diptych of hands holding Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer and selfie of Sarah Hoffmann
Sarah Hoffmann / Allure

Davines's This Is A Dry Texturizer Brought My Pillow-Smooshed Hair Back to Life

This volumizing spray claims to add piecey texture and body without sacrificing softness — so we put it to the test.

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It happened to me: my favorite dry texture spray was discontinued. The canister I bought nearly three years ago took its final dying breath earlier this year, and with those last few desperate sprays, I accepted that I'd never find love again. 

I took a break from texturizers to grieve my loss, but with Readers' Choice Award season back upon us, I decided to put myself out there and take a few other texturizers for a spin. And I'm glad I did — because that's how I discovered the Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer and finally healed my heartbreak. 

The name says it all — This Is A Dry Texturizer is a texturizing spray that adds pieciness and body to your hair on days when you need a bit of added volume or want to amp up already messy hair even more. Unlike some texture and sea salt sprays that completely mattify hair, Davines's version has a glossy finish, so you get the best of both worlds — full-bodied, tousled hair with a high-shine finish.

Courtesy of brand

The gravity-defying star ingredient in this formula is aluminum starch octenylsuccinate, a natural polymer with high oil-absorption properties. "The modified [tapioca] starch imparts a velvety, soft feel, compared to typical starch or talc powders used in dry shampoos," notes Kelly Dobos, a cosmetic chemist based in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dobos also highlighted VP/VA copolymer in the ingredient list. "VP/VA copolymer is what we cosmetic chemists call a fixative and it's commonly used to provide styling hold," says Dobos. “Particular grades of this polymer have low adhesion so they can easily be brushed from hair in addition to [containing] sebum absorption properties.” Another ingredient, polyvinylpyrrolidone, also helps with hold but retains glossiness better than the starches frequently found in dry shampoo formulas, Dobos adds.

I have naturally curly hair that isn't lacking in the volume department (thanks, gene pool) but retains a lot of water while air-drying, so the top layers of my shag haircut aren't always as fluffy as I'd prefer. I also style my bangs with a flatiron once they're dry, but sometimes they end up a little too shiny and flat in a way that doesn't quite match the rest of my hair texture. To make my entire head of hair look cohesive, I often reach for dry shampoo or other styling products to add a bit of grit and muss up the front and top of my hair.

Once my hair is dry and my bangs are set, I lift up small sections of hair and spritz This Is A Dry Texturizer underneath. Then, I gently massage the product into my roots using an upwards motion with my fingertips. I also do my bangs in stages, adding a bit of spray to the underside by flipping them upwards, and then adding a bit to just the top layer so they're not fully saturated in product. If I'm feeling extra fancy, I'll turn my entire head over and spray the underside of my hair to get a lifted-from-within effect.

Sarah Hoffmann before applying This Is A Dry Texturizer.

Courtesy of Sarah Hoffmann

Sarah Hoffmann after applying This Is A Dry Texturizer.

Courtesy of Sarah Hoffmann

You could definitely douse your head in this spray, shake it out and go, but I prefer the control that working in small sections provides. It also starts out wetter than you'd expect, so use sparingly at first before adding more if you're not satisfied with your texture once it's dried down. There is a touch of initial stickiness — par for the course for texturizers — that disappears within a minute.

I also found that in spots where I accidentally spritzed too much, gently brushing or running over small sections with my fingertips removed just enough product that one section wasn't oversaturated. Holding the canister far away from your head, at least one foot away, is another tip for added control when applying.

This texturizer has become a go-to for me not only on days when a full wash isn't in the cards but when I want my hair to look fluffier or more done than it would on its own. After smoothing a couple of drops of hair oil into my ends (Gisou's is a personal fave), you'd never know that my curls were being squashed by a pillow a mere 15 minutes ago.

Davines This Is A Dry Texturizer

If you're in search of a volumizing spray that'll zap flat hair right back to life, look no further than Davines's This Is A Dry Texturizer. Davines's This Is A Dry Texturizer retails for $39 and is available at amazon.com and davines.com

Psst: Davines's This Is A Dry Texturizer is so good that it's nominated for a 2023 Readers' Choice Award. Vote for your favorite beauty products before the poll closes! Winners will be announced in May. 

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