The best dry shampoos of all time for oily roots, volume and scalp care

We've tried every one of the best dry shampoos out there - these are the formulas we really rate

Collage of three of the best dry shampoos by batiste, phillip kingsley and aveda
(Image credit: Future/Getty images)

Uncovering the best dry shampoo is a bit like discovering your perfect ice cream flavorfind The One and you'll rarely feel the need to stray. 

Time-saving capabilities are undoubtedly the main reason why dry shampoo is a big hit; negating the time-consuming process of using even best shampoo and conditioner can feel like a gift on busy mornings. The best dry shampoo will soak up oil, make your strands feel fresh, and, by extending the life of your style, help you avoid unnecessary damage from overwashing and heat styling. 

Dry shampoo can also be one of the best hair styling products for volume. Lots of people who have naturally fine hair use this product to add bulk and texture to their style, “We often use it backstage to boost flat hair; it also gives a slight roughness and grip to your strands, which makes it easier to style and holds your look for longer,” says International L’Oréal Paris Hair Artist & Expert Stéphane Lancien (opens in new tab). Somewhere out there the best dry shampoo exists for every budget, hair type and styling need - and we've tested the lot on your behalf. 

How we tested the best dry shampoos for this guide

A box of dry shampoo

Dozens of dry shampoo sprays and mists that we tested for this guide

(Image credit: Future)

The market is flooded with dry shampoos, from cheap and cheerful drugstore buys to ultra-luxury must-haves - so we got our hands on dozens of products from across the price and brand spectrum. As with any of the best hair products, the right dry shampoo for you is one that suits your needs, so we used several testers to make sure each dry shampoo was tested on the hair texture it was designed for. We applied each dry shampoo on day-old (sometimes three-day-old) hair to assess its oil absorbing powers and checked in at the end of the day for chalkiness or residue. 

How to pick the best dry shampoo for you

Even though most people want the same hair reviving result from their dry shampoo, how the product delivers onto the scalp and strands can differ. 

  • For oil absorption: If you have fine hair and don't want to resort to a ponytail hairstyle when experiencing oily roots, you may want a powdery spray to soak up excess oil and lift your locks. Whereas those with medium to thick hair looking for a product to make the hair feel clean while going unnoticed will need a more lightweight, invisible mist. 
  • For color-correcting: Tinted dry shampoos can work wonders for individuals hoping to cover small gray patches, as well as brunettes worried about a white finish. 
  • For a sensitive scalp: If your scalp is easily irritated or you suffer from dandruff, there are sprays specifically made for you. Many dry shampoos contain unavoidable irritants like butane, propane, and synthetic fragrance, so if your scalp is delicate, you’ll need a product that contains soothing ingredients to counteract their effect. If this sounds like you,  seek out formulas containing calming elements like chamomile, oat, and aloe vera. 

The best dry shampoo, as chosen by our experts

Living Proof Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Living Proof Dry Shampoo)

1. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Best dry shampoo overall

Specifications

RRP: $26/£27 for 355ml
Hair type: All
Finish: Light, powdery
Ingredients: Rice starch

Reasons to buy

+
Cleans the hair 
+
Silicone-free 
+
Gives volume to fine hair 
+
Soaks up oil, sweat and odor 
+
Good for post-workout 

Reasons to avoid

-
None, we love this

A wonder product that restores dirty locks to a freshly washed state and can offer fine hair a boost—whether it’s clean or not. It's also one to pack in your gym bag as, unlike most dry shampoos, which can only absorb oil, it soaks up sweat and odor too. The lightweight finish makes it impossible to create white patches as virtually no residue is left in the hair. There’s not really a downside to this dry shampoo, except maybe the price, which is pretty steep. But if you can afford it, we’d say it’s absolutely worth it. 

There's also a snazzy update, Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo, but how do you improve on a classic? Well, we’ve tried both, and admittedly were pulled in by the new conditioning, anti-pollution, sebum-sucking benefits—but then decided the original version had the edge. Once you try the new one, you’ll notice the original does leave more residue behind. But this texture is what a lot of people depend on to give their locks grip and volume. Plus, we found we needed to spray more of the product to achieve the same clean feeling. And yes, the new scent is milder, but we’ve become so familiar with our favorite that we really like the fragrance. 

But if you’re reading this and thinking no, actually, I’d quite like a lighter spray, and I just want clean feeling hair without powdered volume, then we’d happily recommend Mr. Newbie. It’s great too—just a different type of great. Plus it also saves you a little bit of cash.   

