I may not be proud to admit it, but it’s the truth: The mornings I wake up and refresh my hair with dry shampoo far outnumber the ones where I actually wash my hair. While it’s no secret that dry shampoos are convenient, time-saving, and help achieve that sought-after lived-in texture with just a few sprays, I’ve found it’s quite possible to have too much of a good thing.
But before we get into the specifics, let’s dive into what exactly a cleansing oil does (and how you can benefit from one). Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist, explains that cleansing oils attract impurities like a magnet by gently pulling out build-up on your scalp from products that are being overused and negatively impacting your hair follicles (so, in my case, dry shampoo).
When looking for a cleansing oil, Dr. Jaliman recommends choosing a gentle formula that won’t strip your hair and scalp of its essential oils, but instead, is formulated with natural ingredients that absorb dirt and oil. While some cleansing oils take the place of regular shampoo, Dr. Jaliman points out that Amika, my personal go-to, is a pre-shampoo oil designed to be applied before your regular wash, making it an ideal fit for almost all hair types.
To buy: Amika Reset Pink Charcoal Scalp Cleansing Oil, $25; amazon.com
Meant to be applied to dry hair before getting in the shower, Amika’s cleansing oil is designed with a thin, nozzled applicator so you can easily apply the product directly to the scalp of sectioned-off hair. You’ll then want to distribute the oil evenly by massaging it into your scalp and allowing it to sit for five minutes while it works its detoxifying, menthol-infused magic. When you get into the shower, the oil transforms into a milky texture, which creates a light sudsy-foam that rinses out and leaves your scalp feeling clean and refreshed.
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