10 Natural Dry Shampoos That Really Do Work—We Promise

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The 10 Best Natural Dry Shampoos of 2022

Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

We’ve said it a thousand times—dry shampoo is undoubtedly one of the most valuable products in our entire beauty arsenal. High praise, yes, but you’d be hard-pressed to find another staple we’re more reliant upon.

While we have many tried-and-true favorites, we decided it was time to think outside the box a bit. Many traditional dry shampoos are filled with questionable ingredients like talc, which has been linked to cancer, and LPGs (liquid petroleum gas) like propane, butane, and isobutane, which propel the shampoo out of traditional aerosol bottles but can be potentially problematic for your health. So we set out to find some more eco-friendly, cleaner formulas that are effective and easy to use.

Ahead, the best natural dry shampoos for those looking to make the switch to cleaner formulas.

Best Overall: Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo

Voluminous Dry Shampoo 1.8 oz
What We Like
  • Boosts volume

  • Smells great

  • Gives hold

  • A little goes a long way

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to rinse out

Byrdie editors repeatedly rave about this 100% natural option. In fact, senior editor Lindsey Metrus says that each time she uses it, people ask her if she just got a blowout. (We call that #ironic.) Dust the plant-based powder onto your roots to absorb excess oil and grime, as well as give limp locks a punch of volume in one fell sprinkle.

Active Ingredients: Fuller's earth clay, tapioca starch | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 1.8 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Franklin + Whitman Dry Shampoo

Franklin + Whitman Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Doesn't leave a residue

  • Two scents and shades available

  • Chic packaging

What We Don't Like
  • Texture may not be for some

This finely-milled formula is especially easy to sprinkle on for an instant root refresh; credit a blend of four different starches, powders, and clay. We also appreciate that it comes in two different (natural) scents, with both a light and dark hair option in each. But our fave part? The brand—which pledges that all of the ingredients used in its products are cruelty-free and plant-based—donates 5% of every purchase to support dog rescue organizations. Be still our puppy-loving hearts.

Active Ingredients: Maranta arundinacea powder, kaolin clay | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Budget: Acure Dry Shampoo

Acure Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Works for all hair types

  • A little goes a long way

  • Certified organic

What We Don't Like
  • Can be messy

Certified organic and vegan, this one's price point is a big deal in the world of natural dry shampoos, not to mention it's also a universally great pick for all hair types and textures. Pro tip: Squeeze some onto your brush, then brush through hair for easy, even application.

Active Ingredients: Corn starch, arrowroot powder | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 1.7 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Oily Hair: Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo

 Courtesy of Briogeo 

What We Like
  • Clarifies scalp

  • Soaks up oil

  • Strengthening formula

What We Don't Like
  • Packaging could be improved

With ingredients that address both the hair and the scalp, this pick truly gets to the root of the issue (sorry, we couldn’t help ourselves). An extra-purifying type of Japanese charcoal removes impurities, witch hazel normalizes oil production, and biotin helps support hair growth—all with a clean, 98% naturally-derived formula.

Active Ingredients: Rice starch, charcoal powder | Hair Type: Oily | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 1.7 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Organic: Beauty by Earth Organic Dry Shampoo Powder

Beauty by Earth Organic Dry Shampoo Powder
What We Like
  • Certified organic

  • Easy to use

  • Comes in two shades

What We Don't Like
  • Shades could be improved

The quest for clean formulas—as it pertains to any type of beauty product—can be challenging. That’s why seeking out distinct certifications, such as USDA Organic, is always a smart shortcut. This squeaky clean formula has that distinction and is also Leaping Bunny-certified, so you can feel confident knowing it’s also cruelty-free. Bonus points for the squeeze bottle with a pointed tip, which makes a targeted application at the root easier than ever.

Active Ingredients: Corn starch, arrowroot powder | Hair Type: Oily | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 2.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for Blondes: Primally Pure Natural Dry Shampoo Light Locks

Primally Pure Natural Dry Shampoo Light Locks
What We Like
  • Colorless

  • Smells great

  • Feels refreshing to use

What We Don't Like
  • Can flake a tiny bit

Sure, dry shampoo may look less obvious on blondes than brunettes, but that doesn’t mean that white residue can’t still be apparent on lighter hair. Happily, this powder has more of an off-white tone that disappears completely on blonde hair; it’s also a choice pick for those with grey strands. A carefully chosen trio of essential oils not only smells great, but also imparts added benefits: grapefruit oil cleanses, lavender oil soothes the scalp, and peppermint oil helps stimulate hair growth.

Active Ingredients: Arrowroot powder, kaolin clay | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 1 / 2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Scent: Lulu Organics Lavender & Clary Sage Dry Shampoo

Lulu Organics Lavender & Clary Sage Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Six scents available plus unscented

  • Adorable packaging

  • Larger size than other options

What We Don't Like
  • Takes a lot of product to get results

You can choose between six different scents of this powder, as well as an unscented option. In each case, those yummy fragrance combos (think options like lavender and clary sage, or patchouli and amber) are derived from natural essential oils. Plus, how freaking cute is the vintage-inspired packaging?

