We’re not usually ones for grand proclamations but, fact: Dry shampoo is the best thing to ever happen to the hair industry. Think about it. Our hair care routines are filled with so many steps and countless products—who actually has the time to wash their hair every day? Skipping a wash day used to mean dealing with unsightly greasy strands, but thanks to dry shampoo, limp blowouts are a thing of the past.
Though it’s not enough just to have a dry shampoo in your bathroom cabinet. To reap the full benefits of this miracle product, you need to know how to use it—the right way. We tapped Cassondra Kaeding, Redken artist and stylist, to find out everything you need to know about dry shampoo, how to use it, and hacks that allow you to prolong your hair color.
What is dry shampoo and how does it work?
Dry shampoo is typically a powder or spray formula that can be used to refresh your hair in between washes. It is particularly great for helping to mask the appearance of oily roots and can sometimes give your style more volume.
Despite the moniker shampoo, dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean your hair. In fact, skipping multiple wash days and relying on dry shampoo instead can lead to major build-up on your scalp. While dry shampoo is great at refreshing and extending the life of your style, it should not take the place of your regular shampoo routine.
Is dry shampoo good for your hair?
When used the right way, dry shampoo is perfectly safe to use on your hair. Overusing the product (we’re talking more than one or two times per week) can allow product buildup, excess oil, and residue to collect on your hair and scalp. You’ll need to use a regular shampoo and conditioner every few days to actually cleanse your mane.
Benefits Of Using Dry Shampoo
Other than the obvious perk of being able to skip washing your hair, using dry shampoo has another major benefit for people who salon color their mane.
“Using dry shampoo can help prolong your visits to the salon to get your color done. The more frequently you wash your hair, the more likely your hair color will fade. I like to tell my clients to wait a few days after their color service to wash their hair. A dry shampoo can help them get through those few days,” Kaeding explains.
How many times a week should you use dry shampoo?
While skipping wash day can help you keep your hair color longer, that doesn’t mean you can give up washing your hair for good. Kaeding suggests washing your hair at least once or twice a week in between dry shampoo applications.
Dry Shampoo Types
Yes, there’s more than one type of dry shampoo—and the one you choose should depend on the results you’re trying to achieve! Here’s a breakdown of the types of dry shampoo.
Dry shampoo sprays are the products you’re likely the most familiar with. These formulas are spray-in, waterless products that absorb oil and refresh oily hair.
How To Use Dry Shampoo Spray
To begin, thoroughly shake the can of dry shampoo to make sure the product is ready for an even application. Then, hold the can eight to 10 inches away from your head, if math isn’t your strong suit (we’re writers, we get it), use the length of the can of dry shampoo as your marker. Spray the dry shampoo evenly on the crown of your head, and use your fingers to rake the formula through your strands. Lift small sections of hair around your hairline and spray the dry shampoo underneath your strands, aiming the formula towards your roots.
Continue spraying and raking the formula through your strands until you achieve your desired look. For a final step, take a large paddle brush and brush through your hair to make sure the dry shampoo is completely absorbed and leaves no white residue.
Aerosol sprays are the most common dry shampoo formula, but it’s not the only type. If you can only get your hands on a powder formula, fear not, it’s just as easy to use.
How To Use Dry Shampoo Powder
Hold the bottle six to eight inches away from the crown of your head and lightly shake the dry shampoo on to your hair. Use your fingers to rake the formula through your strands. Part your hair on the left and then on the right, and repeat the same steps. Once you’ve achieved your desired look, use a large paddle brush and brush through your hair to make sure the dry shampoo is completely absorbed and leaves no white residue.
Searching for the best dry shampoo to add to your routine? Keep scrolling for 9 of our top formulas to try.
Best Dry Shampoos
The Best Dry Shampoos For A Deep Clean
Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo
Have you ever skipped the gym for fear of messing up your hair? Well, that stops today, with Redken’s two-time award winning dry shampoo formula, Deep Clean Dry Shampoo. The product is formulated with rice and tapioca starches to provide maximum oil absorption on all hair types and provides a cooling sensation for a deep clean feel. No wonder it snagged the "Best Dry Shampoo" award from both Allure and Refinery 29.
“Redken’s Deep Clean Dry Shampoo, provides maximum oil absorption on all hair types and helps bring day three or four hair back to life,” Kaeding says.
Biolage All-In-One Intense Dry Shampoo
This is another dry shampoo to pick up if you’re in need of a serious refresh between washes. Made with rice starch, this formula absorbs oil to deeply cleanse, prime, and refresh for healthy-looking and clean-feeling hair. You can extend your time between washes for up to four days.
The Best Dry Shampoos For Fine Hair
Matrix Total Results High Amplify Dry Shampoo
Refresh the finest of hair (without weighing it down) with this lightweight dry shampoo. It quickly absorbs oil while refreshing your style and prolonging volume.
The Best Dry Shampoo For Dark Hair
Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo
Brunettes, you know the struggle of spraying dry shampoo through your hair, only to spend the next 10 minutes trying to conceal the white powder the formula left behind. That’s why a formula like Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo is perfect for anyone with dark hair. This lightweight, fragrance-free, no-residue dry shampoo refreshes your hair (without letting anyone know you didn’t wash it).
“Redken Invisible Dry Shampoo absorbs excess oil from the hair and eliminates the risk of product residue—it’s great for all hair colors and textures,” Kaeding says.
Matrix Total Results Miracle Extender Dry Shampoo
Another flake-free favorite, the Matrix Total Results Miracle Extender Dry Shampoo absorbs oil and refreshes second-day hair with just a few spritzes. The lightweight formula also won’t leave your strands feeling crunchy or stiff.
The Best Dry Shampoo With Hold
L'Oréal Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Dry Shampoo
Looking to cut down on the number of products in your hairstyling routine? Get a dry shampoo that does double duty with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Morning After Dust Dry Shampoo. This spray contains starch to absorb excess oil on the scalp weightlessly and mineral salt to give hair sexy volume, hold, and body, which means you can skip hairspray.
The Best Dry Shampoo For Color-Treated Hair
Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo
If you have color-treated hair, you’ll want a dry shampoo that helps you stretch the time between color touch-ups while doing the most to protect your hue. Pureology’s Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo removes oil buildup and freshens up hair, so you can restyle instantly. It’s also made with the brand’s exclusive AntiFade complex which protects hair color vibrancy and shields your mane from harmful UVA and UVB rays.
The Best Dry Shampoo For When You Need A Scent Boost
Kérastase Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo
In search of a dry shampoo formula with a seriously sexy scent? Look no further than Kérastase Fresh Affair Refreshing Dry Shampoo. This luxurious shampoo is formulated with a long-lasting neroli scent you’re going to be obsessed with. Just don’t blame us when your dry shampoo takes the place of your perfume.
The Best Dry Shampoo For On-The-Go
Redken Dry Shampoo Powder 02
No matter your hair type or concerns, we’ve all experienced that moment when our strands desperately need to be washed, and we just don’t have the time. If you need to hide the look of oily roots in a flash, look no further than Redken’s Dry Shampoo Powder 02. This non-aerosol dry shampoo powder is formulated with oil-absorbing charcoal to help extend and refresh styles, absorbing oil and providing light, clean volume.
Searching for more hair products? Shop the best salon-quality products at Hair.com.