More

    The 12 best dry shampoos in 2024, tested and reviewed

    When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

    The best dry shampoos maintain your style and hair fresh without any buildup.

    Arey; Sephora/Business Insider

    Washing my hair daily isn’t always feasible, so having an arsenal of the best dry shampoos at the ready is helpful. According to dermatologist Lynne Goldberg, I shouldn’t feel guilty about skipping wash day because shampooing daily could do more harm than good to your hair and scalp. Take it as just another example of how too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

    “It’s paradoxical, but people who wash their hair a lot to get rid of oil are drying out their scalp and producing more oil,” Goldberg previously told Business Insider. But this isn’t to say you must rock greasy strands a few times a week. A few sprays of dry shampoo can give hair the refresh it desperately craves.

    However, it’s also important to limit dry shampoo usage between washes. “Dry shampoo is suitable for all hair types and can be used as needed, but it’s advisable to restrict usage to a few times per week,” Richard Mannah, Miami-based hair artist and Joico Global Senior Artistic Director, tells Business Insider. “Excessive use may result in product build up on the scalp. Shampooing the hair after a few days of usage is vital to eliminate all the built up oil, product, and dirt from hair and scalp.”

    When it comes to the best dry shampoos, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo stands above the rest. Beloved by me, our editors, and professionals alike, its fast-absorbing powders offer an easy application that actively cleans the hair and scalp of oil, sweat, and odor.

    As is the case with any beauty product, even the best dry shampoos are hardly created equally, and it can take a lot of trial and error to find which one works best on your scalp and strands. To help narrow the options, I tested over a dozen highly rated formulas to identify the best dry shampoo for every hair type and budget. Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests and researches style products.

    Our top 5 picks for the best dry shampoos

    Best overall

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is by far the best formula on the market. 

    Unlike its competitors that simply mask the fact that you haven’t washed your hair, PhD dry shampoo actively works to clean your scalp and strands from the moment it touches your head. It’s formulated with fast-absorbing powders, plus the brand’s patented Healthy Hair Molecule that keeps hair fresher longer by extracting powders, oil, and dirt.

    For best results, the key is to let the spray sit for 30 seconds upon application before massaging it into the scalp with your fingers. This allows the formula to clean and deodorize the scalp and hair properly. 

    The only caveat of Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Dry Shampoo is arguably its scent, which some reviewers feel is too strong. I personally find it pleasant, but if you’d prefer a subtler fragrance, give Living Proof’s new Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo a try.

    Best for oily hair

    Unlike traditional spray cans, Briogeo’s dry shampoo applies a cloud of white powder when you squeeze the bottle over your strands. It takes two minutes to set and another minute or two to style, but if you have that time to spare, I can’t recommend the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo enough. 

    This powder formula dry shampoo is made to work on all hair textures — straight, wavy, curly, and coily — but it’s specifically designed for those with naturally oily hair (like mine). It’s a detoxifying blend formulated with binchotan charcoal to draw out impurities and any buildup that might clog the pores and nutrient-rich biotin, bamboo extracts, and witch hazel to regulate oil production.

    Upon application, the white cast looks daunting, but it’s actually lightweight and blends in easily. Reviewers say it’s gentle on sensitive scalps, too. However, while Briogeo’s formula gets five stars from me, the applicator isn’t great. You have to give the bottle a good squeeze, and the powder can fly everywhere, but if you can get past this hiccup, it’s a great product.

    Best drugstore

    What you get isn’t always what you pay for, especially in the beauty world. Sometimes, an expensive product falls flat; other times, an inexpensive product exceeds expectations. This was my experience with the Batiste Original Dry Shampoo.

    A much more affordable option than our overall pick, the Batiste Dry Shampoo is available in over 15 fragrances, three color-based sprays, and one volumizing formula. However, I stuck with the original for this test, which won an Allure Best of Beauty award in 2020.

    The waterless formula absorbs dirt and grease to revitalize hair and has been enhanced with keratin proteins to keep strands strong and protected from environmental stressors. This particular spray boasts a citrusy scent.

    What’s nice about the Batiste Dry Shampoo is there’s no wait between when you apply the spray and when you should massage it into the scalp. My hair looked better as the day went on, but I didn’t have to waste any time; I styled my hair and headed out the door.

