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Best Dry Shampoos

Updated December 2018
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 32 Models Considered
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 543 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best dry shampoos

    Last Updated December 2018

    Hair stylists agree: washing your hair every day isn’t a very good idea. Over-washing robs your hair of moisture, strips color, and causes frizz. Dry shampoo, which soaks up excess oil and adds texture and volume to your locks, is a great way to go longer between washes.

    There are so many dry shampoos on the market, however, that choosing the right one can be challenging. How do you find the best dry shampoo to extend your style without leaving a powdery residue?

    At BestReviews, we pass on the info you need to make the best shopping decisions. We do in-depth research, test products in our labs and the field, grill the experts, and gather feedback from existing customers to compile our reviews. We purchase all our own products, too, which means our recommendations are 100% unbiased.

    If you’re ready to purchase a dry shampoo, take a look at the product list above for our top recommendations. For more on how to choose the right dry shampoo for your hair and a few styling tricks, keep reading.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Dry shampoo is ideal for after a workout, so it’s a good idea to toss a bottle in your gym bag.

    What is dry shampoo?

    Dry shampoo contains starches, clays, vegetable powders, or chemicals that soak up oil. When dry shampoo is applied to hair, it absorbs oil, so your locks appear cleaner and fresher. Dry shampoo also adds texture to your hair, which helps boost volume.

    Benefits of dry shampoo

    • Dry shampoo allows you to refresh your hair without water.

    • Dry shampoo can prolong the life of color-treated hair because you can go longer between washes, which fade hair color.

    • Dry shampoo is fragranced to freshen up your hair.

    • Dry shampoo gives hair texture, which makes it easier to style.

    • Dry shampoo boosts your hair’s volume, making it ideal for fine and thin hair.

    How to use dry shampoo

    Apply dry shampoo directly to the roots of your hair, which is where your hair gets oiliest. Lift your hair in two-inch sections, and spritz or sprinkle dry shampoo, being careful not to apply too much. Let dry shampoo sit for five minutes. Then use your fingers to gently blend it in to remove any powdery residue. Brush dry shampoo all the way through to the ends of your hair.

    Powder dry shampoo tends to work better for fine or thin hair.

    What to look for when buying dry shampoo

    Formula

    Dry shampoo comes in two formulas: aerosol or powder.

    • Aerosol: Aerosol formulas are faster and easier to apply. They allow you to spray dry shampoo precisely and coat your hair evenly. But it’s easy to over-apply an aerosol dry shampoo.

    • Powder: Powder dry shampoo requires more care and finesse to apply, but you usually don’t waste as much product. Powder also tends to have a lighter texture, so it can be a better option for fine or thin hair.
    EXPERT TIP

    After applying dry shampoo to your roots, let it sit for at least five minutes. This gives it time to really absorb excess oil.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Color

    The biggest complaint about dry shampoo is the visible white residue that it can leave in your hair. This white discoloration usually occurs because you haven’t selected the right shade for your hair color. Many “colorless” dry shampoos are white, so if you don’t blend them in well enough, your hair can look discolored. This is not an issue for light hair, like blonde, gray, or silver shades.

    However, if you have dark or red hair, look for a dry shampoo that’s formulated specifically for your hair color. It will be tinted slightly, so it blends more easily into your hair and doesn’t leave behind any telltale residue.

    EXPERT TIP

    To avoid white residue, select a dry shampoo that matches your hair color.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Ingredients

    Many dry shampoos are formulated with harsh chemicals that may not be good for the long-term health of your hair. If you prefer products that are chemical-free, look for a dry shampoo that contains natural ingredients like rice powder, blue yucca root, and bamboo extract to absorb oil.

    EXPERT TIP

    If you just want to add texture to your hair, apply dry shampoo to the ends.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Scent

    Part of the appeal of dry shampoo is that it rids your hair of unpleasant odors. The fragrance of dry shampoo freshens up hair without washing. There are a wide variety of scents, so there’s bound to be an option that appeals to your nose.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    If you have sensitive skin, you may prefer a fragrance-free dry shampoo to avoid any scalp irritation.

    Price

    Dry shampoo varies in price based on the brand and quantity, but you can usually expect to spend between $3 and $30.

    • Drugstore: For a drugstore dry shampoo, you’ll pay between $3 and $9.

    • Mid-range: For a mid-range dry shampoo, you’ll pay between $10 and $16.

    • High-end: For a high-end dry shampoo, you’ll pay between $17 and $30.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Don’t apply dry shampoo to wet or damp hair. You won’t see the same results.

    Dry shampoo tips and tricks

    • With an aerosol dry shampoo, be sure to hold the bottle 10 to 12 inches from your roots to avoid visible powdery residue.

    • Don’t apply too much dry shampoo because your hair can wind up looking dull and discolored. Start with a small amount, let it sit for a few minutes, and then add more if your hair still looks oily.

    • When you’re working dry shampoo into your hair, it’s better to use a bristle brush rather than a comb.

    • If you need help blending in dry shampoo, run a hair dryer over your hair after you’ve applied it. Make sure the dryer’s on the lowest heat setting, and use your fingers to work the dry shampoo into your hair.

    • Using dry shampoo too often can lead to residue buildup that may clog your hair follicles. Try to limit your use to once or twice between regular washings, not every day.

    EXPERT TIP

    Applying dry shampoo before bed gives it plenty of time to soak in, so you wake up with fresh, clean-looking hair.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    FAQ

    Q. Are there different dry shampoos for different hair types?
    A.
    There are dry shampoo formulas based on hair type. You can find formulas designed specifically for adding definition to curly hair or lightweight formulas that won’t weigh down fine hair. There are also dry shampoos for hair that’s especially oily. They have added drying agents to absorb more oil than traditional dry shampoos.

    When you’re working dry shampoo into your hair, it’s better to use a bristle brush rather than a comb.

    Q. Can I use dry shampoo on hair extensions?
    A.
    Dry shampoo is only recommended for use on natural hair. Applying it to extensions may damage the hair.

    Q. Does dry shampoo work on dark hair?
    A.
    Most dry shampoos have a white cast, which can leave visible residue on dark hair. Use a small amount, and massage it in well to ensure that your hair doesn’t look discolored. For best results, use a dry shampoo formulated specifically for your hair color.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katherine
      Katherine
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Steph
      Steph
      Writer

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