How to Cleanse the Hair Without Water

by S.R. Becker

If you color, straighten or chemically treat your hair, extending the time between shampoos can help to lengthen the period between treatments. Additionally, dry shampooing your hair can help to cleanse your scalp or extend a blowout when you're camping or otherwise unable to wash your hair. According to "The Huffington Post," dry shampoo first became a trend in the 1960s -- but with many stylists now recommending that their clients wash their hair less frequently, both commercial and homemade dry shampoos are enjoying a resurgence.

Hold the can of dry shampoo no less than 6 inches away from your scalp. Spray the roots of your hair evenly, turning your head from side to side and upside down so that you cover your entire scalp. Do not use too much dry shampoo -- a short burst in each section will do. As a natural alternative, sprinkle your entire scalp with a half-and-half mixture of baking soda and cornstarch.

Massage your scalp with the pads of your fingertips, just as you would when using shampoo. Leave the dry shampoo or natural mixture in your hair for five minutes.

Blow-dry your hair on the cool setting to remove the dry shampoo or natural mixture. Remove as much of the product as you can before brushing.

Wrap a large paddle brush in two layers of cheesecloth. Brush your hair, holding the cheesecloth in place with your hand on the back of the brush. This will help to absorb any excess oil in the shaft of your hair. Throw the cheesecloth away after brushing.

Finish your style with a bit of leave-in conditioner. Rub the conditioner between your hands and run your fingers through your hair, paying extra attention to the ends.

Items you will need

  • Dry shampoo
  • Baking soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Baby powder
  • Blow-dryer
  • Large paddle brush
  • Cheesecloth (optional)


  • To add a light scent to your freshly dry-shampooed hair, place a tiny amount of your favorite scented oil on your fingertips and work your fingers lightly through your hair moving from roots to tips.


  • Don't use dry shampoo in the same way that you use hairspray or you'll get too much of the product in your hair and have trouble getting it out. Spray only enough to cover your scalp once.
  • Do not spray dry shampoo on wet hair.

About the Author

S.R. Becker is a certified yoga teacher based in Queens, N.Y. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and has worked as a writer and editor for more than 15 years. Becker often writes for "Yoga in Astoria," a newsletter about studios throughout New York City.

Photo Credits

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