Dry shampoo: The 30-second hair fix

Can't spare the time to wash and style your tresses? Make your good hair day last for a week with this guide to dry shampoos


I have recently been privy to a hair-raising revelation: dry shampoo. For days when I just can’t afford the extra 20 minutes to wash and dry my hair, or when I want to prolong the life of a particularly good blow-dry, this product is spectacular.

The idea of absorbing oil instead of washing it out has been around for decades. People have been using baby powder to freshen up their tresses since the early 1900s – but it’s in the last 10 years that this idea has been most successfully executed.

Dry shampoos mist hair with a mattifying formula, containing absorbing agents such as starch or silica, which soak up oil and give hair volume and hold. I like to tip my head upside down and apply all over, about 20 inches from the head, depending on how oily my hair is. If it’s not too dirty, a quick spritz at the nape of the neck and the front of the hairline will do the trick. Then I just ruffle my fingers through the hair to disperse the powder, or I pat it in and sling it into an elastic for a deliberate-looking volumized ponytail.

Here is a guide to different formulations and how to use them:

Basic: Batiste dry shampoo spray
·    Hawaiian scented & available in travel size.
·    Gives straw-like feel and firm hold, which means you’re less likely to touch it and aggravate the situation though it does leave hair a bit stiff.
·    Leaves quite a bit of residue — you have to be vigilant about ruffling the hair and patting it in afterwards.
·    Approximate price: $5

Coloured: Bumble and Bumble hair powder spray
·    With four available shades to match your coloured hair, you can freshen up and avoid pesky roots at the same time.
·    Hair looks revitalized and full of volume.
·    You need to avoid touching hair after application or you’ll look like you’ve been gardening. It’s also a bit frightening to wash out.
·    Beautifully packaged.
·    Approximate price: $50

Powder: Kevin Murphy Powder Puff
·    This powder version works the same as the sprays (by soaking up oil) but is applied by sprinkling lightly into the hair and then ruffling thoughout.
·    Great for updos, the powder adheres to the hair shaft, creating friction, which gives hair lift. (I have had my only successful beehive with this stuff. Not that you have to go that far!)
·    It’s extremely lightweight and aerosol free, so you can apply it anywhere and it’s easy to transport: a great travel product.
·    Approximate price: $26

Universal: Klorane Oil-Suppressing Dry Shampoo
·    Light, fresh botanical scent.
·    Absorbs oil without leaving any residue – hair feels clean and not weighed down. You brush this product out completely after 25 seconds.
·    Leaves hair feeling so light you can wear it two days in a row.
·    Approximate price: $17

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