Beautybio Healthy Scalp Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: BeautyBio)

2. Beautybio Healthy Scalp Dry Shampoo

Best luxury dry shampoo

Specifications

RRP: $39/£39
Hair type : Any
Finish : Lightweight, clear
Ingredients : Loquat Leaf, Rosebay Extract

Reasons to buy

+
Cleans without chalkiness
+
UV protection 
+
Starch and alcohol-free
+
Like skincare for the scalp

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricy for a dry shampoo

Look, we did say luxury. And the thing with this dry shampoo is, yes, it is extremely pricy for a product we might be used to paying pocket change for but that's because it does a lot of things your average spray does not. 

First of all, it goes on completely clear, meaning it doesn't clog your scalp up with chalky residue and also helps maintain shine - something that even the best dry shampoos struggle to achieve. It contains ingredients that rebalance an oily scalp, help dissolve build-up and gently soothe the scalp. Essentially, instead of giving the impression of clean hair by soaking up oil with powder, this actually does clean the scalp and strands to some degree. It also offers UV protection and contains soothing botanicals to comfort stressed scalps. 

On testing, we were huge fans of the very fine mist that distributed the formula evenly,  and though we could initially feel the spray settling in, it then dried right up taking any sebum build-up with it. It has a very subtle, pleasantly fresh fragrance, but nothing that will interfere with your perfume notes. And, unlike many dry shampoos which feel like a good quick fix with an undercurrent of 'I know this probably isn't good for my hair,' this feels like a product that's genuinely kind and gentle to your scalp, so you'd be happy to use it as often as needed. A financial investment, yes, but a worthwhile one if hair health is a priority. 

Andrew Fitzsimons DISCREET AF Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Andrew Fitzsimmons)

3. Andrew Fitzsimons DISCREET AF Dry Shampoo

Best budget dry shampoo

Specifications

RRP : £9 (UK only)
Hair type: Fine-to-thick, oily
Finish: Fine, fresh
Ingredients: Rice starch

Reasons to buy

+
Light and unchalky
+
Very affordable 
+
Makes hair feel ultra-clean 
+
Smells lovely

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't add grit, if that's what you want

Without wanting to state the obvious, most dry shampoos are designed to make hair that's not clean, feel clean. Many fulfill this brief by packing the hair with oil-absorbing powders, which works at first but then settle into a heavy residue that, while welcome for those that want to add heft to fine strands, can sort of defeat the point of the whole thing. 

We could tell this was different from the first spray, as it almost works in reverse order. As we misted it on it felt a little bit wet at first, then after half a minute settled into fresh, tingly weightlessness that simply made our hair feel clean, not bulked-out. This fresh feeling lasted all day, without becoming heavy and was accompanied by a light floral fragrance that was very pleasant. 

Other things to love about this: It's excellent value. It comes in a very fabulous and very bright can that'll be easy to spot on particularly sleepy mornings (probably a lot of crossover between those days and non-hair-washing ones) Oh and it was created by a hairstylist who is known for creating some of the most famous hair looks of the last few years, namely on the Kardashians, if that's your thing. If not, this is still very much worth trying anyway. 

Aveda Shampowder Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Aveda)

4. Aveda Shampowder Dry Shampoo

Best eco-friendly dry shampoo

Specifications

RRP: $33/£24.50
Hair type : Medium to thick, oily
Finish : Medium-weight
Ingredients: Tapioca starch, oat flour

Reasons to buy

+
Kind to hair and scalp
+
Effective and gentle
+
99% naturally derived 
+
Cruelty-free certified
+
Non-aerosol is evironmentally friendly 

Reasons to avoid

-
A little too much can come out

Clean hair. Clean conscience. Aveda can always be trusted to create products with thoughtful nods to the environment, natural ingredients, and gentle formulations. The most obvious difference here is the non-aerosol container, so you tip up and gently 'puff' the powder out of the cap by squeezing the bottle. On testing we found this to be effective and easier than expected, although you can end up with a bit too much product if you get overzealous with the puffing action (easily done, as it's actually quite fun) 

And how does it perform? Very well, on the whole. The gentle oat flour and tapioca starch-infused formula effectively grabs onto oil and soaks it up, we did find that this performed better on thicker hair types or those with a lot of oil to absorb, rather than very fine hair, which may find it a little heavy. We loved the super-lightweight packaging (96% plant-derived bioplastic, natch) plus the lack of aerosol which would make it very handy for travel. This whole brand has also recently been Leaping Bunny certified, which is the absolute top-of-the-top and trickiest to achieve certification for cruelty-free beauty there is. Kudos! 

