Good grip is essential for any pole dance training or performance, but with the most widely used grip aid brand in the pole industry, Dry Hands, announcing they’re having supply issues well… how are we gonna stick to that pole? This post rounds up pole dance grips that aren’t Dry Hands to save your sweaty hands from slipping.
What’s happening to pole’s biggest grip brand?
In 2021, Dry Hands announced that since the pandemic started, shipment of their product (in Australia but also to the United Kingdom) has slowed down or stopped. We’ve all seen Dry Hands going for £70 a bottle (or more) on Amazon, and the brand – or counterfeit, dangerous replicas of the brand, as you can see in the post below – has basically become liquid gold for pole dancers.
@onyxblackdance highlighted more problematic origins behind the shortage, stating that the company is owned by Republicans who do not like strippers and pole dancers using their products, and have therefore closed down out of pettiness. I had a look and tried to verify this information, but couldn’t find much about the company. Either way, I thought this was worth sharing – you can find Onyx’s post below.
Whether the Dry Hands shortage was caused by Miss Rona or by petty owners, I’ve had to roll up my sleeves and try other grips instead of investing in what is most likely a fake, over-priced version someone on Amazon claims to be selling. I bought most of these to train and for the purpose of this round-up, but some were gifted to me later on.
No Sweat dry grip
No Sweat dry grip is a liquid chalk based grip. It’s Michelle Shimmy and Maddie Sparkles’ brand, so you know it’s gonna be good.
How to use: Shimmy and Sparkle recommend:
“Apply a small pea size amount into your hand – but DON’T rub your hands. What you want to do is TAP your hands together and then tap the grip onto the pole. Tapping helps to create a dirty grippy surface, whereas rubbing your hands creates a slippery smooth effect which isn’t helpful for pole.”Shimmy & Sparkle
Get it from: Pole Junkie.
Verdict: No Sweat comes in a slightly bigger packaging than a lot of chalk-based grips I’ve tried – 100ml, so it works out to be better value. It’s not as watery as other brands, meaning you can easily apply the correct amount without wasting it. It’s one of my top alternatives to Dry Hands and I’ve been using it regularly in my everyday teaching and training.
Girlie Grip was the first grip I tried following the Dry Hands shortage. It’s compact, available in many countries – I found it when I was in Italy – and it’s reasonably priced.
How to use: I find it better to use on my hands and to add a tiny bit to the pole before training. I don’t tend to put it behind my knees, or on my inner thighs, because I find it makes me sweat more, and I’m not a fan of the white streaks all over my body.
Verdict: It’s a great Dry Hands alternative and a good grip in its own right: cheaper, very similar in terms of grip strength AND – which for me is a big factor – it works very well in the summer, even with extra sweat. I’ve used this on my garden pole in Sardinia and it’s been a life-saver. I only wish they made bigger bottles!
The only cons are that I’m not a huge fan of the “girlie” name – I feel it doesn’t go as well with the strength and inclusivity of pole – and that sometimes the chalk clogs up the top, so instead of squeezing like crazy, you have to unscrew it, clean it up and start again. But I have purchased Girlie Grip many times and I’ve found it great to use for training.
Itac is a resin-based grip that is ideal for dry skin. It comes in two formats: a stick, so that you don’t have to touch the resin with your hands, or a pot.
Cost: £8-13 depending on size (they come in pots or sticks).
How to use: I often use Itac in conjunction with chalk-based grips, but I make sure I use it on the back of my knee and in the elbow crease as opposed to on my hands – otherwise, if your hands get sweaty, the resin will have the opposite effect and blend with your sweat, making you lose grip. If you’ve bought Itac in a pot, make sure you only pick up a teeny tiny amount with the tip of your finger, and put it in the bits of your body that require grip. I use Itac both in the winter and in the summer, but it’s particularly helpful in the winter when my skin is dryer, the poles are cold and I struggle to grip with my legs.
Verdict: Itac is a life-saver when it comes to dry skin, and it’s essential for me in specific times of the year. I couldn’t use it on its own, but it’s always in my pole bag. It does leave quite a bit of resin on the pole that you will have to clean off, and some competitions don’t allow it precisely because of this. But it’s great for solo training!
I tried the Dew Point™ Pole Grip 2.5 oz (74 ml) in light format, a liquid grip that works well in humid climates and/or for people who have normal to oily skin.
How to use: Spray it on, rub it in and allow it to dry for 30-60 seconds.
