Apr 262012

A few months ago, I stopped washing my hair every day. I realize that this is a controversial statement. Some may find that unthinkable. Others will find it surprising that any rational person would ever consider washing their hair every day. The beauty world imploded when it was discovered that Adele said in a 2008 issue of Glamour Magazine that she only washes her hair with water; and only uses soap every two months or so (for more on that, see She Said Beauty’s post on “Can You Really Avoid Washing Your Hair For Two Months?”).

To catch everyone up, the concept is that washing your hair every day strips out beneficial oils and dries out the hair. Some women embrace the unwashed look without concern–one can virtually see their beneficial oils doing their fabulousness to their tresses, even when pulled back into a pony tail or scooped up into a clip. Others prefer to tame down the oilier parts with a touch of dry shampoo. Over the last few months, I’ve played with a few. And yes, my hair looks miles better since I’ve stopped abusing it.

One thing I noticed right away is that, although I’m not sensitive to most cosmetic scents, the smell of the dry shampoo really mattered to me. Why? The smell seems to cling and become noticeable, unless many blush or foundation scents that seem to fade throughout the day. Dry shampoo scents, it appears, last forever. Looking at various product reviews, I found wide taste variation–some insisted that one dry shampoo smelled the best, another review of the same shampoo found it disgusting. Some of this might be product age–sometimes products “turn” if they aren’t shelf-fresh. But others might be personal taste.

The idea is that the powder absorbs the oil in your hair, extending its life between shampoos. But applying too much dry shampoo seemed to dry out my hair, at least temporarily for the day.  So go easy. You apply a bit, wait 3-5 minutes, then brush it out.  Failing to brush it out can leave white areas of your hair (not pretty). You can always repeat if you didn’t use enough powder the first time.

Here are some thoughts about the ones I did try:

  • Suave is the least expensive (around $2-3 bottle, available at drugstores). I couldn’t stand the smell and threw it out. Sorry, I know its a really popular one. But that’s why it isn’t in the picture, above. Also, it didn’t seem as effective in getting rid of oil.
  • Umburto Beverly Hills (around $8, available at Target) works pretty well and is a fairly low-priced version. The spray was finer than the others that I tried. Not a bad compromise, but the scent wasn’t my favorite.
  • Kenra Color Care Platinum (around $20, in salons) Worked really, really well.  The sprayer seemed to dispense the perfect amount every time. Very easy to brush out. Very effective. The smell is tolerable.
  • Oscar Blandi Proto Dry Shampoo ($21 at Sephora) There are a few dry shampoos in the Oscar Blandi line, I used the non-aerosol version (pictured above). I like that it’s earth-friendly (no propellant), you just shake the bottle to apply the powder. You can squeeze it too if you want a big “poof.” It easy to overdo, because shaking isn’t super precise, and you can get it on clothing if you aren’t careful. The powder works really, really well.  I found the scent the most pleasant of all of these. Easy for travel, because this is a bottle of powder (not an aerosol). It even comes in a travel size ($11 at Sephora for 1 oz.).

My favorite so far is Oscar Blandi’s Pronto (winner winner!!). I reach for the Kenra if I’m already dressed in a dark top, because it’s spray is far more precise, which happens less and less as I incorporate dry shampoo into my early morning beauty routine.

I don’t claim to be any expert on these–I’m really just reporting the results of my beauty experiment.  I know that many women use good old baby powder. Have you tried a dry shampoo? Which do you like? Do you wash your hair everyday? Tell us more….

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  36 Responses to “Thoughts about Dry Shampoo”

  1. I became addicted to Klorane’s Oat Milk dry shampoo when I lived in Paris – the smell was divine (to me, anyway), it was not too thick (Suave was HORRIBLY thick, to the point where it made things worse, and smelled awful) but it still worked which was important. I’ve used the Umberto too, which I really like in terms of effectiveness but I find that the smell lingers and that it leaves a sticky, powdery feel in my hair all day. So I’ve switched back to Klorane – love.

    • I agree, Suave was sticky too. I must check out Klorane’s–I’ve heard good things about it. Thank you!

      • Klorane was really, really powdery for me; their seemed to be so much propellant that I could never get anything less than a full blast. The smell was pleasant, but seemed really, really strong. Still, it’s the only one that I’ve tried that I would consider purchasing again. I bought Oribe’s Dry Texturizng Spray, but haven’t used it yet.

  2. I’ve recently stopped washing my hair every day…and I agree that my hair has benefited from the change. My favorite dry shampoo is probably Batiste. It’s inexpensive ($8 a bottle) and it really helps make my hair look freshly blown out and gives it a ton of volume. I love the Blush scent – it smells quite a bit like the Michael Kors original fragrance. I also like the one for blondes.

