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We Tried It: What is Powder Shampoo and How Does It Work?

Last Updated: March 31, 2022

Do powder shampoos have you scratching your head in confusion? Grove writer Mackenzie Sanford tried out the newest innovation in eco-friendly shampoo and graced us with an in-depth guide on hair care’s latest sweetheart.

Powder shampoo showed up late to the natural hair care game — but with purpose. Never heard of it? You’re not the only one. In a world saturated with natural shampoos, shampoo bars, and co-washes, it might seem a bit redundant to try yet another hair cleansing product. But I’m here to convince you otherwise.

I tested the waters, so to speak, with Seed Phytonutrients Clarifying Shampoo Powder. This water-activated powder quickly transforms into a foamy lather that cleanses dirty locks and had me singing its praises before I even dried off. Curiosity piqued? Read on for a full review and how-to guide.

So, what is powder shampoo?

Powder shampoo is the same as liquid shampoo, just in powder form. Seed Phytonutrients Powder Shampoo uses a water-activated, concentrated formula that cleanses your hair with a botanical wonderland of ingredients like rolled oats, spirulina powder, and carrot oil — plus a few au natural extras for sudsing power — to deliver super clean locks that feel healthy and nourished.

But powder shampoo isn’t just nice for your hair — it’s a boon to the environment, too. Liquid shampoos use up to 80 percent water in their formulations, which seems a bit excessive given that you’re just going to get your hair wet, anyway. Add to that the fact that a two-ounce bottle of Seed Phytonutrient’s Powder Shampoo is equal to one liter of traditional liquid shampoo, and you’ve got a winning recipe for hair care sustainability.

Wanna go longer between washes? We got you. Check out our guide to natural dry shampoos and learn how to choose the best dry shampoo for your needs.

Seed Phytonutrients Powder Shampoo

Hand holding a bottle of Clarifying Shampoo Powder by Seed

Back to that botanical wonderland of ingredients. Seed Phytonutrients has two powder shampoos — a balancing powder shampoo and a clarifying powder shampoo — that are vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free. I picked the clarifying shampoo because my fine, curly hair becomes oily and flat if I blink too fast.

What I really like about the clarifying shampoo is that it doesn’t just clean my hair — it exfoliates my scalp, too. This ‘poo is loaded with micro-exfoliating grains that gently scrub my noggin to remove dead skin cells, product build-up, and excess oil. Because who doesn’t love an exfoliating moment?

Love at first whiff

Artificial fragrances can take a hike. Seed Phytonutrients Clarifying Shampoo is scented with naturally derived oakmoss and vetiver with notes of clary sage and fir. When I tell you that my eyes rolled into the back of my head when I popped open the bottle for the first time, I mean it. It smells so good and turns my tri-weekly showers (hey, don’t judge) into blissful aromatherapy sessions.

How about that package?

Seed’s powder shampoos come in these adorable aluminum bottles with little flip-tops that remind me of something you’d find at an apothecary in Diagon Alley. Why aluminum, you ask? It’s an über sustainable material that’s 100-percent recyclable — in fact, more than 75 percent of all aluminum ever made is still in circulation today.

Texture is everything

Texture was my biggest worry when I decided to try out powder shampoo. Would it feel like wet sand? Would it leave tiny grains in my hair? My worries were for naught. It has a magically soft texture, slightly coarser than baby powder. It’s what I imagine Floo Powder would feel like if I ever got to try it. The clarifying shampoo foams up really nicely with just a tiny bit of grit leftover to give your scalp a good scrub.

How do you use powder shampoo?

Step 1: Pour it out

This is how much I use for my shoulder-length bob — you might need more or less depending on your hair thickness and length.

Step 2: Get ‘er wet

Saturate the powder with a little shower spray then rub your hands together until you get some nice foaming action. Proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Work it in

Rub the shampoo into your hair. Seed says to do this in sections, but I’m far too impatient for that. I didn’t have any issue getting my whole head covered in one go, but if you’ve got longer hair, you might need to heed Seed’s directions.

After shower thoughts

I’m really happy with the results. My hair feels clean and clarified but not dry, with just enough texture to give my curls all-day definition. I’ve even been able to make it to my next wash day without having to employ dry shampoo to sop up any pesky oil.

Overall, I’m really happy with my shampoo powder experience and I’ll definitely keep it in rotation with my beloved Peach shampoo bars. If you’re after an eco-friendly shampoo made from natural ingredients that get the job done, I highly recommend checking out Seed Phytonutrients powder shampoos!

What about conditioner?

I don’t typically use conditioner because it makes my hair too soft to hold any curls. If your hair needs a lil’ extra moisture, Seed Phytonutrients doesn’t make a powder conditioner but they do make a volumizing conditioner and an everyday conditioner. They even come in the same fancy aluminum bottles, so you can feel like a Potions Master — and environmental warrior — while you soften your tresses, too.

Photo of woman in bed holding mug Mackenzie Sanford Grove writer author

About the author: Mackenzie Sanford is a writer and musician perfecting her tresses in the Midwest.

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