My Top 4 Favorite Dry Shampoos (and how to use them!)


Do you use dry shampoo? I honestly don't know how I ever lived life without it. It's right up there with electricity, indoor plumbing and air conditioning. I remember using Psssssst! dry shampoo in the '70's and thinking it was awesome. Ha! Dry shampoos have definitely come a long way since then!

several different dry shampoos lying on a table; white graphic overlay with words "My Top 4 Dry Shampoos (and how to use them!)"

About a year ago, I did a post about my Best (and Worst) Dry Shampoos. Since I've tried some new products, I wanted to do an update.  But first, let's talk...

How many times have you read a rave review about a product, so you run right out and buy it, only to discover that it doesn't work at all for you? The products I'm getting ready to rave about work well for my hair. So I'm going to tell you about my hair and how I use the products, then you can decide whether or not you you want to give them a try. They are all available in travel sizes, and I think that's a great way to sample a product without investing a lot of money.


My hair is long. Depending on my mood, it is either to the middle of my shoulder blades or the top of my bra strap. It's naturally thick and wavy, and the texture is "normal". I straighten it with the amika polished perfection straightening brush or NuMe Silhouette flat iron (mine is hot pink!) 2-3 times a week. I have my roots colored and highlights/lowlights done every 6-7 weeks.

My hair has never been super oily, but menopause "gifted" me with hair that now gets drier between shampoos. I usually shampoo my hair every 4-5 days, and with a good dry shampoo, I can easily extend the time to 7+ days (as long as I'm not getting super sweaty). I know that sounds crazy to some of you, but when your scalp isn't oily, your hair doesn't look dirty. As long as I don't use a ton of hairspray on it, it looks as clean at 7 days as it did at 1 day. If I notice any oiliness, it's right around my face, and I think it transfers from my skin rather than from my scalp.



The way you use dry shampoo can definitely affect your results. My hair isn't dark, so I don't struggle with the residue as much as someone with dark brown or black hair would, but it can definitely make my hair look dull. Colored blonde hair typically looks a bit dull anyway, so I don't need anything making it look worse. (Tip: I use Aveda brilliant™ emollient finishing gloss and Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Smoothing Anti-Frizz Dry Oil Mist to add healthy shine to my hair.)

I usually start using dry shampoo around day 3 or 4. This will vary for you depending upon your hair type. I apply at bedtime. I spray as close to the roots as possible around my face, wait about 30 seconds, and then work it through with my fingers. After I finish my evening skincare routine, I brush my hair to distribute any remaining dry shampoo. Using it this way does two important things: By morning, 1) there is never any residue left, and 2) most (if not all) of the scent is gone.



I expect certain things from my dry shampoo (your list may be different):
  • 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 

I want to address fragrance quickly. Scent is a very subjective thing, and I am very sensitive to certain scents. I usually prefer unscented products, and there are very few perfumes that I like (or that smell good on me). Keep in mind that just because I like/dislike the fragrance in a product doesn't mean that you will feel the same way.



There are two dry shampoos that I absolutely love. They both work so well for my hair and never leave any residue or build-up. I can use them both for several days and my hair will still look good. I'd say they tie for my #1 favorite!


can of tarte Hair Goals dry shampoo lying on a table

tarte Hair Goals Dry Shampoo
This one is a new one for me, but I've been using it for a couple of months and find myself reaching for all the time. I actually like the light scent, but even if I didn't, it dissipates quickly. It never leaves residue or build-up on my hair, even when I use it several days in a row. As far as I can tell, it sprays out clear, so it should work well for dark hair colors as well. It comes in 4 oz. and travel sizes, and will definitely be on repeat at my house. (This one is on sale at Sephora! I hope that doesn't mean that it's being discontinued!)

can of Living Proof PhD dry shampoo lying on a table

Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
It's probably no surprise to see this one here since it was on my "best" list last year. It does everything I expect my dry shampoo to do. My hair is always easy to manage - even if I use it several days in a row. While Gus loves the scent, I wouldn't say I love it, but I definitely don't hate it either. It dissipates quickly and leaves my hair smelling fresh.  It's available in 1.8 oz. travel size as well as a 4 oz. full size.

You can't go wrong with either one of my top picks, IMO. The only possible negative is the price - especially if you use dry shampoo as much as I do. I look at it as a trade-off. I'm using less shampoo and conditioner, so I use a little more dry shampoo!


If you prefer a budget-friendly product, my top pick is this one:

can of Dove Coconut dry shampoo lying on a table

Dove Refresh+Care Fresh Coconut Dry Shampoo 
You can't beat Dove for the price and effectiveness. They offer several versions/fragrances, and they're all good - I just happen to like the Coconut version the best. All of the ones I've tried have worked the same for me - just the scents are different. The one drawback (for me) is that I can really only use it for a day or two, because after that, I will start to feel a little build-up and my hair is more difficult to style. But for about 1/4 of the price, it's pretty darn good. This comes in a 5 oz. size and sometimes you can find travel sizes as well.
P.S. I did see that they are now offering an unscented version, so I need to give that a try!


There's one more dry shampoo I want to mention, and I'm going to give it "runner-up" status:

can of amika Phantom hydrating dry shampoo lying on a table

The only reason this didn't appear higher on my list is the fragrance. A lot of people like the amika fragrances, but they're a little too strong and perfume-y for my taste. However, I do like this product. My initial thought was "how can a foam be hydrating?", because in my experience, most foam products are drying. Well, I don't know how it works, but it does, and it doesn't make my hair drier. Another concern I had was whether the wet foam would make any products already on my hair (like hairspray) all gummy and nasty. Since I only apply to my roots this hasn't been a problem for me. (This one is on sale at Sephora, too!)



Of course, I also have a list of dry shampoos I still want to try - so if you've used any of these, let me know what you think!

  • Aveda shampure™ dry shampoo - this one is a bit pricey; I wish it came in a travel size so I could try it without spending $31 for 2 oz.! Maybe I'll stop in at the local Aveda store and try it there.
  • it's a 10 Miracle Dry Shampoo & Conditioner in One - I know the other "it's a 10" products are popular, so I'd like to give their dry shampoo a try. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like this one comes in a travel size either.
  • Ouai dry shampoo - this is another foam dry shampoo. I'd like to try it but I don't see a travel size, and I'm a bit worried about the fragrance. It contains musk, amber, sandalwood and patchouli - four of my least favorite scents - but I do like the other things in it - bergamot, Italian lemon, rose de mai, magnolia, lily, blackberry, violet, and cedarwood.
  • Marc Anthony True Professional Refreshing Clear Dry Shampoo Coconut - it looks like this one is available at Walmart and Walgreens, and I do love a coconut scent - plus it's another drugstore-priced product!

If you have a favorite dry shampoo, I'd love to hear about it! 

Kim
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