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How to use dry shampoo

Rebecca Kennedy, pictured, explains how to get your hair in great shape apres workout.

Some women seem to move glamorously from sweaty spin bike to conference-room appropriate in five minutes flat. And then there are the rest of us, tapping our toes in line for a shower, a blow dryer, and a mirror at the gym. What’s the secret of the first group? Dry shampoo.

The beauty product staple, which absorbs oil and sweat (when used correctly), is crucial for preserving a blowout or revving up the pace of your post-workout beauty routine so you can get out the door. For advice on how best to use dry shampoo, particularly after a sweat sesh, we asked the gorgeously coiffed Barry’s Bootcamp instructor and Wilhelmina fitness model, Rebecca Kennedy. (She’s basically a blonde Breck girl.)

“I could technically use dry shampoo after almost every workout, says Kennedy, whose typical day of training clients, going to castings and shoots, and fitting in her own workouts necessitates the beauty shortcut. “Typically I use it two to three times a week and try to wash my hair three days a week, Kennedy says. “Thank goodness for dry shampoo—no more carrying around baby powder!”

Lulu Organic Dry Shampoo
Lulu Organics Dry Shampoo

What is dry shampoo?

Commonly found in the form of a sprinkle-on powder or an aerosol spray, dry shampoo absorbs oils produced by your scalp, creating the illusion of freshly-washed hair. Some dry shampoos come with color specializations—like for brunettes, since dry shampoo is typically white.

The Products:

Aerosol: Rockaholic by Tigi is Kennedy’s favorite for home use, and she’ll often keep a travel-size Psssst in her gym bag.

Non-aerosol: You sprinkle on labels like Lulu Organics, Skinny Skinny, or Klorane, which has a non-aerosol spray, too. All of these come in small, gym-bag friendly sizes.

The Technique:

1. Start by tying the top layer of your hair up in a bun and blow-drying your damp hairline. Don’t have time? Dab it with a towel, tousle it with your fingers, get dressed, and proceed to Step 2.

2. With your hair up, spray at the root of the hair, underneath the top layer, and if necessary along your part and crown. Advice on spraying: “Do it lightly about 10-12 inches away from your scalp, so strands do not become too saturated or inadvertently chalky or wet.” If you’re going the non-aerosol route, don’t sprinkle on too much to start. Add more as needed.

3. Then take the top layer down and spray along your hair line from back to front. Now, depending on your hair type, you’ll want to massage in the dry shampoo with your finger tips or gently brush it through.

4. This one is optional: flip your head over, shake out your hair, and then flip it back up for further blending and extra volume. The goal is to make sure the oils are absorbed and the dry shampoo is well blended.

5. A final round with the blow-dryer to seal the deal is great if there’s one handy, otherwise it should be good to go. “Luckily my sister is a stylist and taught me the tricks,” says Kennedy. “Hail to the hair!” —Randi Eichenbaum