When you don’t have the time or ability to wash your hair — say, you’re having a busy day, or you’re camping — there are options out there to help. Years ago, one of my college friends used to sprinkle a little baby powder in her hair when she needed to quickly freshen up. The powder, when brushed into the hair and scalp, helps to absorb grease.
People have been using various powders such as clay powder or certain types of starch to clean hair for a long a time. People in Asia may have used clay powder to clean their hair in the 15th century, and clay powders were popular during the Elizabethan era during the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
These days, there are dedicated options when it comes to quickly “washing” your hair. Commercially produced dry shampoo has been around since at least the 1940s, and dry shampoo in easy-spray aerosol cans seems to have become more popular in recent years. Batiste is one of the more common brands I often see on store shelves, but other name brands such as TRESemme, Dove, and Garnier Fructis also sell their own versions.
These dry shampoos have a few ingredients in common. They usually contain some kind of starch to absorb oil and grease. Many also contain magnesium stearate to keep the starch from clumping. They also typically include alcohol, butane, and/or propane as a propellant.
Dry shampoos don’t eliminate the need for regular washings with water and shampoo. They can leave behind a residue that builds up, so eventually you’ll need to wash and rinse everything out.
With that said, Dollar Tree sells its own version of dry shampoo. When I spotted it recently, I decided to see how it compares to name-brand dry shampoos I’ve tried.
Dry shampoo at Dollar Tree costs $1.25 (like everything at Dollar Tree costs) for a 1.6-ounce can. That comes out to about 78 cents per ounce.
For comparison, Batiste Original Dry Shampoo cost $1.53 per ounce at Walmart at the time of publication, and Dove dry shampoo cost $1.20 per ounce at Walmart at the time of publication. Walmart also sells dry shampoo under its Equate house brand for 49 cents per ounce at the time of publication, which is much less than the Dollar Tree dry shampoo. So, this DT dry shampoo is significantly cheaper per ounce than most name-brand dry shampoos, but it costs more than other store brand dry shampoos.
The Dollar Tree dry shampoo is also sold in a smaller can than many other dry shampoos, and smaller packages don’t always get you the better deal. If you need a small can for travel purposes, though, maybe the Dollar Tree version is worth it.
Ingredients for the Dollar Tree dry shampoo are butane, propane, alcohol (these first three ingredients are all propellants), aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, magnesium stearate (to prevent the starch from forming clumps), cetrimonium chloride (a starch), isopropyl myristate, and fragrance.
This dry shampoo is distributed by Greenbrier International, Inc., which is the company behind Dollar Tree private label products. The can says this is comparable to Batiste dry shampoo, but the can also states this product is not manufactured or distributed by Church & Dwight Co. Inc., which distributes Batiste products.
The can states to “spray, style & go!” It also says this is “perfect to use in between washes.”
I noticed after purchasing this that it was manufactured in October of 2020 and had an expiration or best-by date of April of 2022, which was right around the time I bought it.
The can says to shake well before use. Hold the an 8-10 inches from the hair and apply to roots and oily areas. Massage into hair to fully absorb oil. Then comb out and style as desired.
My teenager tried this on her hair, and the first thing we noticed was the smell. The can seems to indicate it has a “blossom” scent. We thought it smelled very sweet, sometimes with notes that reminded us of maple syrup, of all things. We could also smell the alcohol when we got close to my daughter’s head, but that smell should fade as the spray dries.
I’m accustomed to many dry shampoos — even name brands — having strong floral or perfume-like smells, and it’s one reason why I don’t like to use them, because they often give me a headache. This particular dry shampoo has one of the more unusual scents I’ve encountered in dry shampoos.
My daughter disliked the smell enough that she decided to go ahead and wash her hair with water and shampoo after trying it out.
As far as how this does absorbing grease and making hair look refreshed, it seems to do about as good a job as other brands I’ve used. But based on the smell, we’ll probably be sticking with other brands for those occasional times when we need dry shampoo.
Dollar Tree Dry Shampoo claims to be comparable to Batiste dry shampoo. It costs less per ounce than name-brand dry shampoos, but it costs more per ounce than other store brand dry shampoos. It does have the benefit of coming in a smaller can, so it’s easily packable if you’re traveling, in a hurry, or camping and need a quick hair refresher. This shampoo works by absorbing oil and grease in the hair. Dry shampoo often has a strong scent to us; however, we especially did not care for this dry shampoo’s scent. It is very sweet, and some whiffs almost reminded us of maple syrup. It also has a stronger alcohol scent compared to other dry shampoos we’ve tried. If you need dry shampoo, there are better brands out there.