4 Dry Shampoo Alternatives to Avoid All That Gross Unhealthy Build-Up

Because overuse can cause hair loss 😱.

GIF ¦ When Your Hair is 90% Dry Shampoo
(Image credit: Design by Betsy Farrell)

When a hairstylist recently burst our dry shampoo bubble, we were devastated. Day in and day out, no matter how dirty our hair was, it gave us instant cool-girl texture. But beneath its powdery halo, we were gradually accruing scratchy build-up, throwing off the balance of our natural oils, and drying out our scalps. The worst part? All of these things can contribute to hair loss over time.

The bottom line is that when it comes to dry shampoo, it really can be too much of a good thing. Thankfully, you don't have to go cold turkey—you just have to use it in moderation, and try some of these alternatives to mix things up.

1. Line Your Brush Instead

Mirai Clinical Deodorizing Hair Brush Liners

(Image credit: miraiclinical.com)

Japanese natural skincare brand Mirai Clinical turned hair brushing into our new sacred beauty ritual with their deodorizing cotton brush liners. Infused with geisha-beloved persimmon, they absorb oil, dirt, and product debris sans residue every time you brush your hair. 

Try: Mirai Clinical Deodorizing Hair Brush Liners - 30 Pack, $6; miraiclinical.com.

2. Go with a Rinse

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

(Image credit: sephora.com)

We know, we know, having to get your hair wet is so not the point. But we promise—this is way less annoying than your typical lather, rinse, and repeat. A shampoo and conditioner substitute, it uses natural ingredients, like apple vinegar and aloe vera, to cleanse and condition the hair in one fell swoop. Plus, the squeeze bottle makes spot treating especially-oily areas a cinch.

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse, $35; sephora.com.

3. Fake It with a Setting Powder

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder & up & up Powder Brush

(Image credit: sephora.com ¦ target.com)

A lot of dry shampoos are thick and tacky—and that's a big part of the problem. If you're desperate to oil zap in powder-y fashion but don't want to deal with the gunk, dust your roots with a finely-milled translucent face powder. There's a reason it's nearly undetectable on your T-zone...

Try: Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $38; sephora.com and up & up Powder Brush, $6.99; target.com.

4. Mist On a Dry Texturizer

Davines This Is a Dry Texturizer

(Image credit: davines.com)

Real Talk: Dry shampoo is just as much of a styling product as it is a cleanser. In fact, pro stylists love using it on squeaky-clean strands for some of that two-day-old grit. However, lightweight dry texture sprays will give you that same piece-y, cool-girl look in invisible fashion AKA you don't have to go full-on George Washington and sacrifice shine.

Try: Davines This Is a Dry Texturizer, $32; us. davines.com.

Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.