What is Dry Shampoo?

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What is Dry Shampoo?

Natural Organic Powdered Dry Shampoo for Dark & Light HairWhen I was a young girl, I had very oily hair. I remember using a product that came in an aerosol can. It had a n unpleasant smell, did not work, and gave my hair gray highlights (definitely not what I wanted when I was in my 20s).

So when our "younger" Chagrin Valley team members said, “we have to make a dry shampoo,” I was less than excited.

They go camping, to weekend festivals, take care of young children, work, lead very busy lives, and made a very good case for this "new" product.

We experimented for months using our staff volunteers, friends, and family until we came up with an incredible formula that everyone loved, our Certified Organic “Refresh Locks Dry Shampoo.”


What is Dry Shampoo?

Does your hair need a quick fix between shampoos? Then a dry shampoo just might be the answer.

Despite the name, dry shampoo is not actually a shampoo and it is not a cleaning agent. It is a product applied directly to the scalp or hair without water designed to absorb excess scalp oils, eliminate greasiness, and leave hair fresh.


History Of Dry Shampoo

You may think that dry shampoos are a new idea, but they have been around for centuries. The first reference is seen around the late 15th century when people in Asia were using clay powders in their hair. In the United States, dry shampoos were used during the late 1700s and early 1800s to color and deodorize powdered wigs.

Natural Organic Dry Shampoo Vintage Recipe

The above recipe, published in the April 1918 edition of the American Journal of Pharmacy, included rice flour, orris root, and coumarin, a cinnamon-like compound. (The American Journal of Pharmacy, Volume 90, p287)

Vintage Ad for Dry ShampooAccording to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History website, a product called Minipoo was the first commercial dry shampoo. It was made available to consumers in the early 1940s by The Stephanie Brooke Company of Jersey City. The picture to the right shows an ad that appeared in Woman’s Day Magazine in 1945.

The dry shampoo, made with fuller’s earth and talc to absorb excess oils, was clearly marketed towards women.

Advertisements often indicated that one could use this shampoo while "sick in bed" or for "surprise dates." It was known as the ten-minute dry shampoo that would protect your permanent wave and was children-approved because no soap would get in their eyes.

It came with a disposable mitt for application and one of its advertising slogans was "When you can’t shampoo, Minipoo."

Dry shampoo became popular in the United States in the late 1960s when a trendy model, Twiggy, was featured in a dry shampoo ad.


How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

Our scalp naturally produces sebum, an oil that keeps our heads healthy and well-moisturized. Between shampoos sebum can build up, leaving hair looking greasy, dull, lifeless, and unclean.

Dry shampoos absorb the excess oil on the scalp and hair, so that hair has more body, more volume, and looks freshly washed. Excess hair oil tends to weigh hair down and make it look dull and flat. Ingredients like tapioca and arrowroot powder absorb the oils creating a texture that produces a gentle lift at the roots.


Why Use A Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is great if you need to give your hair a break from shampooing.

As folks lead busier lives, dry shampoos are becoming more and more popular. They can be a real time-saver when your hair needs a quick fix or you don’t have the time to wash and style.

For a last-minute night out, a quick refresh after a workout, after a long airplane flight, or anytime hair gets limp or stringy, a quick application of dry shampoo can refresh hair and add volume and texture. The result is hair with improved body and bounce that looks clean. Many folks even use dry shampoo as a styling product to preserve a hairstyle.

Any hair type or texture can benefit from dry shampoo, but oily scalp types will find dry shampoo especially useful. Thin, fine or super straight hair can profit from the boost of volume.


How To Use A Dry Hair Shampoo

The best way to apply natural powder dry shampoo is with an applicator brush.Begin with DRY Hair and apply to ROOTS only. Use a comb to part your hair into small 1" to 2" sections beginning with the oiliest areas first.

Brush Method: The best and most precise way to apply a dry shampoo is using an applicator brush (a makeup brush works great). Sprinkle a small amount of dry shampoo powder into your hand or a small container and dip in the bristle ends. Tap to remove excess. Apply to the root sections in a dabbing motion.

Don't Have a Brush? Use the Shaker or Fingers Method: Although some people like to simply sprinkle the powder sparingly on the scalp area where oil forms and then massage the powder into the scalp, I find that I have less control over the amount of powder using this method and end up with too much. I prefer using my fingers as applicators if not using a brush. Palm side up, I sprinkle a small amount onto my fingers, rub my fingers together and then massage through the scalp.

Distribute the dry shampoo for BOTH methods: Your fingertips are the best tool for this job. Moving from the top-down, use fingertips to massage and distribute the powder into the scalp. Wait a few minutes so it can work its magic. Massage your scalp again as you tousle and fluff your hair until there are no more powdery spots. Then brush your hair to further distribute the powder. Spot apply as needed to oily spots.

Night Before: Apply as described above before going to bed. The powder has more time to blend in and will soak up oil that is released during the night.

Tip: If you wear a part in your hair, apply near, but not exactly on your part line.


Not All Dry Shampoos Are Created Equal!

Commercial dry shampoos come in either powder or aerosol form. Some use starches and some are silica-based. While all dry shampoos probably work to soak up excess oil, what about the ingredients? Are they really natural?

While using an aerosol seems easier and less messy they are often made with propellants, like butane, that can have an odd odor and leave particles in the air which can cause problems for folks with sensitive noses and for the environment. Others contain alcohols, talc, artificial fragrances, and other synthetic ingredients.

Alcohol, which is an ingredient in many aerosol dry shampoos, dries out your tresses, which can make them brittle. Dry, fragile hair is more likely to tangle, crack and break.

Some dry shampoo powders still contain talc. Pure talc is a naturally-occurring mineral mined from the earth. Its soft, silky texture and ability to absorb moisture, have made talcum powder an important ingredient in baby powders, body powders and many other personal care products. While there is no problem with the mineral talc itself, since talc forms alongside another mineral called asbestos, a known cause of cancer, when talc is mined it often contains asbestos.

Artificial fragrances and other synthetic ingredients can be scalp irritants for some. All of those irritants may contribute to long-term problems. An unhealthy scalp can ultimately lead to inflammation, may impact hair growth, and can result in unhealthy hair.

While the ingredients in a regular shampoo are rinsed away when you wash your hair, dry shampoo ingredients may remain on your scalp for days. Is this a problem? Who knows! But why bother with a chemical-laden dry shampoo when there are natural options.


Why Use Chagrin Valley Organic Dry Hair Shampoo?

Natural Organic Dry Shampoo adds body & texture to limp oily hairChagrin Valley natural, organic Dry Shampoos are silky, soft, fine organic botanical starch powders combined with organic therapeutic botanicals that blend in easily and transform greasy, dull, lifeless hair into fresh locks that are full of body.

They are made with safe, organic ingredients, and organic essential oils -- not synthetic fragrances and are non-GMO, talc-free, and gluten-free.

  • Good for all hair types
  • Organic burdock root and plantain promote healthy hair
  • Helps soothe itchy scalp
  • Refreshes hair naturally
  • Adds body and shine
  • Extends time between washes
  • Perfect for morning hair care or after the gym when your hair needs a quick pick-me-up
  • A great alternative to shampooing when camping or traveling
  • Made with organic essential oils -- not synthetic fragrances
  • Non-GMO, talc-free, gluten-free
  • Non aerosol Benzene-free

So now you can bring back natural beauty, bounce, and body to hair between shampoos, with our natural dry shampoo. We have two great scents available for light hair and dark hair. 

Have you ever used dry shampoo? Any tips for folks new to dry shampoos?


Learn More Blog: Not All Dry Shampoos Are Created Equal!

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