It’s a true wonder hair product that can revive and clean hair and add texture and volume. Is there anything dry shampoo can’t do?
Dry shampoo is an absolute hair saviour for when you need to push back hair-washing by a day, or maybe even two - no judgment here, or you need to revive hair post gym or just from a restless night’s sleep (we have some pretty amazing insomnia tips if you need them btw).
And dry shampoo formulations have come on leaps and bounds over the last few years. Gone are the days of them making it look like you’d poured talc on your roots but on the flip side there is now so much choice it can be hard to know how to choose the best one for your hair type. We got celebrity hair stylist, Lewis Pallett to share his words of wisdom on all things dry shampoo related and have then put together an edit of the best dry shampoo out there.
The dos and don’ts of dry shampoo
Hair stylist Lewis Pallett shares how to pick the right dry shampoo for you and how to get the best out of it.
- Do look at the packaging. “I know this might sound a bit obvious but there is so much choice of dry shampoo now that they do all offer something a little bit different and it’s normally written there for you to see. For example, if you have dark hair you might want to opt for a tinted dry shampoo and they're really easy to colour match as most of them have co-ordinating coloured packaging. Whereas if you’re looking for a dry shampoo that will also add some style to your hair look for one that says it adds volume or texture.”
- Do brush it through. “I think lots of people still don’t realise that you don’t just spray dry shampoo in and leave it. You need to massage or brush it through, that way you’re getting rid of all the grease and oil its absorbed. Once you’ve sprayed it in, leave it about 90 seconds and then either use your fingers to massage and rub your scalp or you can brush it through.”
- Don’t forget to shake. “A little bit like Orangina, you need to shake it to wake it. If you don't shake it enough you can potentially get excessive residue and you won't get the best of the formulation."
- Do spray it properly. "Application with dry shampoo can be a tricky one and if you get it wrong that's when you can end up seeing it. Hold the can at at least half an arms length away from the scalp using the other hand to flick and move the hair around while constantly spraying.”
- Do put it on clean hair. “Of course dry shampoo is brilliant for making dirty hair look cleaner but it’s also great to use on freshly washed hair if you want to add a bit of oomph and texture. Some texturising sprays can be quite gritty - especially on fine hair - but dry shampoo can give hair a bit of lift and definition without weighing it down.”
13 of the best dry shampoo
1.The best luxury dry shampoo: Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo, £41.50
With it’s super fine spray just a few spritzes of this super luxe dry shampoo will cover your entire scalp - which is good news as you don’t want to be wasting any when it costs what it costs. It has a completely clear formula making it suitable for all hair colours and it really cleans the hair. It also feels really hydrating on the hair too and it smells utterly divine. A gorgeous combination of woody and oud notes which linger on the hair for a little while after. It is a serious investment but if you can afford it then this will not disappoint.
2.The best budget dry shampoo: Colab Original Dry Shampoo, £2.33
Colab was created by beauty blogger Ruth Crilly and this budget-friendly dry shampoo does exactly what it says on the tin. It mops up greasy roots with just a few quick spritzes and gives hair a great boost of volume. It’s not the most undetectable formula on the market but after a quick massage any traces of powder disappear.
3.The best dry shampoo for fine hair: R+Co Dry Shampoo Mist, £26
With its unique liquid format this is a great option for fine hair or any hair type that finds dry shampoo weights it down. It utilises micellar technology (just like micellar water you use on your face) to lift oil off the scalp. You need to give it a good shake before spraying - and you’ll see that it starts clear and then turns slightly milky and cloudy. The mist is super fine so you can use it as you would any other dry shampoo but you can also saturate the roots a bit more and blow-dry your hair if you want a slightly more polished look.
4. The best dry shampoo for adding volume: Olaplex Clean Volume Detox Dry Shampoo, £28
Having only launched last month, we have already reviewed Olaplex Clean Volume Detox Dry Shampoo in full but what you need to know is that it uses ultra-fine rice micro starch so it comes out in a very light, but targeted, flow. For those that like more of an aggressive blast of dry shampoo, this is probably not for you. It really does clean your hair, not quite as well as an actual shampoo and conditioner will, but not far off and in just a few minutes we think you’ll be impressed with the results.
5.The best dry shampoo for thick hair: Amika Perk Up Plus Extended Clean Dry Shampoo, £28
Designed specifically for those that like to stretch out as much time as possible in-between hair washes, this is the amped up version of the original dry shampoo to deliver even more oil and grease absorbing capabilities. The spray comes out strongly enough to get to work in the midst of thicker hair and we felt it added a little texture too.
6.The best dry shampoo for oily scalps: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo, £25
An absolute cult buy and for very good reason, this was the first dry shampoo that actually cleaned the hair as though you had washed it rather than just absorbing oil and grease. It works in exactly the same way as any other dry shampoo; spraying it over the roots, waiting and then rubbing it away. It’s fairly powdery in consistency but it’s completely clear, great for all hair types and absolutely essential for those days when you really need it to look like you’ve washed your hair.
7.The best dry shampoo for dry and flaky scalps: Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, £20.50
Dry shampoos can irritate the scalp and make dryness worse however this one contains allantoin and bisabolol which are known to calm and relieve itchy or irritated skin plus as it has been created by the expert trichologist team at Philip Kinglsey, you know you’re in safe hands. The spray is really lightweight and has a fresh talcum powder-like smell that’s very refreshing. The formula settles into the hair quickly and feels soothing on the scalp.
8.The best dry shampoo for sensitive scalps: Klorane Dry Shampoo, £11.50
Containing oatmeal which is ultra calming for sensitive skin as well as softening plus nettle which can regulate sebum production this is a great option for anyone whose scalp can get irritated and flare up. It has a slightly more powdery texture than others but it absorbs quickly and any excess can be massaged away easily.
9. The best overnight dry shampoo: Batiste Overnight Deep Cleanse Dry Shampoo, £2.83
The end of the day is when your hair can feel its dirtiest and greasiest which is why Batiste came up with this dry shampoo to give hair an end of day detox so you wake up with cleaner looking hair. It has a lovely fragrance which the brand say is meant to help soothe you to sleep, we can’t speak for that but it does smell nice and certainly not overwhelming for when your head hits the pillow.
10. The best dry shampoo for curly hair: Ouai Super Dry Shampoo, £22
Created by the Kardashian’s hair stylist, Jen Atkin all the products from Ouai have been brilliantly considered and are designed for all hair types. The dry shampoo has the most gorgeous, fresh fragrance that does stay on the hair for a few hours and the consistency is super light and doesn’t leave any residue.
11. The best smelling dry shampoo: Arkive The Reset Dry Shampoo, £8
One GTG team member declared this the best dry shampoo she’d ever used. Why? It has a really light texture that does a brilliant job and cleansing the scalp and revising hair but doesn’t weigh it down. There’s not a hint of powder or residue and, like all Arkive products, has the most gorgeous scent that lingers for a few hours. It’s a combination of rhubarb, tomato leaf and vetiver. Yum.
12. The best dry shampoo powder Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo, £22
Coming out like a puff of powdery air this powder dry shampoo and has been formulated to be extra caring and nourishing for dry and sensitive scalps as well as oily scalps. It contains charcoal to draw out impurities and then a clay, tapioca and rice starch complex to cleanse. There’s also witch hazel which helps balance out oil production.
13. The best dry shampoo for styling: Schwarzkopf got2b Dry Shampoo Extra Volume, £2.99
Hailed as Lewis’ hero dry shampoo not only does this absorb grease and dirt from the roots but you can see it plump up the hair to crate more lift and volume. it has a super light and fresh scent and is an absolute bargain beauty buy.