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What Exactly is Dry Shampoo, Anyway?

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Every hair stylist goes about styling hair differently, but there’s one piece of hair care advice they all stand by: do not shampoo every day. It seems counterintuitive (clean hair = wash more often, right?), but in reality, shampooing your hair too frequently strips it of the precious natural oils it needs to be healthy and smooth. Without these oils, or sebum, hair ends up in worse shape than when it started (especially dry hair or fine hair types). When it comes to shampoo, less is more.

What if you hit the gym on the regular and need to shampoo your hair in order to not feel grimy the rest of the day? Well, you can try one of these second-day hair hairstyles or just spritz on some dry shampoo: a magical product that makes flat, oily strands look like they just had a professional blow-out. In short, dry shampoo absorbs excess oil, adds volume, and boosts shine in a pinch, no rinsing required. 

The best part? There’s a dry shampoo designed with every hair condition in mind. So keep scrolling below for our breakdown of what dry shampoo is, all of its wonderful benefits, and the top 10 dry shampoos for every hair type and need.

 

 

So, How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

What makes dry shampoo different from regular shampoo–aside from the obvious dry aspect–is that it contains alcohol and starch-based active ingredients that wring out excess oil (sort of like baby powder). It’s available in powders, aerosol sprays, and oil-absorbing sheets. 

 

How Often Should I Use Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo works as a great occasional substitute for shampoo and conditioner, like when you’re travelling, sweating a lot on a daily basis, skipped a shower, and need a quick hair pick-me-up. As with anything, however, too much dry shampoo (more than two days in a row) can result in unwanted side effects such as white residue and product build-up. If in doubt, it’s best to consult your hair stylist or dermatologist to know how often you should be shampooing and dry shampooing your hair.  

For more tips on how to get the most out of your dry shampoo, check out our guide to how to use dry shampoo here

 

What Are the Benefits of Dry Shampoo? 

Beyond preserving your hair's natural oils while also keeping it from looking greasy, dry shampoo has a host of other benefits worth noting. For one, skipping a hair wash saves a lot of time; no rinsing, lathering, repeating, or drying needed. You can be out of bed and out the door within minutes. Secondly, the right dry shampoo can help add extra volume, shine, and even texture to your hair, if that’s your thing. And lastly, depending on what dry shampoo you use, the miracle hair savior can even help contain dandruff. Bottom line, no matter what condition your hair is in, there’s a dry shampoo that can work for you. 

 

The Best Dry Shampoos to Use, ASAP

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo

1. The Best Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair:

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo

For anyone whose hair color is dark brown or black, you may be a little hesitant to hop on the dry shampoo train because of the risk of leaving behind white residue. If this sounds like you, fret not, because this dry shampoo from hair salon staple BUMBLE AND BUMBLE is completely transparent. Formulated with French Pink Clay, this 2-in-1 “style extender” absorbs excess oil and volumizes from root to end, without leaving a trace of chalky powder. Even better, it’s suitable for all hair types–from dense to fine, oily to normal. 

For more amazing dry shampoo picks for dark hair, check out our complete guide.

R+CO Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist

2. The Best Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair:

R+CO Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist

The last thing fine hair folks need is extra product build-up to weigh down their delicate strands. That’s why we love this R+CO dry shampoo mist. Instead of a traditional dry shampoo spray, this vegan and cruelty-free micellar mist gently cleanses both the scalp and strands of oil, leaving them soft and refreshed. It also features a dreamy, rosy scent concocted with bergamot, wild fig, lotus flower, and cedarwood to fool anyone (even yourself) into believing you just left the hair salon. 

Want more dry shampoo picks for fine hair? Check out a few of our faves in our complete guide to the best dry shampoos for fine hair.

OUAI HAIRCARE Dry Shampoo Foam

3. The Best Dry Shampoo for Dry Hair:

OUAI HAIRCARE Dry Shampoo Foam

If you think dry shampoo will just make dry hair feel dryer, think again. This award-winning foaming dry shampoo by OUAI HAIRCARE is designed specifically to leave your hair feeling moisturized and smooth (no chalky, white cast in sight). Spray a ping-pong sized amount in the palm of your hand, massage through your hair, let it absorb for about 60 seconds, and then check yourself in the mirror to admire that just-showered shine.