  3. Dry shampoo has changed my life. I highly recommend blow’s version. It’s not a spray, has no smell, and has a container that lets you put it straight into your hair with a reasonable amounts.

  4. Ive only tried but I really like Psssssst! dry shampoo. You can get a big bottle for $6 at Walmart or a travel-friendly mini bottle for about $3 at CVS. I want to try the Klorane but heard the nozzle gets stuck oftenl. There’s also Batiste and Rene Furterer.

  5. Starting last summer, I’ve been washing my hair less frequently too. I like to use Not Your Grandma’s Dry Shampoo, which I found in my organic hair salon. It dispenses by shaking, and I find that I can use it for about three days in a row before it starts to gunk up my hair. It’s not perfect, but I sleep much better knowing there are no suspicious chemicals sitting near my scalp.

  6. I love Batiste dry shampoo. It comes in two scents: Original, which is some sort of clean tropical scent (I like it ok, but it is rather strong) and Blush, which is a lighter floral. I pick it up two cans at a time at Sally’s and it’s fairly cheap at $6-$7. I’ve also tried Satin Sugar by Cake Beauty, but it comes in a shaker-style powder container and I just found it too messy and imprecise. The scent is amazing though (kind of a lemony cake scent) and it comes in several shades to match your hair. I think Bumble and Bumble do a line of colored dry shampoos also, which I’ve never tried. I’m blonde so I don’t mind the white formulas, but the colored ones must be a godsend to brunettes.

  7. I wash my hair about once or twice a week and employ dry shampoo on a regular basis. I’ve been using Fekkai for years and I love it if I don’t have time to wash my hair. I know what you mean about the smell as I don’t care for Fekkai’s, but it does fade– kind of like a Chanel blush. My sister is a stylist and has me loving a bunch of other Kenra products (I like the smell!:) ) so I will get her to get that for me next since I’m down to my last bit of my go to.

  8. I have to wash my hair daily. One day it could be plain water wash with conditioner and another with shampoo and conditioner. I have blonde, fine hair and I don’t like the greasy dirty look.

  9. I love dry shampoo! I probably wash my hair 2-3x a week. I have long hair so dry shampoo saves me a lot of time. My first dry shampoo was Oscar Blandi and I wanted to get something a little cheap so tried out Suave – a complete mistake! It was awful! I also tried Batiste but I think Oscar Blandi is the best. I really like the smell! It smells the “freshest” out of all the others. You have to be careful with the Oscar Blandi but it’s completely changed my life.

  10. I’ve been on and off (and on again) the bandwagon for this no-hair-washing deal that’s been going around. I don’t have a good dry shampoo and will probably look into the one’s you recommended. I’m a little confused on how to do it I suppose simply because I have this NEED to shower every day and getting my hair wet and not washing it just seems to weigh it down more. I suppose I could invest in a shower cap…oh the woes of being uneducated!

  11. I don’t wash my hair everyday either, especially if I blow dry (I have naturally wavy dark brown hair). I love dry shampoo and use several kinds. On days when my hair looks really oily/dirty, I use Fekkai powder on roots only and gently rub into my scalp. Afterword, a nice even spraying of Oribe Dry Texturizing spray does the trick. I also have another powder that’s actually my hair color called Finley Hair Powder but because the color is so pigmented, I have to be really careful with how much I use. I’ve tried Suave also and like you, threw it out. If I had to recommend any it would be Oribe and Fekkai, nice balance between powder & spray.

    • I agree, I also use the Oribe dry texturizing spray on the days when I dont wash my hair.
      I have an oily scalp but dry ends, so I only wash it every other day since I stopped playing team sports.
      I think my hair is healthier now that I dont wash it every single day. I do recc. getting a boar bristle brush to brush your hair- it will help distribute the oils from your scalp.

  12. After discovering dry shampoos a few years back, I can’t live without them. The Oscar Blandi Pronto dry shampoo is my favorite! I enjoy the lemon scent, it’s not too abrasive. This product does a great job at reducing oil and gives my hair some body. I use kenra’s clarifying shampoo, but I’ve never tried their dry shampoo. I’ll have to add it to my list of “things to try”. Also, I’d like to mention another Oscar Blandi product I love, the Jasmine Oil Serum, it leave my hair extremely soft and shiny. If you haven’t tried it yet, I highly recommend it!

