Anyone who knows me knows that I love a good hair day and by a good hair day I mean a good three hair days… in a row. I find it the biggest waste of time to wash, condition, dry, and style my hair every single day. Can you tally the amount of time that that would take? Over the course of the average life? I did the math, and if you allow an additional 7 minutes for showering, 5 minutes for a blow dry, and 15 minutes for styling, that’s a total of 513 days. Over one year of my life spent on some hair follicles? No thank you, I will take my good hair days in bulk.
I structure my life around when I have to wash my hair. A party, dinner, date, work function? Full on blowout and my hair is curled. When I go to kickboxing class? That calls for third-day-hair in a bun and avoiding eye contact with the instructor.
It takes effort to be this lazy. No joke. I have to insure that my schedule is organized for optimal hair at all times. I have to prep the night before to make sure that, when I wake up, my hair ready to go, sans-water. And, most importantly, I have had to do enormous amounts of research into what products will make my hair last the longest.
Now, you’re probably saying, “Fernweh, you must be dry as a desert. There is no way you can go 3 days and not be a grease pit.” You’d be very very wrong. It has taken much dedicated training and commitment to get my hair to where it is, largely due to exactly how greasy it is.
Years ago, I tried to track down a lone bottle of dry shampoo before taking a trip to Zambia. I knew that I would go days without showering and that my hair–which I was normally washing twice a day at the time thanks to a rigorous swim training schedule–would be horrid. I also got a perm beforehand, which probably didn’t add to the overall look of “lack of self confidence” and “immensely awkward teen,” but that is beside the point. I spent a month and a half in Zambia and took a total of three baths. You do the math this time. The one measly bottle of Pantene dry shampoo that I bought did not suffice. My hair spent 95% of the time in braids or under wraps—literally.
Fast forward many years and I’ve finally mastered the art of dry shampoo, because Pippy Longstockings and Corporate America do not mix. You get to benefit from my long journey and take the short cut: too many tests and too much money have led to these—my three holy grails of dry shampoo.
High Value: Bumble & Bumble Prêt-à-Powder
While technically a styling powder, this can—and is—used like a dry shampoo. Bumble & Bumble boasts it as an “all-in-one dry shampoo, style extender, and volumizer” and they’re not lying. I’ve been using this as my ‘Day 2’ style extender for nearly a year now and am so hooked on it that I have a backup bottle just in case I lose the first. While it has a moderate price tag, at $28 per 2 ounce non-aerosol bottle, it’s not in a spray can, so you can have more targeted placement and use less each time. My first bottle lasted me over 8 months and I used the powder once every two to three days, so… a lot. 28 bucks over the course of eight months? I just saved myself 45 hours of styling.
Mid-Level: Batiste Dry Shampoo
This is probably the most common dry shampoo used by women across many continents, and for good reason. It’s sold at most grocery stores, runs between $7-$9 per 6.73 ounce can, and it works. There are multiple scents and even tones for dark or blonde hair to rid you of the standard chalky hair look. I generally use Batiste when careful placement won’t cut it. It’s the big-gun grease cutter. Mixed metaphors, but you get it. Given that it’s aerosol, it doesn’t last nearly as long as my Bumble & Bumble, but still makes itself worthwhile. A standard can will last me about a month, while the trial size is a great addition to a carry-on for a short trip. Overall, good performance, low cost, and accessible. What more could you ask for?
Luxury Goods: IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
Okay, look at all the unnecessary description in that title and then tell me this isn’t high-class. IGK is a miracle worker but, at $27 a bottle, it better be. IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo is literally like flying first class for shampoo. Three times the price of Batiste and 6 times less long-lasting than the Bumble & Bumble, I only break out IGK on special occassions. But when I do… it is so worth it. It smells better than any other dry shampoo I’ve ever used, cuts oil like a charm, and detoxifies your scalp, not leaving the heavy feeling that make other (less dedicated) people hate dry shampoo. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free. I’m not sure why the last is a concern when you’re not supposed to eat shampoo anyways, but buzzwords are buzzwords.
So there you have it—my go-to, my standby, and my power up. What are your favorite ways to extend your hairstyles? Let me know in the comment and subscribe to get added to the email list for more fun travel tips. XoXx Fernweh