Here's why Olaplex's new launch is raising the dry shampoo game

olaplex no4d dry shampoo
Our thoughts on the new Olaplex dry shampoo.

I like to think the slicked-back bun hairstyle is a personality trait of mine. Yes, it looks effortlessly chic, but really, it’s masking the insane amount of grease residing in my hair. I’m not even ashamed to say it: I’m a pro at skipping wash day, so an effective dry shampoo is my must have.

Whether I’m looking for a last-minute zhuzh or need to tackle some errands, a dry shampoo is a staple that slots perfectly into my beauty arsenal. I have so many bottles scattered around my bedroom, but few are able to refresh my lengths and absorb excess oil without conjuring up a dry, dusty mess. So, when news landed that one of the biggest names in the hair care bizz is launching its own iteration, literal shivers went down my spine. To see the words ‘Olaplex’ and ‘dry shampoo’ in the same sentence, was a moment I never thought I’d experience in this lifetime, yet here we are.

You’re probably clued up on the Olaplex system: it’s the gold-standard salon and at-home treatment process that can actually repair damaged hair. How? It’s all thanks to the brand’s patented ingredient – bis-aminopropyl digloycol dimaleate – which in human language essentially means it can rebuild broken bonds and restore brittle strands back to health.

As a beauty writer, I always get asked whether Olaplex is worth the hype, and my answer is always: ‘Omg do you live under a rock? 100%’. But, up until now, its line-up has consisted of reparative treatments. Taking a deep dive into the styling sector is a major move from the world-renowned brand known for hair care. I had to know whether this innovation could salvage my greasy roots and inject some life back into my limp strands.

What is the Olaplex No.4D dry shampoo?

So, what’s the deal? Well, there’s no better person to talk you through than Halley Brisker, Olaplex artist and celebrity stylist. “I have found dry shampoos tricky over the years, often not delivering on their promise and with an unsatisfactory finish, but Olaplex No.4D Dry Shampoo is different. It’s the exception in fact,” says Halley.

Dry shampoo is a fast-track solution to make your lengths look like they’ve been treated to a blow-dry, but pick a formula that’s too dense, and it can easily weigh down your hair. What's so refreshing about No.4D is how weightless it feels. “It’s a super lightweight formula that leaves hair feeling clean and fresh without any powdery residue or uncomfortable scalp build-up,” says Halley. “It absorbs oil to create a just-washed result and does so while detoxifying, soothing your scalp and preventing pores from clogging,” he adds.

Unlike many bottles out there, this dry shampoo applies completely invisible and needs little to zero elbow grease to fluff the product in. It’s as easy as spritz and go. “The formula contains super fine rice starch which allows for impressive oil absorption with the tiniest particles, so it doesn’t irritate the scalp or clog pores,” says Halley. There’s also rambutan seed extract – a good antioxidant source – that soothes the scalp, detoxifies and neutralises pollutants and impurities.

Now, here’s the really exciting part: not only does it soak up oil and give your hair a lighter-than-light freshening, but it’s also formulated with the brand’s famed bond-building technology. “Of course, it wouldn't be Olaplex without the Bond Building Technology which is patented to the brand. It's the magic ingredient which relinks broken bonds in the hair to repair, protect and strengthen hair,” says Halley. So, really it does much more than your average dry shampoo: not only does it absorb excess oil and refresh your strands, but it also has your hair’s long-term health in mind by helping to relink broken bonds. Plus, it’s free of all nasties (like sulphates and parabens) and is completely vegan. Mind = blown.

Olaplex No.4D dry shampoo: The Cosmo verdict

I’ve worked my way through many dry shampoo bottles and only a select few have made the cut: they’re either too lightweight and do nothing, or too heavy and coat my hair in a dusty white blanket. This new drop truly impressed me. I’ve been using the dry shampoo for a good few weeks now – I was even lucky enough for Halley to style my hair with it – and can pledge allegiance to all hair obsessives out there, I’ve never come across a dry shampoo like it.

The first thing to applaud is how lightweight it feels. The shampoo doesn’t settle or leave a powdery residue, but instead, the uber-fine micro starch soaks up oil and gives my hair that weightless and post-wash bounce. I also love how fresh and cleansed it somehow makes my scalp feel. Other dry shampoos I’ve tried – while they help to reduce grease – still can’t mask the fact that my hair is dirty and in serious need of a wash. What’s so pleasing about this formula is that it does a thorough job at eliminating oil, without changing the texture of my hair (aka, there’s no chalkiness in sight).

We often resort to dry shampoo as a quick fix to spray through our roots, and while you absolutely can do this with No.4D, it also has many more uses. Halley demonstrated to me that one of the most effective ways to use the dry shampoo is to fluff it through your lengths to style your hair – adding texture and plumpness in the process. A few spritzes do the job and if you hold it about 6-10 inches away from your head (as recommended by Halley) and spray into your roots, the result is a weightless, just-washed lift. It has some serious volumising power, and can tackle even the greasiest of roots. The smell is also spot on: it’s not overpowering, but has a light and sweet-smelling aroma which always helps if you’re yet to properly hit the shower.

The only reservation I have is the price: it’s not exactly cheap for a dry shampoo. However, you only need a small amount to see a difference and with a 250ml bottle at your disposal, it’ll take you a while to work through it. Plus, as it goes with the rest of the Olaplex range, this launch takes styling standards to a completely new level, so it’s truly worth it.

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