5 Stylist-Recommended Dry Shampoo Alternatives That Will Keep Your Hair Looking Clean

Dry shampoo is great and all, but not everyone is into the way it makes your hair feel, especially after repeated uses. Whether the rain screwed up your plans, you put in a diesel workout, or just plain don’t feel like washing, there are alternatives to dry shampoo, and they're so good that even stylists recommend them.

It’s easy to get in the habit of relying on dry shampoo, but lately it's been getting a bad rap. This is because like most good things, you mustn’t overdo it. Finding ways to restyle or perk up your hair, especially at the roots, without dry shampoo, is a skill that will get you far in life. It’s probably in your best interest style-wise to also learn how to handle the greasies in more than one way to suit anything you're rocking.

You’d be surprised what you can use to get an extra day out of things, especially since excess oil isn't the only next day styling issue. From irons to exotic nut extracts, you'll want to take notes.

Use A Thermal Protectant

Thermal protection products do more than block excess heat. They tend to be on the mist side for optimal product application. The same evaporating silicones and polymers that temporarily fill holes in your hair strand and deflect damage also help oil slide down the hair shaft faster, resulting in less of a sebum buildup than without one. A protective coating like this makes any iron work stay even longer, reducing your need to re-style.

"Using a thermal protectant on your hair is necessary no matter what degree of clean your hair is, says stylist Steph Caldwell at Noordwyck Salon, "But a thermal setting spray can also add to longevity of style, which is always a good thing."

Try Baby Powder

Danielle Guercio

Those with fine, straight, and lighter colored hair sometimes struggle with grease management needs. Dry shampoos can be oppressive and actually cause you to need to wash sooner. When applied the way the pros do, humble talc can save your style with a fraction of the product you'd spray on.

"I recommend for blondes baby powder. It decreases oil and and also disguises any new growth," says colorist Drew Calloway at Marie Robinson Salon. "Use a large blush brush for the powder, it keeps the application clean and not overly dusty.

Break Out The Vinegar

Many natural-leaning beauty enthusiasts use apple cider vinegar to refresh their hair in between washes. This is no doubt thanks to any acid's cuticle closing action, since it’s more acidic than water. Stylist Gabrielle Fishman at Takamichi Salon uses Christophe Robin’s Purifying Hair Finish Lotion to get a reset when sweat is an issue.

"One way to use is to just spray [vinegar] and walk through the mist like an angel," she says. "For more power, section hair in two and start spraying root to ends with approximately six pumps... a little extra for that greasy "kitchen area" in the back."

Vinegar helps the formula evaporate rapidly, which feels so good on a sweaty scalp that you don't have the ability to wash anytime soon. Sprays like this are great for all hair textures, the love affair of hair and vinegar is universal, though they don't all smell as good as this supercharged version.

If You're Curly, Try A Cream

Danielle Guercip

Oily scalps are not a problem for every person. Sometimes, the ends of hair can get extremely dry, because the scalp’s natural oils don’t always creep down,especially on super curly hair.

Celeb Stylist Charles Baker Strahan uses the revamped Herbal Essences stylers like the Coconut Milk Oil Infused Creme to get curls to be healthy looking again between washes.

"To impart life and body back into curls, flip over and pat the product into the ends and mid strands," he says. "The drier the hair, the more product you want to use, starting at a dime size and going from there. You'll get more definition and avoid areas where product is not needed, like the scalp. This creme provides memory without overpowering the original intention of the hair."

Go For A Bit Of Texture

Danielle Guercio

Salt based texture sprays are a staple, but in cooler climes, heating and cold-weather accessories mean dry hair. Combine that with a salt spray and you’re on an express train to split ends and parched hair. Hairstory’s Déschabillé uses acacia nut extract to get memory without polymers or silicones, not your everyday formulation.

"I find that spraying a little Undressed Déshabillé onto the root adds a bit of volume and helps refresh a slightly oily scalp," Hairstory’s Déschabillé stylist Wes Sharpton recommends. "If you want a little more volume, I suggest spreading your fingers wide, placing them on top of your head and using the balls of your fingers to give your self a little massage. This will activate the root and put a little more volume in the hair, but because the fingers are spread apart it adds the volume and separation without creating frizz.”

The texture that salt sprays provides can be had with a bit less of the crunch. New sugar sprays like the one from Neon from Paul Mitchell or Keratin Complex. Sugar has a similar function to salt in that it enhances texture, but it doesn't have as much of a harsh effect on the hair. It adds texture no matter how curly your hair is--or how curly it is on any given day.

You don’t have to reach for those chalky aerosols anymore with these new tools and tricks. Dry shampoo is a great quick fix, but it's not for everyone. Trying out new products and techniques that work on your texture can give you what you want — and your newly refreshed hair will thank you for it.