Best (and Worst) Dry Shampoos


Who doesn't love a good dry shampoo? Am I right? As I've become menopausal older, my hair tends to get drier rather than oilier between shampoos. If I have any oiliness, it's usually around my face, so I'm pretty sure it comes more from the oil on my skin than it does from my hair. With a good dry shampoo, I can easily extend the time between shampoos to 5-7 days.

Today I'm sharing my personal list of the best and worse dry shampoos. Keep in mind that not only do hair needs differ from person to person, but we also perceive scent differently. So what works for and smells good to me, may not work for or smell good to you.

Check out my picks for the best (and worst) dry shampoos!

(This post contains some affiliate links which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). You are free to use the links or not - if you do, I thank you!)

If you've read any of my dry shampoo reviews, you know that there are some very specific things that I require of a dry shampoo:

  • unscented or a light, pleasant scent that dissipates fairly quickly
  • no white/light-colored residue on hair
  • doesn't leave hair feeling stiff or "dirty"
  • doesn't leave hair looking dull
  • leaves my hair easy to style

Let's start with my favorites!

Living Proof PhD is one of my favorite dry shampoos!

Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo 
Living Proof Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo is my absolute favorite dry shampoo. I love everything about it. I love the fresh, clean scent. I love that it sprays on clear. I love that it miraculously leaves my hair looking and smelling freshly washed. And there isn't any dulling residue like some dry shampoos. If I had to choose a "con", it would be the price. (Here's my review of the Living Proof PhD Dry Shampoo.)


Love Dove's Refresh+Care Fresh Coconut Dry Shampoo! It's one of my favorites!

Dove Fresh Coconut Dry Shampoo 
There are several versions of Dove dry shampoo, but my favorite is the Refresh + Care Fresh Coconut. It has a light coconut scent (one of my favorite scents), and for me, it sprays on clear and doesn't leave a residue. My hair doesn't look quite as "normal" as it does with the Living Proof, but it's pretty good. The trade-off is that this one costs much less. The other versions are: Detox + Purify, Volume + Fullness, Fresh + Floral, and the one I'm most excited about but haven't tried yet - Unscented. I like the Detox + Purify, but it's a little stronger and more "perfume-y" than the Refresh + Care Fresh Coconut or Living Proof. I'm hoping I can find the unscented version next time I need dry shampoo. (Here's my review of the Detox + Purify.)


Amika's Silken Up Dry Conditioner isn't a dry shampoo, but it works like one - love it!

Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner
The Amika Silken Up Dry Conditioner isn't technically a dry shampoo, but you spray it on to restore softness and shine. A lot of the reviews I read before buying said that people used it as a dry shampoo or prior to using a dry shampoo. Since my hair tends to get drier between shampoos, I thought this might work well for me - and I was right. I'm not totally crazy about the scent, but it's not horrible and it dissipates quickly. (They also have the Perk Up Dry Shampoo that is supposed to add volume, but I haven't tried that yet.)


Not Your Mother's Refresh Dry Shampoo works great and is inexpensive!

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo
Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo has a clean, fresh scent. I don't like the scent as well as Living Proof, but for me, it sprays on clear and leaves my hair looking clean and easy to style. When I tried this, the unscented version wasn't available, so that's on my "want to try" list. They also have Plump for Joy Body Building Dry Shampoo and Clean Freak Tapioca Dry Shampoo with a warm sugar scent. (Here's my review of the Not Your Mother's Dry Shampoo.)


When I talk about scents and whether I like/dislike them, keep in mind what I mentioned above: scent is a very subjective thing. I dislike heavily perfumed (affectionately referred to as "old-lady perfume" in our house) products, and I also dislike floral scents. You may love them - and that's why there are so many different products!

Also, keep in mind that I apply dry shampoo at night before I go to bed. I find it allows the product to do it's job, and by the time I wake up in the morning, if there is any left on my hair (there usually isn't), it's easily brushed away.

Now let's talk about the dry shampoos that didn't work for me:

drybar® Detox Dry Shampoo didn't work well for me - and I can't stand the scent!

drybar® Detox Dry Shampoo
I seriously cringe just thinking about drybar® Detox Dry Shampoo. I couldn't get past the scent. I won't go into more detail here, so if you want to read more about it, here's a link to my review of drybar® Detox Dry Shampoo. Let's just say I'm glad that I only had a travel size. I have since discovered that there are two scents, and the one I had was apparently the "Lush" scent. (There is also an "Original" scent.) Maybe the original scent smells better. However, that wasn't the only issue. It left a a lot of residue and made my hair stiff and difficult to style. Not a fan, even though it's a popular product.


Batiste Brilliant Blonde Dry Shampoo Plus may be a fan favorite, but it didn't work well for me!

Batiste Brilliant Blonde Dry Shampoo Plus
I know the Batiste brand is a popular one, but I didn't like this version. They do offer many varieties of their dry shampoo, so it's possible that I would like another version better. But to be honest, it would take a lot for me to spend money to try it again. The scent was too strong for me and there was somewhat of a residue, but the deal-breaker was that it made my roots look so dull and lifeless. (Here's my review of the Batiste Brilliant Blonde.)


bumble and bumble pret-a-powder is a fan favorite, but I'm not a fan!

Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder
Bumble and bumble Prêt-à-Powder is now available in a spray, but I've only tried the powder. I know it's another popular product, but I'm not a fan. I don't like the scent, and it left a residue on my hair. I find powders more difficult to work with - they're messy and I have trouble applying it to roots just above my ears.


I do have a few dry shampoos on my "want-to-try" list for 2018:

  • Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo - Since I've liked all of the other Amika products I've tried, I'd like to give this one a shot as well.
  • Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk - This product is a four-time Allure Best of Beauty winner, so obviously a lot of people like it! 
  • tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo - Reviews say that the scent in this one is "light & fresh", and some compare the performance to Living Proof - both of which make me want to try it! 


What's your favorite dry shampoo? What one just doesn't work for you? Give me the details! Leave a comment here, on Instagram, or Snapchat!

Kim A.
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