Dry Shampoo, my hair’s best friend

image from Sofia Coppola’s delicious Marie Antoinette; graphics by me

I’m getting ready to share a deep family secret with you. Prepare yourselves. ::deep breath::

Sometime in the summer between 7th and 8th grades, I attended summer camp at Falls Creek with the youth group. This was the first time I had ever done anything of the sort, and I remember being thrilled at being away from home, sleeping in bunk beds, meeting new friends, looking for cute boys with my friends,  the whole shebang. I made friends with a new girl to the group and we commandeered a bunch of bunk beds and made one giant two-story hangout in the cabin.

At one point during the week, rumors began circulating in the cabin. “Did you hear that she has lice!?” I heard someone whisper furtively in the bathroom. I felt bad for my friend because she didn’t seem to have any friends but then the fleeting thought of “I wonder if she really does!” passed through my brain.  Blithely, I went on with summer camp and started itching about two weeks later.

I didn’t think about that until nearly TWO MONTHS after camp (!) when I found creepy crawlies in my hairbrush as I was getting ready for school one morning. School had just started for the year and I remember being horrified that someone at school would find out that I now had lice. Thank you, Falls Creek.  There was a total meltdown in the shower, and then my mom and brother spent the weekend purging the house from lice while my dad took me to the movies, I think as some way of calming me down and to let all the Rid and Nix sink into my scalp in the embarrassment-free dark of the movie theater. Seems like I had to throw out like half of my clothes. It was awful.

From that day on – for YEARS – I became an obsessive hair washer.  It was a totally scarring experience – I was forever afraid that the other kids at school would find out that at one point I had had lice and then I’d become That Girl With the Braces, The Perm, and the Lice. And also I was horrified that somehow the lice would magically reappear if I stopped washing my hair every. single. day. SHOOT ME NOW.

Clearly I needed therapy.

Fast forward to my twenties.  After years of coloring my hair as well as the daily OCD hair washing, my hair texture (while naturally coarse) was really suffering. It just didn’t feel healthy or shiny. In fact, the best reference I can make is that it was like a thatch roof cottage. And the only way I could get it to be shiny was if I flat-ironed it, adding insult to injury.  So when I started growing my hair out after years of short short hair, I realized that this whole “washing and blow drying” business every single day was going to get old real fast.

Enter the most magical product: dry shampoo.

I get so much more mileage out of my hair now that I only shampoo every 2-3 days.  On the days I don’t wash my hair, I shower with my hair up in a showercap (more on that in a minute) and when I get out, I powder my wig. Well, that’s what Simon says I do. Mr Funny gets a real kick out of seeing me applying the goods first thing in the morning.

And while it did take a little bit to get used to, it really does refresh my style and spares me from spending more time than I’d care to admit on my hair in the mornings. Surprisingly, long hair is proving to be far more flexible for me as a busy mom than short hair ever did.

Here’s my roundup of dry shampoo favorites. I’ve tried a bunch and the biggest thing for me is the smell. Some just smell … well, granny. The one I reach for the most that I’ve purchased over and over is the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo.  Whoorl recommended the Batiste versions to me one day on Instagram; the price point is fantastic and the packaging is deliciously kitschy. And finally, the Bumble & Bumble versions are great because they come in different colors for all shades of hair.  And of course, my new favorite friend, the super-cute DryBar Morning After showercap. It’s way more fun to wear than the saran-wrappy hotel version that I had snatched from the Hilton. And you know I love to accessorize — even while in the shower (ha!).

Are you a dry shampoo fanatic? I’m curious to know your routine!

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