How To Use Dry Conditioner To Boost Your Hair's Moisture And Shine

Dry shampoo has been all the rave in recent years since its claim to fame is its ability to leave hair looking better without ever immersing one strand under water. However, while it's true that dry shampoo can leave your hair looking better, it doesn't clean it the way a real wash does.

The way dry shampoos work is that they absorb grease, which freshens up your locks. Dermatologist Dr. Wilma Bergfeld tells Cleveland Clinic, "The alcohol or starch in the product soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair, giving it a cleaner, fresher appearance."

When you use dry shampoo, it not only helps your hair look amazing when you have no time to wash and style it, but it can help preserve its appearance. According to Hair Everyday, if your hair is color-treated, dry shampoos can lengthen the time the dye lasts and help it stay vibrant longer. In contrast, regular wet shampoos can remove the color pigment much faster. In addition to dry shampoo, dry conditioners can quickly revitalize your hair and leave it looking shiny and healthy.

What dry conditioners do

Dry conditioners are similar to dry shampoos in that you don't need to wet your hair to apply them, which can save hours in a day. Yet they are also very different. While dry shampoo uses powder to absorb oil and dirt, dry conditioners are sprays that help hair soften and shine.

According to cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer, dry conditioners "completely eliminate the powder component, and rely on a blend of antistatic agents, natural oils, silicones, and other conditioning materials," (via Allure). The result is gleaming and nourished hair, which is especially helpful if your hair is looking a bit dry or dull. 

Like a dry shampoo, a dry conditioner should only be used when you don't have the time or the stamina to dig into your entire hair care routine. If your hair is very dry or damaged, a dry conditioner won't restore it to a healthy state. While you can use it as many times as you like and it won't damage your hair, if you want to restore damaged hair, look into using a deep conditioner.

How and when to apply dry conditioner

Dry conditioner is designed to be an extra boost to hair that needs some shine and silkiness, meaning hair that has gone a couple of days without being conditioned. It's not intended to be added to the hair if you have applied conditioner the very same day, or your hair may be left looking too oily.

You want to aim to spray dry conditioner exactly where you should apply your regular conditioner. Target the middle of your strands and spray down toward the ends. Steer clear of spraying anywhere near the scalp or roots, since that is where the oil originates and it doesn't need any extra shine.

Though dry shampoo and dry conditioner each work to help the hair achieve different things, they can also work in tandem. "On day two or three when your roots are greasy, add dry shampoo to absorb oil and refresh your roots," explains stylist Becca Sible (via Byrdie). "Spray dry conditioner on your mid-shaft and ends to lay down frizz, add moisture back into the hair, and add shine."