  13. I used to wash my hair twice a week but, I’ve cut back to just once a week. It started out of necessity as when I had my son, I could only find time for a full-length shower once a week. Now that I have more time, my hair has adjusted and is much less dry than it was (albeit, it’s still pretty dry). So long as I concentrate any treatment oils or styling creams to the mid to ends of my hair, my scalp stays normal until it’s time to wash again. I can definitely say that my scalp has adapted to the new regimen. If I dare go to day 8 or 9, then I’ll use Klorane Oat one just at the crown. I’ve tried Tresseme’s dry shampoo but, I like the Klorane better. I’ve probably had my bottle for over a year – you need just a little spritz to be effective. Am keen to try the Batiste when the Klorane runs out, though.

  14. I LOVE the powder Oscar Blandi Pronto myself. Once I found that one, I’ve never looked for something better again. Wish I could say that about mascara….

  15. I have tried many dry shampoos (long curly hair is not fun to wash every day and I sometimes get a cowlicky spot in back that needs help), and my favorite is Rene Furterer. I don’t feel like the scent of that one clings to me. I also love the spray powder formula. A bottle of it lasts a very long time for me, so it may be more expensive, but it is worth it.

  16. I think the smell also matters so much because you’re probably going to sleep with the product in your hair–so it gets into your bed and on your pillow. That was the biggest issue I had with using dry shampoo, and found it just wasn’t worth it because I immediately wanted to wash my sheets! Funny that you hated the smell of the Suave, its the only one I liked! I tend to only use it for “emergencies” when my hair looks oily at the end of the day from touching it too much and I’m going out that night, or if I over sleep and don’t have time to wash it in the morning. I’m one of those over oily hair people though who could never dream of not washing it every day–let alone 2 months! Insanity!

  17. Since my hair is dry, thick, and curly I can get by without washing daily, although when I exercise heavily I need to use something to clean my hair on days when I don’t shampoo. Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray was recommended to me by a Sales Associate at Space NK. It is meant to be a volumizer, but the directions call it “an alternative to dry shampoo.” It does provide lots of volume, the fragrance is not unpleasant, and it does seem to provide some cleaning properties. Downsides are that it is an aerosol and expensive. Hope rthis helps!

  18. I love the Kevin Murphy dry Shampoo, Fresh.Hair, it smells divine! I also love the Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray. Every hairdresser I’ve talked to says it’s bad to wash your hair every day. I’m down to 4-5 day intervalls, I started my shampoo cure about 3 years ago. It also helps to use mild shampoos. My hair is fine so I can’t go not washing it for a month, but if you have curly hair you surely can!

  19. I’ve tried a few but haven’t been to impressed, I will give your reviews a try 🙂

    I have blonde thin (but a ton of it) hair, I get it colored every 6 weeks so when i cut back to twice a week washes it’s saved my hair so much stress.

  20. I like the powder version from Clean at Sephora best and I’ve tried them all. Also, I apply it by spraying or sprinkling my hairbrush and then brushing my roots with it rather than dumping some on my head. That way I don’t overdo it. I have really fine hair and some of the spray dry shampoos are still too heavy for my hair and make it limp. Unfortunately because my hair is so fine and because I cycle to work daily which means my scalp gets sweaty in the summer months, I have to wash my hair pretty much daily during the summer. In the winter when sweat isn’t an issue I can go every other day.

  21. I like Oscar Blandi and Stila makes a good one that comes in two different scents

  22. Such dirty little secrets! 😉 I bleached my hair plat. blonde two years ago for health reasons and really cut back on the washing as a result. Due to the bleach and tone, my hair is already dried out. No need to add insult to injury! That said, I do use dry shampoo and have really tried a lot of the ones out there.

    1. Ojon was the absolute WORST. It smelled the strongest and the worst. It also clogged all the time in the nozzle meaning, I would maybe get half a can’s worth before I had to pitch it. What a waste. I tried it a couple of times thinking the can was maybe a fluke- it wasn’t. I think it worked well but I could not get over the smell and the clogging.

    2. TRESemme was not as offensive smell wise and the price was good but the product was not at all effective. It covered some “greasy” hair but certainly nowhere near what I needed. Really let down because people seem to love this one.

    3. Rene Furterer was alright. It seemed like I went through it faster than others. Not a fan of the scent. Not very effective and for the price, it was a no go.

    4. Neil George was a tiny bottle for a lot of money. It had a weird smell and a weird foundation color to it. It also ran out. This was probably tied with Ojon for the absolute worst.

    5. Klorane I’ve been using for the past 2 years and I think it is by far the best of the bunch. It is more expensive than drug store brands, but it lasts longer than its more expensive counterparts and is the most effective of the lot. The smell is not bad (I wish someone could make a smell-less one because I am sensitive to scent but my husband and Doberman love the way this smells. I’ll take that.) and I am always amazed at how refreshed my hair looks. Also, it can be used as a styling tool. Sometimes, I want piecy, punk hair and this helps do that right out of the shower.

    6. Oribe dry texturizing spray is the most expensive of the group. Actually, it costs quite a bit in my opinion. However, it lasts longer in the can than any other I’ve tried. It is not quite as good at covering up dirty hair like Klorane however, I think it is meant to be a bit more of a styling product as opposed to a dry shampoo. It does work though. The smell is the most pleasant of the bunch and it feels kinder to my hair then all the others. It is also an amazing styling tool for less slippery, shiny fine hair like mine. It gives it volume and body. It goes on a bit white but I have plat. hair so I am ok with that!

    • Wow Tara–thank you for the thorough comment! It sounds like I really need to check out Klorane too.

    • I love Oribe Dry Texturing Spray, but I agree that it’s more a styling product than dry shampoo. I usually use Batiste as my dry shampoo and then use the Oribe product at the roots – especially for my bangs. My hair probably looks best on the days I use this combo – lots of volume.

  23. I like the idea of dry shampoo, and it works well for a lot of my friends 🙂 However, as a curly-haired girl it won’t work for me at all because I don’t/can’t brush my hair!! It’s silly how gutted I feel about missing out on such a small thing hahaha, but then, it IS money saved!

  24. First of all, let me say that it is not my intention to insult anyone here who uses dry shampoo on a regular basis, but I think you should know that dry shampoo is not as successful at creating the illusion of clean hair as you might think. I have a sensitive sense of smell and am easily nauseated by the smell of someone’s unwashed hair and scalp. Yes, dry shampoo can absorb oil, make the hair look fluffy, and it’s perfume can mask to a certain extent the rancid smell of a dirty scalp. It doesn’t; however, completely eliminate the foul odor as anyone who is sensitive to smell will tell you. Dry shampoo is great in an emergency, but it is no substitute for a proper cleansing of the hair and scalp which removes dirt, stale sweat, rancid oil, and dead skin cells. Sorry if I’ve offended, but dry shampoo really isn’t a substitute for a good wet shampoo that is meant for your hair type.

  25. Hi Amy-
    My go to dry shampoo for years was Ojon. I loved it because it gave my fine hair a lot of volume. Then the company was sold and the formula was changed. The bottle clogged and the smell was awful! I was so upset.
    I found a dry shampoo called Dry Cleaned by B The Product. It is by hair stylist Brandon Martinez. It is wonderful because it does not have an odor and sprays clear! No white powder residue. I found it at Neiman Marcus but he also has his own website that you can order from. I highly recommend it. It is a bit pricey but does seem to last pretty long and definitely worth it to me because it sprays clear and I am a brunette.
    I do agree with Eileen though that nothing beats washing your hair every day if you can. I use dry shampoo if I am in a pinch. I also find it helpful not to wash my hair and use dry shampoo if I am putting my hair up. It gives it more texture and volume.

  26. I was so glad to read this article. This week, I went and purchased the Kenra based on your evaluation. I love it. I’ve never been an every day hair washer…my hair is too dry for that. I need any oil I can get. But I used the Kenra today to revive it zoom and it was love at first spritz!

  27. I unfortunately have to wash my hair daily due to a scalp condition, but I would love to get away with a dry shampoo every other day.

  28. I been thinking of skipping the hair washing to only do it perhaps once a week. I dont get oily scalp, but my hair is harder to manage then. The end of my hair get tangled a lot, I just keep ripping them 🙁 I use lots of hair oil and leave-in conditioner but it doesnt seems to do much after 2 days of applying.

  29. I’m in the Batiste Dry Shampoo camp!! Adds texture to hair, and works great to extend a blow out! (In Canada, find it here: http://www.farleyco.ca/Batiste-Dry-Shampoo/Products.html)

  30. thanks for the info, I use a good shampoo that is helping me a lot, it’s Pro Naturals Moroccan Argan Oil Hair Shampoo, it works really good, its gentle cleansing formula restores damaged hair and provides color protection, leaves soft, light, silk and shiny. Luv it 😀

  31. Thanks for this post and the recommendations! I’ve thought about not shampooing as often, but managing my bedhead seems like too much work. Lol. I really like Oscar Blandi’s Invisible Dry Shampoo – really easy to use and I don’t have to worry about white powder!

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