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What’s the Difference Between Texture Powder & Dry Shampoo?

With so many men’s and women’s hair products on the market these days it can be difficult to keep track of them all.  Most people seem to have a basic understanding of products like gels, pomades, creams, leave-in conditions and why they are used – but what about lesser known products like texture powders and dry shampoos?  What’s the purpose of using these products and how can they help me get the hairstyle that I want?  Well, hopefully we’ll be able to break the difference between the two hair product types so that it’s simple and easy to understand – having the proper information will help you make the right decision as to whether or not texture powder or dry shampoo should be added to your daily hair care routine.

What is Texture Powder?

Texture powder is an incredibly fine, lightweight dry powder that doesn’t have a fragrance and has a tacky feel to it.  It’ll leave your hair with a dry, matte finish with a texture that reminds us of cotton candy (that’s probably the best way we can describe it).  The main ingredient for most texture powders is silica silylate, which is a type of silica particulate that has unique physical properties.  Its rough, jagged edges allow it to effectively bind to the hair shaft and create a sort of friction between them.  What’s great about these powders is that they are so effective at binding to the hair that only a little amount is needed to get the desired volume effect. 

What is the Purpose of Texture Powder?

Several men’s hairstyles (and women too) require a lot of volume in their hair to get the right look.  For certain hair types (particularly those with finer hair) creating and holding volume throughout the day is extremely difficult.  Finer hair tends to lay flat and lifeless so an added boost is needed.  Using the texture powder as a pre-styler is one of the best options for providing that initial volume to your hairstyle.  Note that sometimes these texture powders are called boost powders, texturizing powders, or volumizing powders but their overall purpose is the same - to instantly give extra oomph to your hairstyle. 

How Does Texture Powder Work?

Apply the texture powder by sprinkling it specifically at the roots or all over your head in a fine dusting –  just make sure you cover any section of hair that you want to add volume.  Spread it around with your fingertips to ensure there isn’t a high concentration of it within one location and to ensure even coverage (you don’t want to see any white clumps due to too much powder in one place).  The product will add a sort of friction to your hair, so don’t be too rough or you’ll feel like you’re pulling your hair out.  Using a scrunching method is recommended if running your fingers through it is too difficult.  What you’ll instantly notice is that your hair will feel thicker and have greater volume than ever before - this is due to the silica effectively binding to the hairs together causing it to stack vertically on top of itself rather than falling flat.  Essentially, this sort of friction allows the individual hairs to “support” each other vertically which results in volumized hair, and prevents the hairs from sliding past each other and laying flat. 

What is the Purpose of Dry Shampoo?

The other dry product that seems to be super popular (and a little misunderstood) is dry shampoo.  They are typically alcohol or starch-based products that come in three forms: a dry powder, an aerosol spray, or in a liquid.  Dry shampoos are sometimes seen as a complete substitute for wet washing your hair – this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

You still need to shampoo and condition your hair and scalp on a regular basis to remove excess oil, dirt, debris in order to keep it healthy and clean. But if you are looking to freshen up your look at the end of the day or even lengthen the time between washes, then dry shampooing your hair might be a good option.  While dry shampoos do not actually clean your hair and scalp, they do temporarily make your hair feel less oily and greasy by soaking up excess oil that tends to weigh down your hair

How Do You Use Dry Shampoo?

Apply the dry shampoo to any oily, greasy section of your hair particularly the roots.  If using an aerosol dry shampoo, keep the canister about 6” away while spraying to prevent too much dry shampoo from collecting in one area (comb or brush any areas where too much is added to evenly spread it around).  The dry shampoo will effectively soak up the oil in the hair resulting in a refreshed look without all of the hassle of washing, conditioning, blow-drying, etc. 

What are Alternatives to Dry Shampoo?

In the past, many home remedies for dry shampoos existed and they consisted of things like talcum powders, starches, clays, and vegetable powders.  But with the resurgence of these products, companies have found ways to put those natural ingredients into an aerosol so that you can apply them more evenly without over-doing it.

Final Thoughts

It’s obvious that these two products are quite different, and they are definitely items you should consider adding to your hair arsenal.  Texture Powder is great for adding volume to your hair which is perfect for men and women whose hair tends to lay flat.  While Dry Shampoo is an excellent choice for those who need to freshen up without having to go through a shower routine to make their hair look great.  Either way, try them out for yourself and see what you think.


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