The Dry Shampoo That Isn't Actually A Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is one of those things that you either buy stock in, or you don't even bother looking at because you know you aren't going to use it. Then, of course, there's that whole subset that believes dry shampoo is totally 'effing up their hair. Not to mention that it seems like every brand and its mother has a dry shampoo in some form (powder, spray, cream, mist). It can all seem very been there, done that.

Have I turned you off dry shampoo yet? Not my intention — I'm the head counselor at Camp Dry Shampoo. But that's not to say there aren't some things about them that I'm not entirely fond of. Mainly, the matte powder it leaves on my dark roots and the sometimes sticky, sometimes snarly aftermath of application. Which might be why Shu Uemura Art of Hair's new Dry Cleaner spray caught my eye. It advertises itself as the anti-dry shampoo. Well, that and the catchy name — I'm a sucker for a clever pun.

The "Dry Cleaner" element behind this spray is a traditional water-free formula with "micro-fine," translucent powders that freshen up and soften the hair without adding texture, like most dry shampoos can. So basically, if you have fine hair and are looking to add some grit and hold to your mane, this isn't for you. This is for anyone whose hair is heading into Exxon-oil-spill territory.

This is also, IMHO, only for those with straight and wavy hair. While the brand doesn't explicitly say it can't be used on curly and coarse hair, as those with textured hair know, dry shampoo is kind of the opposite of what you need. Curly haired girls tend to avoid anything with the word "dry" in it, because their hair needs oil in the way I need doughnuts. That is to say, very much. As I do not have curly or coarse hair, I can not confirm nor deny this theory.

Side note: Does it piss you guys off as much as me when brands swear their products are for "all hair types," when what they really mean all hair types that are straight or wavy? Let's stop doing that, marketers — it's rude and exclusionary, intentional or not.

As for my personal experience with the product, I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Instead of rough, my hair felt touchable and clean. I also liked that it made my strands soft, not limp, as it added a hit of moisture. It was like my natural hair texture, only clean — how it looks and feels post-air dry. A zhuzh in a spray, basically. The transparency was also a win — my hair is two distinct colors (think Rachel McAdams in True Detective), so I've had a hard time with both no-tint and tinted sprays.

While there isn't a powdery effect, it also doesn't provide shine, so if hair so glossy people can use it as a mirror is your thing, you should probably look elsewhere. One other downside is that there's a limit to its cleansing powers. If someone has dumped a ton of hairspray, gel, or mousse in your mane, this isn't going to help de-crunch or de-gunk your 'do. I had the greatest success after spraying it through day-old volumizing spray and a coating of texturizing spray.

Bottom line? This won't change your hair texture or provide any kind of hold but it will make some hair types feel so fresh and so clean. I'll save my texture-enhancing dry shampoos for days when I'm looking to get my Ani Bezzerides on, and my Dry Cleaner for when I'm trying to avoid showering for one more day without looking like I rolled around on a pillow of Shake Shack fries. Which, for the record, if given the opportunity, I would totally do that.

Shu Uemura Art Of Hair Color Lustre Dry Cleaner, $39, available at Shu Uemura Art Of Hair.

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