Black Hair & Dry Shampoo: The Myths & Right Uses - Coco & Creme

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

  • AmakaCamille

    So, a sis in my Bikram class suggested I try dry shampoo–as Bikram is a sweaty activity. What is the verdict on dry shampoo and locs?

  • Krissy90220

    I think dry shampoos in powder forms are best for our hair and getting to the root and not the hair itself. I use Rockaholic, Tresemme, and a few other dry shampoos on my weave but I make it a point to only spray it on the hair and not the roots because it can be very drying and irritate the scalp.

  • jai

    I work at Ulta where we sell Rockaholic as well as other dry shampoos and I asked the question this morning to my manager has she ever sold dry shampoo to black /ethnic girls. Not so much bc of the oil content in our hair isn’t as much versus fine hair. However, using it as a root boost is a great idea.

    The Rockaholic is around $15 but for breast cancer awareness month they make pink cans for $6.99… Which means after reading this, I’m picking up a few cans tomorrow. Alterna anti-aging caviar dry shampoo is good, too. Its finer so it dissolves better in the scalp.

  • Sugar

    I STILL don’t understand how it works! lol So, you spray it on your roots or the hair as someone else said, and what happens? Do you let it sit and soak the oils up or do you put it on and then take it right off? I’m REALLY curious now. I go to the salon weekly, but if this would help me cut that back to every two weeks, that would be great. I just don’t have time for a hair nightmare fooling with this stuff.

  • JazzaBelleTress

    Call me “ignorant” but I would have never thought twice about dry shampoos as well! The concept of it makes since especially when wearing hair extensions. Seeing as though I have my hair pinned up in a cute ponytail now 😉 I might take a second look at this product to extend my blowouts.

  • Toya

    Thank you SO much for this! I have been wondering how to use dry shampoo. I bought a liquid one (liquid dry shampoo??? Weird.) and was too scared to use it. I’m definitely going to try Rockaholic.

  • DreamchaZer

    OK, so would that be fine to use on natural hair as well??

  • Coco and Creme

    Hi Sugar!

    After you spray it, and massage it in your scalp, the effects happens instantly. There’s no need to wait. You can also comb or brush through, or take a blow dryer and comb out.

    Hope this helps!


  • Coco and Creme

    Hi there!

    It’s the same verdict detailed above! Dry shampoo works great on natural, loc’d and relaxed hair. I (Geneva) used to have locs, albeit before I really embraced dry shampoo, but the effects works just the same. Follow the tips, and let us know how it works for you!


  • Coco and Creme

    Hi DreamchaZer,

    The effects works the same on natural hair. Most of the C+C team has natural hair (I, Geneva have natural hair and currently wearing a blow out). Spray at the root, massage through your hair, or comb through with a big tooth comb, and you should notice the difference!


  • smm

    Wow! Who would’ve thunk sistas would be discussing dry shampoo!;O)

    I just started using Psssssst Dry Shampoo to freshen my natural hair between washings and I love it!!! I can rock my ‘fro even longer because it literally gives my hair more volume without drying it out. It leaves my hair feeling clean and does not irritate my scalp. Plus, you can pick it up at your local drugstore for around $7.

  • hellifiknow

    Great article! Thanks soooo much for this. The tip on locs was great as I wondered the same. @Amaka – how is Bikram? Been thinking about that.

  • HiiGabii

    How do u use it on a weave/extentions??!? I want to try

  • teachermrw

    I have contemplated it. Especially since I work out several times a week. But, the dry shampoo products typically contain alcohol, which isn’t good for hair/

  • Vernice

    Crazy! I JUST bought this exact product this weekend! I’ve always heard my white co-workers rave about dry shampoo, but I never thought it was something I could use.

    UNTIL, I took three good hours to wash and style my hair one night and went to work the next day. I was proud of my hair because it actually looks just like I came out of the know how we try to mimic our stylist to hold us over:) I walked over to a counter that sells black hair products (shall remain nameless) to see if I could spritz some shine over my hair…it seem just a tad bit dry.

