REVIEW: TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

Written by | October 18, 2010

Topics: 4 Rating, Shampoo, TRESemme

TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

Welcome to my first non-food-related review! In this post, I’ll be putting chemicals into my hair instead of my stomach.

I happened to notice TRESemme’s new Fresh Start line via a commercial that caught my attention due to several lines that were said about the product. To give you a bit of context, the point of Fresh Start products is to make your hair look like you washed it when you really haven’t. We’ve all had those days – your groggy brain hits the “off” button instead of “sleep” on your alarm clock, and something in your brain tells you to wake up ten minutes before you’re supposed to be at work. You race around frantically, culling your list of usual morning rituals down to deodorant, teeth-brushing and making sure you don’t make the classic nightmare scenario of going to work with no pants on a reality. The whole shower thing is out of the question; at this point you’re just trying to get to work on time before you get fired for excessive tardiness. Perhaps you should invest in a Clocky.

According to the commercial, women are deeply ashamed of second-day hair. They will swathe themselves in scarves and hang their heads in shame. I have never had anyone comment on my second-day hair, probably because a.) nobody notices or cares, b.) everyone has done it at some point, and c.) most people know that that would be intrusive and rude. Also, instead of hanging my head in shame, I’d probably just say “fuck you, I woke up late”, and that would be that.

But TRESemme obviously feels differently about this. So they created a dry shampoo for your “going hobo” days (as it is referred to in my household). According to them, “Fresh Start dry shampoo for oily and straight hair uses a mineral clay and citrus formula that removes oil and odor while injecting volume…getting refreshed, full-bodied hair has never been so simple.” They also go on to say that you can get “salon healthy hair on the days you skip without the salon price.” This sentence confuses me. Are they implying that most women go to the salon every day before work? That is crazy. The only women who would possibly do that are incredibly rich and don’t have to be anywhere to begin with. TRESemme, you crazy.

TRESemme offers products for both oily, straight hair and curly, dry hair. I chose the former because I am an oily motherfucker. I feel odd describing my hair in such detail on the Internet, but I suppose it’s necessary for the context of this review. My hair is straight and has been long enough to reach my waist for almost my entire life. I used to live 20 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and the humidity brought out my natural oiliness so much that I really couldn’t afford to go hobo, because my hair was greasy within 24 hours of washing. Then I moved to the desert, and my oil levels seem to have gone down to “normal people” levels, so I can go a day without washing my hair, but that’s about it.

Oh, and I also have never used products on my hair, my hair is not dyed, and I let my hair air-dry every day, so it’s pretty much a blank slate on which to experiment. Most guys probably take more time doing their hair than I do.

I was intrigued by this product, so I decided to see how well it actually works. I decided to perform an experiment: how many days, if any, could I get away with JUST using Fresh Start Dry Shampoo? How long would it work? Would all my hair fall out? I will now answer these questions by documenting my process. I have devised a 0-10 system, 0 being “fresh out of the shower” and 10 being “I have the flu and have been bedbound for two weeks with no bathing”. Let’s get started.

Day One
Before shampoo oily/dirty factor: 2
After shampoo oily/dirty factor: Uh…2?

I want to interject something before I even say anything else: DO NOT USE TRESEMME FRESH START DRY SHAMPOO IF YOU ARE AN ASTHMATIC OR HAVE ANY PULMINARY ISSUES. Read on to see why, if you haven’t already figured it out.

Okay so my hair didn’t feel that much different after spraying. I thought maybe I hadn’t sprayed enough on, so I decided to try it again. Recalling memories of watching my mom hose her hair down with hair spray, I attempted to emulate her motions, and sprayed far more vigorously the second time.

Oh. My god. First of all, Fresh Start Dry Shampoo has a VERY strong odor to it, like a mix between hair spray and a really strong perfume. I am allergic to perfume. Second of all, I should have thought to hold my breath, but it wouldn’t have mattered, because a cloying cloud of dry shampoo hung over the sink of my bathroom well after I was done spraying.. I had to stumble out, choking, and actually needed to use my rescue inhaler. I considered stopping this project right then and there, but I only plan on doing this for a few more days, and I’d already done it once, so I figured I’ll stick with it.

All that said, after the second dousing, I got a vision in the mirror of what my hair will look like in about 30 years. There were streaks of grey in it from the shampoo. I let it sit for the recommended 1-2 minutes and then brushed it out, which turned out to be a little harder than I thought since I’d sprayed a pretty high concentration of it in some places. Ladies, if your co-workers don’t notice the strong odor emanating off your head, they probably will notice the sudden grey in your locks. Somebody’s gonna piece it together and figure out you didn’t shower today!

Day One, after shampoo oily/dirty factor (take two): 0

TRESemme may wind up killing me, but I’ll go out with people thinking I’d washed my hair today. I discovered that you have to give it a few minutes, but after that, my hair really didn’t feel oily at all, and there was a noticeable fluff to it that it was lacking beforehand.

TRESemme wins day one in the hair department, loses in the “I can breathe” department. We shall see how things go on day two.

