You know that question that pops up in women’s magazines all the time: which item in your make-up bag could you not live without? Well, mine would, without a doubt, be dry shampoo (although I admit that I would sorely miss my concealer). Unlike Rose, I wash my hair religiously every day, because it gets really greasy really quickly.
Now, before you all rush to tell me that my hair will become less greasy and start to ‘clean itself naturally’ if I wean myself off the daily shampoo, let me tell you that I have tried this, and it did not work. While I was pregnant with Oscar, I suffered a collapsed lung and spent three weeks in hospital with a tube connecting my lung to a drain in the wall, which meant I couldn’t leave the bed for anything. I spent the first week apologising for my hair and waiting for it to self-clean; when it refused, and my hair felt damp with grease, I broke and begged my mum to bring me a supply of dry shampoo. During this confinement, I discovered that dry shampoo does not do well as a shampoo substitute – my mum said I looked like Worzel Gummidge by about day six; I thought I resembled Tim Minchin. However, on the plus side, my hair has never been as voluminous before or since.
Anyway, under normal circumstances, dry shampoo is my biggest beauty weapon. When I used to go to networking events and launch parties after work, I became notorious for perfuming the office with my last-minute spritzing. Nowadays when I go out, I usually have 10 minutes max to make myself presentable after the dinnertime-bathtime-bedtime rush is over with – then, dry shampoo is a saviour. I also carry a small can with me when I know I’m in for a long day and my hair is going to wilt halfway through – think hen parties, weddings and the like. I’ve even used talcum powder in a pinch (it helps, of course, that I have blonde hair…).
Suffice to say that I’m a bit of a connoisseur of dry shampoos – but only the high-street brands. Did you know that there are dry shampoos on the market for upwards of £20? I’m convinced the effect can’t be seven times better than that of a high-street product, and surely there must be a tipping point at which most women think, ‘Do you know what? I’ll wash my hair and spend that money on a taxi.’ I can’t see society girls whipping out the dry shampoo before a soirée on Park Lane; in my view, dry shampoos are the poor woman’s blow dry.
So here’s my verdict on the best dry shampoos available on the high street – and please let me know in the comments section below if you’ve found any other wonder-products I should know about!
Aussie Miracle Dry Shampoo: Aussome Volume, £4.71/180ml
I’m always wooed by this brand’s marketing, but disappointed with the products themselves, so I should have known better when I bought this dry shampoo. There’s no doubt it thickened and fluffed up my hair – in fact, it’s the most volumising product of the lot. However, it did so by sticking the strands together the way a hairspray would if you backcombed your hair before applying it. My hair felt horrible to touch – like a powder-covered helmet – and I couldn’t run my fingers through it without them getting tangled and coated in the product. What did I learn? It is possible to reach peak volume. 4/10
Batiste is good but it isn’t faultless – even the original version is heavily perfumed, meaning that whenever I go out wearing it I smell like I’ve just downed a bottle of Malibu. It also leaves so much powder in my hair that my friends must wonder to themselves whether I’m going grey. But, on the plus side, it’s the most widely available dry shampoo there is, it boosts my hair’s volume no end and keeps it looking full and non-greasy until the following day. 6/10
I stumbled across this dry shampoo in Lloyd’s pharmacy; it’s the priciest of the lot, so I was fairly excited about its potential. It’s certainly got the nicest scent – herbal and fresh. And it definitely nixes grease – it instantly made my hair feel silky and look shiny and clean (although the effect wore off quite quickly). Klorane doesn’t make any claims about volumising hair, but I was still pretty disappointed that it didn’t bouffe mine up even a little bit. However, if you’re one of those lucky, lucky people whose hair doesn’t need any help in that department, then this could be the dry shampoo you’ve been looking for. There was no white residue either, so I’m guessing this could be a winner with brunettes. 7/10
CoLab Dry Shampoo: Monaco, £2/50ml
I bought this on my way from work to dinner (via Topshop) on a rare parenting night off because my hair hadn’t got the memo and was looking disgusting. It’s sold in a handy travel size which lasted me through to a weekend away in Amsterdam and it has a pleasing, grown-up smell (I’m not talking Chanel No. 5 here, but in the context of dry shampoos, this one smelt good). I was also happy to sacrifice a little va-va-voom when using this shampoo because it at least let my hair swish a little – sometimes it’s nice just to fake squeaky clean hair rather than shooting for the moon… 8/10
Tresemmé Instant Refresh Volumising Dry Shampoo, £4.99/250ml
I can’t find this product online for some reason, but Tresemmé’s volumising dry shampoo line has been my default for many years now, because it manages to add as much volume to my hair as Batiste does while leaving less powdery residue. It also smells soapy rather than fruity or floral. Plus, this brand makes it easier for me to run my hands through my hair without making it stick out at all angles – although it does still make my hair look rather dry. Still, it’s a brand I’m likely to stick with. 8/10
WINNER: Superdrug Golden Goddess for Blondes Dry Shampoo, £1.99/150ml
I found this product fairly recently and wasn’t too optimistic about it due to its price, but I’ve actually been completely bowled over by its performance so far. It instantly freshens my hair to resemble its shiny, just-washed status, it doesn’t feel powdery or sticky to the touch, and the smell is quite nice (in a tweeny sort of way). At just £1.99, it’s the best-value product of the lot, and there are versions for different hair colours, which is a bonus for non-blondes. Although it doesn’t volumise my hair that much, I’m in love and am going to keep using it. A great discovery and a surprise winner. 9/10
Are you a dry shampoo devotee? Which products have I missed?