    The consultant insisted on spraying my hair for me. I obliged. She proceeded to lean in and spray 1-2 inches away from my ROOTS! ahhhhhhh!!! I almost fainted! my hair turned glossy/wet in less than 24hrs from washing it. I was so upset:( How can I get my hair back to normal? My Oprah ah-ha moment happened and I walked up to the beauty store in the mall, purchased dry shampoo, sprayed it generously at my roots and wahla! right back to normal.

    I HIGHLY recommend this product for anyone who gets oily to quickly and wants to dry it up a bit. it smells great too!I predict this will be marketed to African American women soon, so hope on the bandwagon early!

  • thefatandskinny

    I love dry shampoos and have been using them for a few years now. All my friends thought it was gross, but they saw how much body I got from it. Love the stuff.

  • binks

    i always thought about trying dry shampoo because I’ am still in my transitioning stage and workout everyday so my hair can get a bit oily from sweat and dirt, but at the same token my hair tends to be more on the dry side, so is this product good for my hair type? I’ am still new to this whole concept…lol

  • Danehsia Ferguson

    Does it work on weaves ? I have clip ins

  • Stephanie Brewer

    I have been looking for a dry shampoo but, since I don’t see any in the black sections of hair products (I did think segregation was outdated and outlawed but, that’s another story for another time) I was skeptical at just trying any kind because they seem expensive. At the time, I was unsure of how to use it but, now I know! I believe it will definitely benefit me because I wear a short cut and I am very active. Thanks so much Coco & Creme!


    oooo, were you at the Citizette event at Greenhouse??

    And yes, I’ve used dry shampoo, it’s a bit of a godsend in between salon visits.

  • ‘rena

    I thought i was the only black girl in the world that used dry shampoo….. YAY!!

  • Geneva S. Thomas

    Hi there!

    The tips apply for weave/extensions too! Give it a try and tell us how it works!


  • Geneva S. Thomas

    Hi Binks!

    Well, considering your hair can get dry, I would only use once your hair becomes oily. Because dry shampoo is a cleanser and designed to extract oils, I fear if you use on your hair when it’s too dry, it could potentially make your hair more dryer, and possibly become damaged even.

    Use for those days after the gym. Let us know how it works for you if decide to use it!

    Thanks for being a loyal reader!


  • binks

    Thanks Geneva

    I will try it out and see how it works for me!

  • Rootz

    I bought a tin of this a while back, I thought hmmm…this stuff is meant to be for the other half but, lets see how it works. I sprayed quite a bit in my hair and the roots and combed it out. 10 mins later my head was itching so bad, 15 mins later I wanted to cry! It burnt alot like a relaxer burn. Hmmm…so I tried again a month later or so put less, sprayed at the distance it said on the can (I had it quite close before) and brushed it out throughly. No itching this time around, I guess I had a bad experience/was inexperienced the first time. Haven’t tried it again but maybe will after reading this lol :)

  • Alexandra

    I’ve been using a dry shampoo for 7 months now. I like wearing braids, so it does come in handy. Washing your braids every week, keeps your hair clean, but it sometimes messes up the style.
    The dry shampoo has helped me keep it neater & clean at the same time. I use: Herbal Cleanse from the ORS line though.

  • trixr4kidz

    How do you use it if you have braids/sew-in weave? I thought you had to comb it out after 10 minutes.

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  • Purity Zondi

    I know this is like super old, but I thought I should just point out to you that albeit it is a fantastic idea if your hair is relaxed or you are a 4B+ natural some black girls like myself who are 4C naturals should not even look at this stuff. I completely agree with you on everything you’ve said, but I just wanted to put out a warning to any girls that aren’t aware or are transitioning that if after actually having a H2O wash on your hair you’re the type with no curl definition, then you should stay far far far away from this. And if 4C girls you ever think that your hair is too oil (not possible) its because of 1 thing and only 1 result. You have not put any moisture before the oil i.e water, but it doesn’t matter because the oil will disappear by the next morning if not by the end of the day.Just thought someone should mention this as we are often left out due to our rarity.

  • Priencess Mone Chai-ung

    you dont have to comb it out

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