Day Two
Before shampoo oily/dirty factor: 3
After shampoo oily/dirty factor: 2

I remembered to hold my breath this time, which helped things immensely. I also got shampoo spray all over my shirt and hands. I was pretty amazed at how long the shampoo held out from yesterday. I noticed a diminish in returns on day two, but I still felt like I could get away with going to work in a professional environment. I felt like my hair had a strange texture, though, like it was a little oily but dry at the same time. I wonder if Fresh Start Dry Shampoo is actually a desiccant. I understand that the powder is supposed to soak up and wick away the oils, but the idea that my hair is being treated like a bag of beef jerky is disturbing.

Day Three
Before shampoo oily/dirty factor: 6
After shampoo oily/dirty factor: Data not available

I decided to end my experiment on day three because my hair was getting pretty oily and yet the texture was still like hay. The build-up of powder was enough that I could actually feel it on my hands when I touched my hair. It brought back memories of a very traumatic time in my life. I spent a week with friends at a beach house after I graduated high school. I thought it would be a great idea to dye my hair with a temporary black-with-blue undertones dye. I have blonde hair. This all turned out to be a very bad idea, since instead of being black, it turned my hair bright blue. At the end of the week, I was starting a job at a very large amusement park with a very strict dress code, and blue hair wasn’t exactly on the list. So I had to cover the temporary dye with permanent black dye. My mother did not talk to me for days. Eventually, she dragged me to the salon. Three days and 16 hours later, my hair was blonde again, but it had the texture of hay and I couldn’t even get a brush through it. I cried. That is how my hair felt on day three, and I didn’t like remembering those days.

So, I took a shower. It was the best shower ever. I got my real hair back!

So what’s the verdict? TRESemme never explicitly says that this product is only to be used for one day, but I think they convey that idea pretty well in the commercial. You can’t use Fresh Start Dry Shampoo forever. So, judging on day one’s results, the shampoo does its job, but it makes the texture of your hair kind of freaky. Plus, it’s strongly scented, can give you an asthma attack, gets everywhere, and can leave grey streaks in your hair if you aren’t careful. Personally, I’d rather just go hobo, but if you’re dead serious about having “shower fresh” hair, I guess it accomplishes that pretty well in the end.

Oh, and one last word of caution: don’t smoke while using this product!

TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo Flammable

Item: TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo
Price: $5.29
Size: 5.7 ounces
Purchased at: Albertson’s
Rating: 4 out of 10
Pros: Does make second-day hair look refreshed. Will reduce shame in women with second-day hair concerns. Clocky. Easy to use and faster than a shower. Getting to see what my old woman hair will look like.
Cons: Very strong smell. Can get everywhere if you’re not careful. Feeling like beef jerky. Will irritate sensitive lungs if inhaled. Traumatic salon memories. Will leave grey streaks if you don’t brush it out enough. Creepy hay hair feeling.






17 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Marvo says:

    Sometimes I don’t wash my hair for several days so that I can use the oil as a natural hair styling product.

    I am a slob. :(

  2. amanda says:

    I actually just saw this commerical for this product this weekend (I Tivo everything and rarely watch commericals). Thanks for the review and looks like I will not be purchasing it since my hair gets extremely greasy looking. I have tried other dried shampoos in the past that sound way better and don’t have the strong perfume smell. Ewww!

  3. Debbie says:

    I’m so glad you posted this — I bought a can because I found it on sale for around four bucks and I am also an oily motherfucker. I hadn’t tried it yet because I wanted to wait until I could use it on a day that I didn’t have to go anywhere, or sometime when I could go ahead and wash it out in the shower if it didn’t seem right. Theory confirmed, I’ll wait for a day I don’t have to leave the house then try it on my own greazy bangs.

  4. Joy says:

    I use non-talc (which is basically corn starch) baby powder in my hair when it gets oily, especially my bangs. It has a nice baby powder scent, and really gets the oils out. I keep it in a salt shaker in my bathroom, and shake some into my palms. I then comb my hair with my fingers, and shake/brush out my hair after a few minutes. It is a bit messy, but easily cleaned. Should be much cheaper than buying the spray, since you can buy bulk. Google baby powder and hair, and there should be some tutorials on youtube. :)

    • Kelley says:

      Back when I had bangs I would use baby powder on them, too, but I just used the Johnson & Johnson kind. I would use it on my whole head in desperate times, also. I had completely forgotten about that until you posted this. It did work quite well, and it smelled better than this spray.

  5. it’s awesome that you reviewed a dry shampoo. i was just looking into them a couple of weeks back. you totally should have reviewed this one – http://www.sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P230539&categoryId=B70
    i say that for totally selfish reasons being as it is the one i want to buy. like you, i never used dry shampoo. but according to my indepth research on the matter…

    1. they do tend to smell. either like chemicals or strong perfume. pick your devil.
    2. they come in diff colors for we folks with dark hair, but when using the white stuff, use a small amount and blend.
    3. and, the majority says that the sprinkle kind, over the spray kind, works better. so long as you use it carefully.

    one more thing. i only wash my hair like every three days. and i know a ton of women that do this, too. washing your hair daily drys it up. skipping days lets your nature oils replenish your hair and scalp. it’s a good thing. although i suppose y’all greasers couldn’t get away with it.

    speaking of greasers, i have one question. oiliness, is this a japanese thang? my ex is japanese and oily, too. and also hairy. yeah, who knew. two things i wouldn’t associate with japanese men, but eh.

    this was way too long.

