Tiny Treasures: Hair Powder

October 31, 2012

By Koseli.

When it comes right down to it, all I really want is good hair. It seems like nothing can go wrong when things are just so right up top. In my reality, this rarely happens! I wear my long hair in a top knot almost every day. But on rare occasion, it’s down, soft and wavy, and I feel like a totally different person. I’m so smart and funny! I tell myself all day long. Like a woman you’d see on a hair tutorial on Pinterest! I’m confident, feel feminine, and wonder why in the world I don’t spend a few more minutes every day producing this effect.

I’ve been hearing about hair powder — or dry shampoo — everywhere. It’s a finely milled powder that soaks up excess oil on the hair and scalp, leaving your hair looking freshly washed and a little more voluminous than before. It can replace a shampoo or extend your need to wash your hair for days! That’s game-changing luxury, don’t you think? (My sister loves this one. A friend loves this one.)

Do any of you use hair powder? How do you achieve that always-elusive perfect hair day?

Perfectly messy hair found here.

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{ 59 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Martina October 31, 2012 at 1:06 pm

My husband is a touring musician and the old school go to for guys on the road is baby powder. I imagine it wouldn’t work well for dark hair. It’s a cheap alternative to dry shampoo but I’d love to try the real deal someday. My hair gets oily very quickly.


2 Barchbo October 31, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I use baby powder or suave dry shampoo. Both are cheap and work great, but I wouldn’t recommend baby powder for dark hair!


3 Design Mom October 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I’ve tried baby powder in my dark hair! And this lovely smelling talc I bought in Florence as well. Both worked, but they left my roots looking a bit dusty. : )


4 Anastasia October 31, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I have baby fine hair and desperate to increase its volume and texture. I use Suave Dry Shampoo and Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. Oribe runs about $40 a bottle so I only use it for special occasions (like my wedding) and Sauve for everyday use. Sauve works ok but has a strong smell. I’m curious to see what others recommend.


5 Stella October 31, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I’ve heard baby powder is just as good (and much cheaper), but only if you have blondish hair.


6 Kelsey October 31, 2012 at 2:51 pm

Dry shampoo!!!! It’s the best! I’ve used countless brands from super cheap to over 20 a can. It’s so much better than baby powder. It doesn’t stay looking white…which baby powder does…and it doesn’t make a mess all over your clothes. Suave is honestly not my favorite because it’s a lot wetter and has made my hair feel greasy faster. I LOVE the one by Ojon called rub out. Amazing! Also like Sebastian’s. Target has about twenty different options!


7 Design Mom October 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm

My favorite dry shampoo is called Klorane. I first found it in French pharmacies, but last time I was in NYC, I noticed it at Duane Reade.


8 Valerie - all mussed up October 31, 2012 at 2:54 pm

I’m a brunette and I swear by pure cocoa powder — a wee sprinkle and my hair is that perfect thick bedhead texture. Plus, I smell like brownies! (:


9 Design Mom October 31, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Oh my goodness! You are blowing my mind. I’ve never heard of using cocoa powder but it sounds genius! I’m going to try it tomorrow morning.

Thanks for the idea, Valerie!


10 dunski October 31, 2012 at 4:34 pm

What an awsome idea!! I am the so called chocolate queen aroudn here.. that would be so much fun, I have to try it! THANKS!


11 Koseli October 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Chocolate brunettes have WAY more fun. This is blowing my mind.


12 alida kinnie starr September 11, 2014 at 6:23 pm

MIND BLOWN. baby powder on very dark hair is GENIUS for oily days, but yea, looks a bit dusty. COCOA POWDER??? trying this in two days. amazing suggestion!


13 Sara October 31, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Ooh, I like the cocoa powder idea! I actually use baby powder, even though I’m a brunette. I just use a little bit, at the roots, where my hair gets more oily, and after I brush it through, it looks fine. I’d love to try the pricey dry shampoos, but I have always had trouble justifying it vs. cheap baby powder ;). Maybe I will give it a shot after this, though…


14 Rebecca S. October 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I tried the Suave dry shampoo foam for curly hair–and holy cow does that stuff smell! I couldn’t wait to wash my hair. And it didn’t do much for how my hair looked either… Oh well.