KLORANE Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

4. The Best Dry Shampoo for Curly Hair:

KLORANE Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Keep your curls Shirley Temple-level bouncy with KLORANE’s dry shampoo with oat milk. A long-time IPSY staff favorite, this award-winning dry shampoo gently cleanses hair with its botanical-based formula that puts a spring in the step of all your precious curls and waves in between washes. Vegan, hypoallergenic, and free of parabens, it’s known to eliminate oil and refresh curly hair without weighing it down.

IGK HAIR Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Matcha Dry Shampoo

5. The Best Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair:

IGK HAIR Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Matcha Dry Shampoo

This is it: the ultimate multi-tasking dry shampoo. It cleanses, detoxifies, and volumizes oily hair in need of revitalization. Turmeric lightly cleanses while heavy-lifting charcoal powder removes dirt and product-build up from oily roots. At the same time, coconut oil ensures strands aren’t totally stripped of their moisturized, smooth feeling. Because of its powerful ingredients, this bad boy is best on normal to oily scalps only.

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo

6. The Best Dry Shampoo for Sensitive Scalps:

BRIOGEO HAIR CARE Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo

An irritated scalp means more excess oil seeping into your hair and that means wanting to wash your hair more often than you should. This BRIOGEO HAIR CARE dry shampoo is formulated with oily, sensitive scalps in mind. Binchotan charcoal and witch hazel gently draw out impurities directly from the source -- the scalp area -- while natural clay and rice starches cleanse the hair strands of oil, leaving them soft and strong.

R+CO BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste

7. The Best Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo:

R+CO BADLANDS Dry Shampoo Paste

Dry shampoos come in all shapes and sizes, including jars of paste. This R+CO dry shampoo paste is a 2-in-1 morning after savior: one part oil-absorbing dry shampoo and one part flexible styling gel. Working a small amount through your hair will give it a clean, matte finish and a smooth touch. On top of that, an energizing fragrance features green tea, eucalyptus, Sicilian lemon, and more. The bright scent and handy 2-in-1 hair sculpting abilities make this one of the best dry shampoo products on our list for men’s hair.

CAKE BEAUTY The Take Out Dry Shampoo Sheets

8. The Best On-the-Go Dry Shampoo:

CAKE BEAUTY The Take Out Dry Shampoo Sheets

Give your hair the self care it needs when you’re busy travelling on-the-go. Long hours spent on plane rides and road trips can leave hair totally greasy and flat. That’s why the individual oil-absorbing sheets -- coated with transparent powder -- from CAKE BEAUTY are so handy. No sprays, paste, or wash required to make weary hair look like new. Plus, they conveniently fit inside any purse or pocket.  

IGK HAIR First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

9. The Best Detoxing Dry Shampoo:

IGK HAIR First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

When a serious hair detox is in order (oily and over-processed hair types, you know what I mean), this IGK Hair dry shampoo has your back. The most heavy-duty dry shampoo on our list, it’s formulated with naturally cleansing and detoxifying charcoal powder to lift and absorb locked-in dirt with just a few spritzes, so you can go longer between full-on washes. In the meantime, white tea powder soothes irritated scalps and strengthens hair follicles for an all-around healthier head.

CAKE BEAUTY The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo

10. The Best Volumizing Dry Shampoo:

CAKE BEAUTY The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo

Like giving a pep talk to tired, limp hair, this CAKE BEAUTY volumizing dry shampoo instantly makes your strands look (and feel) shiny, soft, and gorgeous. For fine hair and oily hair alike, it’s quick-fix for noticeable volume and texture, without the time and cost of a full-on shampoo and blow-out. Turn your second-day hair into the best hair day of your life with a dose of dry shampoo volume.  


 

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About the author
Isabel Miller-Bottome
Ipster, California girl, French beauty product fanatic
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Article Last Updated March 5, 2020 12:00 AM