    • Kelley says:

      After looking at that website, I wish I’d used Sephora, too. Sounds like it would have gone much better.

      I’m not Japanese, so I cannot speak for their grease levels. That sounds racist, somehow. I’m so white I’m practically translucent, and have a mostly German heritage. My mom is also a greasy motherfucker. So maybe Germans are greasy? Does that make me sound less racist, or more?

  6. Kelley says:

    I wanted to mention this in the post, but it was already too long, so I’ll add it here: there’s this whole anti-washing-your-hair movement that’s been going on for a while that I find interesting. You can Google it and find tons of articles and conversations about it, but here’s a start: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/21/the-case-for-not-washing-_n_87772.html

    I’m pretty sure they don’t mean using dry shampoo every day. After a week, you’d look like an 18th century dignitary.

  7. kelley,

    hmmm. i suppose i see what you mean. if you’re not close with someone it’s hard to tell, especially online, if they’re part of the hitler youth. and while i am german, like you, and can speak german, i am not of that particular movement. bah.

    i apologize if it sounded bad. it was said in a joking kind of manner. this site pushes those kinds of boundries, so i didn’t think it would be taken any way but that. but i do understand, and apologize.

    i think the translucent german thing is pretty common. i’m half german and half celtic and beyond pale. anytime i am in the sun, i burn. i cannot tan, it’s not possible. but, as i became the old woman that i am, i learned to appreciate my lack of skin cancer. wait, is that bad to say?

    now i feel like i have to censor everything i say or i’ll sound like a racist. this coming from a chick who kicked her own sister out of her house, in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter, when she was eight months pregnant for downing jewish people.

    kelley, you dulled my brightly glowing rainbow of love today. i am ashamed.

    okay, i defended my honor long enough. i am going to read your link right now, too. i’m interested!

    • Kelley says:

      Bwahahaha, I was not in any way trying to imply you were racist, I was just joking about ME being racist. If I were easily offended, I certainly wouldn’t be writing for OR reading this website. So don’t feel you have to defend yourself.

      Also, high five, German Power! Oh wait…shoot. *grin*

  8. beelzebub says:

    I remember seeing a product just like this years ago … I think that it was called Psssst. Shampoo replacement in a can seems gross still …

  9. Amy says:

    Ha! I could have saved you the trouble and told you not to waste your time on this stuff. They had some really good coupons for it a while back when it first came out so I bought TWO cans because I was so sure it would be the answer to my shower slacking dreams. Yeah, not so much. And I might add, eeewwwwww. I have very long hair so I could totally smell it every time my hair moved and the texture was grotesque. I quickly took my purchase back to Target and got a full refund. I love how the commercial shows women with glossy shiny gorgeous hair since that’s the exact opposite of what actually happens.

  10. aly says:

    i’m with amy on this one. it leaves a funky texture in your hair so your hair ends up feeling like it is covered in clay or something. it also makes your hair totally matte, which is great for anti-greasy make-up but not so great for hair. also, the smell is overwhelming so i just end up self-conscious about how it smells all day instead of self-conscious about my greasy head…

    definitely a fail and i wish i’d been smart enough to save my receipt so i could return it.

    while we’re on this subject, any of you greasers have a recommended shampoo to tame the oil?

  11. Chuck says:

    Once again, a TIB reviewer sacrifices so that we may all learn. Glad you had the rescue inhaler handy.

    Speaking of going to the salon every day, I remember Oprah talking on her show about how nice her hair looked. She said something to the effect of, yours could look this nice every day too, if you had Phranc (her hairdresser on the show.) She then said on her days off her hair looks like Buckwheat. (Not making this up!)

    Being a guy and thus rather slovenly, I’d probably skip using this and just hope everyone thought I used extra hair gel or something.

    • Kelley says:

      Haha. Oh, that Oprah! What a bitch!

      Guys are jerks because they can just pretend the grease is hair gel. Or just shave their heads. Man, I could cut like, at least five minutes off my shower time if I shaved my head.

      Now I want to pull a Brittany Spears, and now I hate myself for saying such a phrase as “pull a Brittany Spears”. Dammit!

  12. Gina says:

    This is by far the worst dry shampoo I’ve ever used. Ones that use rice powder or another starch work much better than this clay crap.

  13. the pizza says:

    I tried this stuff. I’m sort of metro. and I have magical blessed hair that only needs to be washed twice a month…it’s true. but I wondered if I could cut it down to once a month with this magical dry shampoo product.

    it gave me dandruff. bad.



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