Beauty Next: Will Dry Conditioner Supplant Your Shower Routine?


Let’s talk dirty hair. Since it’s become passe (and way too inconvenient) to wash and style our locks every day, we all know about tresses that have skipped the shower for a few days. You know the telltale signs, from greasy roots (the lighter your hair, the more obvious) to dry shafts and ends clumping together — and perhaps a tangle or two from that hair tie you’ve got it trapped in. I mean, it’s a mess. 

That’s why women jumped on dry shampoo when it came out and rarely let their bathroom vanity shelves be without it. The spray has stretched out countless blowouts for a few precious days. If only there was another product we could spray on to give our hair total revitalization, not just grease absorption, and lift for roots. Have you guessed where I’m going with this? I’m here to inform you there is in fact a product like that, and you may have yet to hear of it. Allow me to introduce and explain dry conditioner, dry shampoo’s best friend.

Dry conditioner, like dry shampoo, is a spray that comes conveniently bottled up in spray format. But unlike spraying it on your roots, it’s meant to be sprayed from mid-shaft to the tips of your hair. It’s a hydrating formula with conditioning agents that help smooth hair and add shine. Unlike leave-in conditioners and priming sprays, it goes on dry locks, not wet or towel-dried. Brand Ambassador for Pantene, Danilo, says he enjoys using dry conditioner as a finish. And Allure magazine says an extra bonus to the product is that when sprayed on before heat styling, it can actually prevent hair breakage.

But be forewarned, dry conditioner isn’t for everyone. It can way down super fine hair. And girls wearing their hair naturally curly may want to steer clear, since they can make curls frizzier as they help texturize strands to make them look refreshed. Who should use it? Women with medium to thick hair and those with natural texture whose hair has been flat ironed or blown straight. Women with hair that looks dry or has damage from chemical treatments can definitely jump on board — and should! Another tip is to look for dry conditioners that contain oils, such as argan or sunflower. 

When used together, dry shampoo and conditioner can save you money and time. No need to totally redo hair before your brunch date after Saturday night’s carousing. Just a spray up top with the dry ‘poo and a spritz from mid-length to end with the dry conditioner is all you need for hair that looks as if it’s been fully done, not fully slept in. 

Products left to right: Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray, $35; diCesare Focus Waterless Conditioner, $16.99; OSCAR BLANDI Dry Conditioner, $25; TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Conditioner, $15.29; Serge Normant Meta Revive Dry Conditioner Featuring Argan Oil, $25; Keratin Complex Style Therapy Lock Luster Nourishing Spray Conditioner, $20