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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Review: TREsemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo

[NOTE: I have just posted a comparison review of TREsemme, Psssssst and Batiste dry shampoos. Click here if you'd to see it.]

Wow! I was seriously thrilled to see all the feedback I received when I posted pics of the new TREsemme Fresh Start and Naturals products I spotted at Walgreens the other day (click here for that post). I'm glad I'm not the only one who gets excited by the prospect of a new drugstore dry shampoo!

There are so few options available to us these days: Batiste at Sally Beauty (click here for my review), Pssst! and now TREsemme are the only dry shampoos I can think of that you can find easily and for under $10. If you don't want to venture into the high-end (and uber-expensive) world of Klorane, Oscar Blandi, Rene Furterer, etc., I'm hoping this review can help you to determine if TREsemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo might be a good fit for you.

I purchased this product at my local Walgreens for $4.99:

OK, so let me show you some pics of what Fresh Start Dry Shampoo did for me. First, let me tell you that I have oily hair, oily skin and side-swept bangs, which makes me a PRIME candidate for dry shampoos. If I try to skip a day of shampooing, my bangs are always the tell-tale sign that I haven't washed my hair that day. They get greasy and stringy (yuck) especially when I pull back the top layer of my bangs and look at the layer that rests on my forehead.

In this first pic, I have pulled back the top layer of my bangs so you can see the oily hair underneath:

You can especially see, on the left side of this pic, that my hair is starting to get that next-day oily/stringy look that I cannot STAND. Ick!

Now here is my hair taken about 30 seconds after I applied three short bursts of Fresh Start Dry Shampoo to my bangs, worked it in a bit with my fingers and then combed my bangs:

First, excuse that patch of whiteness on the upper left side of this photo--that is my gray hair coming through (I started to get gray in my late 20s). I am actually coloring my hair as I type this because, when I saw this photo I was mortifiend that I've been walking around with that much visible gray (not that there's anything wrong with gray, but I just don't like the look of gray on *me*).

Anyway, as you can see in the "after" pic, my hair does look noticiably less oily, and the color didn't really change at all (no white, powdery cast as is the case with a lot of dry shampoos).

So, those are the pros: my hair didn't look as greasy as it did before I used it, and there was no detectable white cast after application.

But let me tell you some cons about Fresh Start. First, the smell. On first whiff, I really liked it. It's clean and sort of citrusy, and for lack of a better word, it smells more "modern" than other dry shampoos. But after using it for a bit, I noticed an underlying chemical smell that makes the "freshness" smell a bit off to me. As my boyfriend said when he sniffed my hair, "You smell like old-lady perfume mixed with chemicals." I wouldn't exactly call the fresh scent "old-lady perfume" (I know what "old lady" perfumes smell like and heck, many of you may even consider me an old lady!) but when it's combined with the underlying chemical scent, I kind of get where he's coming from. If this were a perfume, it might give you a headache if you smelled it for too long because in can give off that synthetic vibe.

Another con, for me at least, is that this product made my hair wet. It wasn't soaking wet, but it was definitely damp to the touch. If you've got curly or wavy hair that reacts to any type of moisture, this could be a deal-breaker for you because, depending on how much you use, you might find yourself having to style your hair all over again after you apply it.

And one more con: I didn't love the feel of my hair after using this, compared to Batiste. Even though my hair LOOKED clean, it had sort of a weird, powdery, almost sticky/greasy feel to it. I'm used to the powder residue of Batiste and other dry shampoos, but this one was different. In addition to the powder, my bangs felt a bit weighed down and...I don't know...a bit slimy? That's the best way I can describe it (this might be due to the mineral clay in this product, maybe?). But again, my bangs LOOKED good. They just didn't feel good to me.

So...while I can't give TRESemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo a huge, glowing thumbs up, I can say that it might work for some of you, though there are some things you should watch out for if you're going to try it. The fragrance, the wetness and the way my hair felt when I touched it are things you might want to consider. BUT, if you have just about given up in frustration because all dry shampoos you've used in the past have left too much of a white cast on your hair (especially you darker-haired girls) then I think you might want to give this one a shot. Again, the cons are just my own personal experience and given the condition, texture and dryness of your hair, you could have a totally different reaction and maybe see MUCH better results.