SDJ Brazilian Joia Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: SDJ Brazilian Joia Dry Shampoo)

5. Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Joia Dry Shampoo

Best dry shampoo for summer

Specifications

RRP : $24/£24
Hair type : Normal-oily
Finish: Light, powdery
Ingredients : Brazilian Kaolin Clay, rice starch

Reasons to buy

+
Delicious scent 
+
Revives hair 
+
Lightweight 
+
Moisturizing 

Reasons to avoid

-
Might be too perfumed for some

Want a product that makes you feel like you’re on a sun-soaked getaway? Then you’re going to love this luxury offering from Sol de Janeiro. We know what you’re thinking. I recognize that name! And you’d be right to, as they’re the same people who created cult beauty product Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. 

If you’re a fan of that body lotion (who isn’t?) you’ll be happy to hear its delicious and award-winning scent also plays a key part in this new product. Scenting the hair beautifully, but not too much, the fragrance is ‘holiday in a can’ and seems to stick with you all day. And the hair reviving effects are pretty good too. The formula uses Brazilian kaolin clay to absorb excess oil and moisturizing Vitamin B5 to nourish your strands as it styles. Once sprayed, we could barely feel it on our strands, and it passed the no-white mark test with flying colors. 

One thing we wouldn’t do is apply this just before bed to soak up oil overnight, as we found the fragrance wasn’t quite the relaxing aroma we wanted to smell before sleeping. 

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Batiste Original Dry Shampoo)

6. Batiste Dry Shampoo Original

Best classic dry shampoo

Specifications

RRP : $9/£3.25
Hair type : Normal-oily
Finish: Powdery
Ingredients: Rice starch, keratin

Reasons to buy

+
Great for volume 
+
Superior at soaking up oil 
+
Excellent value 

Reasons to avoid

-
Can cause white patches 
-
Highly textured 

If you’ve only ever tried one dry shampoo, then it’s likely to have been this. The  Batiste brand has been sorting out our locks for over 50 years and unsurprisingly is most people’s go-to when they need to wave off oily roots in a hurry. 

The prices are unbeatable and the amount you need to spray onto the hair to get their iconic clean effect is minimal. This product is worth every penny (and some!) as when directed at the root, the formula soaks up a vast amount of oil and makes hair feel instantly fresh, even on day three, and if you’re pushing it, four. 

However, when we repeatedly used the product, we will say that our hair did start to feel quite dense as the textured powder it leaves behind is palpable. Even if you own a luxury alternative, this is still likely to be in your hair locker as an everyday essential. Yes, it does leave a fair amount of residue in the hair and overzealous spraying can lead to white patching. Still, for an affordable, dependable product, we’ll forgive its tiny shortcomings.

Klorane dry shampoo

(Image credit: Klorane dry shampoo)

7. Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Best dry shampoo for sensitive skin

Specifications

RRP : $20/£9
Hair type: Normal-oily
Finish: Powdery, soft
Ingredients: Oat Milk, corn and rice starch

Reasons to buy

+
Light scent 
+
Good for sensitive skin
+
Gentle formula 
+
Free of parabens, sulphates, preservatives silicone
+
Offers volume

Reasons to avoid

-
Can leave white patches 

If The White Company made a dry shampoo, then this would be it. The minute you spray it onto the hair, you feel its luxurious, cashmere-like effects. Emulating the sensation you receive when you get into a bed with freshly washed sheets, this cleans the hair with a light cotton scent and leaves strands feeling soft yet textured. 

Its gentle oat milk-based formula is specifically made for sensitive skin and is dermatologically tested. It is also plant-based, vegan, and uses recyclable packaging, plus, it's free of sulfates, parabens, silicone, and preservatives. 

It could easily be used on strands that are prone to grease, as we found it particularly effective on day three of not washing our hair. The only downside is the corn and rice starch-based formula does tend to leave white patches when the spray is applied too closely and quickly. But when we took our time and sprayed it from arm's length and brushed it through, it efficiently absorbed oil from the root without leaving an unsightly residue. We were also very impressed by the price for what feels like a high-end luxury product. 

Philip Kingsley Dry Shampoo

(Image credit: Philip Kingsley Dry Shampoo)

8. Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Soothing Dry Shampoo

Best dry shampoo for itchy scalps

Specifications

RRP : $39/£25
Hair type: Dry-normal
Ingredients: Aloe vera, chamomile, zinc, bisabolol
Finish: Lightweight, soft

Reasons to buy

+
Cares for your scalp 
+
Contains skin-loving ingredients 
+
Offers a good amount of texture and volume 

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 

You know how your hair feels and smells when you leave the salon? Well, Philip Kingsley has managed to capture this in a can. A surprising factor as the main objective of this dry shampoo is to care for flaky, dandruff-prone scalps. We half expected it to feel a little clinical and give us no enjoyment at all. But we were wrong! 

