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Dry shampoos use starch or alcohol to absorb oil, sweat, and grime from your hair. They’re a fantastic tool for freshening hair between washings, for giving your locks a fresh look after workouts, or for livening up your strands for a last-minute date after a long day.
While they shouldn’t necessarily be your daily go-to, they’re an amazing addition to your hair care arsenal.
The dry shampoos on this list are tops with consumers who rely on dry shampoo to keep them looking and feeling their best. These products all come from reputable manufacturers, use quality ingredients, and are available to purchase at a relatively reasonable cost.
Dry shampoos don’t have to be expensive to be effective. But there is variation in cost among brands and product types.
You may find that your favorite is at the high or low end of the scale, based on differences in product scent, ease of use, or even brand loyalty. We’ll indicate where on the price scale each product falls, as follows:
- $. (Lower end of the price range, from $4 to $7)
- $$. (Slightly more expensive, from $8 to $15)
- $$$. (Expensive, from $16 to $20)
- $$$$. (Top of the line, from $21 to $50)
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle is formulated for normal to oily hair. It absorbs excess oil at the root, and it doesn’t leave behind a tacky or gluey feeling.
Users love the shine it gives their hair, and also appreciate the lack of flowery scent. Some say it makes their hair look, smell, and feel newly washed for up to 2 days.
If you have oily hair, you know that your roots can look drenched within a few hours of washing, let alone a day or two. This is especially true for oily hair that’s fine or thin.
Klorane’s line of dry shampoos includes formulations for dark hair that use iron oxide for color, plus the products are vegan and hypoallergenic.
Unwash Curls Dry Cleanser
Unwash Curls Dry Cleanser is designed to freshen and preserve curly and wavy hair. It’s very light, and it doesn’t add any weight that might pull down or flatten curls. It adds volume and helps reduce frizz, and is good for loose or tight curls and thick hair.
If your hair is thin and curly, you may find this product to be too heavy.
Shop for Unwash Curls Dry Cleanser online and in stores.
Cantu Refresh Dry Co-Wash with Apple Cider Vinegar and Tea Tree Oil
Cantu Refresh Dry Co-Wash provides a significant dose of moisturizing shea butter, as well as oil-absorbing starch. It also contains apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil, which can be helpful for the scalp.
This dry shampoo is intended for any hairstyle, including weaves, extensions, box braids, and straightened hair. It leaves no white residue, which is a huge plus for dark hair.
Users of this product have reported that it’s nonirritating to the scalp, and also has a wonderful scent that’s similar to some hairsprays. It’s great for thick hair, but if your hair is very thin, it may leave your roots feeling a tad gummy.
Shop for Cantu Refresh Dry Co-Wash online and in stores.
Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo
Divine Dark is Batiste’s answer to dry shampoo that’s specifically made for darker hair shades. Most dry shampoos spray on white or gray, requiring copious amounts of brushing if you have dark hair.
Batiste’s Divine Dark Dry Shampoo is made for dyed and undyed hair — from mahogany to chocolate brown to blackest black.
Just make sure to shake the bottle vigorously before using to eliminate getting white powder residue. Some users love that this product covers thinning or bald spots on the scalp. It also has a luscious scent reminiscent of white peach, bergamot, and vanilla.
If your hair is light brown or red, opt for Batiste Beautiful Brunette, which has a lighter tint, rather than Divine Dark.
One thing to note: The color must be washed out thoroughly when you shampoo or it’ll migrate to your towel.
Dove Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo
If your hair is super fine or flat, and you’re looking for a dry shampoo that adds volume, Dove’s Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo fits the bill.
From their Refresh + Care lineup of dry shampoos, this one is made to add volume and shine plus give hair a really fresh, clean scent.
But it can leave a good amount of white residue in the hair if you saturate it with too much product. The fix? Make sure to spray it on your roots only, from at least 10 inches away. It’s also safe for color-treated hair.
Shop for Dove Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo online and in stores.
Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo
Suave Professionals Color Care helps add volume and shine to hair, plus it doesn’t leave hair feeling wet, sticky, or crunchy.
If you dye your hair, you know that over-shampooing can fade the color faster. Using a dry shampoo can help eliminate that.
Shop for Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Color Care Dry Shampoo online and in stores.
Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder
If you prefer the control you get from a powder instead of a spray, you’ll enjoy this dry shampoo, which gets rave reviews.
It’s good for most hair types — from straight to wavy — and it also works for fine or thick hair. It adds volume and softness, plus it can be used on color-treated hair. It goes on transparently, and won’t leave behind white residue.
Make sure to use it sparingly. Some users get the best results by sprinkling the powder onto their brush rather than applying directly to their hair.
Shop for Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder online and in stores.
When thinking about what dry shampoo to buy, keep these tips in mind:
- Be aware of flammable ingredients. Many dry shampoos use chemicals that are flammable when wet, such as propane and butane. Why? These chemicals act as a stable propellant in sprays that evaporates quickly.
- Buy for your hair type. The white residue caused by lots of dry shampoos can be annoying to remove on darker hair. If this is a concern, always opt for products made with dark hair in mind.
- Know the maker and seller. Only buy products that come from trusted manufacturers and sellers.
- Read labels. If you’re allergic to certain ingredients, always check the label of any dry shampoo you buy. If using green, fair trade, or organic ingredients is important to you, be sure to check the label.
- Test an area. If you have sensitive skin or a scalp condition such as scalp psoriasis, do a patch test or talk to your dermatologist before using.
- Check the use date. Check the product’s expiration date to make sure you’re not buying something that may be past its prime.
Dry shampoo can help your hair look fresh and clean between washings and minimize the greasy feeling on your scalp.
Different formulations may be best for certain types of hair, such as curly, fine, or color-treated hair. Before you buy, be sure to check the ingredients.
Only purchase products from manufacturers and sellers you know and trust.