More family caregivers are discovering the benefits of using dry shampoo to keep their elderly relative styled and groomed between showers and baths. Dry shampoo is an absorbent powder that absorbs oil on the scalp and conditions the hair without water. All that a family caregiver has to do is sprinkle or spray the dry shampoo into the elderly persons hair at the scalp. Then they let it sit for a minute, then brush it out. Seniors may even be familiar with this process, as people have used small amounts of talcum powder or corn starch in years past.

Dry shampoo is applied to dry hair, making it ideal for elderly people because they usually dont shower or bathe as frequently as younger adults. Its also convenient to use in between visits from elder care assistants that may only come a few days per week. While dry shampoo is no substitute for actually washing hair with water and liquid shampoo, it can be a good bridge between those times. Dry shampoo helps absorb the oils but wont strip away buildup or carry dirt away like a traditional hair wash will.

To get the best results with dry shampoo in an elderly persons hair, there are 4 serious mistakes to avoid.

1. Too Close and Too Much
Its easy to get excited about dry shampoo, but the most common mistake is using too much. With the proper amount, the hair can look fresh and clean, but too much will make it look dull and chalky. Because seniors have thin hair anyhow, its definitely easy to use too much. Just use a little bit and wait a few minutes. Its always possible to add more if the hair is still too oily. When using an aerosol version, make sure it is applied from around 8 inches away from the scalp.

2. Poor Application
Dry shampoo is designed to work on the scalp and the first few inches of hair from it. It doesnt do anything on the longer tresses and will just make the hair look stiff and matted. When applying dry shampoo to an elderly persons hair, concentrate on the scalp and brush it through with fingers or a brush. Let the product sit for a few minutes and then style as usual.

3. Too Frequent
It is not advisable to use dry shampoo every day or more than a couple of times a week. Thats because it can build up on the hair rather quickly, causing clumping, matting and dulling. The only way to get rid of residue from dry shampoo is a proper bath or shower. However, dry shampoo is fine for in between bathing to look good and keep the hair smelling fresh and looking clean.

4. Mismatched Color
Dry shampoo can come in several different tints, from light to darker. While most seniors have white or gray hair, there are many that dye their hair or still have dark hair. Using a light tint on darker hair can make it look chalky or unnatural. However, a light tint is ideal for white or gray hair. Darker tints work well for those that still have natural or artificially dark hair.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Minnetonka, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.