Style + Ask the Edit

Ask the Edit: Dry Shampoo Reviews

Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for in-between washes, and for those busy mornings when you don’t have time to wash and style.  But with hundreds choices on the market, which is the best choice?

Hi Belle,

For years I’ve used Psst per your recommendation, and I really like it, but it’s stopped being sold in drugstores near me. I was wondering if you have a drugstore dry shampoo you like that isn’t Pssst or Cake (which I can’t find here)? Or should I suck it up and start buying drybar detox dry shampoo? Thank you!

– Liz 

Yes, my favorite brand is Drybar Clear Invisible Shampoo ($23).  It doesn’t feel heavy or itchy.  It brushes in clean, so there’s no visible residue.  And if I need to reapply in the afternoon, I can do that without having too much buildup.  Also, this is the only dry shampoo that I use on consecutive days in a row without feeling my scalp is coated in sand.

For a drugstore brand, Psssst is the best.  Cake is also quite good.  But as you mentioned, you need a third option.

The only other drugstore dry shampoo I have tried, and thought enough of to endorse, is Clean Freak from Not Your Mother’s.

I started using Clean Freak dry shampoo because I was it was in my Airbnb in Montana.  I loved that it was unscented, which is nearly unheard of (and my #1 Drybar complaint).  It also cleaned as well as Psssst, and volumized well.  My only issue with Clean Freak is that it feels a bit tacky to the touch you over apply.

Hopefully, other readers have suggestions as well.  Good luck.

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  1. J says:

    Someone at drybar told me the invisible is not as effective as the original and should be used for touch ups or or less-oily hair. Have you found this to be the case? I have fairly oily hair and don’t want to compromise on effectiveness.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  2. Allison says:

    I like Nexxus’ dry shampoo (i.e. the “dry shampoo/refreshing mist”), but sadly it seems like they discontinued the unscented variety. The scented Nexxus isn’t too overpowering but it is very floral. I prefer the scent of the Kristin Ess one (brand is exclusive to Target).

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  3. Eliza says:

    Klorane Dry Shampoo is my favorite! It isn’t cheap, but Ulta occasionally has it for 50% off ($10).

    June 3, 2019/Reply
    • jlo says:

      Agreed, Klorane is the best! No greasy residue and actually makes my hair feel clean.

      June 3, 2019/Reply
  4. B says:

    My favorite cheap thrill is Suave keratin dry shampoo, but whatever you use, my suggestion is to put in the dry shampoo at night and sleep with it in (I wear my long hair up at night in a loose topknot). I frequently go 3-4 days without washing my hair, it’s not particularly oily, I have thin strands and lots of them – I’ve found if I let it get oily and then try to arbitrage with dry shampoo, I’ve already lost the battle.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
    • Kristen says:

      I second the night before and putting it in before a workout. When I try to use after it doesn’t work as well. Putting dry shampoo in my hair every night before bed is just part of my normal routine now. Also, I highly recommend Batiste. The drugstore price is great and it really is my favorite!

      June 4, 2019/Reply
  5. Sara says:

    I highly recommend a powder dry shampoo. I use the R+Co Skyline ($36), which smells amazing, but I’ve used Alterna ($25) from Sephora before and liked it as well. While the price isn’t drugstore, a single bottle of the R+Co lasted me nearly a year while I go through a can of the spray once a month or so. making it more affordable in the long run. I also find that the powder versions absorb so much better, give me a ton of volume, and never weigh down my hair the way I feel sprays can. You just really need to brush/rub it in. I have dark red hair and don’t have issues with it staying white.

    I did some searching for a more budget friendly option and Verb at Sephora also makes a version for $16. The other versions have a “spray” dispenser though which I find works really well, this one looks like you sprinkle it on which might be a bit harder to distribute.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  6. Emily says:

    I’m a big fan of the Hask dry shampoos. There’s a few different varieties. I’ve personally tried the argan version and the citrus charcoal version, and I don’t really have a preference. Although, the citrus one smells nice. They don’t weigh your hair down or make it feel super dirty. Plus, I can usually find them at Walgreens, Ulta, Target, etc for about $7-8 a bottle.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  7. Morgan says:

    My friends and I all use Batiste and love it. Available at any drugstore or Target, and under $10. Comes in several scents depending on your preferences. I can usually use it two days in a row to stretch out not washing to 3 days. It’s not clear like Drybar, but it is effective. And for anyone who worries about the white dry shampoo residue, they have versions that are colored to go with your hair color — brown, red or blonde. I’ve used the brown and blonde and it doesn’t look cheesy or fake. Comes in travel sizes too!

