- Some days you just run out of time to wash your hair (or you just don’t feel like it), but that doesn’t mean it has to look greasy.
- Dry shampoo is here to save you from a bad hair day. Just spritz your roots, give it a little fluff, and you’re done.
- Of all the dry shampoos we tried, Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is the best because it makes your hair look – and smell – just-washed.
Although you may feel guilty for not washing your hair as regularly as you’d like to, you’re actually doing yourself a favor. According to dermatologists Paradi Mirmimani and Lynne Goldberg, no one should be washing their hair every day.
Now you’re probably thinking, “But won’t my hair get greasy and oily?” – and you’re not wrong. Greasy hair is kind of a cyclical problem; shampooing too frequently strips your hair of its natural oils, causing your scalp to go into oil production overload (wash, rinse, repeat).
Enter dry shampoo, a product that’s meant to be applied to your hair on no-wash days to absorb oil and keep your hair looking clean. Picking out dry shampoos can be tricky. Long-haired people already spend enough money on hair products as it is, but buying a cheap dry shampoo means running the risk of stiff hair ornamented by white flecks.
At the same time, it feels frivolous to splurge on a good dry shampoo, because, well, why not just spend your money on actual shampoo? However, your future self – the one that’s running ten minutes late and has no time to shower – will thank you.
After doing some research on the buzziest dry shampoos on the market, combing through reviews, taking a look at recommendations from pro hairstylists, and drawing from our own experiences, we have found the best dry shampoos for every hair type and price point.
Here are the best dry shampoos you can buy:
- Best overall: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
- Best cult classic: Batiste Dry Shampoo
- Best drugstore option: Dove Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo
- Best high-end option: Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
- Best powder formula: Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder
- Best foam formula: Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam
- Best volumizing formula: R+Co’s Death Valley Dry Shampoo
- And if you’re looking for traditional shampoo, here are the best shampoos to buy.
Updated 10/24/19 by Jada Wong: Added a slide to indicate other dry shampoos we considered for this shopping guide.
The best dry shampoo overall
- Living Proof
The beloved 3-in-1 formula in Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo gets rid of oil, sweat, and odor so your hair looks and smells fresh.
What sets Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo apart from the rest is its innovative formula that aims to cut down on oily roots, sweat, and natural-but-not-pleasant odors that come with skipping a wash (which no one except maybe your S.O. will notice, but you know it’s there). The result is basically clean hair without jacking up your water bill.
The key is to let the product sink in for at least 30 seconds so it can actually clean, degrease, and deodorize, instead of just sitting on top of your hair and masking oil. Then you just massage it into your roots, which I find gives me better results than brushing it out.
I’m not too proud to admit that I have two bottles of Perfect Hair Day underneath my bathroom sink in case I ever run out, which happens more often than you’d imagine since I use this three times a week. I also have four bottles of our much more affordable Dove pick because it’s $4 compared to $24.
Don’t get me wrong though – Perfect Hair Day is still worth every penny. Byrdie’s Victoria Hoff put it through the ringer with a SoulCycle class and Refinery29 said it made the writer’s hair actually feel clean instead of masking oil and sweat in its Cult Classics column.
One Sephora reviewer actually said it dethroned her old favorite, though we’re not totally surprised since Perfect Hair Day has an impressive 4.4 out of 5 stars with more than 2,000 5-star reviews. Some commenters complained about a too-strong scent, but I don’t mind it – especially if it’s going to help remove and neutralize the smell of second-day hair. – Jada Wong
Pros: Removes odors from scalp and hair that result from not washing, leaves little-to-no residue, adds volume, easy spray application
Cons: Some users have complained about the strong scent, can be pricey, needs to set for 30 seconds
The best cult classic dry shampoo
Sometimes you don’t have time for a full wash, but Batiste Dry Shampoo is here to save the day.
Part of adulthood is coming to terms with the fact that you will occasionally sleep through your alarm and not have time to shower before work. There’s no shame in that. It happens to literally everyone (some of us with more frequency than others). But it does mean you should have a contingency plan – i.e. a really good dry shampoo.