Get it from: Pole Junkie.
Verdict: I found Dew Point’s light grip very helpful during sweaty training sessions or competition run-throughs. I don’t remember where I read this, but I read that using Dew Point on your body the night before a competition helps with grip even the day after – definitely worth a try! I personally use it on feet (lol) before I need foot grip or when I use plastic shoes that would normally make me sweat. All in all, a great addition to your pole training bag.
Enviro Grip is a 100% vegan liquid chalk based grip which comes in a biodegradable bottle, making it the first of its kind. The company donates 0.50 AUS cents from every bottle to Conservation International (CI).
How to use: Apply a small amount to one hand, rub hands together and wait until dry before use. Reapply as needed. To remove, wash hands with warm soapy water.
Get it from: Pole Junkie.
Verdict: Enviro Grip has all the characteristics of your favourite liquid chalk grips, with the added benefit of helping you not kill the planet while you train. It’s slightly more expensive than other chalk based grips, but it does have a slightly bigger packaging that some of them – 60 ml. I’ll definitely be using it more.
Grip & Glow
I tried the Grip & Glow’s Totally Beachin’ body grip, which smells of delicate citrus and florals, a fresh cool breeze, and sea salt. Grip & Glow is also 100% VEGAN, and it comes in a series of colourful and yummy flavours and formats.
How to use: Grip & Glow is not recommended for hands – hence why it’s a body grip. Shake it well, spray the desired amount on your body, wait til it absorbs and dries and pole away!
Get it from: Pole Junkie.
Verdict: Grip & Glow was the most expensive grip I bought for this post. I was initially slightly annoyed that it couldn’t be used for hands and needed to be used in conjunction with other grips, but it compensates with better and bigger packaging that lasts longer, a lovely scent and a pretty fab unique selling point: unlike many other grip aids, it doesn’t dry your skin out, but it somehow hydrates it while helping your body stick to the pole. That’s magic if you ask me, and I’ve loved incorporating Grip & Glow in my training routine. Goodbye lizard skin!
Sticky Molly* (gifted)
During some of my sweatiest pole sessions ever, in my brand new pole room back home in Sardinia, Sticky Molly’s pole grip really saved me, allowing to keep training moves I generally would give up on during the summer for lack of grip.
Sticky Molly’s grip comes in two options: liquid chalk and liquid rosin. Unlike many chalk-based pole grips, their liquid chalk doesn’t flake and gives almost instant sweat-proof grip. The one I found most mind-blowing though was the liquid rosin, which is now one of my favourite grip aids. Unlike many rosin based grips, you don’t have to put Sticky Molly’s liquid rosin on your hands – which in my experience makes them sweat more, actually making your grip worse. Because you can spray it on the trickiest bits of your body, Sticky Molly’s liquid rosin is summer proof!
Cost: €8.5 (£7) for the liquid chalk, €4.5 (£3.50) for the liquid rosin.
How to use: Apply a pea-sized amount of liquid rosin to your hands and tap them together; spray your liquid rosin on the bits of your body that need grip (e.g. back of the knee, feet).
Get it from: Sticky Molly’s website.
Verdict: Bloody good!
I tried Dragonfly’s grip after a gift from their lovely team. Unsurprisingly, given that their products are made with movement and pole dancers in mind, their grip is also fantastic.
Cost: £12 for a single bottle, £32 for a pack of three and £50 for a pack of five.
How to use: Dragonfly’s grip is very liquid, so you only need a pea-sized amount of it before you go on the pole. Make sure you don’t over-apply, otherwise it will have the opposite effect and make you slip down!
Get it from: From Dragonfly’s website.
Verdict: I loved this grip’s branding and its perfect size, which fits in both a handbag or a tote (and of course in your pole bag). Considering how little you need to stick to the pole, Dragonfly’s grip relationship among price, value and size is spot on. Will be buying it once I finish it!
And last but not least…Shaving cream
Cheaper than most pole grips and easier to find, I was introduced to shaving cream as a grip aid in Australia, although I haven’t seen it used much here in the UK.
How to use: Shaving cream is great for those cool, dry days when your legs just don’t wanna grip. Similarly to Itac, it improves moisture just enough to help you grip – so make sure you put a small amount on your legs and rub it in.
Get it from: Pretty much any supermarket, Boots or Superdrug.
Verdict: When no pole grips are available, this is a cheap and chic life-saver.