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If you’ve been a beauty enthusiast for awhile, you might be somewhat jaded about the promises of beauty products (though picking through the duds adds its own kind of thrill). Even so, the premise of dry shampoo is intriguing. The faux-shampoo product promises clean hair—and by extension, an extra hour of sleep or a quick fix for a packed schedule—without having to dash into the shower.
However, the search for a dry shampoo that actually delivers involves a lot of trial and error. Pick the wrong dry shampoo and it can leave your hair oilier than before, or even worse, exacerbate product buildup and cause your scalp to become irritated. Luckily, reviews exist for almost every dry shampoo on the market, making it easier to determine which dry shampoos are worth your money. From a unique non-aerosol dry shampoo to the best dry shampoo for curly hair, read on to learn more about the best dry shampoos you can buy now.
Best Overall: Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original Fragrance
Batiste is the Old Reliable of the dry shampoo category — it’s cheap and cost-effective at $1 per ounce, and by far one of the most popular dry shampoos out there. The original Batiste dry shampoo works great for refreshing hair, absorbing odor (rather than masking it) and even adding volume at the roots. It’s ideal for post-workout hair and in a pinch, available at most drugstores. The original fragrance seems to be the most popular but there are other versions that smell like coconut, cherry, or flowers.
Best Volumizing: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
Living Proof likes to emphasize this dry shampoo’s origins as the creation of MIT scientists, but it does contain a molecule (called OFPMA) that’s effective at protecting hair from frizz and oil. It absorbs oil, adds volume even to clean hair, and refreshes hair on the second and third days.
The nozzle sprays a concentrated mist, so reviews recommended holding the can at a distance and working the product in with your fingers to avoid residue. But if you’re sensitive to fragrance, skip this one: several of the reviews raved over the results but commented the fragrance might read as “clean” to some, but too perfume-y to others.
Best Natural: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
This offering from French pharmacy brand Klorane, now available in Sephora and American drugstores, is supposedly a dupe for the now-discontinued Oscar Blandi Pronto dry shampoo. Rice and corn starches absorb oil, while oat milk soothes the scalp. It leaves hair fresh and clean without leaving it tangled or caked up with product. You only need a few sprays, according to reviews, but need to massage the product in—brushing it out still leaves a white residue. The paraben-free, vegan dry shampoo is lightweight and gently scented.
Best for Greasy Hair: Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo
Do you ever wash your hair in the morning only to have it turn greasy come 2 p.m.? If this instance sounds familiar, then you probably struggle with an oily or greasy scalp. While your first instinct may be to wash it daily, doing so actually increases oil production making your scalp get oilier faster.
If you’re on day two hair, skip the suds, and reach for this oil-soaking dry shampoo from hairstylist Kristin Ess’ namesake line. Aside from sopping up oils, the formula contains vitamin C, which promotes hair growth along with the brand’s Zip-Up Technology to protect it from damage while adding strength to strands. The nozzle dispenses just the right amount of powder onto your roots, sopping up any excess oil or grease sitting on your scalp. You can also use it on clean hair if you want to add a bit of texture to the root.
To apply, concentrate the nozzle at least 8 inches from your scalp, spray, and let the product do its thing. After about 30 seconds, brush through to help any visible powder disappear. Plus, the fresh scent helps eliminate any odors.
Best for Curly Hair: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo
This dry shampoo could be applied to a variety of hair textures, but is specially formulated for curly hair, both “coiled and tightly coiled”— Natural Twine, Briogeo’s founder, is the youngest black woman to develop a line at Sephora. The natural haircare brand has been making its way around skincare Instagram accounts with its scalp exfoliant, but this dry shampoo is just as popular. This dry shampoo focuses on people with curly hair who might be regularly using multiple hair products, so it addresses product buildup with ingredients to not only minimize oil and bacteria growth, but soothe an irritated scalp. The charcoal draws out impurities while witch hazel, an effective astringent, regulates oil production. Clay and tapioca and rice starches absorb oil on your scalp. Briogeo’s dry shampoo comes with a nozzle that you twist to activate. Reviewers recommend spraying at a distance and leaving the product on for a couple of minutes before blending.
