Dry shampoo, or the spray that soaks up oil from your scalp to keep your hair feeling clean and fresh, is a popular staple among women hoping to make their blowouts last. But what about dry conditioner?
“Hair stylists have always affirmed that daily wash and rinse with a shampoo may strip away too much of your natural oils, which may eventually lead to overactive sebaceous glands, resulting in hair that appears greasy,” explains Sonya Raubeson, director of education of Keratin Complex. “Traditional conditioners may make hair feel heavy, leaving clients with the choice of whether to condition or not.”
“Dry conditioner may be used at any time to prolong or extend a style, to add nourishment, to detangle, or as a pick-me-up from day to night,” she adds. “The instant benefits are hard to resist and are a must-have.”
While not as popular, dry conditioners seem to be having a major moment in the beauty industry and several are already on the market. The Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray describes itself as a silkening mist that leaves hair “cashmere soft,” whereas the more budget-friendly Suave Professionals, claims it “lightly conditions hair for renewed shine and smoothness between washes.”
Bouncy, soft-as-silk hair with a freshly-washed scent? It’s no wonder many stylists are recommending their clients to consider dry conditioners to make their styles last.
“Dry conditioner basically injects moisture back to hair, giving it more shine and smoothness without ruining your hairstyle,” says New York City-based celebrity stylist Angelo David Pisacreta. “It is the perfect finishing tool after exposing hair to the harsh elements of styling tools. Partnered with dry shampoo, dry conditioner is the fastest way to prolong the life of your blowout, especially if you are wearing extensions.”
Does that sound too good to be true? Some stylists think so.
When asked about their thoughts on dry conditioners, some hair care experts weren’t familiar with it. Others immediately pointed out that it’s not a new concept, comparing it to leave-in conditioners. One warned to read labels carefully before investing in the product just because it’s trendy.
“Each dry conditioner I have researched has only two things in common, to add moisture and shine back into the hair,” says Jill Engelsen, hairstylist and educator at Ted Gibson Beauty in New York City. “Their claim to fame is that they add some texture to hair that is already styled and dry so that you don’t have to wash your hair again to get that conditioned look. As a professional hairdresser, this seems to me like a brilliant marketing idea that could take off, but it doesn’t seem any different than a traditional shine spray.”
Engelsen also says that while some dry conditioners claim to protect against heat there are already several products specifically made to shield your mane from the damaging effects of your favorite tools. And if you really need to pull out the iron, spritzing on the product loses its purpose.
“It could also weight down hair and become greasy if used too much,” says Beverly Hills-based celebrity stylist Nelson Chan. “I would recommend it for clients who have frizzy hair, not fine. We use similar sprays on wigs and models at photo shoots to add shine.”
Are dry conditioners worth it? Despite the potential setbacks, stylists in general say yes because it prevents you from over washing. Plus, it’s a quick, easy way to give your hair a much-needed boost especially when on the go or after the gym. But if you locks need some much-needed hydration, you’re better off going traditional.
“I recommend this as a quick fix, rather than a hair regimen,” says Pisacreta. “A good conditioning treatment is still a good way to keep hair silky smooth, but it is nice to have dry conditioners in your emergency kit.”