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In Dry Territory (And Loving It!) — Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Dry Cleaner Review

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Some months ago, after applying a dry shampoo gifted by a friend, my very tall husband walked by my very short self and paused for a moment, sniffing the air right above my head. “Why does it smell like Raid in here?” he asked. “Oh my gosh! Is it my hair?” I responded in horror. He rolled his eyes a bit, assuming I was having another spazz-y girl moment, but he humored my antics, bent down just a bit lower and proceeded to smell my hair. “Yeah, it is,” he concluded, shrugging as if his observation were of no consequence. I, however, went ballistic. “Eww! My hair smells like roach spray!” I shrieked. Horrified, I tossed the aerosol can in the garbage, stripped down, jumped in the shower and washed my hair to remove any Raid-like odors. So much for waiting a few days in between shampoos!

That anecdote pretty much summarizes the bulk of my experiences with dry shampoo. Some have left a powdery cast all over my head, making me feel like The Golden Girls‘ Sophia Petrillo, while others deposited tiny flaky bits that resembled dandruff. Some have smelled so awful that even if they gave me Rapunzel-like tresses, it would be for naught as anyone approaching m would want to wear an iEvac Smoke and Fire Escape Hood. And some have left my strands feeling limp and sad.

But don’t interpret my frustrations as a denouncement of dry shampoos. I’m actually a strong advocate of dry shampoos — particularly since as someone with dry and color-treated strands, I know that, in my quest towards healthy hair, washing my mane every day is as counterproductive as binge-eating Snackwell’s cookies and then saying it’s okay because they’re fat free. In other words, it makes no sense. On a conceptual level, then, dry shampoos are a great remedy to in-between-shampoo malaise, absorbing any dirt, oil, sweat and product build-up, and leaving strands cleaner and softer without weighing them down. On a practical level, however, finding the right dry shampoo can feel as difficult as finding anyone without acting or modeling ambitions on a “reality” TV show.

The good news: after having my hair smell like insect repellant and look like I’m a powdered wig-wearing British barrister, I’ve finally found a dry shampoo that smells pleasant, refreshes strands, and doesn’t leave behind any white residue. The name of this needle in the dry shampoo haystack: the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Dry Cleaner ($39 at ShuUemuraArtofHair-USA.com).

The Shu Uemura Art of Hair Dry Cleaner (two thumbs up for the witty, pun-based name!) features a water-free cleansing liquid and a powerful absorbent, aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, which together help to absorb excess oil without leaving behind the dreaded powdered sugar-looking mess associated with so many dry shampoos. This product has been a saving grace for me since it extends the time in between shampoos without leaving me feeling icky and, as someone who goes to the gym on a near-daily basis and sweats profusely in the process, it’s almost impossible to avoid feeling gross without either wetting strands (which we know is a no-no) or using a dry shampoo in between washes (which, as mentioned, has been a seemingly endless quest to find “the one.”) It also moisturizes strands and leaves them incredibly soft to the touch without weighing them down. I love that I can caress my hair after using this product, that it doesn’t leave my hair feeling stiff or give it that grit so many other dry shampoos impart upon strands.

Now, that may actually be a drawback for those of you who use dry shampoo as a styling aid to give hair more of a rough texture and make it easier to handle. If that’s your goal, then you may want to opt for a different dry shampoo with more of a focus on building body and adding texture. If, however, you want to extend a blow-out or to rock a minimalist hairstyle (whether it’s parted to one side and loose, up in a ponytail, or in simple side braid), this dry shampoo will keep hair from going limp and color from looking dull and lifeless. And, again, I can’t stress enough how soft it leaves strands!

As with most dry shampoo sprays, you’ll want to hold the Dry Cleaner 10-12 inches from your head, aiming the nozzle at the scalp and spraying the product along different sections (I typically spritz along 2″ sections). Ideally, you want to massage the product onto the scalp, making sure to distribute it all over those roots so it can really absorb any excess sebum, let it dry (the formula feels a bit wet initially due to the water-free liquid cleanser), then brush your strands to remove any excess product and to achieve the hairstyle desired.

Not only will you hair have a little added “oomph,” but it will be left with a fresh and powdery soft fragrance that’s husband-approved!

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