It might be an unpopular opinion, but up until approximately three days ago, I was not a fan of dry shampoo. I won't pretend it's not the occasional godsend—say, when I have a big meeting in less than an hour and even a quick topknot looks unacceptably greasy—but every time I use it, I feel like I'm unloading unnecessary chemicals onto my scalp. (That's not even to mention that so many formulas often leave a weird residue, a white cast, or both.)
It turns out I just needed a new strategy, and interestingly, it has little to do with making unwashed hair look somewhat passable. Earlier this week, I found myself in L.A.'s Venice neighborhood to get a first look at Cabin, the upcoming one-room salon of hairstylist Kristen Shaw. Located in a quiet back garden off Abbot Kinney, the rustic-cool studio very much embodies Shaw's effortless vibe. After my first glimpse of Shaw's own perfectly tousled waves, I was ready to hear any and all of her styling secrets. She delivered—which brings me back to dry shampoo.
While working on my locks with products from Playa, a minimalist, plant-centric haircare line set to launch this June (more on that very soon), Shaw revealed her key tip for those piece-y, beachy waves that somehow never look frizzy, limp, or messy on the red carpet. She starts by running a small amount of oil along the ends of the hair before blasting a bit of dry shampoo over the oil. This two-step process, she says, keeps the waves glossy and moisturized while also offering additional texture and separation (read: "don't-care" hair—but elevated).
I left Cabin almost a dry-shampoo convert—before totally committing, I had to see how well the tip worked with my own very unprofessional touch. I've since tried it out using two different product combinations for good measure: Playa's Pure Dry Shampoo ($26) and heavenly Ritual Hair Oil ($38), as well as La Tierra Sagrada's Jojoba Oil ($24) paired with R+Co's Death Valley Dry Shampoo ($17). The verdict? Dry shampoo, let's be friends. (Just stay away from my roots, okay?)
Shop more of our go-to dry shampoos below.