I only require three things out of a shampoo: I need it to look good, smell good, and feel good. That’s it. That set of standards crosses over to dry shampoo too, and probably even more so because it’s a lot harder to create freshness out of the literal dirt that is on second and/or third day hair. I find myself on a constant quest for the perfect dry shampoo, and as such have tried what seems like thousands of them, including the newest offerings by Herbal Essences, which, at this point, I can safely say are not only the worst dry shampoos I’ve ever tried, but are also bordering on some of the worst hair products I’ve tried period. Coming from a product junkie, that says a lot.
To be fair, Herbal Essences had only just recently released these dry shampoos when I bought them, so at the time the jury was still out on their performance save for a few reviews on Amazon, and as such I had no idea what I was getting into. I first happened upon these products while at Target to stock up on my previous Dove dry shampoo which I love, and I looked over on the next shelf and saw that HE had their own new line of dry shampoos. Curious, I picked up two different scents: Naked and Rose, which accompany the Naked and Color Me Happy ranges in the HE brand, respectively. To get an idea of the scent of each one, I took a whiff of the regular shampoos in both lines, and was pretty impressed by how light and fresh they both smelled. Herbal Essences is known for having overly fruity and food-like scents to their products, so I was pretty happy they managed to make the dry shampoos smell light and inoffensive. At $5.99 a bottle for 5oz. I figured I had nothing to lose, so I picked up both scents instead of the Dove I initially went in for and was on my way.
Oh HE dry shampoo, how much do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways. First of all, I never actually got to try the original bottles that I bought. Why? Because the bottles broke in transit to my house! They were in a padded bag that was hardly moved, yet they still managed to bust open and leak all over everything, so by the time I got home both bottles were practically empty. Needless to say, I was beyond furious, and immediately went back to Target to get replacement bottles. This time I wrapped them up carefully and they managed to stay in tact until I got home. With the red flag of flimsy packaging still waving high in my mind, I was hesitant to try them out, and rightly so. The next day, I applied the Naked scent to my fine, totally normal (not too oily nor too dry) hair, only on the roots, and my result was tacky, lifeless, flat, shine-zapped hair. If glue was in an aerosol can, this product would be it. Brushing it through was nearly impossible, and when I did manage to comb all of the product in my hair was dull and one-dimensional, with little to no cleansed feeling to boot. I could barely stand to even look at my hair with those results, so I just threw it into a bun so I wouldn’t have to touch or acknowledge how awful it felt until I washed it that night.
The following day, beyond hesitant and with good reason, I decided to try the Rose scent; the results were exactly the same, only this scent boasted the added detriment of leaving a white film on my normally very shiny, multi-faceted red hair. This product caused my hair to look at least 30 years older than it actually is. I was so incredibly angry and disappointed (and quite frankly grossed out) that I ultimately ended up taking a shower right after applying it just to get rid of the nastiness, and soon after returned both the Naked and Rose scents back to the store.
Now, I understand that dry shampoo is very much an experimental product, but for two supposedly different products to both have cringeworthy results makes me very strongly believe that the problem lies within the products, not user error. Sorry Herbal Essences, it’s not me, it’s you.
Ladies and gents, if you’re looking for a decent drugstore dry shampoo, steer clear of the HE range – that is, unless looking like you’re prematurely graying is the look you’re going for.