We Tested Over 20 Dry Shampoos — Here Are Our 7 Favorites
Not only is washing your hair everyday inconvenient (and totally time consuming), but lathering up too often can also cause more harm than good leaving you with dry strands or an irritated scalp. In comes dry shampoo to save the day (and your hair). This miracle product gives day one (er, two or three) old hair a refresh and soaks up all the oil, product buildup, and sweat that can accumulate in between washes.
To help you figure out the formula that's right for you, our beauty editors, who have a variety of hair types and needs, tested more than 20 popular dry shampoos to determine which ones restored the most life to struggling strands.
The Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk was a favorite among all of the testers because it successfully absorbs excess oils without stripping the hair and it's made with nourishing, plant-based ingredients. They also loved the volume it gave their strands and the fact that it didn't leave behind a chalky, white cast.
Here are the best dry shampoos for non-wash days, according to testers.
- Best Overall: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
- Best Value: Dove Care Between Washes Invisible Dry Shampoo
- Best for Thin, Fine Hair: Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo
- Best for Blondes: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo for Light Tones
- Best for Brunettes: Billie Floof Dry Shampoo for Brunettes
- Best for Dry Hair: OGX Extra Strength Refresh + Restore Coconut Miracle Oil Dry Shampoo
- Best Scented TRESemmé Pro Pure Dry Shampoo
Best Overall: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
Best Value: Dove Care Between Washes Invisible Dry Shampoo
Best For Thin, Fine Hair: Kristin Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo
Best for Blondes: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo for Light Tones
Best for Brunettes: Billie Floof Dry Shampoo for Brunettes
Best for Dry Hair: OGX Extra Strength Refresh & Restore + Coconut Miracle Oil Dry Shampoo
Best Scented: TRESemmé Pro Pure Dry Shampoo
Our Testing Process
Prior to conducting this test, we scoured product reviews and spoke with stylists to narrow the list down to 20 of the most promising dry shampoos. From there, our in-house team tested the dry shampoos in the Lab to determine how well they performed in the following categories; ease of use, oil absorption, texture/feel, volume, and visibility/chalkiness. We tested on all different hair textures, ranging from natural and coarse to straight and fine, as well as various different lengths and colors. We then compiled our insights on each product and took our time to carefully determine our favorites.
What to Keep in Mind
The main purpose of a dry shampoo is to soak up excess oil, product buildup, and impurities and extend the time between washes. To do this, a dry shampoo needs absorbent ingredients such as clay, silica, zeolite, oatmeal, or starches. Look for products with any of these ingredients if you want to prevent your hair from getting greasy on days when sudsing your strands isn't part of the plan.
Dry shampoos can offer many other benefits in addition to controlling oil. A dry shampoo that also adds volume to your hair is a major plus as greasy hair is limp and often falls flat. The oil-controlling powders in dry shampoo adds texture at the root and this texture allows the root to stand up a bit. Plus, the ingredients that give dry shampoo its hold lift hairs away from the head to create volume.
Make sure to pay attention to whether or not a product is scented. If you are sensitive to products with fragrances, it is best to opt for an unscented option or something with a very subtle scent.
Your Questions, Answered
How often should you use dry shampoo?
How often you use a dry shampoo will depend on your specific hair type, how greasy your hair gets, and how many times you wash your hair per week. "If your hair tends to get oily quickly, then you should apply the dry shampoo once your hair has completely dried after a shampoo," says Gregga Prothero, Master Stylist and Founder of Gregga LA. "Doing this prevents the hair from getting too limp and greasy throughout the day." She adds, "For hair textures that need more moisture and tend to be on the drier side, I'd apply the dry shampoo 2-3 days after your shampoo, so some natural oils can be distributed in the hair."
How do you apply dry shampoo?
The first step in applying a dry shampoo is to make sure your hair is completely dry. According to Prothero, any wetness "can mix with the dry shampoo and cause some buildup." She also recommends not spraying it directly onto your part and instead "lifting the hair on both sides of your part and then spraying the dry shampoo at the temple, sideburns, and slightly below the crown area." She emphasizes that it is best to focus on the areas that get weighed down easily by oil.
Is dry shampoo bad for your hair long-term?
While dry shampoos themselves are not damaging— like most beauty products—they should be used in moderation. "Dry shampoos are designed to help lengthen the time between shampoos, but they should be used only once between wash days, and preferably only once a week," Prothero says. "If you continually apply it everyday it can cause build up that clogs the pores on your scalp and leads to poor hair health."
What Is InStyle Picks?
Did you notice the InStyle Picks seal of approval at the top of this story? That means our team of testers has reviewed every product on this list using a unique methodology to ensure it's really worth your time, money, and attention. We may get samples for free to try but we never promise positive (or any!) coverage in exchange. Put simply: InStyle Picks are products we love, and we've put them to the test to be sure you will too.
Want more product recommendations? From best-in-class concealer to the black pants you need for work, check out all of our InStyle Picks content.