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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.

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.

Cute multiracial woman with thin hair strands styled with volumizing powder.

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.
Charming female with thicker hair follicles styled with volumizing hair powder that has a baby powder texture.

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 definition on 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.
  • 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 the 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.

Related Articles

Many have questioned volume powder, wondering if it could be harmful to the hair. But 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.