This dry shampoo foam from hairstylist Jen Atkin's line, Ouai, launched less than a week ago, and I've already had approximately 13 people ask me about it. (Well done on the social media marketing front, Jen.) It's not surprising that it's had a viral level of interest, especially when you consider how popular dry shampoo remains, paired with the fact that this is a completely different, game-changing formula as compared to most of what's currently on the market. (The fact that it comes from Kardashian BFF/Insta-celebrity Atkin's photogenic hair-care line certainly doesn't hurt matters, either.)
So: Is this stuff good? In short, yes, yes it is. The first thing I noticed when I initially tested it out was how weirdly dry it really is. The formula feels like any other mousse — though perhaps a little denser, more like a shaving cream? — when you first dispense it into your palm, but then as you rake it through your hair, it evaporates almost instantly. And the even cooler part is that it whisks away excess oil as it disappears, leaving behind dry, slightly less limp hair perfumed with Ouai's lovely floral scent in its wake. I was amazed. Like, how is it so dry?
Here's a big disclaimer: The second ingredient, after water, is alcohol. That's the big secret to why this stuff feels dry; alcohol evaporates rapidly, so it doesn't leave your strands soaked. It also happens to be an incredibly drying ingredient for skin and hair, which is why hairstylists and dermatologists will tell you to avoid it if you're prone to dryness. There are some moisturizing and strengthening ingredients in there to counterbalance it a bit (vitamin B5, hydrolyzed wheat protein, glycerin), but overall, this is still going to be a drying product. For some people, that's going to be a good thing. After all, the purpose of dry shampoo is to obliterate greasiness, so it's fair to assume that if you're using it, you're experiencing a somewhat oily scalp. But if you have curly, damaged, dry or color-treated hair, you may want to steer clear. Luckily, that's not me, and I'm fine with a little scalp dry-out.
I still wouldn't recommend using this alcohol-laden dry shampoo every day, but if you're looking for a way to sop up grease (or undo an accidental OD on another hair product), it's an excellent option. Unlike powder-based formulas, it doesn't leave behind a chalky coating or gritty feel — so if that's what you're looking for, reach for your standard Klorane or Amika — but for a quick refresh, it definitely does the trick.
Homepage photo: @theouai/Instagram
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