Style

Dry shampoo foam is a thing — here's how it works

An expert hair stylist breaks down the buzzy beauty-aisle find.

An expert hair stylist breaks down the buzzy beauty-aisle find

Many of us have embraced the dry shampoo spray as a convenient component of our hair routines — to refresh our locks for those in-between-showers days and to extend the life of a blow-out. Now, there's another format on the market that's rising in popularity: the dry shampoo foam. 

The big deal? Unlike hair powders and some sprays, with foams you won't have to worry about getting product on your shoulders, or having visible residue in your hair. And, they can even be used in conjunction with a blow dryer to help with styling! 

To find out more about these foam dry shampoos — which list water as the first ingredient, despite being designed to work on dry hair — I reached out to Toronto hair expert and TRESquad Stylist Ashley Readings for her take on the trend, and in-the-know application tips for different hair types. 

Here's what you should know about these buzzy new shampoos.

Foam dry shampoos, like sprays and powders, should be applied on dry hair and close to the root

"Don't put it on wet hair, because it's not going to clean your hair, it's going to clog it up," explains Readings. And instead of putting the product on your hairline or at the top of your head, Readings recommends that you lift your hair up in small sections to apply the foam. "You're trying to absorb the oil, which really does sit on your scalp," says Readings. "You want to focus on the roots, and work [the product] through your roots so it's not just clumped in one area." 

Bring out the blow dryer, if you'd like

"The biggest difference between dry shampoo foam and the traditional aerosols is water; the foams have water in them," says Readings. "Because [the foam] contains water, it doesn't need to air dry. So if you're prone to frizzy hair, you might want to break out the blow dryer. Or if you're trying to reinvigorate that natural wave that your hair has, then you could just put the foam in and let it air dry." Readings highly recommends using a dry shampoo foam and blow dryer combo when you need to refresh your unwashed hair and, at the same time, smooth out bedhead, fix a cowlick, or straighten bangs.

Pick the right product for your hair type

According to Readings, most dry shampoo foams are great if you want straight or kind of wavy hair. "The benefits of the water in this case is that you can blow dry it back into shape," she says. 

For dry, curly hair, she recommends TRESemmé's Between Washes Curl Revive styling foam. "When people have curly hair, a lot of the times they can't get the curls to look good on the second day," explains Readings. "This foam has water and oil in it so it's going to reinvigorate the curl and take away some of the frizz."

It's not designed for every dry 

"If you are trying to prolong a round-brush blow out that's straightened curly hair, a dry shampoo foam is not for you because the water in the product is going to bring back the curl that you spent time or money blowing out," says Readings. "If you changed the texture on day one, the dry shampoo foam is going to reset it."

Also, she doesn't recommend using a foam dry shampoo multiple days in a row if you can avoid it. "If you're going to introduce a foam into your dry shampoo repertoire, I would say that's a day two product, and then your aerosols are a day three product." 

Less is more, so start with a small amount

"You kind of have to gauge based on how much hair you have, and what style you're doing," says Readings. "For me, I have straight hair and start with a golf ball-sized amount and go from there."

Want to add a dry shampoo foam to your hair routine? Here are four to check out.

This buzzy dry shampoo from celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin's OUAI line feels dense, smells lovely and was one of the first foams to hit the market. 

OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam, $35, Sephora

OGX launched its Active Beauty collection in January. The products in its Green Tea line feature a subtle lotus scent, and this foam is also quick-drying.   

OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Dry Shampoo Foam, $10.99, Shoppers Drug Mart

This lightweight foam, which can be used on all hair types, cleans with rice starch and hydrates using sea buckthorn berry.

Amika Phantom Hydrating Dry Shampoo Foam, $33, Sephora

Labeled as a styling product for curly hair, this airy foam is designed to hydrate and refresh your locks in between washes. 

TRESemmé Between Washes Curl Revive Styling Foam, $5.99, London Drugs


Truc Nguyen is a Toronto-based writer, editor and stylist. Follow her at @trucnguyen.

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