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The best dry shampoos 2024 — tested and reviewed

These high-quality, oil-absorbing dry shampoos work to freshen blowouts, give hair body and extend shampoo times by days.

Dry shampoos in a row
Amika, SexyHair and Living Proof are among the best dry shampoos 2024. (Amazon)

Let's be honest: Dry shampoo is a little odd. It's a hair-care product that absorbs excess oil and saves you from having to cleanse your hair all the time, but it doesn't actually clean anything. It is not a replacement for shampoo but more of a stop-gap solution, a way to freshen up without going through the hassle — or the potentially damaging effects — of more regular washing/drying/styling. Still, when used properly, the best dry shampoos are a major time-saver, especially when you find the right one for your hair. "When choosing a dry shampoo, I look for a formula that's able to absorb excess oil and eliminate odors," says celebrity colorist Cassondra Kaeding (her client list includes Demi Moore, Natalie Portman, Kendall Jenner and the cast of the latest Mean Girls). "It should have lasting results allowing me to go longer between shampoos."

Quick overview
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How does dry shampoo work?

The active ingredients in most dry shampoos are most often alcohol or some type of starch (such as rice starch, tapioca starch, cornstarch). Most traditional versions — like those from Amika or Batiste (see below) — come in aerosol spray bottles: You spray the product on your hair's roots (where oil from your scalp has accumulated) and the starch and/or alcohol can sop up grease. As a result, your hair looks bouncier and cleaner as the dry shampoo powder at the roots will also often give hair texture and extra body. Most dry shampoos have a fragrance, which makes your hair smell cleaner too.

Who should use dry shampoo?

Dry shampoo can be a beauty lifesaver for anyone in a time crunch (I started using it when I became a busy working mom). For those with thinning or damaged hair, these products will keep your 'do presentable while alleviating the intolerable wear and tear of overwashing and styling. Dry shampoos are also a grease-eradicating, fresh-smelling godsend for those with extra oily hair who'd otherwise need to wash every day.

How often should I wash my hair?

"With hair washing, I typically say twice to three times a week is best, so you are not stripping your hair's natural oils," says San Francisco colorist Tylor Johnson. Though for those with drier, textured hair, stylist Jamal Edmonds explains: "Someone with scalp issues may shampoo weekly, while most women with textured hair only shampoo biweekly." Edmonds, who's also the owner and creative director of the popular Washington, D.C., salon Lamaj in the City, elaborates: "There really isn’t a rule of thumb for how often you should wash your hair; it’s based on specific needs."

Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?

When used correctly, dry shampoo is not bad for your hair. As mentioned above, it's not a replacement for regular shampooing, but it will make your hair look clean and smell fresh in between washes. Experts are mixed on how often you can/should use it — some stylists I spoke with said spraying on dry shampoo every day is fine, while others were concerned that it could clog the pores on your scalp, lead to product buildup and possibly — in rare cases — cause hair breakage. Dermatologists recommend limiting dry shampoo use to one or two times a week, or, at the very least, no more than two days in a row.

The best dry shampoos of 2024

Amika's natural formula employs rice starch — a highly absorbent powder — instead of talc, which makes it both lightweight and residue-free. It soaks up grease instantly and sprays on absolutely clear and is ideal for all hair types and shades. (For more, check out my full review.)

Pros
  • Lightweight (almost weightless)
  • Zero visible residue
  • No powdery or chalky hair feel
  • Absorbs oils instantly
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Subtle, pleasant fragrance
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Doesn't add body
$28 at Amazon

This affordable, old-school, classic dry shampoo has more than 30,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, where customers rave about the texture, the spray quality, the price and — especially — the scent. "This has the BEST smell of any dry shampoo I’ve ever tried," said one. "A 'just left the salon' smell, SO good."