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  8. Emma says:

    I buy Psssst dry shampoo in a set of 3 on Amazon for $15.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  9. Noelle says:

    I’ve used the Pantene Pro-V Style Series dry shampoo and I like it. It revives my hair and is very lightweight with no buildup or crunchiness. I actually prefer it to Psst, which tends to dry my hair out (but my hair is pretty dry anyway so if you have oilier hair you might not like the Pantene as much).

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  10. RR says:

    I absolutely LOVE living proof. I cannot believe it didn’t make the list. Though its scented, it doesn’t bother me (and scents typically do). In an emergency I bought Clean Freak by Mothers at Target (unscented) and was surprised at how good it was. For much cheaper than Living Proof too. But LP is still my fav

    P.s. I have super thick shoulder length hair that can go easily half a week in between washes (if there isn’t a workout in there). Sometimes it might depend on your hair type which brand works best for you.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  11. Allison Winter says:

    My favorite dry shampoos give cleanliness AND texture (important to know what you’re hoping to accomplish with your dry shampoo situation!). My hair type is fine, and I have a lot of it…I prefer to wash hair 1-2x/week REGARDLESS of workout. I use Big Sexy Hair dry shampoo and find it at Ulta and Amazon in travel sizes (which is always nice for a sample size), and I can find it full size those locations, as well as Target, CVS and Walgreens. I don’t notice a scent, and I’ve never noticed any white powdery residue…which is important because I have very dark brown hair. I believe Abra’s shared a tutorial on how to use dry shampoo–spray lightly at the roots and massage in–that’s very helpful too in ensuring the powdery tint is worked in (on those occasions when you have to use an alternate dry shampoo product instead of your favorite, because these things sometimes happen…)

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  12. Mandi says:

    I agree with Abra’s comment that the Clean Freak can feel a bit tacky. I can’t use it more than one day I’m a row. I like Living Lroof and Klorane dry shampoos but my newest discovery is the Kristen Ess line at Target. It’s a little more expensive than most drugstore finds at $12, but it’s the closest dupe I can find to the Living Proof. It’s scented but not too strong or offensive.

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  13. Rachel says:

    I love Klorane’s dry shampoo!

    June 3, 2019/Reply
  14. Sara says:

    Try arrowroot powder, which you can pickup at Whole Foods, another health food store, or order to on Amazon. I apply it to sections of my scalp with a giant powder brush, massage and brush through, then sleep on it. It can make my scalp feel a bit dry/powdery (to touch, not visibly) but it’s the best solution I’ve found since it leaves no buildup on my actual hair. This week I went from Tuesday-Sunday without washing my hair.

    June 4, 2019/Reply
  15. Ivanna says:

    Not Your Mother’s dry shampoos are the best: they don’t irritate my scalp, they don’t stick to my hair making it harder to brush, they absolutely soak up all the oil, they brush out perfectly clean, and they all smell incredible.

    June 4, 2019/Reply
  16. Anne says:

    I stopped spending money on trials to find a cheaper alternative to Dry Bar’s Detox. Nothing works as well for me. The Nirvana by Elizabeth and James dry shampoo is amazing, as well, but $$$$. Batiste, Pssst, and Dove didn’t work for me.

    June 4, 2019/Reply
  17. Christine says:

    If you hadn’t recommended Not Your Mother’s, I was going to! I have used it for a couple years now, and can’t go back. The price point is the best, and you can get two or three-packs on Amazon for even less than the drugstore.

    June 4, 2019/Reply
  18. Natasha says:

    If you have fine hair, NOTHING works as well as Blow Pro faux dry I get it at Nordstrom. I use it after very sweaty workouts (Barry’s Bootcamp, long runs, etc.) and it removes all of the oil. It does not provide volume – it just takes the grease out. It is like baby powder. I typically do not wear my long hair down after using it but it does not look greasy pulled back. I can go a few days without washing without my hair looking greasy. It is a lifesaver!

    June 4, 2019/Reply