Crown Affair’s Dry Shampoo is the Best Kind of Retro

The haircare line’s latest launch makes a utilitarian product feel like a luxurious ritual.

Photo courtesy of Crown Affair.

On the luxuriousness scale of personal care products, with 1 being Cetaphil and 10 being a flagon of Tom Ford body oil, most dry shampoos are a .5 at best. There’s just nothing inherently sexy about a product that’s meant to camouflage greasy roots. But in a world of workaday aerosols and messy powders, one new product stands out.

The Dry Shampoo from Crown Affair, a clean haircare line launched last year, will change your whole perspective on freshening up your hair between washes. First of all, the packaging looks like the sort of thing a 1950s Hollywood starlet might leave out on her vanity table (the kind with a chair and a fabric skirt, of course), complete with a flat Kabuki brush that nests inside the cap. Even better, the application process recalls the indulgence of the beauty rituals of that era: A couple of taps of the loose, superfine powder formulation into the cap, followed by a dab of the brush and a few strokes to your scalp is all you need to go from flat and oily to fresh and voluminous.

Formulated with tapioca starch, persimmon powder and tsubaki seed oil, it leaves behind a much lighter, silkier result than many of the other popular brands I’ve tried, which can feel sticky or gritty. And the scent, a bright, almost tart blend of bergamot, yuzu and lemongrass (it reminds me of Anna Sui’s Dolly Girl perfume, an early aughts classic) will hide all manner of sins. It’s also almost impossible to use too much of it: even the most generous dusting on my dark brown hair never left a white cast.

There’s something so satisfying about a haircare moment that requires you to slow down and be delicate with yourself. Every time I’ve used this dry shampoo over the past couple of weeks, I no longer feel like a burnt out millennial trying to look marginally more put together for her next meeting. I am transformed into a sophisticated signorina, tending to her coiffure. (Also, I smell fabulous.)