Why Does Dry Shampoo Not Work For Me? – Detailed Answers

Dry shampoo is an amazing product if used correctly. Let’s figure out common dry shampoo blunders and answer your “Why does dry shampoo not work for me?” question!

Many people talk about dry shampoo as a holy grail of their hair care routine. Yet, there’re still some people who do not put this product in high regard. 

The reason is simple: these oil-stripping sprays, for some reason, do not work for them. Instead of a refreshed, clean hair look, they might end up with dull, stiff, and perhaps greasier hair than before. 

If you’ve been there and ever asked yourself, “Why does dry shampoo not work for me?” it’s time to solve it, once and for all!

9 Reasons Why Does Dry Shampoo Not Work For You

Wrong Shampoo For Your Hair

Not all dry shampoos are created equal, so do people’s strands. As hair is different from person to person in terms of color and type, it is advisable to choose a product that caters to your specific needs and concerns. 


  • You will need dark tone shampoos or invisible formulas that can blend into your strands without leaving white residues visible if you’ve got dark hair. 
  • Similarly, it is important to choose a light tone shampoo for your blonde or lighter-colored locks. 


  • Fine, thin hair usually finds aerosol or spray dry shampoos as their best friends. These products don’t weigh the tresses down and add extra volume to the tresses. 
  • Thick, more oily locks call for highly absorbent formulas, which often come in the form of powder. In this case, we highly recommend starch powder (rice or cornstarch) since it absorbs oil quite well.
  • Curly hair needs ample moisture, so you need a product with moisturizing properties.
  • Chemically-processed hair is considerably damaged and moisture-stripped. You will need a dry shampoo that not only soaks the oil but also provides much-needed moisture to the strands. Thus, be on the lookout for common moisturizing agents such as oat milk or argan oil while shopping for your color-treated hair.
the right type of dry shampoo
Need to choose the right type of dry shampoo to get the most effective.

Use Unwashed Hand And Accessories

Accessories such as clips, combs, or headbands that you put onto your hair will soak in the sebums. It means that after you’ve washed your hair with dry shampoo and put these items back, the oils will transfer from them to your tresses. 

The same goes with your unwashed, dirty hair, which might hold more oils than what your hair has in the first place.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub

Dry Shampoo Applied Too Close To Your Head

Spray dry shampoo 4 to 6 inches
Spray dry shampoo 4 to 6 inches from the roots of your hair.

According to hair experts, the best way to use dry shampoo is to hold the can four to six inches away from your hair and apply it right onto the roots. It is because you want to deal with that greasiness on the roots, not the scalp. 

The right distance will let the starch land evenly. Spraying too close to your scalp will more likely oversaturate your strands. You might also end up with a powdery residue afterward. 

If you use a powder formula, it is recommended to work it in your hand before getting it into the hair. 

Remove It Sooner

One of the nice things about dry shampoo is that it soaks excess oil in an instant. Yet, it still needs some time to work at its best. Do not rush to massage the hair right away upon spraying. Instead, let the shampoo sit for a minute or two to allow it to do its magic. 

Use A Larger Or Less Amount Of Shampoo

Like anything else in life, moderation is always key! Less shampoo cannot give you the intended effects, while too much dry shampoo can leave you with dull and stiff tresses, and even worse, stunt hair growth. 

Our advice is to use the oil-zapping starch to spot-treat the greasy areas, not the entire head. The amount you need depends on how greasy your strands are and the hair type. Use common sense; thicker hair will call for more to thoroughly absorb the oil, whereas fine locks will need less. 

When applying the formula, whether it’s a spray-in product or powder, you should add a small amount at a time to your greasy roots. Trust us; it would be easier to go bit by bit than removing the excess starch from the hair. 

Applied From The Top To Bottom

Do not spray the shampoo on the top of your hair. Go the opposite route! Starting with the top will leave you the telltale chalky residue and not add any volume to your locks. 

Hence, you should lift each section of your hair and spray underneath (at the roots, always).  

If you want to focus on the roots, you can spray a slight amount onto them and gently massage with your hands for the shampoo to penetrate the strands. 

Apply It When Your Hair Is Wet

This mistake might not come as a surprise; however, many people still commit it. You only get the best results with dry hair. Spraying or sprinkling the product on wet hair is a waste of time (and money).

