Spray your hair hassles away with the latest revelation ... dry shampoo
Banish grease, add texture and your locks will thank you. Sirena Bergman samples the nine best dry shampoos
Dry shampoos have absolutely changed the hair game: a blast in the roots after the gym can save you 45 minutes of washing, blow-drying and styling, while a quick spritz after curling will give it that cool, messy, matte, beachy vibe we're all lusting after.
But using the wrong dry shampoo can put you off forever - with memories of an itchy, white-flecked scalp and matted roots.
Let's be clear: dry shampoos do not wash your hair. If anything they add product build-up and make it technically dirtier, but most of us overwash our hair anyway, so extending its lifespan by a day or two won't do us any harm. The right dry shampoo will absorb oils so that no remnants of greasiness remain, and add texture and grit - that sense of roughness that comes from spending a day on the beach -to your hair, making it easier to hold a style.
They vary widely in price, convenience, scent and packaging, making it a bit of a minefield to pick the best options. Here's a rundown of some of the best available.
- Thing Colab Dry Shampoo, 200ml: £3.49, Boots
That this product was created by model-turned-influencer Ruth Crilly might suggest it has the potential for being overpriced, overhyped and unimpressive. In fact, this has become the gold standard of dry shampoo.
It's incredibly affordable, vegan and cruelty-free, and comes in a huge range of scents and styles - from the Unicorn fragrance, which is sweet without being overpowering, to a fresh-scented Active version, specifically for post-workout.
The product itself is entirely translucent, with no visible white residue even on the darkest of hair. It absorbs oils, mattifies and adds texture immediately while requiring minimal effort. You can use it for a few days in a row without your scalp getting itchy. The aerosol itself dispenses a nice mist of product, which feels gentle and doesn't dispense too much in each spray. The only downside is that it's almost impossible to get hold of travel sizes.
- Ouai Dry Shampoo, 130g: £20, Cult Beauty
The brand was created by Jen Atkin, celebrity hairstylist responsible for the enviable locks of the Kardashians, including Kim, and the product really does live up to the hype. It's a light dry shampoo, which disappears into the roots almost as soon as it's sprayed, with minimum rubbing or teasing.
Any white cast also disappears within seconds and it seems to stick to the hair, keeping it styled for the entire day without feeling itchy.
If you're looking for a luxury product and ease of use is key, it's definitely worth the money. If you're just looking for a bit of extra texture a few spritzes would do it, meaning a bottle should easily last two to three months.
- Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo in Light and Dark Tones, 205ml: £15.45, Look Fantastic
Moroccanoil is known for products that add shine to the hair, so it's surprising that they've created such a great dry shampoo to do the opposite.
It comes in a "light" and a "dark" formula, although they both seem to come out almost clear and have minimal residue. It's not the most absorbent of dry shampoos, but it's great for fringes or tips that need a bit of mattifying. It has a pleasant, clean scent, fresh with a hint of sweet citrus, which lingers on the hair nicely.
- Toni&Guy Matt Texture Dry Shampoo, 250ml: £5.99, Amazon
This product is an absolute godsend for first-day hair when it feels sleek and slippery and like it's liable to fall flat within minutes.
A spritz of this stuff will add volume, texture and grit, and even magically create beachy waves out of the finest hair if you crinkle it with your fingers before the product dries. There is a whiteness to it, so brunettes beware that you'll need to work it in to avoid the salt and pepper look. It does work well to absorb oils too, but it can leave quite a bit of residue behind on the roots.
- Captain Blankenship Mermaid Dry Shampoo, 2.4oz: £12, Free People
On the whole, we would argue that an aerosol is the best thing that's ever happened to a dry shampoo, but if you prefer a loose powder, this is the one. It seems like it's going to be messy and powdery, like putting talcum powder in your hair, but actually there's minimal fallout and the whiteness does disappear fairly quickly.
This is more work than a standard spray but it also allows for more efficient placement of the product exactly where you need it. You wouldn't want to apply this without a mirror, though.You can also buy this product guilt-free: the ingredients are all natural, organic, paraben-free and not tested on animals.
- Shu Uemura Color Lustre Dry Cleaner, 136g: £14.95, Allbeauty
This one has been specifically formulated for colour-treated hair, which is important because you don't want to undo all that hard work your purple shampoo is doing in the shower with your styling products.
It absorbs oils well although it doesn't quite give that texture you might want on first-day hair, so it's perhaps one for the roots rather than the lengths. Unlike a lot of products, it'll make your hair feel just washed while still looking relatively smooth and shiny.
- Batiste Dry Shampoo Original Clean & Classic, 400ml: £3.33, Boots
We would be remiss to discuss dry shampoos without mentioning Batiste, the first product of its kind that we - and many others - ever tried.
To its credit, it's affordable, comes in a variety of scents and travel sizes and the brunette version is a dream.
This product serves one purpose: to mask the grease when your hair really needs a wash, and it does this incredibly - there's no such thing as too much grease to mask when Batiste is involved. Think music festivals, newborn babies, broken showers or droughts.
It does build up and if you try and re-apply it more than once, your hair will be a matted, itchy mess, but it's one worth keeping in the cupboard for emergencies.
- TIGI Bed Head Oh Bee Hive Matte Dry Shampoo, 238ml: £7.90, Feel Unique
This is a great all-rounder. When sprayed straight into the roots it absorbs oil well and has a nice, clean scent to it, which makes the hair feel newly washed.
It's not the most long-lasting of products, but the build-up is minimal so if you're willing to lug it around with you, reapplying once or twice does the trick.
- Philip Kingsley One More Day Dry Shampoo, 200ml: £16, Philip Kingsley
For blondes, we can see this one being a keeper, but if your hair is on the dark side, then beware - this has a lot of whiteness in it so you'll need to spray from a distance and really work it in.
The name would suggest it's primarily an oil absorber, but it impresses for its volumising properties. If you're hoping to achieve a beehive, quiffed look, a couple of spritzes into the roots will make your hair defy gravity like never before.
If you're looking for a reliable, affordable product to give your hair an extra day or two between washes, Colab and TIGI are your best bets.
For colour-treated hair Shu Uemura has got you covered, and if you know you're not going to be able to wash your hair for a week, you might want to pick up a Batiste to tide you over. If you're willing to spend a bit more, Moroccanoil and Ouai deliver a great product.