15 Tasha October 31, 2012 at 3:37 pm

I’ve been wanting to try a “dry shampoo” for so long and don’t know why I have not. I do not wash my hair every day, and as we know hair always looks better after a day or so (and right before a haircut, of course, LOL). I must say when I saw this pick I cut off my conversation with my husband to “Oooh!” at the screen…lovely!!!


16 julia [life on churchill] October 31, 2012 at 3:46 pm

My hairdresser recommended it last week…especially in winter when hair tends to be a bit dry, she recommended not washing it as often and using the powder instead.


17 Koseli October 31, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Yes, that’s what I’ve heard since shampoo and heat tools can cause damage. I love the idea of not washing my hair as often….


18 Nicole T October 31, 2012 at 3:49 pm

I used the Klorane one once. My hair ended up stiff and still somewhat oily looking. Now I just wash my hair…it works best of all!


19 Katie Pea October 31, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I use baby powder when I want to skip a day. I just sprinkle it on a fine tooth comb and brush it through. Talcum powder and corn starch would also work, but I haven’t tried those personally. :)


20 Sara October 31, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Here’s my question… How do I get the “perfectly messy hair” look?!? When I try, it just looks, well, messy! Today I was actually thinking of cutting all my hair off, but pictures like this make me re-think that. Too bad I can’t make it DO that!


21 Lindsay April 22, 2013 at 4:47 am

I do all my friends hair, a lot if their families, several strangers and all types of hair too different thickness, texture, ethnicity, length, etc…
It always seems as if my best perfectly messy doos are accidental like right before a shower/bath when I’m not washing my hair. If I notice the accidentally greatness I spray it and leave it. The best advice you can get is if you ever get down time (I say ever because mine is rare), instead of poppin in a movie, checkin social metwork, textin, etc… grab some ponytail holders, hair pins, clips, etc and get infront of the mirror OR if ur on ur laptop often (like me) turn the camera on amd, instwad of takin pics) use it to watch yourself play with your hair…
Try several things, use inspiration from pinterest, look up YouTube tutorial s, read blogs, search images etc… every time u finish take a pic( which will assist in recreating later) find what works for you and ur hair, facial/bone structure, style etc. It can actually become as addictive as social networking lol… if u get frustrated or want advice, tips, suggestions e-mail me :)


22 Laura October 31, 2012 at 5:17 pm

I LOVE dry shampoos!! My favorite is Hair Powder by Bumble and bumble! It even comes in various shades to match your hair color! I use it to add volume and refresh my hair at the roots daily!! It even gives extra hold as well!! Great time saver as well!!


23 wend April 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

Professional dry shampoos are SO much better than other methods. Also, Hempz has a great one that I have used a ton. No white residue


24 Miss Lindsey D October 31, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Great discussion. We too have been wanting to try a dry shampoo but have dark hair and haven’t been sure what to choose. Also, what are everyone’s thoughts on not washing and workouts? We tend to wash often due to gym and yoga sessions. Looking forward to trying the cocoa powder recommendation!


25 wend April 5, 2013 at 10:33 am

Just rinse it well with water and follow with a good conditioner :) no washing necessary! And I love the hempz one for darker hair. No white residue!


26 RachSparkles October 31, 2012 at 9:11 pm

I bought dry shampoo from Bath & Body Works for an emergency hair fix one night, but then I forgot to look to see how it did! I’ll try it again and remember to look in the mirror next time. I do remember that it smelled amazing!


27 Tara October 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I live in Asia and have trouble finding dry shampoo here, but will grab on my next trip home. I have curly hair, and cant brush or comb when its dry (It’s my biggest wish to run a brush through at the end of a day!) so I wonder if dry shampoo would work for me – any other curly hair gals our there love to hear how you do it!

Great comments!