There are countless options on the market, but shoppers really go wild over the wallet-friendly Batiste Dry Shampoo. The cult classic dry shampoo has 31,702 reviews and a 4.5 rating out of 5 on Influenster, and it also won Best Dry Shampoo in the 2017 Influenster Reviewers’ Choice Awards. Fans love it for its ability to de-grease your hair without making your roots unnaturally stiff.
Our guides editor Malarie Gokey also loves this dry shampoo and uses it on those in-between days when she doesn’t have time to wash her hair.
Batiste comes in a bunch of different scents with fun names like “Wild” and “Neon Lights,” and there are even tinted versions, which are great if the original gives you the dreaded white cast, as some darker-haired reviewers noted.
Still, even with that caveat, Batiste Dry Shampoo is a great dry shampoo with an unbeatable under-$10 price tag. As one Influenster user puts it, “Let’s just say if I️ was to have $10 til payday and I️t was between buying a bottle of Batiste or eating a meal… I️ pick the dry shampoo. I️t is a lifesaver!” – Erin Mayer
Pros: Bargain price tag, cuts down on oil without making hair stiff and crunchy
Cons: Might leave white residue on darker hair
The best drugstore dry shampoo
At an affordable price, it’s almost impossible to turn away from Dove’s Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.
Most of the time, beauty junkies won’t look twice at a product that sells for only $4. That price point means the quality suffers, right? Well, not when you’re looking at Dove’s Volume & Fullness Dry Shampoo.
This gem is easy to find and quickly distinguishes itself from the drugstore dry shampoo competition. Like the R+Co Death Valley, it contains silica – a rarity for lower-priced products, which normally use talc instead – ensuring that the dry shampoo instantly volumizes and goes on without residue.
Awarded an Allure Best of Beauty certification in 2014, the official review from the magazine notes how powerfully the spray distributes product, ensuring a generous application for the days when your hair needs that extra oomph.
A number of verified Amazon reviewers note that the dry shampoo far exceeded their expectations at such a low price point and that it even works on wigs.
Pros: You can’t beat the affordable price point, four different options from the line
Cons: Some users complained about white residue and a too-powerful smell
The best high-end dry shampoo
Splurging on the Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo doesn’t sting so bad when you feel like you’re spraying actual powdered gold into your hair.
It’s no secret that Oribe products are pricey, but for good reason – the brand’s signature scent alone is worth the splurge. Oribe’s Gold Lust Dry Shampoo fits right in with the luxe line, with a truly transparent formula infused with bamboo and rice silk to leave hair extra soft. (So, if it’s texture you’re after, you may want to skip this one.)
This does-it-all spray also soothes the scalp via lavender and chamomile. And, speaking of that scent, the dry shampoo’s fragrance retention technology keeps hair perfumed throughout the day – no reapplication necessary.
Oribe’s Gold Lust Dry Shampoo is formulated vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free without parabens, sulfates, or sodium chloride, ensuring that even the most sensitive of heads can use it. Refinery 29 wrote, “Nothing beats the feeling of fresh, clean hair – but this is a close second.”
Pros: Smells amazing, leaves no trace, lightweight
Cons: The high price point
The best powder formula dry shampoo
- Bumble and Bumble/Facebook
Bumble and Bumble’s Prêt-à-Powder takes the intimidation factor out of powdered dry shampoo with its easy application and versatile formula.
Throwing a powdered dry shampoo in your hair could make you feel like you’re dumping baby powder on your head, but not with BB’s Prêt-à-powder. This heavy formula ensures that even just a pinch of the powder works wonders.
As a verified Amazon reviewer wrote, “When I received [sic] this in the mail I was shocked to see how tiny the bottle was. However, a little bit of product goes a very long way on my fine hair.” Bumble and Bumble claims that the shampoo works on all hair types, from fine to thick, straight to wavy, natural to color-treated.
The formula features unique ingredients including polysilicone-22, a hybrid silicone powder that absorbs oil and leaves hair feeling fresh, as well as montmorillonite, “a natural clay from the Poitou-Charentes region of France that absorbs oil to dry cleanse.”
