Is Volume Powder Bad for Your Hair? What Is It? Is It Safe?

Beautiful mixed race lady with cute freckles and curly hair styled with hair powder.

Volume powder has been a staple in the hair product industry for quite some time. It masterfully transforms limp, flat hair into bouncy and voluminous tresses.

Although volume powder is embraced by many as a go-to styling product, some people worry that it may be bad for the hair. So, in this article, we will give you an overview of volume powder and tell you whether it’s harmful to the hair.

Is Volume Powder Bad for Your Hair?

Most hair care experts agree that volume powder is safe as long as it is used according to the instructions. Generally, volume powder should only be left in the hair for 1 to 3 days. If the product is left in too long, you could experience mild buildup and hair dryness.

To further investigate the safety of volume powder, we’ve researched the most common ingredients found in it. In the following section, we will discuss the functions of these ingredients and whether they’re safe for the hair and body.

  • Silica Silylate – This is the most concentrated ingredient in nearly all volume hair powders. It works as a binder and helps to disperse the other elements throughout the product. Though it is subject to concentration limitations, it is entirely safe to use on your hair and does not produce any adverse effects on the body.
  • Tapioca Starch – This is another commonly used ingredient in volume powders. It is a plant-derived starch extracted from the cassava root. Its primary function is to thicken the product, making it easier to dispense and apply to the hair. Tapioca starch poses no threat to your hair or body. It is even safe to eat.
  • Citric Acid – Though citric acid is naturally occurring and found in many fruits, volume powders are generally made with the synthetic form of this ingredient. This acid works as a preservative and pH balancer in the product. It is safe for regular use on the hair, and it’s not linked to any adverse systemic effects.
  • VP/VA Copolymer – This ingredient acts as a binder and film former in volume powders. It also helps to absorb moisture so that the product will last longer. This substance is deemed safe for regular use on the hair. And as long as it is not ingested, it shouldn’t cause any harm to the body.
  • Sodium Benzoate – This preservative is manufactured in small amounts in volume powders. It prevents mold and other harmful bacteria from growing. Although sodium benzoate is safe to use on the hair, limited evidence shows this ingredient may be linked to organ toxicity. However, this theory is still being researched.
Cute multiracial woman with thin hair strands styled with volumizing powder.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair Powder for Volume and Texture: Volume powder, often called hair powder, is a fine and slightly tacky substance designed to add volume and texture, especially beneficial for thin or fine hair. Its consistent use can transform flat, lifeless hair into voluminous, bouncy tresses.
  • Safe Ingredients for Hair Health: Common ingredients like Silica Silylate, Tapioca Starch, and Citric Acid are safe for hair and body, enhancing hair health without adverse effects. These natural ingredients provide extra volume and a matte look while maintaining hair’s natural oils.
  • Application and Effects: A small amount of powder applied to dry hair goes a long way, giving hair strands a stronger hold and a thicker appearance. Best results are achieved with occasional use, avoiding product buildup or hair dryness.
  • Pros and Cons of Volumizing Powder: Benefits include ease of use, the ability to replace other texturizing products, and leaving no white residue. Drawbacks include potential dryness and loss of natural shine in curly or longer hair if overused.
  • Product Recommendations and Use: Top-rated powders like Sexy Hair Big Powder Play and Bumble And Bumble Pret-A-Powder offer great options for different hair types. Ideal for personal preferences, these products work as volumizing and mattifying agents, suitable for a day’s use without needing a hair dryer or aerosol sprays.
Charming female with thicker hair follicles styled with volumizing hair powder that has a baby powder texture.

What Is Volume Powder?

Volume powder, also known as texture powder, is a fine, lightweight substance with a slightly tacky feel. It is used primarily as a standalone styling solution but can also be combined with other products.

Volumizing powders are typically sold in containers that allow you to quickly and easily sprinkle the powder right onto your hair.

Moreover, it is designed as a leave-in product that works best when applied to dry hair. You don’t have to worry about washing it out immediately, as it can be left in the hair for several days.

What Volume Powder Does to Your Hair

You may be surprised to know all the ways that volume powder instantly changes your hair. Read on as we explain how your hair responds to this powder.

Adds Volume

If you have naturally thin or flat hair, volume powder can give you that bounce you’re looking for. When you apply the product to your hair, its ingredients bind to the moisture in your hair and stick to individual strands.

This makes your hair appear more dense or full, giving you instant volume without having to use any combs, brushes, or blow dryers.

This method is one of the quickest ways to level up your hair. You simply shake the powder onto your hair, fluff it out, and style as you please.

Adds Texture

It can be difficult and time-consuming to achieve your desired hair texture. Some people use multiple products, such as creams, sprays, and masks, daily to maintain their texture.

But volume powder can easily replace all other products and give you the texture you crave. The product increases the definition of all hair types, including straight, curly, and wavy hair.

Moreover, volume powder makes hairstyles such as bobs, updos, and twist-outs appear more shapely.

Gorgeous multiethnic woman with thinning hair treated with texturizing powder to create volume.

Freshens Hair

The residual effects of volume power are similar to that of dry shampoo in that it keeps hair fresh between washes.