    Some Amazon reviewers point out that the white cast is an issue on brunette hair, but this could be a matter of ensuring you properly massage the product with your fingers and follow up with a quick brush through.

    Best for volume

    I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to give the Eva NYC Freshen Up Invisible Dry Shampoo a try, but now that I have, I’m ready to buy up bottles in bulk. (And you will be too.)

    With over 1,100 reviews and just shy of a 5-star rating on Amazon alone, Eva NYC’s lightweight, waterless spray absorbs excess oil and enhances shine, but its true claim to fame is the level of volume it offers lifeless strands. It doesn’t just freshen up hair, it completely re-styles it. 

    The magical formula contains argan oil, which is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and vitamins A, C, and E, plus plant protein for added hydration. Reviewers note the spray smells “heavenly,” and that a few spritzes resulted in soft, bouncy hair. If you can’t (or don’t want to) spend almost $30 on the Living Proof dry shampoo, this will be your new holy grail.

    Best for dry hair

    Have hair that’s the opposite of oily? Then you’ll love Drybar’s Detox Clear Invisible Dry Shampoo. 

    Not only does this spray formula eliminate excess oils with its proprietary powder blend, but it also instills moisture into the scalp and strands with amla oil. What’s more, amla oil (derived from the Indian Gooseberry) gives hair a soft, visibly sheer finish, so dry tresses feel hydrated and clean, and look it too.

    In addition to these rockstar ingredients, kiwi extract is also highlighted as a standout addition that lifts residue from hair. Regarding the scent, one reviewer said the fragrance is comparable to the brand’s Triple Sec Texturizing Finishing Spray and Sparkling Soda Shine Mist, with notes of coconut, amber, and vanilla.

    Best powder

    I initially gravitated towards Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder Dry Shampoo Powder for its pretty bottle. Still, its formula is what kept me reaching for the product again and again. 

    Unlike Briogeo’s powder formula, which tends to burst out of the bottle in a dense cloud, Bb’s dry shampoo shoots out like puffs of air and is comparable to baby powder in how it looks and feels. Highlighted ingredients include Polysilicone-22, an organic compound made of tiny crystals that absorbs oil and acts as a dry cleanser; a combination of corn starch, tapioca starch, and oat kernel flour to add texture and volume; and silica, a mineral that helps extract oil and impurities. 

    The dry shampoo powder worked well on my naturally oily hair, but it’s suitable for all hair types, from normal to combination, and dry textures as well. It’s also safe on color-treated hair and is just as much a style extender and volumizer as a dry shampoo.

    Best for fine hair

    Arey’s dry shampoo powder absorbs oil and adds volume while nourishing the hair. The brand’s entire lineup is dedicated to protecting hair pigment and slowing the appearance of greys, and this product, formulated with Arey’s proprietary Dehydrated Mela-9™ Complex, is no different. 

    The formula is especially a dream for those with fine hair looking for a boost of volume and added texture. Aluminum starch quickly absorbs oil and adds grip, while silica helps to volumize. It features a light and refreshing cedar and sage scent, and the packaging is small enough to take on the go easily, but the product will last you for months.

    Best for thinning hair

    If you want to combat hair thinning and cleanse and refresh your scalp between washes, this pick from Vegamour’s GRO line might be a game changer for your hair routine. Containing organically grown phytoactives that support hair density and increase active hair follicles, the brand claims you can expect to see fuller, thicker hair in as quickly as three months of use. This dry shampoo is also color-safe and available in a travel size.

    Reviewers love how lightweight the formula is and how quickly it absorbs into the hair, but some also report that the scent is too overpowering.

    Best for dark hair

    This lightweight dry shampoo boasts a completely invisible formula, so there’s no blending time required — making it the perfect solution for dark hair. Finely milled volcanic ash absorbs seamlessly and helps to cleanse and purify, while ginger root and mango extracts soften the hair and boost shine.

    “I love IGK products and the smell,” Christina Olivia, hairstylist and owner of Olivia Christensen Salon, tells Business Insider. “I feel like scent is a very big factor for me and what my clients are driven towards as well. This product works well by removing oils and build up and straightening hair follicles.”

    It’s important to note that this dry shampoo contains one percent cleansing powders, offering a lightweight, gentle cleanse. In other words, it’s designed to be used on 1-2 day hair (or to revive styles throughout the day) and not on extremely oily hair that needs a major refresh. Check out IGK’s First Class Dry Shampoo for a more heavy-duty option.

    Best for light hair

    Lightweight and rich in nourishing ingredients, R+Co’s Death Valley Dry Shampoo is a quick way to refresh your style while strengthening your strands. The formula’s vitamin E boosts luster and shine, which may be helpful for lighter tones that need a bit of brightening. Along with standard dry shampoo ingredients like silica, which absorbs oil, this one also contains a thickening agent, pro-vitamin B5, to build volume.

    Reviewers note that this dry shampoo provides lots of touseled volume without leaving behind residue, and while some love the musky floral scent, others say it’s too strong for them.

    Best for sensitive scalps

    Featuring plant-based ingredients like oat milk and corn and rice starches, Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is designed to be ultra-gentle and nourishing for both the hair and scalp. Reviewers note minimal residue, but for the most seamless application, the directions advise spraying the product onto the roots of the hair and waiting 2 minutes before rubbing in. It also features a more delicate scent, unlike others on this list with bold fragrances.

    Because of its lightweight formula, this dry shampoo may not be effective on very oily hair. Rather, it’s best used to touch up styles throughout the day or refresh hair 1-3 days after washing.

    Best lightweight: Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo

    Crown Affair’s dry shampoo is lauded for its weightless formula and chic, innovative packaging. The finely milled powder takes no time to absorb, partially due to the kabuki brush, which allows for targeted application. This product provides light volume and refreshes the hair and scalp. It’s lightweight enough to be applied to freshly washed hair to amp up volume or enhance certain styles, particularly for those with fine, thin hair.

    The only downside to this product is the packaging. It isn’t easy to prevent the powder from spilling everywhere, especially because the brush is stored inside the container.

    What to look for

    Ingredients:

    Formulas with rice starch, tapioca starch, and kaolin clay are effective at absorbing oil without leaving behind residue, Mannah says. Many of our top picks, including Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo and Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, are formulated with rice starch, while Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo utilizes tapioca starch.

    Mannah recommends steering clear of dry shampoos containing chemicals like sulfates, parabens, and alcohol, as they can be drying, strip the hair of its natural oils, and lead to scalp irritation. Additionally, dry shampoos without silicone can help prevent product build up.

    “Recent research also highlights the potential harm of benzene, emphasizing its association with cancer,” Mannah adds.

    Color and finish:

    For the best result, you’ll want to select a dry shampoo formula (both color and finish) according to your hair type. Dry shampoos typically come in powders or aerosol sprays and can be white or tinted before absorption. For darker hair colors, some of the white or tinted varieties can be more difficult to blend in and leave behind a visibly chalky residue. A clear or “invisible” option, such as the IGK Jet Lag Lightweight Invisible Dry Shampoo, is recommended in these cases.

    Scent:

    Unfortunately, most dry shampoos feature strong scents, so if you are sensitive to fragrance, you may have a harder time finding the right formula. However, options like Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk or Crown Affair The Dry Shampoo are delicately fragranced and less likely to irritate.

    If you want to mask odors, you can’t beat the time-release fragrance of Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, which offers a fresh citrus scent all day.

    FAQs

    How does dry shampoo work?

    Typically formulated as either an aerosol spray or powder, dry shampoo absorbs excess oil from the scalp and roots, helping to refresh hair between washes and boosting volume.

    “They normally contain starches, clays, or other absorbent elements that effectively lift and eliminate oil, leaving the hair looking as though it’s been freshly washed,” notes Mannah.

    Are dry shampoos good for your hair?

    Mannah says that while dry shampoo is generally considered safe when used as directed, use should be limited.

    “Excessive use or using without cleansing with shampoo after a few days may potentially lead to clogged hair follicles and scalp issues,” he explains. “Maintaining a balance by incorporating regular cleansing is crucial.”

    How often can you use dry shampoo?

    As mentioned above, using too much dry shampoo can result in build up or scalp issues. Mannah advises no more than “a few times a week,” while Olivia says she recommends “no more than once a week.”

    How do you apply dry shampoo?

    Dry shampoo is usually most effective when applied to the roots and left to absorb for a few minutes. Then, rub in the product with your fingers or brush through with a brush until the white cast or other residue is gone.

    Read the original article on Business Insider

    Related

    Latest posts

    Categories