28 ck November 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

I have been using baby powder for years! There’s no way I have time to wash my hair every day, much less blow it dry. I have blonde hair, so that helps, although sometimes it makes me look a little like I have grey hair… I definitely should try some dry shampoo, step it up a notch.


29 Emily November 1, 2012 at 7:33 am

After abandoning daily hair washing two years ago b/c my hair wouldn’t grow very long and it didn’t feel nice (PLUS the daily washing seemed to be drying my face and scalp) I’ve tried so many kinds of dry shampoo in my fine, brown hair. I’ve settled on liking Psst dry shampoo the best (available in drug stores). I tried the Bumble & Bumble colored hair powder in brown but it leaves my hair feeling weighed down w/ product. I tried a Redken one suggested by my stylist but it was too pricey in my opinion. In a pinch, I use baby powder. the trick is to apply it sparingly and start at the base of your head rather than right in your scalp. I run and don’t wash my hair daily. I think as long as you wash your face and your body it’s okay. But I don’t sweat a ton from my head. My perfect hair is achieved on the day after I wash it. It just holds whatever style I seek from it on that day. I will say that abandoning the daily washing not only saves me time but my hair is more lush, long, and lovely than it’s ever been. My stylist is amazed and I get compliments all the time. I also have bangs-which can be tough to deal with when you don’t wash. I do have to wet those and blow them dry each morning b/c they get kind of insane during the course of the night.


30 Bridget November 1, 2012 at 7:45 am

Try corn starch — the kind in your kitchen! If you look at the ingredient list of dry shampoo it is usually rice starch or corn starch with fragrance added. The corn starch is finely milled, doesn’t have a scent, and is inexpensive. Works great as long as you brush it out well.


31 Koseli November 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

Good to note! And maybe applying it the night before will help it blend in. Thanks Bridget.


32 Koseli November 5, 2012 at 5:12 am

Blondes, I tried cornstarch and loved it!


33 Molly November 8, 2012 at 12:11 am

My brunette stylist uses cornstarch as well. She put some in an old salt shaker for convince (and asthetic) purposes


34 hyzen November 1, 2012 at 7:52 am

I don’t understand why people would rather not wash hair every day, unless you are having a specific problem with dryness or whatever, or of course for those who have a different kind of hair than I do that does better without frequent washes. What I mean is, I don’t understand why people would have not washing their hair as a goal, like drinking more water or getting more exercise, although I have heard people talk about it that way.

I have long, baby fine, straight/wavy hair that definitely gets oily looking if I don’t shampoo every day, so I almost never go longer than that. If you’re showering anyway, it doesn’t take that much longer to wash your hair, too. But I don’t “style” my hair at all or even blow dry it (and no heat treatments, color, etc.), just shampoo, condition (I NEED conditioner), brush it once in the shower while the conditioner is in, then towel dry and brush it once more, and let it do what it wants. That keeps my hair healthy and clean, but my only complaint is lack of volume since my hair is so fine. This post and the Amazon reviews for the Sexy Hair Powder Play that Koseli linked to inspired me to order it, since it says it is supposed to add volume, but I still intend to wash my hair every day. I’m looking forward to seeing how it works!


35 Koseli November 1, 2012 at 8:54 am

I’d love to hear how the Sexy Hair Powder works. Those reviews make it very tempting!


36 Anna November 1, 2012 at 8:56 am

If you want an answer to that question: because unlike drinking water or getting exercise, it’s actually not particularly beneficial to wash your hair daily. The more you wash your hair, the more oil your scalp gets trained to generate, making it a vicious circle. And less times being washed (or blowdried, worse yet) means more wear on your hair and more split ends.

When you start going longer between washings, your hair will be greasier a few times, but then it will adapt – e.g., at times of my life when I wanted to go from washing every other day to every third day, it’ll be greasy the third day for the first week or so, but then not. So I time the adaptation period for some time I’ll be spending a few days mostly around home.

Anyway, when I wash my hair less often, it looks much nicer more of the time. Just a thought – overwashing might just be why you “NEED” conditioner.