I hope I've given you enough information to help you decide if this product might be right for you--and of course I would love to know what you think if you try it!

PS: I'm way behind on responding to comments due to some behind-the-scenes work I'm doing for some very exciting upcoming giveaways, so I hope you'll bear with me--I will try to respond to comments from yesterday and today first thing in the AM. :)


  1. I actually got this stuff awhile ago, when I first noticed it at Walgreens. Since I've never used a dry shampoo before and really trust TREsemme I decided to grab it. I just recently got bangs, and I have the same problem you do with them looking greasy if I try to skip a day of shampooing. Anyways, I hate the smell, and I do get a gray tinge to my hair after using it, but then I have really dark brown hair, so that could be the problem. I did not have the problem with the feel though, it didn't feel clean, but it didn't feel gross either, lol. Overall, I'm glad I bought it, it has saved me from having to leave the house with greasy bangs, lol, but I am going to be looking for something better.

  2. I wonder if the other one would have worked better since it claimed to be waterless.

  3. Sandi: I'm glad you didn't have the weird feeling to your hair like I did, but I am sorry that you still got the gray cast. :( Have you tried Batiste from Sally? I'm curious what you would think of that one! :)

    Anon: I think you may have misunderstood the label on that other Fresh Start product--it says "waterless" because you don't need to wet your hair before you use it. But the product itself is NOT waterless--in fact it's a foam that you apply and then you have to actually use a towel to wipe your hair with afterward. So it's definitely going to leave your hair wetter than this dry shampoo. I hope that helps!

  4. I think I may just wait for the famous Batiste to try a dry shampoo out. Unless I can get this on a good deal with register rewards or something ;) I just don't really have oily hair after a day of not shampooing so it might work better for me, just have to wait and see! Thanks for review

  5. I have have curly hair but usually wear it straight, and knowing that I would have to re-style my hair because it got wet from using this product...that would definitely be a deal breaker for me...Batiste on the other hand, is fantastic :) Thank you for sharing your review on this product dahling :)

  6. Tiff: You are so lucky that you don't have oily hair after skipping a day of shampooing! I am jealous! But yeah, if you can get this on sale, I would love to know what you think of it! :)

    Miss Go Lightly: Yep, I'm afraid that you *might* run into trouble since you've got curly hair that you straighten. It definitely left my hair a bit damp and I can totally see how it might make straightened hair get a bit wavy after using it. So...back to Batiste for us! lol. And you are so welcome! :)

  7. k i have the curly hair but i wear it straight problem and i don't find that it makes my hair wet at all, but maybe it reacts differently on different types of hair? i used a lot too haha. and after massaging it in a tad i did not have a trace of white or gray cast and my hair is super dark right now. i also really liked the smell even tho i found it strong at first, it faded really well i thought. also, it helped a lot with backcombing which i like to do when i do my hair straight, so i didn't notice a weird heavy feeling because that's how it usually feels when i backcomb it. i personally dislike batiste because no matter what i end up with some trace of the powder and i dislike the smell, even the blush version. thanks for reviewing this!

    p.s. a video review on the waterless foam is on youtube that i found interesting. she said using a towel is not necessary to remove it:

  8. Thanks a bunch for reviewing this so quickly! I can't wait to try it for myself! The current dry shampoo I'm using is by Algemarin, and cost around 9$. I'd like to have an even cheaper though! =D

  9. kellie: I am SO glad this seems to be working so well for you! That's awesome! I really wonder if my negative results have more to do with the particular texture of my hair (my hair is very fine, even though I've got lots of it) and it gets way oily. I have tried it 3x so far, and I've used a lot, a little, and a medium amount each time. Every time I can feel the dampness (I even asked the boyfriend to feel it and his response was, "Yeah, it's wet." lol). And I made sure to follow the instructions and hold it 8-12 inches from my head. The only thing I didn't do every time is wait the exact 1-2 minutes before I touch it. Maybe THAT'S the key? To maybe let it dry longer? Hum...I'll try it again and see how that works. And yeah, fragrance is SUCH a subjective thing. I personally love the way the regular formula of Batiste smells (I don't like the Blush one because it's so heavy on the gardenia) but I can totally understand not liking it. So you didn't get that heavy chemical smell that I got from Fresh Start? Maybe I got a bad bottle or something! And I also found that it did NOT fade quickly for me--the scent stayed in my hair for several hours (long enough for the bf to complain about it). He actually said, "Why does your hair smell like Windex now?" lol. Anyway, I am SUPER glad that you're having a great experience with this, because i know how hard it is to find a good dry shampoo when you've got darker hair. The one thing I think we can both agree on is that this does NOT leave a white/gray cast to the hair, which is awesome. And you just can't beat the price, either! Glad you found your HG dry shampoo, honey! I'll be very curious to see if other readers, who might have similar hair to yours, have a better experience than I did. :)