Active Ingredients: Kaolin clay, sage oil | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Foam: InnerSense Organic Refresh Dry Shampoo

Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Foam makes it easy to cover roots

  • Boosts volume

  • Smells great

What We Don't Like
  • Not alcohol-free

It can take a second to get used to using a foam dry shampoo, but for those who don’t love the sprinkle-on powders, this is a nice alternative. The other benefit? The airy texture helps impart extra volume, too, as does the organic honey in the formula. Use one to two pumps at the root and let air-dry, or hit it with a blow dryer for even more fullness.

Active Ingredients: Witch hazel, tapioca starch | Hair Type: Fine, thin | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones | Size: 2.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best Volumizing: Hair Dance Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Hair Dance Volumizing Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Inexpensive

  • Refreshes hair and scalp

  • Smells great

What We Don't Like
  • Packaging could be improved

This Amazon fave earns rave reviews from devoted users both for quickly freshening up hair and imparting lots of volume. While some do note that the application method can take some getting used to when compared to traditional aerosol sprays, many point out that a little goes a long way and one bottle lasts for months on end. A universal tint that blends in with many different hair colors, as well as a naturally derived lavender scent, are just added bonuses.

Active Ingredients: Rice starch, colloidal oatmeal | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 1 / 2 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Best for All Hair Textures: Act + Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo

Act + Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo
What We Like
  • Smooths hair

  • Refreshes scalp and hair

  • Easy to use

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive per ounce

A foolproof option across the board, this works just as well at pumping up fine hair as it does at keeping thick curls smooth and in shape as it does to refresh natural hair in between washes. Aerosol-free, the pump-top still delivers a nice and even dispersion of the product, which boasts oil- and odor-absorbing rice and tapioca powders. Also noteworthy is the addition of mineral-rich fulvic acid, which the brand notes helps to rebalance the scalp’s microbiome, essential for keeping both the scalp and hair healthy.

Active Ingredients: Rice starch, tapioca starch | Hair Type: All | Free of: Sulfates, parabens, silicones, alcohol | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Final Verdict

Many traditional dry shampoos are a sneaky source of potential chemicals. For those seeking a cleaner alternative, both the Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo (view at Sephora) and Franklin + Whitman Dry Shampoo (view at Franklin + Whitman) are fool-proof picks. (The latter also comes in two different scents and options for both blondes and brunettes.) Budget-conscious shoppers will appreciate the very wallet-friendly Acure Dry Shampoo (view at Thrive Market), which also happens to be certified organic. Don’t love powders? The Innersense Refresh Dry Shampoo (view at Amazon) is a foam formula that both quickly freshens hair and also imparts lots of volume.

What to Look For in Natural Dry Shampoos

Active Ingredients

Natural dry shampoos must contain effective active ingredients to compete with non-natural products. Fortunately, plenty of nature-derived elements work fantastically well to absorb oil and refresh your hair. Look for ingredients such as clays, starches, and absorbing powders. Examples include kaolin, tapioca, arrowroot, charcoal, corn, rice starch, and colloidal oatmeal.

What It Doesn't Contain

One of the primary reasons you may choose a natural dry shampoo is to avoid undesirable additives. Look for natural dry shampoos that go without talc, parabens, sulfates, and LPGs (liquid petroleum gas) like propane, butane, and isobutane.

Hair Type

You can find natural dry shampoo for any hair type. Dry shampoos are not only for those with oilier strands. Those with dry hair may wish to look for one designed for their hair type that avoids any ingredients that might further dry out their hair or contain added ingredients that nourish hair. 

Most natural dry shampoos are effective for all hair types. At the same time, some contain ingredients, especially for oily hair, such as charcoal which is extra absorbent, and witch hazel which balances oil production.

FAQ
  • What can I use as a natural dry shampoo?

    Natural dry shampoo can be made with clay, starch, powders, or colloidal oatmeal. Arrowroot starch works well to absorb oil and disappear into your roots. Some people also use baking soda, although the texture can be grainy and easy to see.

  • Is dry shampoo good for your hair?

    Dry shampoo is suitable for absorbing the oil in your hair and refreshing it. Some natural dry shampoos contain ingredients that remove impurities and/or nourish and balance your hair. Overusing some dry shampoos may dry out your hair or lead to too much build-up. Be sure to wash your hair after you use dry shampoo.

  • Is dry shampoo good for daily use?

    Dry shampoo should not be layered, leading to too much build-up. It’s best to wear dry shampoo after a wash, either the next day or two days after a shampoo. Shampoo your hair at the end of the day or the following morning.

  • Do you use dry shampoo on wet or dry hair?

    Dry shampoo is only used on dry hair. You can use it on freshly washed and dried hair to add volume if you prefer, but using it on wet or damp hair will not be effective and could create a sticky or thick clump of the product that is undesirable.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Jeżewska A. Determination of Propane-1,3-sultone in Workplace Air for Occupational Exposure Assessment. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 21;17(4):1414. doi:10.3390/ijerph17041414.

  3. Oh JY, Park MA, Kim YC. Peppermint Oil Promotes Hair Growth without Toxic Signs. Toxicol Res. 2014 Dec;30(4):297-304. doi:10.5487/TR.2014.30.4.297

  4. Jacob K. Humic substances as a potent biomaterials for therapeutic and drug delivery system-A Review. International Journal of Applied Pharmaceutics. 2019:1-4. doi:10.22159/ijap.2019v11i3.31421

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