An Ode To Baby Powder, The World’s First (And Best) Dry Shampoo

baby powder
Thom Browne’s models last spring were obviously big baby powder users, too.

I don’t care what anybody says. When it comes to zapping oil, baby powder is boss (okay, there are some runner-ups).

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a strange, borderline problematic obsession with having clean hair. In my books, having limp and even slightly greasy hair is a surefire way to ruin the most awesome day. I could be dressed in a potato sack covered with cow manure, but as long as my hair was clean and fluffy, I’d be happy (I’m being hyperbolic but you get the point).

As it happens, I also happen to be blessed with the kind of thin, fine hair that never wants to stay clean and fluffy. My thick-haired friends can get away with washing their hair every couple of days; meanwhile, it takes incredible self-control for me not to give my head a scrub every morning and night. I’m shamelessly addicted to both the look and feel of just-dried, fresh-out-of-the-shower hair.

My fixation with clean hair has existed as long as I can remember, so it’s not surprising that my love affair with baby powder has been around just as long. Way back when I was still doing dance recitals and competitions (read: loading up my hair with hair gel and glitter spray), I’d dust my roots with baby powder once the show was over to absorb all the built-up gunk. In high school, when I got Lauren Conrad-inspired sideswept bangs just like every other 16 year old, I kept baby powder in my locker to keep them from sticking to my forehead. Long story short: baby powder and I have a history. What can I say? That stuff friggin’ works.

When the dry shampoo trend came along, I was obviously on board. Granted, most people used it as an excuse to put off showering, but I planned to use it in tandem with my already regular hair washing schedule. I was excited at the prospect of a whole new crop of products that would keep my hair looking like I’d just showered AND didn’t make me smell like a newborn (my one and only qualm with baby powder). No matter how many aerosol cans of dry shampoo I tried, though, none had the same oil-zapping abilities as baby powder. Some even made my hair look dirtier, much to my horror.

Now and again, I’ve come across dry shampoos that actually managed to impress me. Needless to say, I feel it’s my duty to share my knowledge with other fine-haired ladies out there. Cake Beauty’s Rush Brush ($22, cakebeauty.com) is basically baby powder with a much nicer smell (if you’re into smelling like a bakery, which most people are). It also wins huge points for being purse-sized and minimizing the mess that usually comes with powder-form dry shampoo. Bumble and bumble’s Pr?t-?-Powder ($31, sephora.com) is more of a volume building agent, but works great if you just need just a tiny bit of refreshing. The one and only dry shampoo spray that’s ever worked for me is Klorane’s Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo ($17, well.ca). It actually makes my hair feel?and not just look?cleaner.

All those fancy dry shampoos aside, I still believe nothing’s as good as the original. My most prized posession on my vanity table has been and will always be that white plastic bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby powder. Newborn smell or not, I’m sticking to the dry shampoo OG.

Image via Vogue

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