    Gaby: You are so welcome!! And, given my response to Kellie just now, I would REALLY love to see what you think of this if you try it. I think it really all boils down to your particular hair type so maybe this will be awesome for you! :)

  10. This dry shampoo is so good! i have really oily hair and i don't like to wash my hair everyday because it gets super dry. I decided to buy it because i wanted to see if it would work. I used it and the smell is great! The most important part is that it didn't leave a nasty white residue!!!!!

  11. Thanks for doing this review because I was looking for a dry shampoo. I've been using Batiste for a while now and I absolutely love it..It's made me very lazy with actually washing my hair lol. But I pay about $7 for Batiste and I go through it so quickly so I was wondering if anything out there was cheaper and just as good. Oh, and I hate Oscar Blandi's dry shampoo.. For me, it took the oil out but my hair felt dull afterwards. No little boost of volume like Batiste.

  12. Oh! I meant thank you, because I'm sticking to my Batiste :)

  13. Jessica: I'm so glad this is working for you! I wish that it worked as well for me, to be honest, because it's about half the price of Batiste. lol. I actually tried it again today and I tell you, I cannot get over the smell. I'm really starting to wonder if I got a bad bottle because you and other commenters seem to like the smell, but for me it's just such a strong chemical smell, and the longer I wear it, the more (according to the boyfriend) it starts to smell like Windex. lol. :(

    Giselle: OK, I'm going to say that if you love Batiste, and it's totally working for you (as it does for me) then you might not like Fresh Start. As you can see above, a lot of other commenters love Fresh Start, but for me, I just think Batiste works far better for my particular needs. So maybe you're in my camp on this one too. :)

  14. Why can't there be a dry shampoo that leaves hair fresh, bouncy and smelling like green apples? LOL Looks like its Batiste for me.

    BTW, I feel you on the grey hair situation. I started going grey when I was 23.

  15. dangerkitty: oooh, a green apply dry shampoo? Sign me UP! lol. And glad to know I'm not the one who's prematurely gray around here! ;)

  16. I'm trying out the other one of these, the foam one. So far, no weird texture issues like you had with this one, but the smell! It is just so disgustingly sweet and chemical, and it doesn't seem to fade.

  17. I'm so glad you did a review on this. I was going to purchase this at Walgreen's the other day, but since I've been tight on $, I decided not to since I still have some Batiste Blush dry shampoo.

    Sticky residue? Ewwwww. I hate nothing more than running my fingers through sticky AND oily flat hair.

    I'll probably pass on this too. I love how my Batiste dry shampoo leaves my hair smelling *fresh* while keeping it non-oily and voluminous the whole day. It's my holy grail dry shampoo. I'm bummed that it's so costly for so little of a product!! :(

  18. I actually picked up a bottle of this last night because of your review! Prior to your review I didn't know that Tresemme made dry shampoo!

    Anyways, I used to use the batiste, but it is expensive considering how much it costs and the size of the bottle. That's why I thought I'd try this out... So last night I sprayed it and left it on fo a few minutes. The instructions say to leave it on for like two minutes, but I left it on for around five. Bad idea! I have really dark hair and it was harder to brush out!But I think I had a combination of leaving it on too long and using too much product.

    When I was buying the product yesterday I noticed that they had dry shampoo for straight hair and they also had some for curly hair. Maybe it's worth trying out?...