Its full-size bottle weighs in at 2 ounces, making it easy for on-the-go application throughout the day. With over 1,000 reviews averaging four stars on Sephora’s website, it’s clearly a fan-favorite, with one reviewer stating, “I can easily go three days between washings with this and my hair stays presentable.”
At $27, this dry shampoo isn’t cheap by any means – especially considering how small the bottle is – but the formula is manufactured to allow you to use as little as possible, with the bottle dispenser even featuring a tiny hole to make light application easy.
Pros: A little bit goes a long way, so the tiny bottle lasts forever, easy application directly from the bottle
Cons: On the pricey side, bigger learning curve with a powdered formula, some users have complained about a white cast in their hair after application
The best foam formula dry shampoo
The totally unique foam formula of the Ouai Dry Shampoo Foam will volumize your hair with the familiarity of a mousse.
Many people have tried hair products in the form of sprays and mousses, but never have the two come together in perfect harmony like Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam. With the ease of a mousse and all the qualities you love about a good dry shampoo, this product is a true beauty innovation. The foam formula ensures that you’ll never have a powdery residue stuck in your hair and gives your hair the right amount of bounce and shine.
Lauded with Cosmopolitan Magazine’s “Best Dry Shampoo” Beauty Award, the foam is a new beauty go-to, with 154 five-star reviews on Ouai’s website. It boasts diatomaceous earth as one of its key ingredients, which acts as the oil-absorbing component of the product. The foam goes into hair as you would expect a mousse to, but miraculously evaporates, leaving hair light and refreshed.
Cosmopolitan’s Carly Cardellino writes that the dry shampoo made her six-day-old hair feel like it was freshly washed, while her coworkers gushed about the perfumed scent and easy application. Some Sephora reviewers complained that it didn’t work well for their hair types – even noting that it made their hair feel more greasy than before – but the positive reviews far outnumber the negative.
Pros: Easy application, instantly volumizing
Cons: Some users have complained about it not working well for their hair, pricey
The best volumizing dry shampoo
The R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo has a lightweight formula that instantly refreshes your hair with a swoon-worthy scent.
Suitable for all hair colors, R+Co’s miracle-working dry shampoo makes hair look clean days after a wash, and it even works to volumize and extend styling. Rich in healthy natural ingredients, this spray contains Brazilian rice protein to moisturize hair, while antioxidant-rich vitamin E extract strengthens and keeps hair shiny. To volumize your hair, the spray contains pro-vitamin B5.
R+Co’s dry shampoo is also made from vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. It’s incredibly easy to apply – just aim and spray. With enough distance from the bottle to your head, the product won’t leave any white streaks, and luckily, just a little goes a long way.
Many reviewers on Influenster noted that this is a pricier option for dry shampoo because it costs $29, while drugstore products start around $4. However, those same reviewers mention that it is worth every penny, and that they will continue to repurchase the dry shampoo.
One featured reviewer on Influenster gushes, “When I have those mornings where I wake up late and have to scramble to get ready for work, this dry shampoo is my go to! … all it takes is a few sprays and my hair goes right back to being voluminous and soft. I just brush it out, and it feels and looks just like I showered and blew my hair out.”
Allure experts have also shown some love for this hair care staple, noting that the inclusion of silica in its ingredients instead of cheaper talc “absorbs oil, is extremely lightweight, and goes on sheer.”
Pros: Suitable for all hair types and colors, vegan and cruelty free, contains healthy and natural ingredients, good for layering day after day
Cons: On the pricey side
What else we considered
- Kristin Ess Facebook
Kristin Ess’ Style Reviving Dry Shampoo ($14 at Target): As far as drugstore dry shampoos go, Dove is our top pick because it works well, has a lot of varieties for different needs, and costs $5. Kristin Ess’ Style Reviving Dry Shampoo is a very close second, but costs slightly more at $14. It’s also only sold at Target, while Dove is more available at places like CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and more.