Do you already love dry shampoo? If so, you are awesome. Congratulations on your awesomeness. If not, you need to get in on this thing, guy/girl! It's the only product that fluffs, de-smellifies, and thickens in a couple of shakes (or spritzes), no matter how oily or gross your hair situation was before. If haircare were the Matrix, it would be Neo. Now, some of you may not believe that dry shampoo is Keanu Reeves. Some of you may even be thinking, That gross spray stuff? Are you huffing the toxic aerosols out of those cans? To which we would say: A) It's not that kind of aerosol. Ozone-depleting CFCs have been illegal in hair products since since 1978. And B) Maybe you just haven’t found the right dry shampoo. Because once you do, it will be true love and you will want to laugh and cry and take the dry shampoo to Paris where you can propose to it under the Eiffel Tower.
Your skepticism is, however, understandable. Until recently, dry shampoos had a wee bit of an image/actual usefulness problem. They had names like Pssssst (sorry Pssssst—onomatopoeic branding is a HUGE RED FLAG); they gave you skunk stripes, which are only awesome on Cruella de Vil or Daphne Guinness; and they smelled like something a marketing guy from Dow Chemical came up with in 1962: “tropical” whatever, blue hydrangeas from a garden in hell, lemon cookies.
Luckily, some clever person—his name is Oribe—took a look at the state of dry shampoos and said, “We can fix this!” Ever since, the market has been flooded with insanely good options that make us question why anyone, really, would ever want to wash her again (just kidding...sort of).
To help you find your sebum-control soul mate, we tested every dry shampoo we could get our hands on. Below, a few suggestions based on your de-greasing needs:
For People With Dark Hair (AKA Almost Everyone)
It’s the eternal lament: “I want to use dry shampoo, but it shows up in my hair!” Well mourn no more, our raven-locked compatriot, for Alterna has produced a Translucent Dry Shampoo so formidable you can spray like half a can on your head without a problem. It’s probably evil magic, but it’s sooooo good. Our hair looks fabulous after we use it; Michael even told us we “have a mane, like a lion” now, which sounds like it might be a compliment! Try the Bamboo Leaf scent. It dissipates after a couple minutes so you can apply fragrance without worrying about weird smell overlaps.
For People Who Often Pretend To Shower
If you want to fool people into thinking that you’ve been home and, you know, washed your hair, you’re going to need something that actually smells like shampoo. Clean Dry Shampoo is by far the best mimic. It smells like Johnson & Johnson Baby Wash (extra innocent!), so you can keep on dissembling about where you’ve been. However, for portability and subtly fresh odeur, Klorane's line of dry shampoos are our go-tos, especially because they come in travel sizes ideal for those who sometimes sleep in beds that don't strictly belong to them. We're all on this long Walk of Shame called life together, guys.
For People Who Love Drugstores
Batiste! It's what follicles crave. Get the original scent, and always spray it in short bursts far away from your roots; it’s good, but it’s a traditional formulation, so powder-head is a distinct possibility.
For People Who Just Need a Little Lift
If your hair isn't quite plastered to your forehead but you want a touchup, Orlando Pita Revive Instant Boost is an excellent option. It's a super-fine spray, which means you can subtly modify your volume and you don't have to worry about having grungy, over-powdered hair. The light mist also makes it another good one for people with very dark hair, since you have a lot more control over where and how it gets distributed.
For People Who Enjoy a Nice Dolly Parton Bouffant
Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder makes for a darlin' beehive, honey. Put enough of this stuff in your hair and it'll be epically tease-able, a couple shades lighter (faux-blonde bombshell, ahoy), and lightly rose-scented. Just don't get all Jolene and try to take some nice lady's man.
For People Who Like the Natural Option
If all else fails, try cornstarch. If you aren't ready to get quite that granola, look into Rene Furterer Naturia—it uses rice starch and clay to dry up hair oil, and it has a delightful peppermint-basil scent. It's also a warm brown shade, so it blends nicely for brunettes and redheads (not recommended for platinum and buttercream blondes, though).
Photos by Mathea Millman.