Whenever I'm on a mission to revive my hair health and grow it out — which is pretty much always, thanks to my dye habit — one of the first things I'm usually told to do is wash my hair less and invest in a great dry shampoo to prevent stripping too much oil from my scalp. I've used countless formulations in my time (new launches and old-school classics alike), but I might've found a new go-to with Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo.
This new take on the brand's already-beloved PhD Dry Shampoo (a Best of Beauty and Readers' Choice Award winner) boasts an improved formula that is supposed to "deliver the benefits of a rinse-out shampoo without the water," according to a press release from the brand. When I put it to the test myself for the first time, I found out that that statement isn't too far off from reality. While it might not clean hair to the same degree as standard shampoo and water, it does help to rid hair of excess oil without leaving that gritty, sometimes visibly powdery texture behind.
Let me give you a rundown of my hair sitch first for context: My hair is naturally curly, super-fine, and is currently recovering from a prior summer spent bleaching and heat-styling it to no end. These days, it's prone to dryness, frizzy, uncooperative, insert just about every other negative word here. The more my virgin hair grows in at the roots, the more help I need controlling oil to avoid shampooing, which usually ends in a lot of breakage for me.
What I personally look for in a dry shampoo is one that's oil-absorbing but not drying and volumizing but not gritty because fine hair is not forgiving and styling mistakes are often wildly visible for me. Oh, and if it's unscented or has a nice scent that's not overwhelming, it gets bonus points.
PhD Advanced Clean ticks all of those boxes, primarily thanks to the addition of conditioning agents such as glycerin, a humectant known for its moisturizing properties. "Glycerin is a colorless and odorless liquid that comes from plant sources," cosmetic chemist Perry Romanowski previously explained to Allure. "It is a humectant, which means it has the property of attracting water to itself."
When using this dry shampoo, I hold the bottle a few inches from my roots and spray using "sweeping motions" as PhD's instructions suggest because the spray nozzle on this sucker is strong. Its light floral smell, a slightly subtler iteration of the original, fills the room instantly, but not so much that it makes my head spin (I usually despise floral scents but find this one totally palatable; that's saying a lot coming from a scent snob such as myself).
The barely-there formula sinks in immediately to eat up just the right amount of oil that my hair feels fresh but not stripped, and it stays that way all day — it's the kind of formula you can spritz on before going to bed or first thing in the morning. Either way, you're getting that clean feeling without looking or feeling dusty. And, after you shake out the product as instructed, you get the added benefit of a little extra volume at the base.
With a dry shampoo like this, it's not only doable but more than easy to go a week or more without shampooing. Now I can help my scalp get back to its original state a little more easily — which, at this rate, is all I can truly ask of a hair product.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo is $30 and available now on sephora.com.
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