37 hyzen November 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

Koseli, I’ll try to post back with results!

Anna, thanks for the reply–I was actually hoping for an answer. So I guess the short version is that less washing = less wear on the hair. That does make sense, I suppose. I have had the experience of my hair adapting to being washed less, like on extended camping trips, so I know it wouldn’t get oily so fast if I didn’t keep washing, although I do enjoy that fresh and clean feeling right after the wash. I think I would still need conditioner, though. Washing without conditioner does make my hair feel a bit crispy, so I guess I use it partially for moisturizing, but the main reason I use it is that long, fine hair tangles easily, and if I try to brush it when it is dry the fine strands are more likely to break, but if I do it when it is wet and has the lubricant of a thick conditioner, the brush glides right through and the hair doesn’t break (unlike my husband’s hair, where each strand is so thick that you could give one a good yank and it won’t break [he is Korean]). With this method, I don’t have a problem with split ends, even though I only get my hair trimmed every 4-6 months (I used to get a lot of split ends when my hair was much longer, though–I keep it in long layers at or above the bra-line now since I need a more professional appearance, but it used to be down to the small of my back).


38 Erin November 3, 2012 at 9:43 am

I have fairly long, quite thick hair and it DOES take a lot of extra time if I were to wash every day. It’s an extra 4-5 minutes in the shower to shampoo and condition. If I were to blow dry (not that good for the hair), it’s almost 15 minutes with the dryer. Air drying takes hours or all day if I pull it up… which I usually do. I can’t do that every day.


39 Caroline Perrin November 1, 2012 at 8:02 am

Here’s a genius idea I read on A Cup of Jo…Spray your hair with the dry shampoo before bed. While you’re moving around while sleeping, it gets rubbed into your hair. When you wake up your hair just looks fresh and has none of the residue. I’ve tried it and it works! Especially for us brunettes.


40 Koseli November 1, 2012 at 8:55 am

Great tip for the few who have wondered how to achieve the clean, but slightly messy look. Thanks Caroline!


41 Amy November 1, 2012 at 8:54 am

I have dark hair and use all sorts of dry shampoo, including baby powder, depending on what I want my hair to do. The trick with baby powder, and really all of it, is to spray it on your hair at night before you go to bed. In the morning, you will be oil free and not have that greyish look, plus the dry shampoo softens a little bit during the night. I love the powder that you have suggested though and definitely want to try it. I also use big sexy hair but it works a little bit like a hairspray so keep that in mind. Both are awesome products though!


42 gia November 1, 2012 at 8:58 am

Wait! I have the best for brunettes!! MAC blotting powder and ( generic) make up brush. The trick is also getting it in the darkest shade possible and apply with brush. No fingers, no maniacal rubbing with hands, and great convenience in a small compact, lasts forever, and honestly gives my hair highlights, like auburn color. Fave find for years!


43 Kristen E November 1, 2012 at 9:25 am

I love No Drought from Lush – it smells AMAZING and does a great job on my dark brown hair. If I put too much on, it looks dusty, but a quick comb or brush-out makes the dusties go away! It’s totally a lifesaver. I’m one of those people who only washes my hair 2-3 times a week and I am not very greasy, but every now and then it comes in very handy. Makes my hair look fantastic!


44 Koseli November 1, 2012 at 9:54 am

Lush products do smell amazing. Thanks, Kristen.


45 Norah November 1, 2012 at 9:36 am

I have nearly black hair and I use baby powder. I used to use Bumble and Bumble pricy aerosal dry shampoo in brown, but at the end of the day, my forehead and hands would be stained. I started using baby powder out of desperation, but as long as I brush it out a lot, it’s totally fine!


46 Sara November 1, 2012 at 10:56 am

I like Klorane as well but I find that the pump doesn’t work well. I really like Oscar Blandi. The tip is tapered for perfect application.

I know they market this for runners and such but I honestly feel like someone needs to market dry shampoo for Mothers. Now I only wash my hair twice a week with wet shampoo and use dry shampoo on the roots the other days. It has made my hair naturally more soft and not so frizzy. I wish I had known about this stuff in college…I can only imagine the time it would have saved me.