  19. Leigh: Oh man, that is a bummer! I'm glad that there's no texture issues, but I'm disappointed that the smell seems to be as strong and chemical-based as this version. Can't wait to see your full review. :)

    libbeh: Yeah, the texture was definitely weird for me, but if you look at the comments on this post, it seems like it's really working well for some people. My suggestion would be to wait for a sale and then give it a try, because it might just work for you! But then again, since you love Batiste (like I do) then I guess there's a chance that you might share my opinions of Fresh Start. :(

    Miss-tearious: I mentioned in my earlier post that I saw the other product (it's a waterless foam) but I didn't get it because, after reading the directions on that product, it says you have to use a towel on your hair after you use it. To me, that kind of defeats the quick and easy selling points of a dry shampoo! lol. So anyway, that's why I went with this one. I'm sorry that you didn't have a good first experience with this, but please keep me posted on how it works the second time around? Also, what did you think of the fragrance? Thanks! :)

  20. Hmm. I just got this yesterday, and I'm not sure if I like it or not!! LOL

    FIRST, I don't mind the smell. I don't notice that it smells chemical at all, BUT I just finished a bottle of the super-expensive Ojon dry shampoo and I thought it smelled AWFUL and so did my hubby, so maybe the Tresemme is just an improvement over that??? :)

    Anyway, I did notice that my hair sort of looked cleaner after using this... it didn't look oily any more, but it also didn't look really fresh and shiny, either. This product kind of gave it a dull look and it took quite a bit of brushing to improve that. I noticed that my hair also didn't feel super clean either, and my fingers got quit a bit of slick residue on them after running them thru the hair after the product dried.

    I think I might have to go to Sally and get this Batiste that everyone is talking about!! :)

  21. Hey normally, to me tresemme smelss really great, the shampoo and conditioner, and mousse, but when it came to their hairspray it just smells like straight up chemicals, so i wasn't surprised that the dry shampoo smelled the same, but they also have a resfreshing mist from tressemme that you put after you put the dry shampoo, and it actually does smells really nice. you should go try it out!

  22. Sorry this is such a late comment but I just purchased and tried this today. I really feel bad leaving a bad on review on this, but this was a huge downer for me. Perhaps I need to give it another try?

    My hair gets oily fast. My hair is thick, straight, and dark (brown/black). I also have the side swept bangs that get oily. I was shocked when I sprayed this in my hair it was SO WHITE I got scared. Thankfully,when I brushed it out it went away, but I got no results from it. It didn't seem to do anything at all, my hair was just as oily as it was before I used the product.

    I tried it on a few different sections of my hair varying how much I used and etc, but the same results. The smell also was a turn off. I ended up just washing my hair afterwards :P. I don't know maybe I need to try it again, or my hair doesn't cooperate with it?

    I think I'm going to try Batiste though from what everyone is saying here. I would love to have a good dry shampoo on hand. :) Thanks for posting this though it was worth the $ to try.

  23. Ppl keep saying they don't like the smell... I actually like it! That's weird.

  24. I have uses them all- pssst is the worst- think nursing home- batiste, klorane and biandi all left gray white hue, ojon felt greasy (defeating the purpose). Best so far- Rene futerer (sp?) smell is the most subtle of them all and no white!! Con- very expensive. I will def try tresemme and get back to you.

  25. I was so happy to actually be able to FIND this in Canada. So much of the cool stuff you girls in the US get is unavailable to us, like Batiste and Pssst!

    I have very fine hair that gets oily pretty quickly so I really like this. Of course, it's the only one I've tried so I don't have anything to compare it to!

  26. I had a TERRIBLE allergic reaction to this product! I never had acne as a teen - a pimple or two yes, but full-blown acne, no - and I KNOW how lucky I am for that... this product gave me a rash that looked like awful acne all over my forehead, cheeks and chest. Just awful! Took an excruciating several days to finally go away.

    1. jenny d! I HAD THE SAME ISSUE!!! NO ONE USE THIS PRODUCT!! I have red bumps all over my neck, chest ears, forehead - it's terrible!!

      the smell is awful too!

      DON'T BUY IT!!!

    2. thank you ladies for posting your experiences. I have the exact same rash right now and now I know that I am right in thinking it was this product that caused it. how long did it take for your rashes to go away?

  27. Hi--I hate the smell of this product-- it smells chemically and old lady like floral (I can see that some people might like it as it is flowery smelling) but it is really strong. Thankfully the smell does subside but it is still there if you run your finders through and smell them. I felt like there was some disgusting chemical on my hair and scalp. It does work, you have to use a fair amount though and may have to respray later in the day. I use it only on rare occasion when I really do not have time to wash my hair. I also use cocoa powder which works not bad, although do not care for the smell of that too much (I have brown hair). But at least it is all natural.

