Perhaps it's the sun and sweaty scalps, but I've noticed that summer has everyone reaching for the dry shampoo. However, looking at Sephora's top sellers, not all dry shampoos are made equal. Some are as good as a sprinkling of fairy dust, whilst others will, to put it bluntly, add more crap than they absorb. To make my point, here are a couple of very different examples: Jonathan Product Green Rootine Dry Shampoo versus Oscar Blandi's Pronto Dry Shampoo.

How Jonathan Product can call this Green Rootine and qualify for one of  those "Naturally Sephora" stickers is beyond me. Talk about greenwashing.  First of all this is basically overpriced ($19) talc. Well at least talc is natural, you say. Yes, but it is far from benign soother of babies' bums. Senator Edward Kennedy and an alliance of cancer organizations have petitioned the FDA to regulate talcum powder use in cosmetics. Citing 15 studies, the petition claims that regular use of cosmetic grade talc around the genitals causes ovarian cancer. Now I admit that Jonathan Product didn't intend his dry shampoo to be used on the hair in that area, but it should give one pause for thought. Then there is aluminum hydroxide, although this is considered safer than some other forms of aluminum, there are plenty of studies citing its toxicity.

On the other hand, I'd be happy to powder my nose let alone the roots of my hair with Oscar Blandi's Pronto Dry Shampoo ($19). With Pronto, oily scalps are blotted not by talc but by rice starch and the clays, hectorite and kaolin. Aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is considered safe and a non-irritant. There are even a few things that might be good for you, such as antioxidant rice and oat brans, as well as rice amino acids. There is even a touch of tea-tree oil to counteract itchy, flakey scalps. One our readers also liked Oscar Blandi's Pronto Colore Root Touch Up.

Ingredients in Jonathan Product

Talc, Aluminum Hydroxide, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Silica. May contain Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Yellow Iron Oxide (CI 77492), Brown Iron Oxide (CI77492), Red Iron Oxide (CI77491)

Ingredients in Oscar Blandi

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Kaolin, Silica, Acrylates Copolymer, Tapioca Starch, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Beta Glucan, Avena Sativa (Oat) Bran Extract, Rice Amino Acids, Magnesium Carbonate, Hectorite, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil. May Contain: Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide.