After a vigorous workout or a day in the sun, the sweat pooling around your roots may cause your scalp (and hair) to appear oily and greasy. Because there’s no way to stop a scalp from sweating unless you want to spend a lot of money on frequent Botox injections, dry shampoo is a quick approach to make it look less sweaty.
Dry shampoo absorbs excess oil while removing impurities like grime from your hair. It’s usually made with moisture-absorbing corn or rice starch. With ingredients like oat milk, aloe vera, and niacinamide, some can even soothe irritated or dry scalps.
We asked eight hairstylists whose dry shampoos they recommend in order to find the best. Dry shampoos for curly hair, products that perform better with darker hues, and alternatives that also add volume are among their 12 favorites.
Best Overall Dry Shampoo
Klorane Dry Shampoo Powder with Oat Milk
Four of the hairstylists we spoke with recommended Klorane’s dry shampoo as their go-to. It is “lightweight and great for all hair types,” according to celebrity hairstylist Anthony Campbell, owner of Campbell & Campbell salon. This dry shampoo works for a variety of hair types and people with “really oily scalps,” according to hairstylist Benjamin Talbott.
“The oat milk in this recipe acts as an astringent, drying out excess oil while also giving suppleness to hair,” he explains. Because it’s a powder rather than an aerosol spray, this dry shampoo is slightly better for the environment. To avoid product buildup, Talbott recommends “going light with this” while applying.
Henry de la Paz and Aviva Jansen Perea, both hairstylists, recommended this dry shampoo, with Perea noting that Klorane’s oil-control dry shampoo is worth exploring if your scalp is super-oily after an “especially sweaty workout or during the hot summer months.” (It has the same elements as the original, plus nettle extract, which aids in oil production regulation.)
Best Drugstore Dry Shampoo
Dove Invisible Dry Shampoo
Dove’s new /Care Between Washes/ hair products range is designed to help women care for their hair on days when they don’t have time to wash it. This line, which includes new dry shampoos and forms, is ideal for rejuvenating, restructuring, and rehydrating a variety of hair types on days when bathing isn’t on the agenda but beautiful hair is.
Invisible Dry Shampoo by Dove /Care Between Washes/ is ideal for freshening and revitalizing regular to dry hair. On days between washes, instantly and invisibly cleanses roots while weightlessly rejuvenating lengths, leaving hair feeling fresh, clean, and looking healthy.
Hair looks and feels lovely, healthy, and full of body with just a few short sprays. How to apply: Shake the aerosol can of Dove /Care Between Washes/ Invisible Dry Shampoo before and during use. Hold the can 8-12 inches away from the root and spray in quick bursts on lifted sections of dry hair, forming an “L” with your elbow. Massage into the roots to absorb the oil, then brush through and style as usual for revitalized, full-bodied hair.
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Best Dry Shampoo for Darker-colored Hair
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark Tones
Because many dry shampoos create a white cast on darker-toned hair, hairstylists recommend that dark-haired people look for one that is specifically made for their hair colour, such as Talbott’s dry shampoo. The spray contains ultrafine rice starch, which dissolves as soon as it’s massaged into the scalp, avoiding dandruff-like residue from appearing on the roots.
“It’s infused with argan oil and UV filters, which help hydrate and prevent sun damage,” Talbott says. He says it’s “an perfect choice for natural kinky, coily, or textured hair, as it won’t induce shrinking,” in addition to being great for dark-colored hair. This product is also recommended by hairstylist Sahar Hissami, owner of Maeve in June salon, who says it has a pleasant “fresh scent.”
Best Volumizing Dry Shampoo
SexyHair Big Dry Shampoo | Remove Oils and Impurities | Provides Additional Volume
Because greasy and oily hair can already appear flat, using a volumizing product on top of dry shampoo can make it appear more limper. Instead, de la Paz suggests using this Sexy Hair dry shampoo to minimise grease and add volume to the hair. “Without the product accumulation, you’ll have the va-va-voom loudness,” he explains.
If you understand it, he suggests that you use it in a slightly different way: Allow this dry shampoo to stay on your hair for two minutes before brushing it out or styling it for maximum volume.
Best (less-expensive) Dry Shampoo for Darker-colored Hair
Kristin Ess Style Reviving Brunette Dry Shampoo-4 oz
This dry shampoo by Kristin Ess for dark-haired persons searching for a less expensive option, which she uses on her customers before they go in front of the camera. This product allows me to relax knowing that when the cameras flash, none of the white powder will be picked up.
Unlike the Moroccanoil spray, which is white, this one has a neutral brown tint that blends well with darker hair colours. De la Paz also told us about this dry shampoo, claiming that it is free of sulphates and parabens and that it includes vitamins that help replenish hair that has been damaged by years of colouring or heat styling.
Best Dry Shampoo for Curly Hair
Hair by Sam Mcknight Dry Shampoo
Using a dry shampoo on curly hair, which demands a lot of moisture, may seem contradictory. This one, though, works especially well for “thick, kinky, and curly” hair, according to Talbott. The ultralightweight translucent formula won’t dry out or weigh down delicate curls, and it smells “sublime, like a breath of fresh air,” he claims, with notes of water lily, green stem, and juniper wood.
Best Scented Dry Shampoo
Oribe Dry Shampoo
Oribe’s dry shampoo was praised by two hairstylists. It “smells like a magnificent perfume,” according to Hissami, and de la Paz guarantees it’s “worth every penny.” The smell is inspired by Oribe’s distinctive Côte d’Azur scent, which comprises bergamot, jasmine, and sandalwood undertones.
While the odour is noticeable, experts believe it is not overpowering. The product has a blend of starches and is translucent, allowing it to swiftly absorb oil and cure scalp impurities without weighing hair down or leaving white spots. It is suitable for all hair types and textures.
Best Dry Shampoo for Flaky Scalps
Philip Kingsley Flaky Scalp Soothing Dry Shampoo
“The great treatment if you have dandruff or scaly scalp troubles,” says albott. “It was created to tackle the core cause of dandruff and clear out any extra sebum, keeping you balanced and refreshed,” he explains.
A blend of starches absorbs oil, while chemicals including bisabolol (a camomile derivative), niacinamide, aloe vera, and methyl lactate (a cooling agent) all work together to soothe and reduce inflammation while also improving the appearance of the scalp.
Best Dry Shampoo for Very Oily Scalps
IGK FIRST CLASS Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
The ingredient in this dry shampoo that Hissami suggests to anyone in need of something more heavy-duty will be familiar to those who are familiar with charcoal masks for the face or skin.
She claims the dry shampoo’s composition mixes charcoal and white-tea powder to “thoroughly cleanse your scalp,” regardless of hair type or texture. The main ingredient helps to loosen grime and absorb excess oil, while the white-tea powder soothes and prevents irritation.
Best Texturizing Dry Shampoo
R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder, 1.0 Oz
Several dry shampoos from R+Co were mentioned by our experts, but the Skyline Dry-Shampoo Powder was the most popular. Campbell is a devotee, claiming that it’s not only good for removing sweat stains but also for “prolonging your blow-dry or style for the next couple of days.” Diatomaceous earth, the same substance that absorbs oil, also gives texture and grip to hair, which helps a style last longer. Jojoba-seed oil is included in this dry shampoo to help condition hair and provide shine.
It’s her “all-time favourite dry shampoo,” according to hairstylist Jasmine Burnside, because it’s a powder, not an aerosol spray, like the Klorane product at the top of our list. “It absorbs excess oil from your scalp considerably better than an aerosol,” she explains, noting that the powder formulation makes the product much more concentrated and so lasts longer. “I’ve had one bottle for almost two years,” Burnside says, adding that it’s not ideal for darker-colored hair since you “really have to massage it” if you use too much or too close to your scalp.
Is Dry Shampoo Bad for Hair?
Dry shampoo is a no-water method of freshening and fluffing your hair in between showers.
This alcohol- or starch-based products are becoming increasingly popular around the world. As the popularity of dry shampoo has grown, several people have expressed concerns about its safety.
It turns out that some of those fears were justified. Dry shampoo, as simple as it is to spray your way to cleaner-looking hair, can cause hair breakage, clogged follicles, and hair loss if used excessively.
Is Dry Shampoo Bad for your Scalp and Hair?
The short answer is that most people can safely use dry shampoo on occasion. However, applying it too frequently or for long periods of time can harm your hair and produce scalp issues.
Does Dry Shampoo Clean your Hair?
Dry shampoo isn’t the same as regular shampoo. The starch and alcohol mixture absorbs the oil in your hair and makes it less apparent when sprayed or sprinkled on. It doesn’t remove oil and debris as effectively as a shampoo and water scrub.
Does Dry Shampoo Lead to Hair Breakage?
Alcohols are commonly found in aerosol hair care products, which can be damaging to your hair. When you comb or style your hair when it’s dry, the individual fibers might crack and snag on each other, resulting in breakage.
Does Dry Shampoo Overuse can Clog Hair Follicles?
Dry shampoo can build up on your scalp if you use it too often or leave it in your hair for long periods of time without washing it off.
A buildup of styling products might irritate your scalp. It’s also conceivable that the buildup will cause folliculitis. A bacterial or fungal infection in the hair follicle causes this condition.
Does Infrequent Hair-washing Can Cause Dandruff and Scaly Skin?
While no research have shown that dry shampoo causes dandruff, Mayo Clinic doctors note that an extremely greasy scalp can induce dandruff. As a result, if you leave dry shampoo on your scalp, you’re also leaving behind the oils that have been absorbed.
Oils also feed on a fungus called Malassezia, which can cause seborrheic dermatitis, a red, scaly scalp condition.
How to Use Dry Shampoo?
Dry shampoo is a fantastic product. Dry shampoo, which is usually prepared with a starch component, is used to remove and absorb sebum, the natural oil produced by the scalp that causes hair to seem greasy after a day (or two, or three) without bathing. The components of starch absorb the oils to give a grease-free appearance and feel which is excellent when prolonging your blowouts and keeping hair oil-free between washes. It can also be used to add volume and body to hairstyles.
Yes, it’s essentially a miracle product — but only when used properly. Whether you use an aerosol spray, powder, or foam dry shampoo, there are a few typical blunders that can result in dandruff-like flakes, ashy roots, and dull, dry hair. However, if you know how to use dry shampoo effectively, it may save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to hairstyling. According to the pros, here is how to use dry shampoo correctly.
Shake it up
Shake the bottle of dry shampoo before using it to ensure that the formula is equally distributed. Between applications, the starch in aerosol formulae might settle to the bottom, so shaking it ensures that the mixture is well-blended for the greatest outcomes.
Don’t spray too close to your scalp
Spray up to 12 inches away from the roots to ensure that the oil-zapping starch exits properly and lands evenly on greasy roots. If you’re using a powder solution, put it near your scalp rather than your part, as this can cause hair to seem chalky and be difficult to remove.
Keep it moving
Do not spray continuously in one area. If you do, you’ll end up with a hard-to-disperse patch of product at the roots. Instead, apply a thin coating of product over the roots in an equal, sweeping motion. Swaying back and forth in a swaying motion guarantees that you don’t over-concentrate one region.
Only apply dry shampoo where hair is greasiest
Stick to the top several inches of your head when applying dry shampoo. Because the bottom of your hair is unlikely to be oily, using an oil absorber all over will only make your hair stiff and lifeless. Identify the greasy portions of your hair by sectioning the hair to expose the scalp and roots.
Don’t use too much product
A good dosage of dry shampoo will make your hair look fresher when it’s greasy, but too much will make it look drab and discolored. Using too much dry shampoo might cause your hair to become dry, gritty, and stiff. It’s advisable to use a modest amount and massage it through the root to avoid these problems. Start with a small amount of spritz dry shampoo, wait a few minutes, and then apply more if your hair is still greasy.
Let it sit
After spritzing on dry shampoo, don’t brush or shake it out right away. Allow the product to absorb the oil at your roots and work its way into your hair by letting it sit for a few minutes before massaging it in and brushing or combing it through.
Massage product into the hair
After allowing the product to soak into your hair, massage the dry shampoo into your scalp with your hands. If you don’t, it will simply sit on top of your hair and will be unable to do its function. Working the product into your hair will also help to eliminate any chalkiness. Use a brush to comb the product through or a hair dryer to blast roots and help remove the extra product once it’s done its work to get rid of white residue.
Don’t use it every day
There is such a thing as too much dry shampoo. Dry shampoo, despite its name, does not clean hair; instead, it provides a starchy buildup to absorb oils. Dry shampoo, can block your follicles and cause damage to your hair. This weakens the hair, which can lead to hair loss and skin problems such as infections, dermatitis, and acne.
Instead, give your scalp a chance to breathe in between washes by using dry shampoo only once or twice a week. You can use dry shampoo two to three times a week for excessively oily hair.