• Thu, Oct 4 2012

What is Dry Shampoo? (Also, I May Have A Drug Problem)

A few weeks ago, I had to leave work, commute home, shower, and get back on the subway to see some friends who were in town for a few days. I gave myself an hour to do so. As I walked down onto the subway platform, I thought, “Fuck it,” I’d rather have that extra hour with my friends. …Until I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the train windows and realized I looked exactly like the little girl from The Ring. Dry shampoo, I’ve since learned, probably would have saved me in this situation.

There are, of course, cons to using dry shampoo: it’s crucial not to consider it a permanent substitute for actually washing your hair (who would do that, though? I have no idea) because it, inevitably, leaves residue. Also, it doesn’t really clean it, per se, it just perks it up. I haven’t alluded to any personal problems one might have for a few hundred words now, so here are some I’ve heard are very intriguing: eating disorders. Abortion. Men in leather jackets. Riding your bicycle against traffic.

So, after my Ring moment, I figured I should give dry shampoo a try. I started by asking for recommendations from Karol Markowicz, of Fix Beauty Bar on the Upper East Side. Our connection is a mutual friend but I’ve never actually been to Beauty bar, so I suppose there’s the possibility it’s a ramshackle Hooverville, but it looks very nice from the pictures and our mutual friend loves it. Anyway, Markowicz is a fan of dry shampoo. As a cosmetologist, she sees it as a way to “extend the life of your blowout” (between salon visits, of course) “and freshen your hair.” Her favorite versions are “The Alterna Caviar Dry Shampoo”–which they carry at Fix–”and the L’Oreal Professionel Texture Expert Fresh Dust Dry Shampoo.” She adds, “The Alterna one is the one I use most but the L’Oreal one comes in spray form for people who don’t want to use their hands.”

Having been a beauty editor critic for a few years now, I was very leery of the word “caviar” in my personal care products. Was this shit going to cost $150? …No, apparently. To my great shock, it was less than $20. I bought that and the L’Oreal spray and, lying around the office, I also had a sample of Shu Uemura Volume Maker, which is “an invisible texturing powder” that isn’t explicitly marketed as a dry shampoo but does promise to offer “instant root lift, texture and body. It also helps to refresh any blow-dry for long lasting hairstyles.” You know, like a dry shampoo.

So here we are, back to not washing my hair. Don’t judge me for the pictures you’re about to see; I did it for science.

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  • http://twen-teen.com/ kimberly @ twen-teen

    My hair gets super greasy if I don’t wash it every 24 hours. I really like the tresemme and dove dry shampoos… not a perfect substitute for a shower but definitely useful when your building hasn’t had hot water FOR FIVE DAYS. Dry shampoo makes my hair almost white though so its hard to blend.
    Also: “Look, I’m not a saying I spritz my armpits with a lemon wedge and go weeks without bathing and convince myself I’m saving the world because of it”
    I remember that article. And it was fucking ridiculous.

    • Renee

      They make tinted dry shampoos! Those blend in easily! Also, you might try to switch to not shampooing as often. I have heard that the frequent washing makes the scalp overreact. But everyone is different.

      What article was that? I could use a good chuckle.

    • http://twen-teen.com/ kimberly @ twen-teen

      My hair is light blonde so if I brush enough it’s not so bad. I also skip a shower at least one night a week because of writing or other busyness but it doesn’t seem to help. I just feel gross and give in! Here’s the article!
      http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/fashion/31Unwashed.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    • Renee

      The Salon Grafix brand and Bumble and Bumble make shades tinted for blondes. Just makes it that much easier/that much less time trying to blend!

    • http://twen-teen.com/ kimberly @ twen-teen

      Good to know, thank you!

  • Sarah

    pssst still exists. I’m in med school and I use it when I’d rather sleep than wash and dry my hair. It may be a southern thing, I have no problem finding it here in Alabama but it has been harder to come by other places. Old ladies love the shit out of pssst, especially when they’re in the hospital. Also you can use baby powder as dry shampoo in a pinch… again that might be a southern (or baby-having) thing but I usually have baby powder to combat sweat and chafing in the summer.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      Re: baby powder

      Can you effectively brush it out, though?

    • Sarah

      Yeah I usually shake a little in, kind of run my fingers in at the roots and fluff, then flip my head over and shake it with my fingers. It’s easier to control with a small travel size bottle… I have ended up with baby powder from my head all down my face and front and a pile on the bathroom counter trying to do this with a big bottle, oops! You do have to go easy and just use a little and build up if you need it.

