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How to choose a dry shampoo

Is a Solution for:
Oily Hair, Thinning Hair & Shedding, Dry or Brittle Hair
October 23, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 5 Comments
For dry or chemically colored hair, it is a good idea to try to reduce the frequency of washing it. I've managed to go from once a day to every other day, but reaching my goal of twice a week will require a helping hand in the form of dry shampoo. However, the attractions of spray and go palled slightly when I took a look at Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract ($15.95).

Klorane's dry shampoo is basically spray on lighter fluid. The first three ingredients are butane, propane (when these are combined they make the fuel used for camping stoves) and isobutane (a gas used to power refrigerators). Same thing for Rene Furterer's Naturia Dry Shampoo ($24) and Batiste Dry Shampoo ($5.79). Call me picky, but I just don't fancy coating my tresses with this highly flammable combo.

Turning back to an old standby, Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder, I was relieved to see it would do no evil, although the aerosol propellent, dimethyl ether, is highly flammable. I was mostly struck by how the lackluster list of ingredients had nothing to justify a $44 price tag.

I had better luck with Copley's favorite: Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo ($19).  No lighter fluid here. The main grease cutter is rice starch, with help from aluminum starch (safe and not to be confused with aluminum) and tapioca. It does have rice bran, which is one of those frenemy ingredients. The University of Aberdeen published a study only a couple of months ago concluded that the arsenic levels in rice bran were “inappropriate". Apart from that, there is nothing hair-raising about this dry shampoo.

For reliable performance, Oscar Blandi is hard to beat. However, if you want a dry shampoo that is completely PC, look no further than Lulu Organics ($9.95) with baking powder, white clay and even a smattering of good-for-hair horsetail extract.

Ingredients Klorane's dry shampoo

Butane, Propane, Isobutane, Oryza Sativa(Rice), Starch(Oryza Sativa), SD Alcohol 39-C(Alcohol Denat), Aluminium Starch Octenylsuccinate, Avena Sativa(Oat), Kernel Oil(Avena Sativa), Cyclodextrin, Cyclomethicone, fragance(Parfum), Isopropyl Myristate Slicia.

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.

Ingredients in Bumble & Bumble

Dimethyl Ether, Alcohol Denat, Aluminum Starch Octenyl Succinate, Propylene Glycol, VP/VA Copolymer, Acrylates Copolymer, Polymethyl Methacrylate, Silica, Magnesium Carbonate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Ingredients in Lulu Organics Hair Powder

White clay, baking soda, USDA Organic corn starch and rice powder, and Oregon Tilth Certified Organic horsetail powder and essential oils (lavender/clary Sage, patchouli/amber, jasmine/tuberrose).
  • October 4, 2015

    by Niha

    Sadly, Oscar Blandi reformulated their dry shampoo and it now contains pronane and butane. A better alternative is Rahua's Voluminous Dry Shampoo which is all natural and has no flammable ingredients. Link here:

    New ingredient list for Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo:
    Butane, SD Alcohol 40-B, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Propane, Isopropyl Myristate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate, Polyurethane-14, Amp-Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Stearate, Cyclodextrin, Cyclomethicone, Panthenol, Tocopherol, Hydrolyzed Rice Protein, Wheat Amino Acids, Silica, Parfum.

  • October 30, 2009

    by Kim

    I have been on a long journey to repair my dry curly hair. I've been following much of Marta's routine and cut out all those nasty hair products. My hair is so much improved! The one thing I haven't tried yet is dry shampoo. I still wash everyday! I would love to do a Ojon/Oscar show-down. I work out a lot, so it will be a serious test of dry shampoo mojo. And of course, I will write up a detailed review for all the TIA'ers.

  • October 25, 2009

    by Deborah Fiorito

    I'd like to throw in that I've been using Ojon dry shampoo. They repackaged their container from aerosol to a squeeze bottle and its great. Doesn't make your hair look gray and powdery.

  • October 24, 2009

    by Lori

    Klorane has a non-aerosol version of their dry shampoo that I really like -- you hold the bottle upright and squeeze and it poofs out. Very nice for freshening up the roots. I still use Pssssst!, too!

  • October 23, 2009

    by JulieK

    I've heard good things about Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo- never tried it. I stick with my own "tried and true" Opium body powder puff when desperate. Not often, but the lessons learned at Grandmother's knee are often the ones hardest left behind. I will purchase Oscar's product my next trip to Ulta! ~jk

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