Take one look in the cabinets in a Black woman’s home, and you’ll spot just about any hair product, from detanglers, oil sheens, to hair masks. But one thing you’re not likely to see is dry shampoo.
While dry shampoos have been on the market for ages, it presents sort of a record scratch for most Black girls. It’s just not a product we even think about, let alone consider a must-have.
Let’s just admit it. For some of us, dry shampoo is a White women’s product. Well, at least that’s the response we received from the three women we caught at a swanky New York afterwork spot.
The COCO girls wiggled into Greenhouse afterwork for drinks, and, before we knew it, we were talking Black hair and dry shampoo with three perfect strangers.
“Your hair is so gorgeous, who’s your stylist?” this Columbia medical student asked me.
“Me,” I replied. “It’s my rule of thumb to visit my stylist once a month for a trim and treatment, otherwise, I do it myself.”
“Well, you have to tell us what you use,” the Med student insisted. “Yeah!” her friend, an Ad girl from Chicago added. “How do you maintain it?”
I smiled a devilish grin, as if I was about to reveal some deep secret. “I got one word for you, Rockaholic.”
“Who?” Chrissy, another friend from their group asked—a financial advisor for Goldman Sacs.
“Rockaholic Dirty Secret, it’s a dry shampoo, and, might I add, my new hair crack.”
“Umm . . . dry shampoo is your hair secret?” the Med student, Shena, asked sarcastically. “I thought, well . . . ” she hesitated. “This isn’t PC or anything. But I thought dry shampoo was only for . . . ”
“I’ll say it!” Blair, the ad girl from Chicago, screamed. “Dry shampoo really is more of a White woman’s thing. I do advertising for Black women’s hair company based in Chicago,” she continued, “and the reason why a lot of Black haircare brands haven’t developed dry shampoos is because our focus groups tell us year after year that it’s not something they would ever use.”
“That’s right,” Sheena chimed in. “It doesn’t really clean your hair. I need some old fashion H20 to hit my scalp. Plus, I heard there’s so much alcohol in that stuff.”
“Well, let me first say I thought all the things you guys are thinking. Until I came across this product,” I said, rubbing my Essie “Mint” nails through my hair.
“Dry shampoo isn’t really a replacement for actually washing your hair.” I continued. “I actually think it’s an ideal product for Black women because we tend to wash our hair once every one to two weeks. And for those of us wearing any kind of extensions or weaves, it really works. . . . You know when your hair starts to get oily three to four days after you’ve had your hair washed and styled?” The ladies nodded yes. “Well, I use Rockaholic at that point. I take a few sprays to my roots, and rub it in. It refreshes my scalp, leaves a nice scent, and most of all, it restores body to my hair, while extracting excess oils. This is how I actually maintain my blow outs. It gives me 2-3 more days of my style.”
“Hmmm . . .” Blair said, reaching her hand up to touch my hair. “Well, it does feel good.”
“Thanks!” I said. “The trick is, not to go overboard, and to remember it’s just to refresh your hair, and to rid the hair of excess oils. You wanna use it no more than twice a week, once even.”
“Now what’s the name of this stuff again?” Chrissy asked.
For Black women with straight hair or perms, we no longer have to be captives to our hair. We hesitate to dance hard at the club, and we postpone that trip to the spa because we want to save our hair. It’s critical to consider other alternatives other than pulling back our hair into a ponytail, or booking in an early appointment at the salon.
Dry Shampoos like Rockholic and Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder can extend the life of your hair styles. Give it a try! Why not?
Here are our Dry Shampoo Tips:
1. Remember, dry shampoo is NOT a replacement for a wash and deep conditioner (they have dry conditioners too, but we won’t go that far 😉
2. When your hair gets extra oily, go for dry shampoo.
3. Spray directly at the root, and avoid direct contact with your strands.
4. Rub it in, like a quickie hair massage.
5. Comb or brush out. If you have extra time, comb out with a blow dryer.
Have you ever tried dry shampoo? How does it work on your hair?
–Geneva S. Thomas