    • http://twitter.com/Tobi_Is_Fab Nerdy Lucy

      I tend to part my hair wherever I want to put the powder, like on the roots, then pour a bit of powder into my palm and onto my fingers and them slap it onto the greasy roots. After doing this all over, I brush through.

    • Kristina

      Also, Ashley, pssst is in NYC also. In Duane Reade, it’s on the veryyyy bottom shelf. They keep the more expensive dry shampoos where they can be seen and purchased without so much awkward bending…

    • http://twitter.com/Tobi_Is_Fab Nerdy Lucy

      For me, baby powder brushes out as easily as the dry shampoos that I’ve tried.

    • http://twitter.com/Tobi_Is_Fab Nerdy Lucy

      I live in Kentucky and Pssst is pretty easily found here too, including any local Walmart, Rite Aid, CVS, etc.

  • Renee

    You know, I actually really like reading about beauty products with a soupcon of social commentary thrown in. They balanced each other nicely. Much like the balance that happens between oily hair and dry shampoo?

    Dry shampoos really can be used to create volume, as well as help with the greasies. Also, if you have thinning hair because of oh so fun health problems, then the tinted ones can help cover that up. The ones that are specifically made for darker hair are really easy to get blended in.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      I didn’t even consider tinted powders as a possibility. Do you have any specific recommendations?

    • Renee

      I think someone mentioned the Bumble and Bumble, and that one is good. http://www.sephora.com/brown-hair-powder-P280526?skuId=1270388
      Also I use Salon Grafix, which is cheaper than Bumble and Bumble, but I’m not very fond of the scent. http://www.drugstore.com/salon-grafix-spray-powder-shampoo-for-brunette-shades/qxp187748 And this one that I haven’t heard of before : http://www.drugstore.com/batiste-dry-shampoo-a-hint-of-color–medium-and-brunette/qxp388976?catid=183495

    • ListNoSpam

      I get chemo every other week, and I have to wear a chemo infusion pump for two days after the day of hospital chemo. I can’t shower during that time, so I often use dry shampoo until I get disconnected from the infusion pump (we tried my hubby washing my hair in the sink once, but that was a real pain). I have both Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo and Bumble and Bumble tinted Brown Hair Powder. I got and like the first one for just reducing the greasiness all over and the other one for tinting the grey strands near my part if I go too long between coloring.

      My chemo doesn’t make me lose all my hair, but it definitely has thinned my formerly VERY thick, healthy hair. For a while, I used the tinted hair powder even when I washed my hair to color the scalp area around my part, and it worked well (now I’ve changed my part to the other side of my head where there is less thinning :) ).

  • gaia

    Oscar Blandi’s DS is amazing! Which one did you try?

  • Batty

    As a brunette, you should try Bumble & Bumble’s brown hair powder.

  • April

    I love dry shampoo! I got into it back when I dyed my hair to help preserve the color. My recommendations are:
    Oscar Blandi Invisible Dry Shampoo. I have dark brown hair and this is the only one that doesn’t leave white residue in my hair. Perfect when you’re in so much of a hurry you don’t have time to shake/comb all that powder out.
    Klorane’s Dry Shampoo. I really just love Klorane. They have both the spray and powder. The powders tend to be a bit stronger, but this one is probably the best spray.
    aand LUSH’s No Drought. Because LUSH is awesome.
    I definitely would not recommend Psst though! Lots of white residue, and barely improves the hair at all.

    • Claudia

      Lush’s No Drought is just corn starch and fragrance! But I do love Lush in general.

  • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

    Nice Cat Marnell stab, but I actually kind of like her work.

    • Renee

      How do you feel about her glorifying addiction? Or the possibility of her pursing illegal and unhealthy behaviors for fame? She really walks a fine line, in that on the one hand her work can be viewed as brutal honesty, and on the other it can be seen as manipulative, morally reprehensible, and dangerously reckless. Personally, those questions keep me from being able to like her work.

    • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

      Have you read her stuff on Vice? In my view, it really doesn’t glamorize or glorify addiction. I think what your saying is a bit like blaming video games for violence. I have never done PCP and after what she has said about dust, it makes me think that I would probably lose my shit and not have a good time, but it doesn’t stop me from reading about it. I think she is sober now, anyway, so good for her for being able to have this experience, write about it, and learn from it. To me, that is pretty admirable.

