Dry shampoo is a godsend for anyone, whether you’re looking to freshen up a days-old style, zap oil, or add volume to your hair (without pulling out your favorite hair styling tools). It can save you time in the morning or preserve color-treated hair by minimizing true washing. That said, there are countless dry shampoos available everywhere from drugstores to salons, all claiming to be the best: so narrowing it down is anything but easy. That’s where we come in.
We rounded up the best dry shampoo on the market and tested the sprays, powders, and foams on fine, straight hair, and thick, curly hair. After hours of testing, Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo(available at Walmart for $4.88) nabbed our top spot for its fresh scent, affordable price point, and truly clean feeling. What else we found might surprise you.
These are the best dry shampoos we tested ranked, in order:
Best for: Truly clean-feeling (and -looking!) hair at a great value.
Dove's dry shampoo leaves hair feeling almost suspiciously clean, closer to the freshness of a real shampoo than any other product we tested. The spray is fine and leaves behind little to no visible residue or chalky buildup in any hair type, from thin, blonde hair to thick, dark locks. The spray doesn't weigh hair down or stiffen it up, but on the flip side, it doesn't add too much volume, either. It has the recognizably fresh scent of Dove products that so many know and love. If you're looking for clean, fresh-feeling hair, Dove’s dry shampoo won't disappoint.
Best for: Soaking up a serious amount of oil and adding volume and texture.
Detox DryBar dry shampoo is the quintessential dry shampoo: it adds high-impact texture and volume, and zaps grease and excess oil with just a little spritz. It’s amazing and effective. It has the brand's classic, musky salon scent that can be perfumey, if not overpowering at times. It leaves behind some residue that can leave roots feeling a little chalky after use, but the trade-off is incredible volume. The spray comes in both light and dark tones to match your hair color. Keep in mind you can buy 6 bottles of Dove for the price of one Detox, so it may not be the best choice for the budget-conscious consumer, but it does work as a two-in-one freshener and styler.
Best for: Clean, silky feeling hair that doesn't look chalky or dried-out.
Moroccanoil dry shampoo is great for dry, dehydrated, or curly hair. It's infused with argan oil, so it moisturizes as it de-greases and it actually leaves hair feeling clean and silky instead of chalky and dull, while still adding some volume. It comes in both light and dark tones to match hair, and a little scalp massage totally eliminates any visible residue. Its light vanilla scent is not overwhelming and testers noted that it "smells absolutely delicious," and "the best of the bunch." While it doesn’t soak up as much oil as DryBar’s Detox, it’s a great option for those with dryer locks or scalp issues.
We are Ashley Barry-Biancuzzo and Jessica Teich, professional product testers and editors at Reviewed—with very different hair types and hair goals. Ashley is a big fan of dry shampoo, as it saves her time in the morning. She says her fine hair gets greasy after a few hours, too, which makes her the perfect candidate for using it. She started using dry shampoo over the summer to extend the time between washes in an attempt to preserve the vibrant purple tips of her hair. Her hair is straight, fine, and noodle-like, and her ideal shampoo is one that adds volume.
Jessica is Reviewed's health and beauty editor, who has tested everything from liquid lipstick to flat irons. She has a mass of long, thick, curly hair and a dry scalp. Because of this, she often goes 5+ days between washes (oops). Her ideal dry shampoo soaks up a serious amount of grease without making her scalp feel chalky or dry.
Like a lot of beauty products, what makes a good dry shampoo is unarguably subjective, depending on what your goals are and what your hair is like to begin with. That's why we teamed up: not only do we both regularly use dry shampoo, but we have very different hair and preferences. That being said, we surprisingly agreed on many of the products we tested. Here's why:
We tested the products the same why you might: by spritzing our limp or greasy roots with dry shampoo and letting it work its magic. Unlike the way you might test, though, we teamed up with Reviewed’s senior scientist to score and weight results on a scientifically calibrated rubric.
To find which dry shampoo really is best, we scored each product based on how well it absorbed oil, if it left any residue, whether or not it added volume, the strength and quality of the scent, and so on. We also took into account how clean our hair felt and how often we needed to re-apply the product after use.
Not every aspect of our testing was equally important: for example, oil reduction was weighted far more heavily than the amount of product used. All things considered, it was obvious that while some of what makes a dry shampoo great is subjective, some are truly superior and others are simply not worth the money.
What You Should Know About Dry Shampoo
If you have dry or color-treated hair, you probably know that the less you wash it, the better. That's where dry shampoo comes in. Dry shampoos not only soaks up grease and sweat, but they also add a fresh scent, making it a fantastic hack to prolong a blowout, freshen up after a workout, or prevent hair dye from running down the drain. However, not all dry shampoo is created equal: here's what to consider before buying:
Formula: Do you want dry shampoo that comes in the form of an aerosol spray, a powder, or maybe even foam? Consider if you want the hands-off convenience of a spray, or the precision of placing the product on your hair directly with your hands.
