Established 1978
Red Carpet

Camera, Lights, Dry Shampoo

by Sandra J. Swanson

    Any given minute, 216,000 photos are sent to Instagram, 8,333 videos are shared on Vine, 347,222 photos are sent on WhatsApp—while Facebook users share 2.46 million pieces of content, and 277,000 tweets are published on Twitter.

August! There are so many last-minute summer places to go, and so many selfie opportunities along the way. There you are at the beach. Snap. With the family at Tahoe for mom’s birthday. Smile! Enjoying Justin Timberlake’s concert? Gotcha! Checking in at the Giants games and the 49ers pre-seasons: check and check. Strike a couple’s pose at Trick Dog, Outside Lands, Napa, NOPA, North Beach—“natch”. Just say “cheese,” and share.

Like it or not, looking good or not, if you’re in the frame, you’ll be Google-tagged for all time.


We’ve been writing about our new century’s revolution in anti-aging treatments: from Botox to Latisse to Voluma, from lasers to radio frequency machines. UVA/UVB sunscreens prevent wrinkles and age spots, while the new BB (blemish balm) creams blur facial imperfections. Our faces are ready for prime time.

What about our hair? Especially as we approach the gala season. The Bay Area is now sprinkled with hundreds of blow-dry bars. Full service salons are even doubling down with their own bars. Without much advance notice, and in about half an hour, for $35 to $100, plus tip, a person can get great hair, infused with volume and shine and spray, to last for three or four days, maybe more. That could enhance a dozen selfies—or a few red carpet photographs—right there.

But post-party or two, your blow-do will eventually turn dull and limp. And you don’t always have time to wash your hair, and start styling from scratch, as you dash to the next opening night. That’s not necessarily a problem, as you can gain another day or two of your blown-out hairdo by simply spraying away the oily look—while adding fresh volume and shine with one of the newest dry shampoos.


    When you finally have time to wet your head yourself, you’ll find that mom’s “squeaky clean” is no longer the gold standard for clean, healthy hair. The hair washing revolution features no lather, no suds, no froth, and no foam—which means no detergent. The new hair—um—cleaners, which are labeled as hair cleansing creams, balms, and conditioners, all clean your hair, but they don’t get all foamed up about it. And these new products are single-process wonders, combining cleansing, conditioning, and texturizing all in one bottle or tube.

“Hair is a very delicate fiber, so by not putting detergent in it, you get better results,” says Michael Gordon, founder of Bumble & Bumble (B & B) and inventor of the first foam-free hair cleanser. The foam-free products gently clean hair of build-up without stripping color or shine, so your locks look better longer, and actually become healthier. It’s just hard to get over not having that “squeak” or the reassurance of foamy suds, which lets you know the product is doing its cleansing work.

B & B opened the “no soap” door, and the other major hair beauty brands paraded right in. Just Bing or Google “low-foam shampoos,” or something similar, and you will most likely find your favorite brand’s version. Better yet, talk to your personal “hair-gician” in person about the best non-sudsing brands for your hair type. Most of all, don’t stress about your après summer tresses or opening night close up. Even on a bad day, you can now have a good hair day. Pose, snap, and post (at, of course)!


Sandra J. Swanson writes about fashions in food, culture, travel, gardening, and yachting. Send her your thoughts and photos at

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