Thursday, June 26, 2014

Are expensive dry shampoos better? Review of Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo

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Okay, so maybe the title of this post is a little grand considering I'm just going to discuss whether or not one particular example of an expensive dry shampoo is "better." But I've pointed out before that I'm a dry shampoo Goldilocks, and I still haven't found the one that's just right. (If you would like to spend your precious time looking at dozens of nearly identical photos of the top of my head - who wouldn't! - check out my dry shampoo tag.) So when I had some HauteLook credits and Oscar Blandi showed up, I decided I would give their dry shampoo a try. I'd heard about it from a few people who love it.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo
So fancy and Italian., it's like the Renaissance.
This stuff sells for $21 at Sephora (though you can find it for less on Amazon and it was $10.50 on HauteLook), so I sure as shit wouldn't have bought it at full price. Consider also that my $3 Suave dry shampoo contains 5 oz. and the Oscar Blandi only contains 2.5 oz. (though I'm not sure if the propellant etc. in the Suave can counts toward that weight?). But what if paying more is really the secret? What if, to find the perfect dry shampoo, I actually had to spend more than $5? Ugh. What a thought.

Maybe there are brilliant and expensive dry shampoos out there.  But my conclusion from trying this product, at least, is that you're not necessarily going to get a superior dry shampoo just by spending more. This stuff works, and it's fine, but it's not noticeably better than any of the cheap dry shampoos I've used in the past.
It's a powder formula, rather than an aerosol, and it dispenses through a narrow spout. You run the end of the spout through the roots of your dry hair and lightly squeeze the bottle to send out puffs of powder. Then, as with all dry shampoos, you spread it through the roots using your fingers, let it sit for a few minutes, and brush it out.

This shit is messy. Do not wear black or dark or important clothing while dispensing it, because it will end up all over you and all over your bathroom. I haven't discovered a technique that allows me to avoid making a mess. With a powder (like cornstarch), I prefer to use a medium-sized makeup brush to apply it. You get a more even application and it's (slightly) less messy. But there's no real way to do that with the Oscar Blandi.
Before: hair not washed for 24 hours.
After: Oscar Blandi dry shampoo.
As you can see in the photo, it does absorb oil and make your hair less greasy-looking. It doesn't add very much volume, like some dry shampoos do. You need to brush this stuff through a lot. I have pretty light hair at the moment, and I can still almost always see some of the powder adhering to my scalp in my part after I've tried to brush it out (see after photo). I've been trying to apply it further from my scalp, but since my hair isn't super thick, it settles there anyway. I can scrape away thick powdery residue throughout the day, which is kind of gross. Maybe no one else notices it, but I do. I think the contrast with the white powder on the scalp would be much more noticeable if my hair (or scalp) were darker. Does anyone have a trick to avoid this problem?

My favorite thing about this particular product is the scent. It's has a light citrusy fragrance that smells more like citronella than lemon. It's pleasant, and it's not overpowering.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend this product, even it it weren't so exorbitantly priced. It works okay, and I like the scent, but it's not exciting. It's not my ideal - my ideal dry shampoo would combine the light fragrance of this with the packaging and performance of one of the cheap Suave options. If you prefer a powder to an aerosol, for environmental or other reasons, I would suggest just using a cheap, widely available powder like corn starch (there are many other options such as rice flour, baby powder, tapioca starch/flour, etc.) and applying it to your roots with a cheap makeup brush. I use the one that came with my Maybelline Mineral Veil Translucent Powder, because it's too stiff and scratchy to use on my face, but it works great with corn starch on my hair.

The only reason I can think to get the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo instead of another option would be if you really like the scent and you want to use a powder product. Powder dry shampoos seem to be consistently more expensive than sprays, for whatever reason. I'm going to look into a way to add fragrance to corn starch, because then I might be able to create my own almost-just-right and incredibly cheap dry shampoo. Stay tuned.


  1. I've heard you can put the powder in a container with some herbs for a few days ( or put some essential oil on a cotton ball and store it with the powder.

    1. I'll try that, thanks! Lavender would be nice.

  2. I've scented cheap body powder (I can't remember if it was a cornstarch base or a talc base) by spraying it with equally-cheap (read: heavy on the alcohol content) perfume*, stirring it around until it was all damp, then waiting for the alcohol to evaporate and re-crushing it back to powder from its clumpy form. Didn't leave a lot of scent behind, but it was enough to cover up the mild unscented-ingredients smell I didn't care for in the powder...

    *come to think of it, I think I've done this twice successfully: once with dollar-store lemon body spray and once with wintergreen rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle (I love wintergreen and use that stuff like weak perfume sometimes).


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