Scent: Is your goal to smell freshly shampooed, do you prefer a product that's more heavily scented, or could you care less about the scent? Keep in mind that some dry shampoo, like Dove, smell just like shampoo, while others, like DryBar's Detox and Living Proof, smell decidedly more perfumey.
Volume: Are you aiming to add volume and texture to your style? Remember that the trade-off is typically a feeling of some grit in the hair and a slightly starchy feeling. Your hair will look fantastic, but you might not want to run your hands through it.
Cleanliness: If your goal is hair that's silky soft and touchable, make sure you look for a dry shampoo that doesn't claim to add a ton of volume or texture. Oribe's Gold Lust or Moroccanoil are great examples of products that soak up grease and actually leave hair feeling cleaner.
Other Dry Shampoos We Tested
Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
Oribe dry shampoo is lightweight, invisible, and doesn't add any grip or weight to your hair. Made with watermelon and lychee, it has a very faint, slightly citrusy smell and it leaves almost no residue behind: most dry shampoo leaves behind a white dust that must be massaged in, but Oribe is undetectable on contact in even dark hair, yet eliminates all signs of oil. In that way, its performance is similar to Dove's. It does what it's promised, but at an exorbitant price: plus, the spray comes out jet-engine fast, which can feel wasteful for such an expensive product.
Psst! dry shampoo has been a drugstore staple for years. It leaves hair feeling light after use, leaving behind some product buildup though hair doesn't feel too chalky or heavy—however, it doesn't do a great job at reducing the appearance of oil or adding volume and texture. It gets the job done in a pinch, but there isn’t anything remarkable or life-changing about it.
Thanks to its packaging, Amika Perk Up dry shampoo would look gorgeous on any vanity, but it was unremarkable to use. Worse, it had a cloyingly sweet smell that overpowered our testers—one noted, "it smells like drugstore perfume." It performed just fine, eliminating a moderate amount of oil, leaving hair feeling soft and fresh enough, with an inoffensive amount of white residue after use. While it helped control the oil in both straight and curly hair, the smell was a deterrent.
Briogeo’s dry shampoo is a powder formula that claims to detoxify scalp with charcoal, prevent oil production with witch hazel, and de-grease with clay and rice starches. However, the user experience is a little frustrating: the powder dispenser isn’t powerful, so you’re stuck shaking the bottle into your hands or scalp at awkward angles with little payoff. The powder smells fresh and soaks up oil without leaving the starchy feel of an aerosol spray, but it doesn’t add volume or work particularly effectively: it also causes more of a mess than traditional spray variations. It's not a bad product, it just isn't stellar.
Ouai’s dry shampoo is actually a foam product. For styled hair, applying the wet foam can feel like a death sentence to your blowout. During use, it feels similar to hair mousse, which undoubtedly adds volume but is odd to work with, particularly on dry roots. It actually didn't mess up our styles and dried well in our hair, but the product does leave hands feeling sticky, while hair never feels totally clean, either. We much prefer dry shampoo in its traditional spray form, and we’d even choose powder formulas before this foam.
Klorane dry shampoo removes oil well enough, but it leaves behind a dusty, dull white residue that’s hard to shake, literally: after several minutes of massaging the product in, testers still had ashy roots. The product adds volume to fine hair, but doesn’t do much volume-wise to thicker hair. Though the spray is intense, the particles are fine which limits feelings of buildup and chalkiness: flat hair still felt light and fluffy after use. It’s a fine pick, but not a standout.
Living Proof is backed by MIT research with claims that this dry shampoo doesn't just soak up oil, but "actually cleans hair." It sounds great in theory, but in practice, it felt like any other dry shampoo. It left hair feeling gritty and not very clean after use, yet it didn't add much volume or body. We had to use quite a bit of it to see grease-reducing impact, and its scent is a bit chemically. None of our testers were fans, and the experience was unmemorable if not unpleasant.
Batiste is the ubiquitous drugstore dry shampoo, and it is the most budget-friendly pick of the lot: However, its performance leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, it absorbs the oil in hair and gives it some body, but the plasticky smell is unpleasant and lingers throughout the day, hair feels stiff and chalky after use, and product buildup clings to roots no matter how much you try and shake it out. If you’re looking to pinch pennies on your dry shampoo, please choose Dove instead!
R+Co’s dry shampoo is another powder formula that comes with a pump dispenser. The powder is silky, fine, and starchy—and most shockingly, it’s glittery. The shimmer likely comes from the diatomaceous earth mineral compounds, which are designed to soak up oil, but it shows up on roots. The product is chunky and settles on the scalp, which is not great for someone with a dry scalp or dandruff. It also left a visible white film on one tester's scalp and some found the smell "oddly musty."
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.