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In Defense of Dry Shampoo

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A rebuttal and an ode.

Photo: Shorrocks/Getty Images

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To the haters,

I’m so sorry about what you’ve had to go through. With dry shampoo, I mean. I know that most of us out there have been on the receiving end of an advertising claim gone south — for me, that includes cellulite creams, “vegetarian shrimp,” and pretty much every dating app out there — and it sucks hard when that happens. But I need to debunk this “scam” that dry shampoo is a lie, because the fact is that dry shampoo is the truth. At least it’s my truth. (It’s also this commenter’s truth, and truly, this comment belongs in some internet hall of fame.)

And since we’re being so truthful here, this is where I tell you that I don’t even use dry shampoo all that much, especially in the current season; I’m generally sweaty and grimy enough in the summer that my scalp could really use a daily scrubbing, plus it’s the only way I can “reset” my natural wave/curl texture once it’s become too mussed. But I had such a visceral reaction to the anti-dry shampoo tirade that this website, my beloved place of employment, unleashed because I think of all the time that dry shampoo has saved me from the 30-or-so-minute process that is washing, blow-drying, and straightening. Or when I’ve done a morning workout like yoga where I’m not quite sweaty enough to warrant a full shower, but my hair could use a little something-something to perk it up. Dry shampoo-ers, lazy? We’re not; we just have better things to do than our hair. Do you know how less late dry shampoo has made me?!? (I’m still late most of the time, but at least it’s not because of my hair.)

Better than saving me time, dry shampoo just makes my hair look good, plain and simple. The oil that’s still somewhere on my scalp — I know that it didn’t “ascend to the astral plane” — isn’t visible, and my normally thin-ish hair has a bit of weight and shine to it, noticeable enough that friends and coworkers will tell me I’m having a good hair day. Is it vain? Sure. Do I love it? Hell yes.

Now, is all dry shampoo the truth? Certainly not. I’ve been bummed out by so-called cult favorites (Klorane) and cheap drugstore fixes that I pray will work as good as the fancy stuff, but doesn’t (Dove, Not Your Mother’s). It’s just like literally everything else out there: that one serum every beauty site is talking about makes you break out, or those magic pants that supposedly look good on everyone look like utter crap on you. But there is a serum out there for you, there are magic pants out there for you, and I swear there’s a dry shampoo out there for you, too. Try Drybar or Ouai, for starters.

So I’m glad that the dry shampoo dissenters have exercised their First Amendment, but I needed to voice that it’s worked for me, because I can’t let the internet think that we at Racked are just a bunch of dry shampoo haters. Because we’re not! Well, at least I’m not. And if you feel the same way, email or tweet me your favorite dry shampoos. (And if you don’t, well, don’t @ me.)

Love,

Laura