Because the primary ingredients of volume powder are hydrophilic or moisture-absorbing, the product eliminates excess oils that often build up on the hair and scalp and emit odors.

Additionally, some brands use fragrances in their powders to add freshness to the hair. So, if you have naturally oily hair, volume powder will balance oil production and eliminate odors while amping up your hairstyles.

Holds Hair

Since volume powder increases the amount of lift and texture in the hair, hairstyles naturally hold better and last longer.

The hold factor of volume powder is elevated when supplemental products such as holding sprays or creams are added to the mix. In addition, you can use the product to keep your curls, waves, or straight tresses in place all day.

Pros and Cons of Volume Powder

To help you decide if volume powder is a good fit for you, we’ve put together a list of the pros and cons of the product.

Black woman with fine hair touching her 3C natural curls styled with hair styling powder.


Let’s start by looking at the benefits of volume powder.

  • Can replace texturizing products.
  • Used as a leave-in treatment. It can be left on the hair safely for up to 3 days.
  • Increases hair‘s manageability.
  • Quick application time.
  • Just one application can last several days.
  • Dries up grease left behind by other hair products.
  • It won’t affect your hair‘s natural color as the powder is colorless.
  • Some powders come with UV protection to protect hair’s pigment.
  • Gives hair a matte finish.


Here are a few drawbacks of using volume powder on your hair.

  • Can exacerbate dryness if your hair is naturally dry.
  • Can leave buildup if not washed out properly.
  • Can zap your hair’s natural shine and smoothness.

Top-Rated Volume Powders

Young African American girl with freckles on her nose wearing curly 3C natural hair.

Not all brands use the highest quality ingredients in their volume powders. So, you should always go for the best of the best if you decide to try the product.

In this section, we will reveal the highest-rated volume powders on the market.

  • Sexy Hair Big Powder Play Volumizing & Texture Powder – This transparent powder boosts body and works on all hair types. It has varying hold levels to satisfy the needs of all textures. Plus, it gives the hair a thickness that you can see and feel.
  • Slick Gorilla Volumizing Matte Effect Hair Styling Powder – This product provides a gravity-defying lift to flat hair. It holds hair in place without leaving flakes or grease behind. In addition, it can be used on virgin or chemically treated hair.
  • Bumble And Bumble Pret-A-Powder – This volume powder doubles as a dry shampoo to volumize and remove excess oil in one step. It can make yesterday‘s hairstyle look brand new with just a few shakes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our FAQ section, where we address common questions about using hair powder for volume. Here, you’ll find clear and concise answers to help you understand the benefits and precautions of this popular hair styling product.

Is It Safe to Use Hair Volume Powder?

Yes, it is generally safe to use hair volume powder. These powders, made from ingredients like Silica Silylate and Tapioca Starch, are designed to enhance your hair texture and volume without causing harm. They are suitable for most hair types, including thin and thick hair, and do not typically contain harmful chemical-based products. However, following the product’s usage instructions is advised to achieve the best results.

What Are the Side Effects of Volumizing Hair?

Volumizing hair products, including hair styling powders, can sometimes lead to side effects like dryness, especially in curly or fine hair. Overuse may cause product buildup, affecting hair follicles and scalp health. However, these side effects are generally mild and can be mitigated by using the product in moderation and washing your hair regularly to prevent buildup.

Does Hair Powder Have Side Effects?

Hair powder can have side effects, particularly with excessive use. It may lead to dryness and reduce your hair’s natural shine. It can sometimes cause white powder residue if not correctly applied. However, these effects are not severe and can be managed by using the powder sparingly and washing hair to remove any buildup.

Is Hair Styling Powder Healthy?

Hair styling powder is generally healthy for hair when used as directed. It is formulated to provide texture and volume without damaging the hair cuticles. Many hair styling powders contain natural ingredients and avoid harsh chemicals, making them a healthier alternative to some traditional hair styling products.

Can I Use Hair Powder Every Day?

It’s not recommended to use hair powder every day. Frequent use can lead to hair dryness and product buildup. For best results and to maintain hair health, it’s advised to use hair powder occasionally and wash your hair regularly to prevent any adverse effects.

Does Texture Powder Cause Hair Loss?

Texture powder does not typically cause hair loss. These products are designed to add volume and texture without damaging hair follicles. However, consistent overuse may lead to scalp dryness and irritation, affecting your hair’s health if not addressed.

Does Texture Powder Work on Straight Hair?

Yes, texture powder works effectively on straight hair. It provides a natural matte look, enhances volume, and gives a better hold to hairstyles. The powder’s fine particles cling to hair fibers, creating an illusion of thicker and more voluminous hair, making it suitable for those with straight, thin hair.

Is Slick Gorilla Bad for Your Hair?

Slick Gorilla, a popular hair styling powder, is okay for your hair. It is designed to provide a firm hold and add volume without damaging the hair. However, like any styling product, it should be used as directed and not overused to avoid potential dryness or buildup.

Related Articles

Many have questioned volume powder, wondering if it could be harmful to the hair. However, no evidence definitively shows this product to have any significant adverse effects.

So, you should feel comfortable about adding it to your styling routine. We hope this article helped educate you on the safety of volume powder.

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