47 Koseli November 1, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I know! Dry shampoo would be the *perfect* baby shower present for an expectant mother. Give something small for the baby, dry shampoo for her. Thoughtful and so practical.


48 Sonya November 1, 2012 at 11:26 am

I love both Ojon and Dove brands, I use it because I color my hair red and do everything in my power to prevent the fast fade that happens to red hair. I recently read that putting it in before bed and thus sleeping on it, helps with the volume and texture and I have to say that I agree!


49 Erica Herold November 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

I just started using dry shampoo a few weeks ago and it is wonderful! I just have the super (less than $5) cheap kind I picked up at target and it works great.


50 Alison November 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Not to be gross, but my head starts to itch and gets really oily if I don’t wash everyday. Does anyone else have this problem?


51 Sasha Peterson November 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm

I love love reading your posts! I prefer big sexy hair dry shampoo to the many others I have tried. Not having to wash my hair often means more early morning pancake making with my kidcubs.


52 Koseli November 5, 2012 at 5:09 am

Thanks Sashie. More important things than a daily shampoo. Like pancakes and family time.


53 Sara November 4, 2012 at 8:46 pm

There is also a way to go shampoo -&-conditioner-free if you use a baking soda paste mixture first, then rinse with apple cider vinegar. You can add some scented oil to it if the smell bothers you. The Google has precise measurements, if anyone is curious.


54 valerie January 19, 2013 at 4:46 pm

I’ve tried Psst, Tresemme, Batiste, Klorane. Like Batiste & Psst for curly hair (I bought it at a bump-and-dent store, so 75c= right choice! even if I have straight hair) –the best of the group. Tresemme’s is the cheapest I’ve tried, and is okay, but goes on quite wet and I never let it dry enough before I brush it out. Think I should give corn starch a try. Never quite happy with baby powder results…


55 Ashley April 19, 2013 at 1:18 pm

I use rockaholics dirty little secrets dry shampoo. I have tried several and that’s the only one that works for me. It is literally my go to. If I don’t use it I have to wash my hair everyday and it gets oily half way through the day. It gives you so much body too. Amazing creation!


56 Evelyn April 19, 2013 at 8:00 pm

I have dark hair and I use baby powder. Just sprinkle it onto your roots brush it out and use a blow dryer while bending over, it gets rid of the extra powder and gives the much needed fluff to your hair.


57 Elizabeth August 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

I love the idea of cocoa powder for brunettes! I do use dry shampoo and love it!— hair gets oily faster when shampoo contains sodium lauryl sulfate.. And other bad ingredients. It dries out your hair/scalp- making your scalp try to compensate by excess oil. That’s why people get oily/greasy hair fast- it’s usually their shampoo. I have really healthy hair! But it used to get so oily! It’s been about 6 months since I stopped using just any kind of shampoo, even designer shampoo, and have only used organic/all natural shampoo.. And I don’t have to wash my hair every day! About day 2 1/2 or 3 I’ll use dry shampoo. I’m excited to see about this cocoa powder though!


58 Cassandre October 1, 2013 at 9:18 pm

My favorite is Kevin Murphy’s dry shampoo: Fresh Hair. It has a cooling effect when sprayed on your scalp.


59 Sara November 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm

I currently use Dry Shampoo by TRESemme. It runs about 4$. I have also used Suave but don’t like it as much. I used to use Bumble and Bumble hair powder a few years back , because that was the only company that I knew made it. It was about 30$ a bottle and only lasted me a couple weeks. I have very fine blonde hair, so I wash my hair every 2 to 3 days to keep it fom over drying and breaking off. I not only use the hair powder to freshen up my hair and soak up some of the oil near my scalp, but I use it to add body to my hair. It also helps hold your hair in place, like a weak hairspray without using hair spray :) my opinion on the price difference between the Solon brand and store brand, is that it is not worth the money, and the store brand works just as well.


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