Have you tried not washing your hair for a day in Singapore’s hot and humid weather? You might find your hair looking limp, greasy and flat. Enter dry shampoos – these veritable hair saviours work to quickly absorb oil, sweat and odour, while adding volume and leaving your hair feeling fresh, bouncy and more vibrant. They can even help extend the life of blowouts!
We put seven dry shampoos to the test.
Batiste Dry Shampoo Cherry, $12.90 (200 ml)
Packaging: Its slim body fits nicely in gym bags and backpacks. (There’s also a handy travel-sized version that can be easily popped into a handbag or travel pouch.) Very easy to use; the nozzle is sturdy and each spray distributes a good, even amount of product.
How it feels: It’s made of extremely fine powder that doesn’t really leave your roots or scalp feeling dry or chalky, although our hair did feel slightly ‘crunchy’ after some time.
How it looks: There was a noticeable white cast when we first sprayed this onto our dark roots, but it quickly melts away once we ran our fingers through our hair a few times.
Smell: It has a very strong and lingering fresh fruity aroma, which nicely covers up unpleasant odours.
Effectiveness: It soaks up oil really well, so our hair didn’t look or feel greasy and clumpy. Limp hair was instantly revived and looked cleaner, bouncier and more voluminous, which lasted for practically the whole day.
Overall: An efficient dry shampoo that won’t break the bank, for days when you need a quick hair perk-up. Besides Cherry, there are more than 10 other scented variants, including options for coloured hair and strengthening, so you’ll be sure to find one to suit your taste.
OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam, $42 (150 g)
Packaging: The bottle has a simple chic design, and you can easily control the amount of foam to dispense each time by adjusting how hard you push the nozzle down, so it’s great for virtually all hair lengths.
How it feels: The foam, which could be mistaken for whipped cream, is super malleable, which makes it great for styling. It feels like you’re actually shampooing your hair without using water, as the foam dissolves once you massage it well into your scalp.
How it looks: It’s best to apply in front of a mirror and check the back of your head to ensure that all the product has completely dissolved.
Smell: It has a strong but pleasant floral fragrance, which helps to
mask odours and leave hair smelling super fresh.
Effectiveness: Once the foam was worked well throughout hair and scalp, our hair immediately looked fluffier and cleaner, almost like we’d just stepped out of a salon. There were noticeably fewer flyaways and our scalp also felt fresher and non-greasy. It also gave our hair more lift and hold, with a soft matte ‘just washed’ effect.
Overall: Created by the Kardashians’ hairstylist Jen Atkin, this unique foam-based dry shampoo lives up to the hype and is worth the splurge. Despite being a bit messy on the hands, it helps improve hair’s manageability and cleans really well.
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, $14.60 (150 ml)
Packaging: It comes in a compact and lightweight metal can that’s really convenient to carry around in your handbag. The nozzle is easy to use and dispenses a fine white powder very quickly.
How it feels: It sprays on finely without build-up or any gritty feeling. When rubbing the product in, it does feel quite dry on the hair and powdery on the fingers, but just let it sit for two minutes and then brush it out to remove any residual powder.
How it looks: There is some white deposit, which absorbs easily and quickly. Those with dark hair can opt for the tinted version, with mineral pigments that adapt better to your hair colour.
Smell: Very natural and not overpowering at all, a bit like scented baby powder.
Effectiveness: It didn’t irritate the scalp and felt light and cooling when first sprayed on. It also did a good job of removing any gross, greasy feeling, so our hair looked and felt a lot cleaner and fresher in minutes. After brushing it out, we also noticed a slight lift at the roots and our hair gained a bit of texture too.
Overall: Made with botanical based ingredients, this hypoallergenic aerosol dry shampoo is great for those with more delicate scalps and very oily hair, and made unwashed tresses look healthy and smell good.
Handmade Heroes Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo, $14.90 (67 g)
Packaging: It comes in a small transparent bottle so you can see the fine, slightly grey powder inside. Application is a bit tricky as the mouth of the bottle is quite large, so be careful when tipping the product out to avoid pouring a mound of powder onto your hair.
How it feels: It is powder, so no surprise that it left a chalky feeling on our fingers. A little goes a long way, so don’t over apply otherwise it may leave a gritty build-up on your scalp. Make sure to brush it out well to spread the product out more evenly.