    • Renee

      If I was saying that her work caused people to use drugs more (like in your videogame/violence analogy), then I would have said that. I’m saying that some people think that she writes about drug abuse as if it was glamorous or artistic. I would say it is similar to a pro-ana site, in that it tries to justify unhealthy behavior. I’m not really worried about her influencing drug use in others, I’m more concerned about how her recklessness affects her. I’m not comfortable with reading her work, because I feel that that in some ways, can be considered encouragement of what she is doing. I’m actually more bothered by ignorance regarding safe sex than I am by her drug use, in all honesty. If she wants to risk her life, that is her decision. But being careless about safe sex practices risks other peoples lives and health.

    • http://fitorama.wordpress.com/ Lauren Lever

      Sure, I will give you that (about the risking other people’s lives), but ultimately, if the partner’s she had were that concerned, wouldn’t they wrap it up? I mean usually the people that are complaining about condoms are guys, anyway, right?

  • Sarah

    I’ve weened my self off of shampooing my hair (for the most part), and it’s never been healthier. It used to be horribly frizzy, but I am for the first time in my life getting compliments on how great it looks. I remember reading that commercial shampoo just strips all the natural goodness out of your hair, and then you spend so much money on product trying to put that back into it. All these oil treatments and whatnot, it was there in the first place! It made so much sense to me!

    It is a gradual process of cutting back on shampooing, but your scalp does eventually react and stop producing as much oil. I scrub my hair/scalp with baking soda once a week in the shower; which costs all of like 10 cents and does not involve putting chemicals on my head. If I’m not totally happy with my hair getting ready for work in the morning, I’ll spray in a little Pssst! That stuff is pretty amazing, and cheap. Ground up oatmeal or cornstarch are supposed to work pretty well for dry shampoos as well, someday I’ll get around to trying them…

    • Nikki

      I recently quit shampoo and conditioner and switched to baking soda and apple cider vinegar (I also occasionally use a spray that i made with green tea and peppermint, lemon and tea tree oils between washes). I’ve seen GREAT results so far and I’m only a couple of weeks in. I’ve only had a couple of bad oily days but I made my own dry shampoo using cornstarch, cocoa powder and essential oil. It works great! It smells a little chocolate-y but I don’t think most people mind :) cornstarch absorbs oil way better than baby powder and the cocoa powder is great for blending in with my dark brown hair.

  • MR

    Ashley, how do you post a link to the comment? I had a great Stones’ song to post to you.

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff
    • MR

      Blowing me off again. It doesn’t like youtube.

    • MR

      Maybe I’m not waiting long enough. I mean I wait over 2 minutes, and it doesn’t post the link, so I pull out and it doesn’t show it. Could you post youtube’s Stones ‘Get Off of My Cloud (’67)’. It was when Jagger was taking control of the band – three years before they produced Sticky Fingers, their greatest album.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dani.eaton Dani Eaton

    I’ve been using dry shampoo for years now. I started out of sheer laziness and a strong love of messy hair. I used to be a faithful Psssst user… Until I found TIGI Rockahollic!

    • http://thegloss.com/ Ashley Cardiff

      I’ve heard good things about TIGI’s (and I used Bed Head as my de facto shampoo/conditioner up through college), so I’ll go buy one today.

  • Jaclyn

    Batiste is the only one I have tried that doesn’t make my long, very straight and very dark hair feel even dirtier. Plus, it comes in a brown color, as I never can get the white powders combed out enough.

  • Alice3810

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I have been dying to know more about this for awhile. Now that I have to be at work at the ungodly hour of 8am. I don’t have time to wash my hair every day, so this is amazing!

  • jamiepeck

    Where in Williamsburg do they sell dry shampoo? I used all my roommate’s and I have to replace it or she’ll be very mad at me.

  • Kat

    Just one quick note: I shower every morning, including my hair, with shampoo and conditioned. I have a pretty long hair (and very healthy). It takes me on average, 7 minutes of my life. I don’t completely get why showering is such a process for you.

  • Bad Dab

    Put some cornstarch on a natural bristle brush. Bend from the waist and BRUSH. You just saved $ and kept these products and their toxins out of your body and the environment. YAY!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Melissa-Taylor/100003170966965 Melissa Taylor

    I’ve never really used dry shampoo, I prefer my pro naturals moroccan argan oil shampoo…might give it a try though!

  • Claudia

    What is dry shampoo? Most dry shampoos are corn starch, and some are talc. Those are going to work and be a lot cheaper. I have dark hair, so I can’t use much or I’ll look frosted.I tried some colored dry shampoos but then I got the dark pigments all over my hands and face!