The lightweight solution is excellent at soaking up oil and contains a huge array of skin-caring ingredients to counteract the irritating qualities that it might possess. The brand admits that dry shampoo isn’t the best product to use if you want to know how to get rid of dandruff, but also understands that these individuals will want to use this kind of product from time to time, which is why they’ve created a product that allows sensitive scalps the chance to use dry shampoo and not feel guilty. 

And what about its effectiveness? Well, if you told us that this was a normal non-sensitive formula, we’d still be impressed. It’s brilliant at tackling oily roots, the texture it leaves is minimal, we had no issues with white patches. And as we already mentioned, we’re completely obsessed with the scent. 

Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark

(Image credit: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark)

9. Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo

Best dry shampoo for brunettes

Specifications

RRP : $26/£15.45
Hair type : Dark hair of all types
Finish : Natural, powdery, light
Ingredients: Agan oil, rice starch

Reasons to buy

+
Doesn’t make hair look dull 
+
No white patches
+
Uses Argan oil to nourish strands

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for blondes or light brown hair 

Anyone that has dark locks and has used dry shampoo will have created a big white patch on their hairline at some point in their lives. It’s mainly an issue if your hair is very dark, thick, or textured. You may have sworn off the stuff altogether. And if that’s the case, this product could be about to change your mind. 

We absolutely love this dry shampoo. It made our hair feel so clean and offered the right amount of texture and volume to our strands. Unlike so many sprays we tried, this one kept our locks looking luminous, which is probably down to the Argan oil-based formula. Granted, it does sound a bit nutty to include oil in a product that’s trying to remove it, but the spray is amazingly light and kept our hair feeling soft. 

And the best bit? There is absolutely no chance of creating white patches as it has a dark tint that filters seamlessly throughout your strands. Don't feel left out, blondies! The brand’s original dry shampoo, which is tint free, is just as excellent. So if you’re reading this and you have light-colored locks, we recommend you give that one a try. 


How to apply dry shampoo like a pro

You might have tried a dry shampoo and decided the white patches weren’t for you, but that could be the way you’re applying it, says leading hairstylist Lee Stafford, “Try spraying it a little further away, around 30cm (~12 inches), as this prevents you applying excess product and avoids those blasts of powder. Before spritzing, section the hair into two halves. Direct the product onto the roots, pause for a minute (not seconds), and gently massage the formula in. Waiting for longer allows the dry shampoo to saturate into the hair instead of sitting on top and creates a more natural effect.” 

Is dry shampoo bad for your scalp?

Anabel Kingsley, Brand President at Philip Kingsley says, “Even though daily shampooing is the best remedy to relieve dandruff, I understand that people with irritated, flaky scalps are under the same time pressures as everyone else. However, these individuals need to use it sparingly and seek a formula that caters to a problematic scalp. Otherwise, it can exacerbate the issue.”

But what about everyone else? Can dry shampoo damage your hair and lead to hair thinning? While most dry shampoos won’t directly damage your strands, not washing it off properly can create a build-up of product that sits on the scalp and clogs up your pores. Kingsley explains, “If the oils that secrete from the scalp are not properly washed away, it can provide a perfect breeding ground for dandruff to form. Good scalp hygiene is also essential to hair growth.” 

There’s nothing wrong with using dry shampoo. Just make sure you use the best dry shampoo for your hair type, give your scalp and hair a good clean when you finally make it to the shower, and introduce yourself to a good scalp care regimen once a week with a scalp mask or massage.


woman&home thanks Stéphane Lancien (opens in new tab) of L’Oréal Paris (opens in new tab) and Lee Stafford (opens in new tab) for their time and expertise.

All about beauty, Lydia House has been writing about creams and complexions for over a decade. Contributing to titles such as Women’s Health, Grazia, Stylist and The Evening Standard, Lydia also uses her vast knowledge of the industry to consult leading health and beauty brands like Rituals, Tisserand and The Inkey List. Spending her working life obsessing over ingredients and formulas, Lydia believes that feeding your skin from within is just, if not more important, than the lotions you slather on. And even with a busy life and work schedule, she will always find the time to fit in a pampering session (or two).

With contributions from