Ignore Your Ends

Oily roots and dry ends – unwashed hair often entails two problems at the same time. The problem here is that dry shampoo is not only meant for oily roots; it can repair your dry ends to some extent. 

A little amount of dry shampoo on the dry ends can make them less brittle and reduce the static. Therefore, you should not overlook your ends while spraying the product. 

Not Brushing Or Blow-Drying After

So, you have applied the dry shampoo to the strands, waited for it to settle, and religiously worked it through the hair to get the best results. Yet, you keep asking: Why does dry shampoo not work for me

Chances are you skip these two steps further.

  • First, brush your hair well from root to tip to evenly distribute the product.
  • Second, use a hairdryer to blow dry your hair at a low heat setting to further introduce the starch into the mane. 
Use a hair dryer and comb to remove dry shampoo residue from your hair.
Use a hair dryer and comb to remove dry shampoo residue from your hair.

How Can I Make Dry Shampoo Work Better?

Here are some tips to get the most out of your shampoo:

  • Use dry shampoo before bedtime. Doing so will save you from waking up with greasy hair and leave you more time for the touch-ups and styling in the morning. That’s the only step from clean, healthy hair for the next day!
  • If you use an aerosol dry shampoo, shake the bottle to disperse the active ingredients evenly before use.
  • Always section your hair to make sure you’re applying the shampoo more uniformly.
  • Avoid spraying at one section for so long as not to oversaturate that area. 

Besides avoiding the mentioned mistakes, here are some tips to keep your tresses in a better condition:

  • Sleep on a silk pillowcase instead of a cotton one. Silk pillowcases are less absorbent than their cotton counterparts, so there’s less sebum buildup in the fibers. You will wake up to a less oily mane than you would with a cotton pillowcase. 
  • Avoid washing your hair with dry shampoo too regularly, as this product is not a substitute for regular shampoo. Hair experts recommend not using dry shampoo more than twice a week and not consecutively. Frequent lathering up your stress with regular shampoo is key to clean and healthy hair and scalp. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Dry Shampoo Actually Keep Your Hair Clean?

The truth is dry shampoo does not clean your hair since its cleansing effect is minimal. The main benefit of dry shampoo is to soak the oil in your locks to give that deceptive fresh look. 

In fact, it does not remove greasiness and dirt buildup on your hair as lathering in the shower. That’s why you still need to wash your hair occasionally. Simply put, dry shampoo helps extend the clean look of your strands so you can wash them less often. 

What Can I Use Instead Of Dry Shampoo?

Whether you want to mix things up or do not have dry shampoos at hand, there are many nice alternatives to try out: 

Baby Powder

Those with lighter-colored hair can dust their hair with baby powder. It is cheap, widely available, and smells great. Baby powder not only reduces the oil on your strands but can also help to conceal any new root growth in between salon appointments. 

This substitute can work with dark hair just fine but make sure that there’s no white residue left before heading out. 

Hand Sanitizer

If you’re pressed for time to fix your greasy hair, try using hand sanitizer. You might always toss it in your bag or easily borrow one from people around. Spritz out some on your hand, and then run your fingers through your locks. Then, let the alcohol in the cleanser do its job – soak the excess oil in your hair.

An alcohol-based hand sanitizer
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer will remove excess oil from the hair.


Arrowroot is a natural way to fix your greasy hair because it is an oil-stripping powder. Directly apply arrowroot powder to your hair. Alternatively, you can create your own arrowroot solution by mixing arrowroot, warm water, and vodka to the 1-4-1 ratio.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a more potent hair care product than you might expect. Not only dry shampoo, but it can also be a substitute for your regular shampoo when it comes to dealing with unwashed oily hair.

Dilute apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle, and use it as you would with dry shampoo. The effects are almost the same!

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is also an alternative to dry shampoo.

Cocoa Powder And Cornstarch 

Here’s a nice option for dark-colored hair. This duo not only removes oil from your hair but also leaves an amazing smell. Mix cornstarch and cocoa well, and use a brush to apply the mixture to your hair. Let it settle and absorb the oil. 

If you’ve got light-colored hair, you may want to skip using cocoa or double-check the hair for any black build-up. 


Why does dry shampoo not work for me? We hope now you get the answer. You might get caught in some situations where wet shampoo is not likely an option – traveling, post-workout, or whenever you’re pressed for time. That’s when its dry alternatives come in! So, avoid these mistakes and use dry shampoo correctly to enjoy its benefits.

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recent Posts