All hair textures can benefit from using dry shampoo: It can help soak up oil, dirt and dandruff in between wash days or after exercising, and it helps extend blowouts and add texture to waves and curls. Dry shampoo is usually available in two forms — spray and powder — and its active ingredients vary from brand to brand, with starch, clay and alcohol forming some of the most common ingredients, according to hair stylist and licensed cosmetologist Courtney Foster.
SKIP AHEAD The benefits of dry shampoo and how to use it
To help you determine the best dry shampoo for your hair, we spoke to hairstylists about how to best use dry shampoo in between washes and for styling purposes, as well as what to consider when shopping for one. We also compiled a list of expert-recommended and Select staff-favorite dry shampoos to consider.
Best dry shampoos to consider
To help give you an idea of the different dry shampoos out there and narrow down your options, we’ve compiled expert-recommended options and Select staff favorites we think are worth considering. Each of the following dry shampoos are made for all hair types and come in either a spray or powder form.
Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
Foster recommended the Batiste Original Dry Shampoo because of its lightweight, vegan formula that mists onto her natural hair to absorb grease. The brand says the dry shampoo has a fragrance profile of lavender, musk and rose, and it’s available in 23 variations, including Pink Pineapple and Tropical. The Original Dry Shampoo is also offered in various formulas created for different hair tones like Brilliant Blonde and Beautiful Brunette.
R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder
Jasmine Burnside, a hair stylist based in New York City, recommended this R+Co powder dry shampoo because “a little goes a long way — it absorbs oils fast and doesn’t leave a white cast.” Suitable for all hair types, the formula contains jojoba seed oil that helps condition hair and add shine, and burdock root extract that serves as an antioxidant and removes loose dandruff, according to the brand.
Billie Floof Dry Shampoo
Billie’s dry shampoo is a Select staff favorite thanks to its cocoa brown powder texture that can blend in with darker hair and create noticeable volume (the brand also makes a formula for those with lighter hair). “With other dry shampoos, I’ve had to forcefully blend in the product after a spritz to make sure I didn’t have white spots all over my hair (or on my clothes),” said former Select reporter Ambar Pardilla. She noted it takes one to three shakes of the Floof dry shampoo to style her hair and said she hasn’t dealt with fallout from the powder.
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
Tina Malhotra, a hair stylist at Mia Wagner Salon in New York City, called Oribe’s dry shampoo “an excellent holy grail product to add to your hair arsenal.” Formulated without parabens, sulfates or sodium chloride, this spray dry shampoo offers UV protection, nourishes damaged hair and absorbs dirt, oil and other impurities and buildup, according to the brand. Oribe recommends spraying the product 8 to 10 inches from your scalp and tousling or brushing through for best results.
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo
Select editorial operations manager Shari Uyehara said she became a fan of the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo after getting a few free samples from Sephora — she likes the smell of the formula, as well as the fact that it doesn’t leave a white cast on her dark hair. Made with fine rice starches to absorb oil and reduce buildup, this dry shampoo is infused with argan oil — which can help moisturize the hair — and is available for both dark and light hair to prevent the white residue that’s typically left behind after using dry shampoo, according to the brand.
Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Foster recommended this dry shampoo from Amika because it doesn’t release a cloud of white spray onto her textured hair — instead, it uses finely grained rice starch to absorb moisture from the scalp while sea buckthorn berry nourishes the hair, the brand says. Amika’s Perk Up dry shampoo is color- and keratin-safe, and it can add volume and texture to the hair while reducing odor, dirt and oil, according to the brand. It also has a light amber scent, which Burnside said “smells amazing.” She added that it’s “not too heavy [and] can be used from roots to ends to add volume and texture.”
Ouidad Clean Sweep Moisturizing Dry Shampoo
Ouidad’s dry shampoo is infused with a blend of mongongo and rosehip seed oils, which together help condition the hair and scalp, according to the brand. Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin said she bought this dry shampoo because she uses the brand’s regular shampoo and conditioner and she likes that it’s formulated specifically for curls. “It doesn’t make my hair feel crunchy like some other dry shampoos I’ve tried and it doesn’t make my hair appear white, which is an issue I've had in the past,” Malin said.
XFusion Keratin Hair Fibers
Kyle DeToure, a Washington-based hair stylist and hair colorist, recommended the XFusion Keratin Hair Fibers powder because “it absorbs oils, gives texture and thickness with one usage and lasts for days.” The product is made with thickening fibers that equip a static coating, which enables them to cling to the hair and create the appearance of thicker, fuller strands. “I recommend this to all of my fine hair clients and male clients who want thicker hair and the appearance of more hair,” DeToure said. It comes in a variety of colors to match your hair, including Auburn, Light Blonde and Gray.
The benefits of dry shampoo — and how to use it
Overall, dry shampoo offers both functional benefits — including absorbing dirt and oil and minimizing the need to shampoo after exercise — and aesthetic ones to help style hair. “It’s also good for people with greasier hair or oily scalps, to help absorb the oil and make the hair look less ‘dirty’ between washes,” Malhotra said.
Spray dry shampoo application is also fairly straightforward: Hold the spray can about six inches away from your head, spritz and then massage the product onto your scalp. For powder dry shampoos, you can simply sprinkle the product onto your scalp and massage it in to help it blend into your hair and let it absorb excess grease. “Dry shampoo powders are best if you are interested in more texture, volume, and the feeling of thicker hair — I recommend powder to clients with fine hair, blonde balayage and color clients who prefer to wash less often,” DeToure said.
Keep in mind, however, that some spray and powder dry shampoos produce a white cast on your hair that’ll need to be combed or manually shaken out when styling — some products offer a tinted formula that better blends in with either dark or light hair. “Spraying further away from the scalp helps prevent any visual residue, and using short bursts help control the amount being applied,” DeToure added.
How often can you use dry shampoo?
Although dry shampoo is useful for touch-ups, Foster noted it is not a substitute replacement for regular shampooing and conditioning. She recommended using dry shampoo no more than three times a week to help prevent product buildup.
“Dry shampoo will help for a couple of days, but it will not fully remove the build up,” Foster said, explaining that shampoo removes dirt, debris and oil from the scalp and when skipped, the hair can become dirty and hold odor. Foster added that if you use dry shampoo excessively, it won’t be effective — meanwhile, if hair follicles are “clean and clear,” the hair can grow healthier without obstruction.
Overall, our experts noted if your hair feels or looks dirty, it’s probably best to simply wash it instead of piling on products like dry shampoos to reduce the appearance of oiliness. “There is a common misconception that ‘over-washing’ your hair leads to more oil production. The truth is, an individual's oil production is uniquely based on their own sebaceous glands,” Burnside explained, adding that “some people just produce more oil, more quickly than others.” Ultimately, she recommended washing your hair when you feel like you need to.
Meet our experts
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Courtney Foster is a hair stylist, certified hair loss practitioner and licensed cosmetologist based in New York City.
- Jasmine Burnside is a hair stylist based in New York City and specializes in cutting men and women's hair, as well as editorial, commercial and wedding hair styling.
- Tina Malhotra is the master stylist at Mia Wagner Salon in New York City.
- Kyle DeToure is a Washington-based hair stylist and hair colorist who specializes in balayage.
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