It’s been three days since your last shampoo, you’ve just drenched yourself at a bootcamp class, and your hair is now a greasy mess but you’ve got 15 minutes to get to work. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Pile on the dry shampoo!
Whether you have color treated hair and try to avoid washing too frequently, or you have ultra thick hair like me (which turns washing it into a whole production), sometimes dry shampoo can be your best friend. It adds volume to limp strands and can soak up all the sweat, dirt, and excess oil in a pinch. Not to mention, it can extend blowouts and good hair days into good hair weeks—the true MVP.
The magic of dry shampoo lies in its ingredients: you want to look for oil-absorbing, mattifying materials like rice protein, bamboo silk, corn starch, and tapioca starch, says celebrity hairstylist Mia Santiago, whose clients include Dove Cameron, Martha Stewart, and Hugh Jackman Beyond that, it’s best to pair your product with your hair type: “Curly hair types want one that absorbs oil, but won’t cause buildup while darker hair requires a translucent powder that doesn’t leave a too-powdery finish,” Santiago says. “Personally, I switch things up: On oily days, I opt for a straight-up powder; on days where my hair is less greasy, I’ll go with an aerosol.”
Application is also key for a natural-looking finish. Make sure to spray or powder your scalp in sections, then massage the product in as if you were shampooing for real. If you still see any residue, follow up with a brush to distribute the shampoo throughout your strands.
From loose powders to aerosol sprays, drugstore brands to luxury, we’ve got you covered. Using Santiago’s product-picking wisdom, we selected some of the best dry shampoos available right now.
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Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo
Santiago loves this formula for its instant results: Spritz it onto your roots, let it sit for 30 seconds, and then comb through to watch it sop up oil so your style can shine.
The Cult Favorite
Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
This plant-based product is the gold standard of formulas, truly making your scalp feel cleaner and refreshed, not just covered up. Hair can feel rigid after some sprays, but this one contains softening oat milk that adds extra volume and texture.
Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Like the name suggests, you can’t look at this colorfully designed, photo-ready bottle and not feel instantly perked up. The vegan spray, boosted with volume-adding rice starch and hydrating sea buckthorn berry, boosts limp hair as much as it boosts your mood with a fine spray that doesn’t leave a grey film.
Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
Hair products don’t get any more luxe than Oribe—and part of that experience is thanks to the brand’s signature scent, Côte d’Azur, which is infused with bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood. It’s as good as any perfume and leaves a delicious trail wherever you flip your hair.
Best for Travel
Skyline Dry Shampoo
Never experience the pain of getting your bottle of dry shampoo confiscated by TSA again with this tiny wonder, which deposits the perfect amount of loose powder wherever you aim it. It contains diatomaceous earth, an absorbant mineral compound, jojoba seed oil for conditioning, and the antioxidant burdock root extract to target dandruff. Massage it in and you’ll be impressed with how much body you get.
The Drugstore Classic
It’s hard to beat this classic, no-frills, all-results dry shampoo—so go ahead and stock up. Mist it in sections all around and brush through for second (or third) day hair that looks brand-new.
Best Clean Dry Shampoo
Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
Don’t worry about parabens, silicones, or phtalates in this spray. Not only does it cover up oil, but actually cleans hair thanks to a proprietary molecule that targets powder in the hair and lifts it away. Plus, it neutralizes odor with time-released fragrance so your hair can not only feel fresher, but smell fresher the longer you wear it.
Most Innovative Formula
Super Dry Shampoo
There’s something satisfying about foam and lather that you can’t get from a dry shampoo—until now. Celebrity hair stylist Jen Atkin created a shampoo that comes as a foam, works without water, and dries down invisible.
Best for Saving Blowouts
With a power combination of corn starch, tapioca starch, and oat kernel flour, you’ve got a dream team of grease-busting ingredients in every ounce of this hair stylist favorite. Sprinkle a bit of powder at your crown to liven up a day-old blowout or dust it onto a boar bristle brush to pump up your mids to ends—either way, your style will look newly done.
Most Lightweight Option
Volumizing Dry Shampoo
This drugstore favorite sprays the finest mist of dry shampoo, so there’s no way to overdo it. Its formula, made with mineral clay, sucks up any stringiness on contact without adding weight.
Best Volume Booster
Detox Dry Shampoo
A little goes a long way with this super absorbent formula, which comes from the blowout experts at Drybar. Not only will your hair be oil free with a matte finish, but the amount of volume you get after applying this product is so impressive.
Best for Oily Scalps
Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo
Oily scalps need extra reinforcement—that’s why this dry shampoo contains mattifying, purifying volcanic ash. It also contains ginger root for shine, mango for smoothing and softening, and, most importantly, goes on totally transparent.
Best for Dark Hair
Dark Dry Powder Shampoo
As someone with naturally black hair, I know the struggle of having white powder from dry shampoo make you look like Cruella De Vil. You won’t have to worry about that with this spray, specifically made for darker colored hair. It’s powered by potato starch, which immediately lifts your roots.
Best Organic Formula
Voluminous Dry Shampoo
Rahua’s line of products prove you don’t have to compromise quality or experience when switching over to organic products. This dry shampoo is no different. The aerosol-free spray coats strands with oil-absorbing, body-building casava, clean-smelling star anise, and dirt-wicking clay.
Best for Scalp Health
Apple Cider Vinegar Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Get immediate results and a healthier scalp over time with this apple cider vinegar-based dry shampoo. ACV is known to be anti-bacterial, so if you have color treated or keratined hair and are looking to reduce washes, it will not only cover up product build-up, but also targets bacteria growth on your scalp to prevent irritation.
Best For Blondes
Dry Shampoo Light Tones
If your hair is blond, this dry shampoo will not only give you a super low maintenance cleanse, but it’s also infused with violet pigments to help tone down brassiness.
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