Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Product Review/Quick Tip Combo!
Batiste Dry Shampoo

I'm going to start this review with a quick tip you may not all know: you should NOT wash your hair daily. Shampooing washes away the natural oils produced by the scalp; this oil is your hair's built in conditioner that helps to protect against fraying and breaking. Experts recommend washing no more frequently than every other day. For dry, coarse, extremely curly, or chemically treated hair, that frequency drops to only 2-3 times a week.

Unfortunately, for those of us that have naturally fine hair, as well as those with overly active oil glands (if your facial skin is oily, your scalp is likely to be as well) skipping even a day can leave us with lank, dull, plain ol' nasty hair.

When I first started hearing about dry shampoos, I was hopeful I'd found the answer to this catch 22. I'd experimented with baby powder and corn starch in my youth, and while they worked to absorb the oil, they also left my hair with a whitish cast that hasn't been popular since the 18th century. Then I happened upon Bumble & Bumble's version, only to be disappointed again. Put off by the high-end product's matching high-end price tag, I decided to go in the opposite direction- start at the bottom of the price tag totem, and work my way up until I found the right stuff.

Luckily, I didn't have far to go- whilst perusing my local Sally Beauty Supply, I stumbled across Batiste Dry Shampoo. A cult (OK, not so "cult"- it's a #1 seller) favorite in the UK, I was familiar with the brand, so without hesitation, I snatched up a can at a thrifty $7.49.

Batiste is available in the US in 2 scents: Original Batiste is a clean, fresh scent with a crisp floral undertone. Batiste Blush is powdery, with more prevalent (but still light) floral notes. Both versions are light enough that they simply serve to freshen the hair, but won't conflict with any other perfume you happen to wear. Several other scents, as well as two colored versions, are available in the UK, but for some reason, not stateside.

I'll admit, I was skeptical about Batiste- I searched far and wide for a tinted dry shampoo before buying this one, because I was convinced that the white powder would make my hair look dull. What a nice surprise when I found that Batiste did nothing of the sort. Though it sprays on white, once it's shaken out & brushed through, my hair looks fresh, clean and, dare I say, shiny. My hair is a medium bright red, but I also tested it on my sister, who has brown hair that's so dark most call it black. No white in sight.

So, we now know that Batiste is light on the pocketbook, and doesn't leave you looking like you've had a food fight in a bakery- but is it really an apt substitute for the suds? I'd have to give an emphatic YES!!! I usually use Batiste on my 2nd day post-wash, when my roots are showing some definite slick- the point at which I couldn't leave the house without eliciting stares. I like to apply the spray directly to my roots, parting every 2 inches or so, and then let it sit for a few minutes before shaking it out. (I usually spray it in before I dress and leave it until I'm done.) Then, I flip my hair upside down and use my fingertips to rustle the roots and work the powder out, being careful not to miss less visible spots like around my temples and behind my ears. After 15 seconds or so, I flip back over, brush through, and I'm ready to go.

I'd give Batiste a 9 out of 10. Since discovering it, I haven't been tempted by the (more expensive) alternatives- I've repurchased several times, and will continue to do so. As I've mentioned before, I doubt you'll ever see me give a perfect 10, because I'm a firm believer that there's always room for improvement. Having said that, I can't imagine what improvement Batiste needs- if I had a "desert island" bag, this would certainly be in it!

-Inexpensive; it's easily 1/2 to 1/3 of the price of comparable products.
-Readily available- even my local grocery store stocks it!
-Quick and easy alternative to traditional shampoo (great for extending time between blow-outs!)
-Doesn't look white or powdery, even in dark hair
-Hair stays relatively shiny after use- it's not a shine serum, but it doesn't dull hair like some other dry options I've tried.
-Spray goes where you want it- no errant flecks of powder all over your face, clothing or bathroom floor!
-Two scents available (more in the UK) both are clean but not overbearing.
-Compact canister is good for travel- other brands' cans are 3 times the size, yet contain LESS product!

- I really can't think of only gripe is that Batiste doesn't offer all of the scents (and the colored versions) in the US.
- Though I don't really consider it a "con", I should caution: you may not get as many uses out of a can as you'd initially expect, I'd say I get around 10 applications. I guess I was comparing it to a similarly sized can of hairspray and expecting as many uses. Then I realized that, unless you're a helmet head, you probably don't use nearly as much hairspray as dry shampoo, so it makes sense that it wouldn't last as long. When I paid $30+ for Bumble and Bumble's Hair Powder, the fact that I only got a few uses was a major con, but since Batiste is sooooo much cheaper, and I actually get more than B&B's, I personally consider it a non-issue.


Phyrra said...

I use Batiste and love it :)

Aquaheart said...

Interesting... I'm going to have to really look into Batiste more now! Great post! :D

Saila said...

I love Batiste but I hate the smell! The product really works but I'm really sensitive to scents and I feel like the smell lingers around me for ages. I use dry shampoo when I ride my bike to work (because I don't want to do the whole wash-and-blowdry session in the morning). Another great substitute is talcum powder. But then you have to brush your hair very throroughly or otherwise your scalp will have white powder patches in it :)

Unknown said...

Phyrra, thanks for commenting- it's good to know you're there :)

Stephanie, check your local grocery stores- mine (Kroger) had cans w/ free rebate stickers on the caps! I noticed that you're a cosmetologist; I'm curious as to what you're current favorite is (if you have one!) Let us know what you think if you try Batiste!

Saila, that sucks that you're not fond of the scent- are all of them available where you are? I'd love to see what the "tropical" smells like!

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