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5 Ways You Should Be Using Dry Shampoo (But You're Not)

by Martha Adams

Dry shampoo has become a staple in many hair routines, especially for women who are trying to stretch the days between washes (and isn’t everyone trying to wash their hair less ?). Dry shampoo cleanses hair without water by absorbing oils—and it does that job well. But celebrity stylist Mark Townsend, who is a spokesperson for Dove Hair, uses it in many other ways beyond just disguising grease. Here are five unexpected ways to get the most out of your dry shampoo can.

Women with curly or wavy hair often use holding gels and curl-defining creams to combat frizz. These products are great for air-drying textured hair , but sometimes they can leave curls crunchy and stiff. If that’s the case, dry shampoo is an easy fix.

Typically, curly girls laugh at the idea of using dry shampoo because generally you have to brush after using it to get the white, powdery residue to disappear—and brushing curly hair causes frizz. But now, there are plenty of dry shampoo formulas that go on clear. Take a product like Dove Refresh + Care Detox & Purify Dry Shampoo ($4) and spritz it down the length of strands. Then scrunch and separate individual curls to loosen the crunch. Since dry shampoo targets oil, it can break up the excess product, giving the hair a more natural feel.

One thing Townsend’s client Mary-Kate Olsen loves is an effortless updo, but she hates tons of bobby pins. “She says if you have to use more than five bobby pins then you’re trying too hard,” Townsend tells SELF. So he’s perfected the art of the low-lift pin-up, and in this style, dry shampoo is key.

“I lay out all the bobby pins, and spray them with dry shampoo,” he says. By coating them in product, you get more gripping power. “Bobby pins can slip right out, but spraying them turns one into three.” Another pro tip from Townsend: Place the pins in an X to really make sure the style lasts all night.

Hairspray belongs in the '90s. Now, Townsend uses dry shampoo before and after curling hair. “The alcohols in hairspray can leave hair gummy, especially in humid summer days,” he says. “And when you hear that sizzling and see the smoke from the flatiron, that’s the alcohol burning off.”

Townsend tells his clients to come to him with dirty hair . First, he sprays the roots and lengths with dry shampoo, and brushes it out. “The brushing helps get the product from the roots, and it also moves the oils from the scalp to the ends where you really need it,” he says. He likes to use the Harry Josh Wooden Paddle Brush ($40). Then he curls hair and finishes off with another spritz of dry shampoo.

You’re probably already using your dry shampoo to absorb sweat after a workout when you have no time to shower. But you can also spray your scalp before you hit the gym. “It’s like giving yourself a headband,” Townsend says. It will help absorb sweat and oil as you do your routine.

This a great trick for fine hair: Townsend likes to saturate the hair with dry shampoo before he does any teasing or backcombing. The powder helps plump up the style, and it’s a lot easier to comb out than hairspray or a texturizing spray . The method can also help hair that has fallen flat get its oomph back. You can also massage dry shampoo into the scalp after styling or air-drying to get some lift at the roots, a technique Townsend says Ashley Olsen uses often to fluff up her air-dried waves.

You might also like: How to Get Beachy Waves with a Flatiron

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