Best Drugstore: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Dry Shampoo
This texturizing dry shampoo from Not Your Mother’s currently reigns as an Amazon best-seller. “Texturizing” used to imply crunchiness, but this dry shampoo volumizes and adds some wave to your hair without leaving a chalky white residue. Or, if you’re styling your hair into a braid or bun, this dry shampoo gives you the extra grip to hold the style together. The product has a nice “beachy” smell, though Not Your Mother’s also carries a less fragranced version. Not to mention the hefty, seven-ounce can is highly cost-effective, whether you have thick hair or not.
Best Non-Aerosol: Verb Dry Shampoo
If you find aerosol dry shampoos irritate your scalp, non-aerosol products might be a better alternative. This dry shampoo dispenses out of a 2 ounce baby pink bottle. The packaging feels less-than-intuitive, but with some experimenting, you’ll find it's as easy to use as an aerosol. With this product, less is more so reviewers found it lasted longer than its aerosol counterparts. The pointed applicator lets you deposit tiny amounts of the product where you need it, though another option is to apply the powder to a fluffy brush and blend into the scalp with the bristles. And there’s no stiffness here—once the dry shampoo absorbed, reviewers said it left clean hair with plenty of movement.
To use it, reviewers recommend gently tipping the bottle a few inches from your scalp rather than squeezing it; the product “gushes” out if you squeeze the bottle.
Best for Dark Hair: Bumble and Bumble Bb. Dry Shampoo with French Pink Clay
For a dry shampoo that blends into dark hair, try this clay-infused one from Bumble and Bumble. It sprays on without visible residue which creates less of a mess than tinted dry shampoos that claim to work for dark hair. The dry shampoo comes out as a light mist that diffuses evenly, with a light fragrance that might be ideal for people who don’t like a strong scent. For best results, reviews said to work the product in while it still feels “damp,” then let it dry down. This dry shampoo is so effective at keeping hair clean that reviewers reported being able to go without washing their hair for three to five days, though going too long without washing can cause product buildup and irritation.
Best for Braids: Shea Moisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter No-Rinse Foam Cleanser
If you wear your hair in protective styles like braids, weaves, or twists, then it’s important to choose a dry shampoo that gently cleanses your scalp without stripping moisture or interfering with your hairstyle. This no-water-necessary dry shampoo from Shea Moisture gets the job done.
It’s made with super-hydrating ingredients to refresh your scalp all while providing ample hydration—and some added benefits. The mild-cleansing formula includes jojoba oil to nourish the scalp while preventing breakage, Uccuba Butter, which contains high-levels of fatty acids, to strengthen strands, and carrot seed oil to moisturize and promote shine. It’s also free of silicones and sulfates making it a great option for those with color-treated hair, too. It’s also certified organic and made with natural and fair-trade ingredients.
Best for Red Hair: Suave® Professionals Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo
Whether you are blessed with naturally scarlet strands or your crimson locks are courtesy of your colorist, it’s not easy to keep the hue looking fresh and vibrant. Over-washing, alcohol-based styling products, and sun exposure can cause the color to change and fade. Thankfully, our trusty friend dry shampoo allows you to go few extra days without washing your hair.
Before picking any old one off the shelf, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when selecting a formula that’s right for your hair color. Unless you’re blonde, dry shampoos have a tendency to leave a chalky white residue on your strands. That’s why we suggest a formula that sprays clear so you won’t have to worry about white residue. Our favorite? This keratin-infused version from Suave.
With the help of oil-absorbing powders, this color-safe spray refreshes and revives days old strands. The star of this dry shampoo is the brand’s Keralock Technology, which infuses keratin into the hair to keep it manageable and smooth between washes. To apply, shake the can, and spray 8 to 12 inches from your roots, let sit for a few seconds, then massage. An added bonus? The delightfully fresh scent smells like you just stepped out of the salon.