powder and the spray) can leave your hair looking flaky if you don't rub it in properly. Consider getting your hands on a dry shampoo that is made for natural or darker hair.

Curly hair: You can still use dry shampoo with curly hair to freshen it up. The thing is, you may need to switch up the application process though. Once you've dried your hair and applied the dry shampoo, it's important that you don't brush or comb it as it may appear frizzy and dry, instead of the bouncy and fresh look that you're going for.

If you have natural hair, find a dry shampoo that is specifically made for your hair type to avoid any flakiness. And if you have curly hair, be sure to apply it correctly so as not to disrupt your curl pattern.

What are the drawbacks to using dry shampoo?

There aren't many to be honest, provided you use the dry shampoo in moderation. What is important to note here is that you shouldn't experience any negative effects from using dry shampoo, as long as you are only using it once or twice a week, whether to give your hair a bit of a touch-up or after a workout session.

If you do use dry shampoo regularly, make sure you give your scalp a good scrub with a good shampoo at least once a week to remove any build-up. We don't recommend using it two days in a row as there is a good chance you will irritate your scalp and dry it out. You also run the risk of clogging up your pores, which could lead to a rash or even pimples.

The other thing to look out for, especially if you are using a hair straighter, is that dry shampoo can dry your hair out if you use it excessively. This will make it vulnerable to heat damage.

The verdict - which is best for you?

As with anything, it depends on what you need it for and what works best for you. If you have oily hair, then dry shampoo is a godsend as it will help to soak up the excess oil and give your hair some much-needed volume.

Whether or not you use the powder or the spray, really depends on your personal preference and of course your hair type.

If you are looking for a high-quality and effective dry shampoo, look no further than Better Natured. Our range of hair products uses a synergistic blend of naturally-derived and purely science-based ingredients, those that combined deliver healthy-looking, beautiful benefits.

Get a breath of fresh hair with the Better Natured Fresh Dry Shampoo Powder that leaves no traces of white residue. We have plenty of other products on offer as well, which you can view on our online shop.

Why not give us a call and chat with an experienced and friendly member of the team to see how we can help take your hair to the next level! You can reach us at 1-800-242-9283 or email

Less time washing your hair means far more time for good, clean fun!

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    Fresh Dry Shampoo Powder


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