  28. i was looking forward to actually using the product and when i did i was completly dissatisfied. it left my hair feeling dirty and chalky, it was white, smelled bad, and left my hair stiff. i couldnt run my fingers through it at all. it felt like i brushed out hairspray in my hair. it was sticky. just horrible!

  29. Personally I LOVE this product line, I think I know why no one is really getting the results they want out of it, the line is designed in a trio, the dry shampoo works great and doesn't make hair wet unless you are spraying too much, you also have to follow the suggestions on the can and follow the dry shampoo with the Refreshing mist, it gives your hair that "clean" feel you are all saying is missing, as for shine and control you should follow the refreshing mist with the No-Friss Creme for the completed "just styled" look, I had great advise from my hair stylist who told me, any dry shampoo will work as long as you apply a little heat to help remove the oil, give your hair a quick blast with your blow dyrer and it will help remove the built up oil at the scalp. Anyway, I'm a supporter of this line, I bought all 3 at Krogers for $9 and it is a life saver on those days when you have to have those extra 30 minutes of sleep!

  30. Personally I LOVE this product line, I think I know why no one is really getting the results they want out of it, the line is designed in a trio, the dry shampoo works great and doesn't make hair wet unless you are spraying too much, you also have to follow the suggestions on the can and follow the dry shampoo with the Refreshing mist, it gives your hair that "clean" feel you are all saying is missing, as for shine and control you should follow the refreshing mist with the No-Friss Creme for the completed "just styled" look, I had great advise from my hair stylist who told me, any dry shampoo will work as long as you apply a little heat to help remove the oil, give your hair a quick blast with your blow dyrer and it will help remove the built up oil at the scalp. Anyway, I'm a supporter of this line, I bought all 3 at Krogers for $9 and it is a life saver on those days when you have to have those extra 30 minutes of sleep!

  31. I just recently bought this product because I thought it would be a cheaper alternative to Batiste. However, I was greatly disappointed after it left my hair feeling terrible and unclean. The smell is bearable, but my hair doesn't feel clean at all! I would definitely recommend Batiste to girls who suffer from oily hair!

  32. using a natural bristle brush works better. the whole point is to brush it out of your hair and using natural bristles makes a huge difference. I use this when I'm staying at my boyfriends house and he wants to go out to breakfast before I leave or his 'wonderful' mother shows up. It gets rid of the smoke smell from the bar the night before and makes me look good enough to go out in public.
    I would never use this to replace real shampoo but I'm glad I found it!

  33. What works for one person may not work for another..all in all this left my hair greasy and nasty...H-A-T-E-D I-T!

  34. i've been reading your blog and love it! i wanted to comment on the tresemme dry shampoo because ive read a lot of mixed reviews and i myself, have mixed reviews. first of all, i think there's 2 different formulas. i first got the moisturizing one for curly hair and didn't like it so i exchanged it for the regular spray one. it has a purple label on it. i really liked it except it left my really dark hair kind of white/grayish and it made it feel sticky/greasy, but it looked good. especially when my hair hadnt gotten to the super greasy phase. and i really liked the smell. so i had maybe a quarter bottle left and went to buy a new one and i saw that it had red writing on it, but same product and i bought it and didn't like it at all. im gonna try using it again, but i think they changed the formula and thats why everyone has mixed reviews-- just a thought. i have also read that (i think from Lauren Conrad's that you should put dry shampoo on freshly washed hair so it lasts longer. i did this last night and it felt a little greasy at first but it looks and feels great today. lets see how long it lasts. i have also trained my hair on the no-poo movement. i used to get greasy after 2-3 days, now my hair lasts 4-5 days. awesome! email me about how i did it if you would like :) jammyprincess at hotmail. sorry this is long but hope you found it helpful!

  35. I wish I saw this review before I went out and bought this! I bout it on a whim because I had a coupon and it was on sale. Ugh at least I only paid $2 for this. I threw out the receipt so I can't even return it blahhh :(

  36. I just tried this stuff too and I thought it was sticky and like it left a residue on my hair... I ended up just taking a shower... I did however, really enjoy the Dove Dry Shampoo! Smells divine and is light and airy in my hair. LOVE!!


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