During the winter months, I’m guilty of trying to make my blowouts last long past their expiration date. As in, way long. I absolutely hate washing my hair when it’s cold outside, because my only options are either cutting into my valuable sleep time for the sake of styling it in the morning, or walking outside and risking my head turning into a popsicle. And so, from November through March, dry shampoo becomes my BBF (beauty best friend).
But like all great relationships, we have our ups and downs. Some days, a single spritz of dry shampoo will refresh my greasy scalp into pristine condition. And other days…it backfires on me. The latter happened to me this morning, when I attempted to refresh my day-four strands and wound up with a white, matted mess that looked much, much worse than what I’d started with. With five minutes to get out the door, I panicked (if you, like me, are a dry shampoo aficionado, you definitely know the feeling), and begged my Instagram followers for help.
“Use a blow dryer,” a friend replied in my DMs, and, desperate, I grabbed mine and blasted my crusty (…sorry) scalp and strands with heat. One minute and a few strokes of a paddle brush later, I was a new woman and my life was officially changed forever.
To find out why this tried-and-tested trick is so effective, I turned to stylist Riawna Capri of Los Angeles’ Nine Zero One Salon, who was mildly shocked when I told her how many days it had been since I scrubbed my scalp. “Any time heat is activated with any kind of powdery substance, I would say, one, the air of the blowdryer is probably blowing some of that away,” she explained. “And, two, it’s probably melting some of it in—not in any negative way—but it’s probably melting product into the hair as well.”
After schooling me in a little middle school dry shampoo science, Capri served up some hard truths about why mine had started to look nasty after a few days. And admittedly, it made me seriously rethink my relationship with the stuff. “I think when you are spraying dry shampoo over, and over and over, and you should really probably hop in the shower…it’s creating a buildup.” She continued, “It’s almost like putting foundation on your face over, and over, and over, and you haven’t washed your face. It’s kind of gross, right?”
According to Capri, spritzing with dry shampoo to make your style last an extra day is okay, but trying to stretch it for the better part of the week like I do can make your scalp a little gnarly. To determine if it’s time to suck it up and wash your hair for real, she suggests either forcing a loved one to sniff your head (lol), or scraping your fingers on your scalp. If any sort of grime comes away, it’s best to get your butt into the shower.
If it’s 8:55 a.m. and you’re in a pinch, though, grab that blow dryer and go to town. Clearly, I won’t judge you.
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