Best 7 Use Like Dry Shampoo Alternatives

Consider this scenario: You just finished a strenuous workout at home, but you don't have time to wash your hair. Nothing comes out of the cupboard when you open it to fetch your favorite dry shampoo.

Alternatives to Dry Shampoo
If there is no product, what is a person to do? Of course, a reliable dry shampoo alternative is always a fallback. As you are undoubtedly aware, dry shampoo hasn't been around for very long. Unfortunately, oily hair has not. Because of this, people from all walks of life have attempted to make oily roots seem notably less glossy using common pantry products, cosmetics, and styling techniques.

Thus, if you ever find yourself without your favorite dry shampoo, don't panic. Kelly Harrison, Adam Campbell, Marcia Lee, and board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, were among the experts we consulted for suggestions on dry shampoo alternatives. Continue reading to see what they had to say.

1. Corn Starch

Not even with dry shampoo? No problem. You most likely have a can of cornstarch in your pantry. Engelman claims that because corn starch is a common household item and is safe and absorbent, it may be used in place of dry shampoo. She claims that not only does corn starch remove oily roots, but it also has no smell, so you won't spend the entire day feeling as though a cloud of perfume is trailing you. "You can apply a small amount of this to your hairline by hand or with a contour brush, and for those with darker hair, it can be mixed with cocoa powder if you're worried about leaving a residue," she explains.

Harrison notes if you're particular about the things you use, maize starch can include genetically modified organisms. She suggests checking even if it's used on your hair and not ingested if you're concerned about avoiding GMOs.

2. Baking Soda

In addition, Campbell suggests using maize starch in combination with baking soda as a way to lessen oily roots. Using tablespoon measurements, he suggests "blending equal parts cornstarch and baking soda with a few drops of essential oil (lavender, tea tree, peppermint, etc.) in a basin." After blending, he suggests lightly misting the mixture onto the scalp. He suggests letting it sit for a few minutes to absorb excess oils, then shaking off the excess. The sole negative aspect? He admits that on darker hair colors, this combination sometimes produces a white-looking residue. "In all honesty, it should only be used in an emergency," he says.

If, however, you discover that you really enjoy the results, Lee suggests having a salt shaker filled with baking soda and cornstarch close at hand. She also says that for an even more revitalized head of hair, employing a cool-setting hair dryer and a soft bristle brush will help truly massage the product in, blow away any excess, and create volume in the process.

 3. Baby Powder

Because baby powder was used before dry shampoos gained popularity, Engelman says it's considered a reliable dry shampoo replacement. Engelman suggests brushing through your hair after using a spoonful of baby powder to help eliminate excess oil and give your hair a more youthful appearance. Don't just add it on top of your contribution, though. Harrison suggests layering your hair and lightly dusting baby powder in between each layer to ensure it penetrates into the hair rather than simply on top.

When considering using baby powder for a quick hair repair, keep in mind that it has a slight scent, unlike corn starch. Harrison adds that the baby powder works best on blonde hair because of its white look. The expert adds that it works best on thicker hair because fine hair can seem lifeless and limp when too much product is used.

Harrison notes that talc, which may be harmful to one's health if swallowed, is a common ingredient in baby powders. If you have a talc allergy or aversion, she suggests that you check the contents label on your powder before adding it to your basket.

4. Arrowroot Powder

Engelman claims that arrowroot powder is a naturally occurring starch that works well at absorbing oils and is commonly used as a culinary thickening. She says that while it may get messy, it works best when applied with a brush and then massaged for maximum impact. Additionally, it is really light, leaving the hair feeling lovely.

5. Translucent Setting Powder

Even while you might not want to waste your precious face-setting powder on your hair, hair color specialist Seamus McKernan says it works swiftly. The author observes that translucent setting powder "may be a fantastic option on the run." "When applying, make sure to use a clean blush brush and tap the product in, as opposed to sweeping it across, to enable the excess oil to soak. Use a brush to remove any excess powder after application.

Trichologist Gretchen Friese cautions about following this advise since, although many dermatologists and hair stylists recommend powders and starches for oil absorption, these treatments can become cakey and cause the buildup. Because of this, they ought to be used infrequently, and when it's time to take a shower, they ought to be followed by a rinse with clarifying shampoo. (Warning of spoiler alert: Howard McLaren, creative director and co-founder of R+Co, asserts that the propensity to cake led to the development of current aerosol dry shampoos.)

6. Blotting Papers

Blotting sheets are a cosmetics tool that works well for greasy roots and bangs. Engelman also says that blotting sheets work well on hair. Usually, they are used to wipe away facial oil. These are great since they are lightweight and easy to use. To make your hair look dryer, just take one sheet and dab the top where you see any oil residue left.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

As a component in skincare treatments, apple cider vinegar is popular because of its capacity to regulate oil production. Engelman claims that the treatment is also effective for greasy hair. She suggests misting your hair with a spray bottle filled with a small amount of water and apple cider vinegar. Because it doesn't leave any residue, unlike other alternatives to dry shampoo or alternatives in general, this approach is especially advantageous.

A Different Hairdo
If you've been on TikTok lately, you know that buying products isn't the only way to solve the problem of dry shampoo. One of the finest things to do when you don't have dry shampoo is to switch up your hairdo. Harrison states that "a sleek bun or braids not only provides you a fashionable and low-maintenance look, but it can also cover up oil on the scalp and hair." However, she also asserts that wearing a large headband might help draw attention away from an oily scalp if you like accessorizing.

Extra Texture
Not feeling it or not a fan of a sleek bun? Harrison says teasing and backcombing your hair are two other quick and easy ways to hide greasy strands. She points out that they not only give your hair more volume, but they also help to disperse oil and lift it from the root, making it harder to see the oils on your scalp. "This is a great option with an updo for that event. Tease away, and as filthy hair usually looks to style better, comb your hair into the desired style.

Extra Products for Haircare
Of course, you may always select a different sort of styling product if doing your own hair isn't your thing. McKernan recommends using hairspray (Nioxin's Niospray Strong Hold Hairspray, $18; its alcohol content absorbs oils) to restyle oily hair, but celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons recommends texturizing sprays, like the Andrew Fitzsimons Apres Sexe Texture Spray ($14).

Do you wish you had time for a shower since nothing comes close to this? The Unsubscribe No-Rinse Hair Wash ($24) is suggested by Campbell. It's ideal for those who work out a lot, he says, adding that all you need is two to four pumps, which can then be air-dried or blow-dried. It's an enzyme-infused washing foam that strengthens hair and combats odor.

More options? Hair-refreshing water, like Kristin Ess' The One Signature Hair Water ($11), may be used to dampen your strands, making styling them easier. To really up your greasy hairstyle, Fitzsimons suggests doing this. To that end, pick up the Style Assist Blow Dry Mist ($15) and Dry Finish Working Texture Spray ($14), both by Kristin Ess. The fact that these products "work for almost any hair type while simultaneously working to deliver just the appropriate tool to what each hair type is seeking, whether it be shine, volume, or texture," is, in his opinion, their best feature.
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