Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dry Shampoo- Living Proof, CoLab, New York Streets

Dry shampoos feel like a dirty little secret. Literally. That's what one uses on unwashed hair, and I deeply dislike unwashed hair. However, with a long thick mane such as mine, doing a the whole hair routine every morning is not always feasible or advisable. I also prefer washing my hair before bed, so it can more or less air-dry overnight. Also, during pollen season it's much better to rid hair of the allergens it's collected during the day and try to minimize stewing in it all night long. Do I paint a pretty picture or what?

In any case, some days hair washing is pushed aside due to weather conditions or schedule and I find myself unhappy with that. Other times I'm testing a new product only to realize that my scalp feels itchy or greasy, while my hair is perfectly fine. These instances call for a quick and dirty solution. Enter dry shampoo.

The problem with most products in this category is that they're formulated to give a certain lift to greasy hair, so it can resume some volume and texture. I, however, want for neither. Even at its lankiest my hair still has more volume than average because of the way it grows (it's also the reason that layers are my natural enemy). Our status-quo is that I leave my hair alone and it doesn't rebel and go wild in every direction. And "texture" when it comes to the stuff on my head is the last thing I'd want. I go for silky and shiny, not the weather-beaten "beachy waves" that seem so popular. They're pretty on a photoshopped Jennifer Aniston, not on my head.

Speaking of Jen, I should have known better than to fall into the Living Proof trap (Aniston is a co-owner and a spokesperson for the company). Nothing I've tried from them has ever worked for me, which is understandable considering their ideal is Jennifer's hair, which I can only achieve by buying a wig. The immensely popular Living Proof Perfect Hair dry shampoo was a mega fail for me: the powder is too coarse and gritty, and it absorbs the life out of my hair, scalp, and brain. I tried to under-apply, hoping it'll be less aggressive, but results were the same. This dry shampoo makes my hair dry, matted, and unmanageable.

Bottom Line: No.

CoLab is fronted by Ruth Crilly of A Model Recommends. She was also involved  in the line's creation and her influence is especially apparent in the scents of the various shampoo (she's a bug fan of Tom Ford, and some of the fragrances were modeled after the Private Blend). The brand is not sold here in the US, but I was curious enough to order a can via Amazon. I just had to. I already knew that CoLab has separate formulas for texture and just for a dry cleanse, so I went with the Sheer Invisible, which is very fine and light. I like it a lot, and would have used it regularly (or regularly for me), had the husband not complained about the scent repeatedly. Tokyo is labeled as an "oriental fragrance", and it kind of is. If I'm not mistaken, it was inspired by Tom Ford's Plum Japonaise (discontinued), and it has the projection and persistence of a big-boned eau de parfum. That's more than I want to carry on my head, and it definitely competes and even drowns my perfume.

Bottom Line: Too much of a good thing.

I've never heard of New York Streets Dry Shampoo until the can appeared here in some PR package several years ago. I looked at it, shrugged, and put it aside for months until one day I really needed a good lashing of dry shampoo and couldn't find anything else around the house before remembering  New York Streets. I gave the can a good shake, whipped my hair down, and sprayed gingerly. As I stood back up and worked the product into my hair I heard the angels sing. The shampoo is very light (as fine or even finer than CoLab), it felt nice and calming on my sensitive scalp, absorbed just the right amount of oil without feeling too dry, and felt my hair looking and feeling fresh, not matte. The scent is a negligible powdery floral thing that smells like a non-desript shampoo, and that's what I want from my dry shampoo. It should smell clean in a generic non-obtrusive way, and not remind me it's there with every head movement (attn: Ruth). That first can was the first time I've ever used up a full commercial size can of dry shampoo, and went on to purchase and repurchase. I buy Streets of New York on Amazon and would cry buckets if it were to disappear.

Bottom Line: Yes, please.

Are you a dry shampoo user? When, how, and which one is your top pick?


  1. I guess everyone's hair is different, because I have been using Living Proof products for years 'before' Jen came into their business and I still use them. Their anti-humidity spray was a fail for me, but everything else works for me including the dry shampoo...go figure.

  2. I use Living Proof's wet shampoo--I haven't tried the dry one. I have very dry hair, and it rarely feels oily enough to warrant using a dry shampoo. I only use a dry shampoo when I'm incredibly time pressed. I certainly wouldn't use it daily, on "second day hair" or to add volume, like the cool kids ... but I'm fascinated with the phenomenon. I mean, it's like a return to the Court of Versailles, with women powdering their hair! What's next--scented gloves? Patches?

  3. My hair is VERY: thick, wavy, curly, coarse, unruly, long. I have had good luck with Bumble & Bumble's Pret-a-Powder. I always love reading your blog. Thank you!!

  4. I was just going to say (like Anonymous) that Living Proof was around for years before Jennifer Aniston became involved. I tested some of the products even before they came on the market, and that was more than 14 years ago. I didn't stick with them, but they've been around for that long...

  5. My hair is probably the polar opposite of yours. Very thin, fine, almost straight, short and lacking volume. I use dry shampoo occasionally. Since I don't shower before I go to the gym first thing in the morning, I'll use it then if my hair is looking rather oily and stringy. I've been wanting to try the CoLab shampoos, but if they're as scented as you say I will pass. I admit that one of the reasons I hate using product on my hair is because of the way they are scented. I wish more skincare, cosmetics (especially lipstick and foundation) and hair care products were either unscented or had very little scent to them.

  6. Living Proof products don't work for me, either; and I can't stand their scent. Have you tried Batista dry shampoo? Available in drug stores and on Amazon. It works really well--without being too matte or drying--and doesn't have a terrible/persistent smell. It's my favorite so far. I was curious about CoLab because I enjoy Ruth Crilly's blog, but you've rather killed that lemming and awoken a new one for NY Streets. I rarely use dry shampoo so probably won't need another bottle for a good long time, but when I do, I'll try your recommendation.

  7. Thanks for the reviews! Very rarely have the need to use one, but just in case I once again have an issue with my eyes, want to have one on hand. Had been considering ordering the CoLab, but will definitely give it a pass now and will get the NY Streets instead.

  8. It's so refreshing to hear your reviews, I love your blog!! If you want silky shiny hair and still need a dry shampoo, definitely try Philip B. Russian Amber Imperial Dry Shampoo...although the scent is fairly heavy, it is the polar opposite of every other dry formula I've tried...it leaves my hair soft and shiny rather than dry and matte like the Living Proof or Fekkai dry shampoos! It's pricey but worth every penny to me!

  9. Love these round-up style reviews, Gaia. I'm a huge fan of Living Proof but it's a little out of my budget - have you tried good old Batiste? It's works, and it's so affordable!


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