How it looks: Don’t worry if you have dark hair – the grey powder blends well and disappears as soon as it’s worked into your tresses.
Smell: It has a subtle and refreshing scent of lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint. The scent doesn’t linger but it effectively eliminated odours.
Effectiveness: We applied this in the morning and were amazed that it lasted a full 12 hours (and then some) without any touching up needed! It absorbed oils almost instantly and left our hair looking matte throughout the day. It also added a bit of oomph and movement to otherwise straight hair.
Overall: A travel-friendly dry shampoo that gives life to limp, straight hair that needs tons of body and texture. It’s also all-natural and free of preservatives, so you can worry less about putting chemicals on your hair and scalp.
Percy & Reed No Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo, $26 (150 ml)
Packaging: The can is very handy, with a stylish design. It took a few more sprays than usual as the nozzle is a bit short and requires a bit more strength. It’s best to spray with confidence to get a more even distribution to the roots.
How it feels: This dry shampoo sprays an ultra-fine mist that didn’t leave a chalky or gritty feeling behind. It initially feels a bit wet, but dries almost instantly and blends well into hair.
How it looks: It didn’t leave any white residue at all, even when sprayed a bit closer to the scalp.
Smell: It has a light minty aroma with hints of rhubarb and geranium, that’s quite refreshing. It was inspired by the English countryside and even has a name – ‘A Walk In The Rain’!
Effectiveness: Our hair and scalp definitely felt cleaner and smelled fresher afterwards, and it did soak up oil build-up and is great if you don’t have a super oily scalp. It did add volume and hair felt lighter too, without many touch-ups needed over the course of the day.
Overall: If you need a quick hair pick-me-up or post-gym refresh, this dry shampoo does the trick, removing sweat and oil efficiently while masking odours.
HASK Kalahari Melon Dry Shampoo, $19.90 (184 g)
Packaging: Its tall and slim canister is great for gym bags, or for your dressing table or office desk. The nozzle is very easy to use, and each spray dispenses just the right amount of dry shampoo.
How it feels: The mist is very lightweight and didn’t leave behind a powdery or crunchy texture on our hair. In fact, our hair felt a bit softer and more manageable.
How it looks: It didn’t leave a chalky cast on our hair, which is always a good sign. Formulated with colour-enhancing Kalahari Melon Oil, it also added a bit of healthy lustre to our coloured hair.
Smell: It leaves a really refreshing and aromatic fruity melon scent, as though you’ve just washed your hair.
Effectiveness: It was very easy to rub in and left our hair feeling cleaner and looking more voluminous, especially at the crown. (It’s formulated with rice starch, which claims to be more absorbent than corn starch.)
Overall: This dry shampoo for coloured hair works like a charm – it’s easy to use, ultra lightweight and boosted the vibrancy of our mane. It’s free of sulphates, parabens, gluten and artificial colours, and available in four other exotic oil variants: Argan, Coconut, Charcoal and Chia Seed.
Goldwell Dualsenses Ultra Volume Bodifying Dry Shampoo, $29 (250 ml).
Packaging: As the one containing the most amount of product, its can is a tad larger in size too. It produces a fine mist which shoots out very quickly, almost like a hairspray, so you don’t need to go over with layers.
How it feels: The product feels cool on the scalp when first sprayed. It absorbs well, without leaving hair feeling sticky or chalky. Our hair also felt a lot lighter and airier, instead of weighed down and lank.
How it looks: Make sure to give the can a good hard shake before spraying, to avoid leaving a white tinge on your hair (although it can be easily massaged away).
Smell: It gives off a strong and uplifting scent that might be a bit overpowering at first, but nixes odours and leaves hair smelling fresh-out-of-the-salon clean.
Effectiveness: Just a few targeted sprays at the roots instantly pumped limp and fine hair full of volume weightlessly. Make sure to brush your hair out for an even fuller effect. It managed to do a decent job at absorbing excess sebum from the scalp, although some touch-ups were needed as hair felt a bit greasy after a while.
Overall: It works well as an instant hair volumiser as each spray goes a long way to give fine and flat hair tons of volume and body that looks beautifully natural, although it may not be as long-lasting as the others we’ve tried.
Text: Elizabeth Liew / The Singapore Women’s Weekly / December 2017
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