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Your Life-Changing Guide to Using Dry Shampoo

Not sure how to use dry shampoo? Learn how to apply this magical product
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Dry shampoo is a magical invention -- it zaps greasy roots, adds volume and texture and eliminates the need to wash and style hair every single day (seriously, who has time for that?). It can make three-day-old hair look better than freshly washed, or hide the fact that you hit the gym during lunch hour and didn't have time to wash. "Dry shampoos work their magic by absorbing excess oils produced by the scalp, leaving hair feeling clean and refreshed while infusing body, lift and texture," explains Jim Markham, founder of Colorproof Evolved Color.

If you're not using dry shampoo on the regular or don't get what the big fuss is about, there can only be one reason: You don't know how to use dry shampoo the right way. Because even though I can wax poetic about dry shampoo until people's eyes glaze over, I'll also be the first to admit: dry shampoo can go very, very awry if it's not applied properly.

The telltale signs of a bad dry shampoo application: powdery roots, crunchy hair and general, well, ickiness. But the best dry shampoo application will give you better hair than you ever thought possible.

Here, the be-all, end-all guide to the dos and don'ts of dry shampoo.

Image courtesy Vogue

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Step 1: Find the Best Dry Shampoo
Don't sabotage yourself before you start by choosing the wrong dry shampoo. "Finding what works best for your hair type will ensure you won't be left with a messy residue or unsightly white color on your roots," explains Markham. Your best bet: Choose an aerosol dry shampoo (the particles are very fine, and work quickly) that smells fresh to neutralize the telltale odor of unwashed hair.

If you color your hair, use a dry shampoo specifically formulated for color-treated hair, like ColorProof DrySpell Color Protect Dry Shampoo, $26, which will make hair more vibrant and add heat protection.

If your hair is dark, look for a formula that won't leave a residue, such as a tapioca-based dry shampoo, says celebrity stylist (and Beachwaver-creator) Sarah Potempa. (She recommends Aussie 7in1 Dry Shampoo). You can also choose one that's tinted to match your hair color.

Image courtesy Dreaming Code

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Step 2: Always Start With Completely Dry Hair
Dry shampoo is meant to be used on dry hair -- so if you're sweaty post-spin class, use a blow dryer to get the moisture out of your hair before reaching for your dry shampoo.

"If used while hair is still damp, the formula may not absorb properly or clump, causing less than desirable results," says Dove celebrity stylist Mark Townsend.

Try: Dove Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo, $3.94

Image courtesy Ljepota

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Step 3: Shake It Up, Baby
The active, oil-absorbing, hair-refreshing ingredients in a dry shampoo can settle while sitting on your shelf, says Markham. He says to "rigorously" shake the can before you apply to ensure that you're not just spraying your hair with ineffective, inactive ingredients.

Try: Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, $22

Try: R+Co Dry Shampoo, $29

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Step 4: Don't Haphazardly Spray
Separate your hair into two-inch sections and spray at the root of each section, says Townsend.

If you don't section off your hair, product can get concentrated in one area, warns Potempa. Too much dry shampoo will leave a light-reflecting residue (that will be especially apparent if you're going to be photographed).

Try: Pantene Pro-V Blowout Extend Dry Shampoo, $6.99

Image courtesy Listane Studio

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