I have a confession: I used to wash my hair every single day. An entire childhood spent in dance classes and teenage years on the tennis court instilled a pretty straightforward nighttime routine: dinner, shower, bed. My hair became accustomed to daily washes, producing enough oil to make them a necessity. And so I started the vicious cycle of natural oils versus shampoo.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. When Health previously asked NYC hair stylist Nicole Stimitz how often you should wash your hair, she said it all depends on your hair type, scalp conditions, and product use. But the average for a normal scalp is ideally one to three washes per week (not my previously-standard seven washes).
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In my desperate fight to break the cycle and give my hair a chance to reset, I sought out an alternative, which eventually brought me to my tried-and-true dry shampoo: Drybar’s Detox Original Scent Dry Shampoo ($23; nordstrom.com).
Sadly, I didn’t stumble upon this discovery right away. Finding the best dry shampoo for your hair type can be a struggle, but after trying more ineffective options than I’d like to admit, I realized products with rice starch were the most effective on my roots. The micro-fine rice powders rapidly absorb oil, turning translucent to blend into your hair before expanding to give your locks a lift. Just minutes after applying the Drybar Detox, my hair looks both squeaky clean and voluminous.
Plenty of highly-rated dry shampoos with cult followings also use rice starch as their base, including Living Proof’s Dry Shampoo ($24; nordstrom.com)—one of my honorable mentions—and MoroccanOil Dry Shampoo ($26; nordstrom.com). But Drybar sets itself apart by adding in moisturizing golden root extract, which reduces the risk of breakage by preventing locks from drying out.
I prefer to apply my dry shampoo the night before, giving the starches the opportunity to fully absorb oils overnight. Since the product is free of any parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, I feel safe sleeping with it in my hair overnight—and the divine scent means I actually enjoy it. It’s a dreamy combination of jasmine, Madagascar vanilla, and sandalwood that lingers in your hair for days.
If you’re scent sensitive, Drybar’s Clear Detox ($23; nordstrom.com) is a more neutral alternative, but keep in mind that it’s crafted for milder oil absorption. I actually stick to this formula when I plan to shower later on, but just need a quick refresh for a few hours.
If I want to maximize my time between washes, the O.G. Drybar formula is always my go-to. I can go three to four days before I feel the need to wash my hair after just one application. As I drift further from my last wash, I’ll start to add additional products to my hair for more body and life, like Drybar’s Triple Sec 3-in-1 Texturizer ($26; nordstrom.com). So far, this combination has never let me down.
My favorite travel hack is bringing along tiny versions of Drybar’s dry shampoo and texturizer. I can spend more time exploring and less time trying to wash and style my hair (because who wants to do that on vacation?)—especially if I decide to workout. To get the most bang for my buck, I typically look for deals like this Drybar Miniatures Four-Pack ($39, was $52; nordstrom.com) that’s discounted right now for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. All four of these travel-sized products take up minimal space and save time by fixing my hair for me—what more could you want?
Of course, I’m not the only obsessee. The Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo has over 100 five-star reviews on Nordstrom from happy users—including a mom with small children who calls it her “hands down favorite.” In fact, she claims, “I get more compliments on my hair days after I wash it and have only used this than when my hair is freshly washed!”
While the price might feel steep at $23 a bottle, a little product goes a long way (and remember, you can snag a discount by getting the handy four-pack of Drybar favorites for under $40 while they're still on sale). You’ll also save money in the long-run by reducing your regular shampoo and water consumption—a win-win for everyone!
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