Pros
  • Subtle salon scent
  • Ultra-absorbent
  • Affordable
Cons
  • May leave white residue in darker hair
$7 at Amazon

Listen, this SexyHair dry shampoo is the one you want when you're on day three of a "good hair" day and don't want to start all over again with washing and styling on a night when you are about to throw on your going-out top and slip into your favorite heels for the first time in months. It sprays on more wet than dry (more like a hairspray/dry shampoo hybrid) but does quick work of both freshening the scalp and adding bombshell volume. Pro tip: For best results, apply to the roots and let the formula soak in for at least 60 seconds before brushing and styling. 

Pros
  • Volumizing
  • Texturizing
  • Affordable
  • Left little residue
Cons
  • Wet formula may be off-putting
$22 at Amazon

This version for darker hair does everything you want: soaks up oil and sweat, adds texture and volume and carries a light, fresh floral (not overly so) scent. It has a slight brown tint, which is excellent for brunettes (especially compared to dusty-white formulas). One caveat: It contains alcohol, which can be drying, so use at least somewhat sparingly.

Pros
  • Extra oil-absorbing
  • Freshens dirty hair with a pleasant floral scent
  • Contains nourishing, strengthening ingredients like keratin and wheat protein
  • Affordable
  • Cruelty-free
Cons
  • Contains alcohol, which can dry hair if overused
$15 at Walmart

OGX makes several quality dry shampoos but this one — made with hydrolyzed silk and rose oil — helps keep your blowouts not only grease-free but also soft.

Pros
  • Softens hair
  • Absorbs oil
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Some users may find the scent a little strong
$13 at Amazon

This award-winning dry shampoo is a longtime pick of beauty editors and stylists who praise the fine-powder formula for its degreasing, volumizing powers. It's made with both silica and starch (and a bit of oat milk to soothe the scalp), is plant-based and vegan and works to freshen strands and soften them too.  

Pros
  • Plant-based and vegan
  • Extra-oil absorbing
  • Adds volume and texture
  • Softens hair
Cons
  • Leaves a faint white-powder residue
$24 at Amazon

Living Proof makes some of the best modern hair-care products around and this standout unisex dry shampoo is no exception. It's formulated in a way so the powders actually absorbed into my scalp lightning-fast, so it didn't leave behind the same level of powdery residue you might find in other brands. Best, though, are the added conditioning agents, which left my hair both free of grease and shiny in a way I wanted. The spray bottle takes a little getting used to and I wish this cost less, but overall, it is a high-quality pick. 

Pros
  • Hair feels extra clean
  • Fast-absorbing
  • Little residue if any
  • Conditioning — hair felt soft after use
  • Good for all hair types
Cons
  • Pricey
$20 at Walmart

Charcoal powder is incorporated into this oil-sponge-like formula to naturally soak up extra sebum and sweat while simultaneously neutralizing odors. It's lightweight and feels clean against your scalp — I found it also added body to my hair, though not texture. This smaller size is just right for throwing in a gym bag or when you're traveling and want to extend the life of a blowout while on the go. 

Pros
  • Most oil-absorbent we've tried
  • Natural ingredients
  • Adds body
Cons
  • Pricey
$16 at Amazon

This organic, nontoxic, cruelty-free option works particularly well for fine hair, and its natural ingredients (like witch hazel and tapioca starch) quickly soak up oils. Because it's not a powder, there's no white aftermath to deal with, and the mousse-like consistency acts as a bonus styling product to lift roots and lend your 'do extra volume. 

Pros
  • Lightweight gel adds volume
  • Organic and all-natural
  • Pleasant scent
  • No powdery residue
Cons
  • The mousse-like texture is a little weird at first
$24 at Amazon

I fell in love with Hairstory's Powder a few years ago just as my hair was looking extra limp — and thinning a bit. The only nonspray product on this list, it's made with rice starch and cornstarch to absorb oil, plus chamomile and calendula to calm an itchy scalp. Not only does it degrease-ify your hair instantly, it adds a ton of texture and body to the roots, Plus, the powder is translucent, making it suitable for all hair shades.

Pros
  • Adds volume
  • Contains no talc
  • Non-aerosol
  • Suitable for all hair shades
  • Texturizing
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Slightly chalky feel
$37 at Amazon