Meet My New Beauty Obsession: Dry Conditioner

Because not everyone's a dry shampoo girl.
Publish date:
September 30, 2013
shoppables, clean hair, dry conditioner, oribe

The current dry shampoo craze is just not something that I can get down with.

It’s not because it doesn’t work. I know women who no longer know how to survive without it. Dry shampoo is the ultimate beauty savior for many. It can de-grease roots for days after a blowout, give some lift after a particularly late night in the sack, plus it smells all sorts of good. For those of you who can use the stuff, I salute you. Spritz away. As for me, it turns my hair into a tacky, sticky, stiff mess. Trust: It’s not a good thing, for me, at least.

But where dry shampoos have failed those of us without greasy roots or excess oil issues, there’s a new beauty game in town: dry conditioner. Oh yes, yes, yes. I’m ALL IN and I know a lot of you will be too. Dry conditioner is the Second Coming of Hair Goodness.

Why do you want to use it? Let’s say you wake up in the morning and your hair sort of has that dry, 70’s-macrame-wall-hanging texture and is all sorts of matted and/or knotty. Your ends are dry; your texture’s all rough and everything feels like you got your hair done at Burning Man. This is when a dry conditioner comes in super handy.

You spray it onto your hair from midway down all the way to your ends and simply brush through or run your fingers through your hair. The conditioner goes to work and help un-mat the tangles, leaving your hair super soft and shiny. Now you can leave the house and roll into everyday life without your co-workers giving you that snarky thanks-for-making-the-effort-today side eye.

I have two personal favorites in this category. The first is Oribe Soft Dry Conditioner Spray. This tall teal can of genius goes to work on ends with just a spritz or two. It can mellow out even the angriest of tangles and leaves my hair soft. Since I have dry hair, THIS is what I use to maintain my blowouts so the ends stay manageable, soft and salon-smooth.

On days where I’m letting the texture do whatever it wants, it’s perfect to help keep that slept-in and softly messy look that I've been trying to perfect for decades. It’s also sodium chloride-free, works with color-treated and keratin-processed hair and comes complete with UV protection. It’s a little expensive, I won’t lie, but my hair and I kind of have that rule that says that I’d rather spend the maintenance money than fork over bank to fix it. Oribe makes great products, so please check them out.

An honorable mention also goes to Pureology Fresh Approach Dry Conditioner. It’s a magical substance that works along the same lines, taming unruly tangled hair and leaving it all silky. I love Pureology’s focus on color-protection because hair color is often a huge financial investment and you don't want to wreck it with styling products. This dry conditioner is a keeper. And, bonus: It also comes in a travel size.

On the drugstore brand front, I’m partial to Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Weightless Conditioning Shake. This isn’t necessarily a “dry” conditioner since the product doesn't go on totally dry and it’s supposed to be used on wet or damp hair. But the lightweight combination of the two layers (you have to shake it to mix the top and bottom layers of conditioning and heat protection ingredients) makes for one amazing lightweight conditioner. I love spraying this on my hair, tousling the strands around until they reach rock groupie perfection, then flipping my head right side up and going about my business. It’s also amazing if you want to use it on damp hair to protect your hair from heat styling. In short, it rocks.

Dry conditioner: You are my new love and the one I turn to in times of need as of right now. And if you have some wild-ass hair that needs to be pulled together quickly, dry conditioner is your salvation, friends.