Dry shampoo has always been a mystery to me... because, personally, I've never tried it. (I know.) But it's not that I've been behind the times — or the memes — I've just steered clear because I always assumed it would dry out my strands. (And anyone can tell you that moisture is major key when it comes to maintaining Black hair.)
Of course, whenever I had braids or twists in, I'd gravitate towards Organic Root Stimulator's Herbal Cleanse... but that's a liquid, not a traditional dry spray, so it doesn't really count.
But now I'm wearing my natural hair for the first time ever, and I'm still trying to figure out how to maintain it. I know that I'm supposed to co-wash weekly to make sure that my thick 'fro stays soft and fluffy, but have struggled with the daily and nightly upkeep that's required in between co-washes. The other day, my aunt told me that my hair was looking a little dry. "You can't be stingy with your products," she instructed, arming me with Taliah Waajid's Shea Coco Daily Leave In Conditioner. She told me to spray that, and to coat sections of my hair with curling cream for my nightly twist-out. Just one day into my new routine and my hair did feel lusher than ever... but a little sticky, too, as I hadn't co-washed in a few days. But with a full schedule last week, I didn't have time to give my hair the TLC that it needed.
So, perhaps it was by chance that Cantu's new Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Co-Wash came across my desk that very day I needed it. But I like to think a little bit of magic was involved, too. I grabbed the bottle and followed the directions: Spray from root to tip, wait two minutes, and style as usual. I kept the dry shampoo in longer than two minutes, as I was in the shower, and I think that made all the difference. After removing my silk bonnet, my hair felt so much cleaner and lighter, which can be attributed to the apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil in the formula, but not at all dry, thanks to the shea butter. And best of all: NO SHRINKAGE. If I had used water, I'd probably be stuck in my bathroom stretching out my hair for the rest of the night.
In the spirit of trying new things, I proceeded to do my very first braid-out instead of my normal twist-out. (Okay, I'm lying. I just didn't feel like twisting my hair into small sections, because a girl's gotta get her rest, you know?) I took large sections of my 'fro and braided outward instead of cornrowing for more volume. And boy, did it pay off. I promise you — it looked like I spent at least four hours on my hair instead of two. My coils were SO springy and defined, because my hair held my leave-in conditioner and curl cream a whole lot better after using the Cantu spray.
After applying a little bit of the Pantene Gold Series Curl Defining Pudding, I went to work with a fresh 'fro and a new holy-grail product to tell all my friends about. I'm trying to avoid being what hairstylist Felicia Leatherwood calls a "random hair product junkie" — but this dry shampoo's got me addicted, and I don't mind at all.
Cantu Cleanse Dry Co-Wash, $4.99, available at Target.