Tried and tested: The dry shampoo challenge

The Time Out KL team goes on a three-day no-poo challenge to review dry shampoos

Photo: Hizwan Hamid

How long can you go without washing your hair? In this experiment, we try six dry shampoo brands in preparation for possible water shortages and missed alarm clocks. Here's what happened. 

Rene Furterer

Rene Furterer

Naturia, RM65
On Saturday night, I washed my fine, straight (‘Chinese’) hair, which stayed grease-free until Wednesday. I used Naturia on my slightly flat hair on Thursday. Voila, hair is lighter, more malleable, and most importantly, has impressive volume. This Parisian brand knows its business. However, the second use is a different story. My scalp became full of flaky dandruff-looking bits, which took serious effort to get rid of. That being said, there was still no need to tie my hair up as it looked clean and bouncy. On Friday, I had managed to gross everyone out and win the challenge. If you ask me, Rene Furterer is great when you need an extra boost of volume or just want to extend your wash by one day.
Joyce Koh

Available at Sasa outlets.



Express dry shampoo, RM32
Ironically, the ingredients include ‘Aqua (Water)’, which I thought odd as it definitely says ‘Express dry shampoo’ on the bottle. That aside, the formula worked well for me and I’m pretty happy with the results. It didn’t leave any residue, has a rather pleasant scent, and even helped tame the pesky frizzy strands on the top of my head. My hair needs its daily wash and TLC to keep it neat and controllable; I’ll feel greasy and gross otherwise. Having said that, although this shampoo didn’t leave my hair feeling the cleanest, it didn’t leave it feeling dirty too! I did not see or even feel any of my usual unruliness and grossness of unwashed hair. Fooled even me when I looked in the mirror, and that is saying something.
Chai Tze Yuen

Available at Sephora outlets.



Tecni Art Fresh Dust, RM45
I’ve always had the impression that baby powder should be rubbed on your butt, nowhere else. So when a TOKL writer described that that is exactly how using a dry shampoo feels like, I let out a whimper. Still, I sprayed the Fresh Dust warily at first, and gave my hair a quick blow-dry because I’m not genetically blessed like Kim Kardashian (I mean, um, her hair). But this immediately proved unnecessary because the dry shampoo not only resurrected some volume in my locks, it also didn’t leave any grubby smudges on my pillow. My hair skipped the suds for three days; it didn’t smell, but I was itching, literally, to go back to my normal shampoo, unfortunately.
Kong Wai Yeng

Available at Hair Tecno.


Lakmé Cool brush up, RM65
Long before dry shampoo became a thing in KL, I was using baby powder on my hair between washes – mostly because I’m lazy, and my heavily-bleached, thick hair takes absolutely hours to dry. One time, I went six whole days without a wash. That’s right, I’m a classy lady. I’m new to – my go-to brand is Percy & Reed – but I’m a happy convert now. It’s colour-safe, lightweight and has thermal and UV protection – but most importantly, it smells like green tea. With, I lasted four days between washes; I could have gone on as my hair didn’t look greasy or unclean – in fact, it added bounce, shape and volume – but I made the mistake of going for a jog in a light drizzle. You win this time, Joyce.
Ng Su Ann

Available at Shins outlets.

Percy & Reed

Percy & Reed

No-Fuss Fabulousness, RM44
I have (happily) failed the dry shampoo test. As much as I love my messy hobo look, I’d rather not look like a complete cave(wo) man. The dry shampoo was alright; the texture was light and airy. By the third day, my hair wasn’t as oily as it would have been without the dry shampoo, but my scalp felt weird. My other problem with it is that it made my flyaway hair look more obvious. Also, I miss the smell of my usual shampoo; this one smells like, well, nothing. Side note: Apparently, they also have a dry conditioner to go along with it.
Nadia Rosli

Available at Sephora outlets.



Batiste Cherry, RM29.90
I admit I was a little sceptical about the scent (‘fruity & cheeky’ sounds like it’s better suited for Paris Hilton’s BFF), but I actually really like this dry shampoo. I’m the kind who needs to wash her hair every night (or every other night), but going three days without washing with only this cherry-scented product to rely on wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be – it kept my hair fresh. Unlike other dry shampoos I’ve tried, this one didn’t result in a greasy build-up at the end of the day, although I did feel the need to use it daily to maintain the freshness (and peace of mind). Obviously nothing beats the satisfaction of washing your hair, but I’m going to continue with Batiste for non-wash days.
Syarifah Syazana

Available at Village Grocer.