Hair powders are a great style refresher, allowing you to perk up tired hair and add texture without washing. No wonder they are fast gaining in popularity.
Men and women will find a powder a handy way to add a little lift to limp locks, without leaving a heavy product feel. Good hair powders are very finely milled, so don't be tempted to try talc as it won't disappear into hair in the same way.
Although dry shampoos may sound as if they do the same job, they are less suited for targeted styling and are designed primarily to absorb oil in hair that really could do with a wash, but isn't able to get the full immersion experience. They also sometimes carry a stronger fragrance to help in the freshening up process.
To find out more about how to make the most of hair powders, we spoke to Guy Roberts, owner of Vada salon. He's a fan and uses powders in the salon and for fashion work. Here's his advice.
What are they and how do they work?
Styling powders are a game changer to how you style your hair. In an often palm-sized pack, they're an antidote to limp locks, boosting volume at the roots without making hair stiff like hairspray.
Who are they most useful for?
Styling powder gives you instant volume: root lift, texture, control and is good for all hair types. Between air conditioning, weather changes and excessive blow drying, hair can start to fall into the brittle, heat-damaged category. The powders are especially good for fine, limp hair and are perfect for that last-minute perk-up, when you go from work to a night on the town.
Do some leave a visible residue (for example, on darker hair) and how do you choose the right one for your hair?
The unscented powder is lightweight and super fine, so it blends easily with a bit of tousling. Although the bottle is often tiny, a shake or two is all you need.
Do you need to wash them out the next day (is there build-up?) or can you restyle your hair?
Apart from providing the textured look, powders have an oil-absorbing affect akin to a dry shampoo, giving you an extra day between washes. These are a solution when you are worried about getting floppy hair through the messy few days until your next shampoo. Say goodbye to "mopville".
THE BEST HAIR POWDERS
1. Evo Haze - $40
This is the powder pick of Guy Roberts and the Vada team. Gives a textured matte finish with lift where you apply it. This is best done by shaking directly on to roots and rubbing to activate. The lift lasts, but you can restyle later if need be by working your fingers back through hair for a secondary boost.
For salon stockists, ph 0800 252 530.
2. Matrix Design Pulse Mega Dust - $21
This lightweight dust from good-value salon brand Matrix is perfect for adding volume to party looks. It gives grip when back-combing and helps achieve no-slip updos. Sprinkle in at the roots and distribute evenly through hair with fingers.
Salon and specialist shampoo shop stockists ph 0800 657 666.
3. Kevin Murphy Powder Puff - $48
The Australian stylist was one of the first to sell a powder and his definitely wins the pretty prize. It also works a treat. For instant bed hair, tap a little into the roots. For shorter styles, it will add messy casual volume. The powder can be applied to damp as well as dry hair and leaves a dry, matte texture.
Salon stockists ph 0800 273 966.
4. L'Oreal Professionnel tecni.art Texture Dust - $33
The perfect powder for a messy look, use it as the end of the styling process for a "puff" effect. Because of its softer hold, the ultra-light texture dust is perfect for fine and curly hair types after a more volumised look with texture and movement.
Ph 0800 657 666.
5. Schwarzkopf Osis Dust It - $29.40
This multi-tasking mattifying powder gives light, natural looking style control with flexible movement. It's especially good at adding volume to fine hair for that "second day" look and feel without adding weight. Sprinkle into palms, rub together and work through.
Salon stockists ph 0800 500 515.