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24 Sep, Thursday
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Join The Waterless Shampoo Revolution

In Singapore’s climate, going waterless when washing your hair seems to be a forlorn idea. After all, who likes having limp, greasy hair when you’re out all day long? The premise of waterless shampoo holds so much promise such that even a bunch of MIT scientists made their own version of it with their specially formulated molecule. It’s time for a new era. Tropika Club finds out why you should join the waterless shampoo revolution.

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Waterless Shampoos Existed Earlier Than You Think

While you may have heard of it only recently through the news or online blogs, waterless dry shampoo has been around for quite a while. We Asians used powdered clay in our hair as early as the 15th century.

In the 18th century Britain and America, when long hairs was a signal of masculine prestige, dry powders was used by the elites to absorb the excess oils in the hair and wigs of the time.

The emergence of the first mass-produced shampoo was in the early 1940s. It had a cute name – Minipoo – and it was manufactured by the Stephanie Brooke Company in Jersey City, New Jersey. It was marketed as the ‘ten-minute dry shampoo’, a convenient option for ‘surprise dates’. It was approved for kids too since no soup would get in their eyes. The Minipoo can even protect your permanent wave.

The Science behind Waterless Shampoo

Modern iterations of the waterless dry shampoo can also come in the form of dry shampoo foam or dry shampoo mousse. Waterless dry shampoo formulas typically contain alcohol or starch-based active ingredients. Those ingredients soak up the oil and sweat in your hair, along with a fragrance to make your hair smell fresh. 

It helps treat oily hair by absorbing some of the oils – sebum – in your hair. Sebum is produced by the sebaceous glands attached to your hair follicles. With that, it not only freshens up and cleans your hair, but recovers some volume and bounce too.


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The argument for waterless shampoo, as opposed to the average liquid shampoo, is that it doesn’t excessively remove the sebum in your hair. Because sebum actually protects your scalp and it softens your hair. Plus, washing, blow-drying, and styling your hair could be harmful to the health of your hair.

For the eco-conscious, this is your next step for your sustainable hair care. Unlike regular shampoo, most waterless shampoo has a smaller water footprint, and so requires less packaging. Not to mention, it uses fewer chemicals too.

You Still to Wash Your Hair, Just Wash Less

Waterless shampoo may be great if you’re short on time and always on the go. But, it should only be a part of your hair care routine. Some of the particles of the waterless shampoo could still remain on your hair and scalp.

If you go on too long without rinsing your hair, powder particles, air pollutants, and the chemicals from other hair products could buildup on your scalp. This could lead to seborrheic dermatitis and fungal overgrowth.

Excess dry shampoo could also weigh down your hair follicles. If the waterless formula includes alcohol, your hair shaft can get dried out too. 


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How to Use Waterless Shampoo

Remove any accessories on your hair before you apply the waterless shampoo. If you’re using a spray-on, spray it from six inches away from the top of your head.

Spray a small amount directly on your roots, and remember to apply it to the hair right above your ears, the back of your head, and the back of your head. Then, massage the dry shampoo into your hair with your fingers. If you want extra volume and bound on your hair, you could blast cool hair from a blow dryer as it sets on your scalp.

Different hair types may require different applications of the waterless shampoo too. It’s ideal for naturally greasy hair, though it still needs to be washed often to unclog the pores and cleanse the scalp.

If you have curly hair, try not to brush or comb the waterless shampoo out of your hair, or your hair might lose its bounce and freshness and look dry and frizzy instead.

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A curious wanderlust at heart, Benedict is always out to explore the world around him, and share his discoveries.