5 Best Waterless Dry Shampoos

5 Best Waterless Dry Shampoos

It happens to all of us, you wake up in the morning only to realize your hair is an oily, lifeless mess. There’s no way you have time for a shower, so what’s a girl to do?

Enter: the most magical hair product on the market, waterless dry shampoo.

Dry shampoo extends hair washing by a day or two (or four), and should be part of every girl's beauty regimen. Not only will it let you go a few extra days without washing, it also gives you tons of sexy volume and leaves your hair smelling amazing.

Dry shampoo is a beauty lifesaver when you’ve overslept, are dashing out the door, or water isn’t readily available (perfect for music festivals).

If you're a women's dry shampoo novice, the large selection of waterless shampoos can seem overwhelming. Batiste Dry Shampoo alone has over 15 different versions.

The good news is we did the research so you don’t have to. We spent hours reading beauty reviews, testing products, and comparing prices to give you the most trusted list of dry shampoos on the market. You can thank us later (when you get to snooze your alarm an extra 30 minutes).

5 Best Waterless Dry Shampoos

  • 5. Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
  • 4. Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo For Women
  • 3. Acure Organics Dry Shampoo
  • 2. Batiste Dry Shampoo For Women
  • 1. Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Best Splurge Waterless Shampoo for Women

#5

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Best Splurge Waterless Shampoo for Women: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
42 Bought
Oil Absorption
9.0
Volume
8.9
Scent
8.2
Value
8.8
Overall
87%
87 % Editor Score
80 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Lasts all day
  • Works on all hair types
  • Fast acting and easy to use

The Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo provides clean, voluptuous looking hair that lasts all day long. This product is safe to use on colored or chemically treated hair and works with all textures. 

The scent is powerful, so if you aren't a fan of it, there's no real getting away from it. 

Expert Ratings

Oil Absorption

9.0 / 10

Some dry shampoos don't last the entire day. We've found with this dry shampoo by Living Proof, one application in the morning is all you need, and you're good to go all day long. This product absorbs oil quickly and efficiently, allowing you to go a few more days without washing!  

Volume

8.9 / 10

This spray is going to provide lasting volume to your hair. A few spritzes are all you need, then brush the product into your hair and mold with your hands.  

Scent

8.2 / 10

The scent can be a little intense with the first spray, but it doesn't last. Remember that this is an aerosol and those types, even if the formula is unscented, leave an initial smell. 

Value

8.8 / 10

This dry shampoo is going to last if you use it properly. All you need are a few spritzes, making this product a great value. It is a little on the pricier side, but you are getting a quality, silicone-free spray. 

Overall Editor Score

8.7 / 10

Best Cheap Drugstore Dry Shampoo For Women

#4

Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo For Women

Best Cheap Drugstore Dry Shampoo For Women: Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo For Women
189 Bought
Oil Absorbption
9.0
Volume
8.5
Scent
8.5
Value
9.5
Overall
89%
89 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Affordable price

  • Cooling effect when sprayed

  • Light, invisible, and absorbs oil instantly 

Volumizing, cheap, and can be found at any local drugstore.

The powder scent can be overwhelming to some.

Expert Ratings

Oil Absorbption

9.0 / 10

For being a drugstore product, this waterless shampoo does its job at instantly soaking up that excess oil. We especially loved how soft and weightless it made our hair feel afterwards. For maximum effectiveness make sure to shake well before use, hold 8-10 inches from hair, and spray directly onto the oiliest parts of hair. The formula may appear white but as soon as you rub it in and brush it out you shouldn't see anything but clean hair.

Volume

8.5 / 10

Dove Refresh Care Dry Shampoo for Women is known for its volume boosting capabilities, especially those with naturally thinner hair. This stuff leaves hair incredibly bouncy and voluminous without feeling stiff. The added texture was also a plus in our books. However if you have thicker hair, you may want to pair this waterless shampoo with some hair spray. Some reviewers complained of the volume not lasting all day.

Scent

8.5 / 10

Many reviewers love the scent and we couldn't agree more. This waterless shampoo smells like clean natural powder which is what you want dirty to hair to smell like, right? We must admit though, it can be a bit overpowering when sprayed in small spaces and some people aren't loving that.

Value

9.5 / 10

For a price tag cheaper than a latte, we are sold. Although there are better waterless shampoos out there, if you're on a budget and want something that works Dove Refresh Care is the way to go.

Overall Editor Score

8.9 / 10

Best Natural Dry Shampoo

#3

Acure Organics Dry Shampoo

Best Natural Dry Shampoo: Acure Organics Dry Shampoo
56 Bought
Formula
9.0
Application
9.0
Value
9.0
Overall
90%
90 % Editor Score
88 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Vegan, gluten & cruelty-free!
  • Fast Acting
  • Doesn't leave white/chalky streaks 

The Acure Organics Dry Shampoo is 100% plant-based and chemical free! No aerosols are involved with this dry shampoo; it's a pure powder that you can easily apply to your hair for fast-acting oil and grime removal!  

Some users don't like that it is a powder rather than a spray. 

Expert Ratings

Formula

9.0 / 10

This formula has no strong scent which is super lovely. It is refreshing yet not overwhelming, allowing your hair to feel and smell fresh. 

The bonus of this dry shampoo is the natural, plant-based ingredients. You know exactly what you are putting into your hair when using this product - and that's a massive plus in our books. 

Application

9.0 / 10

This dry shampoo easily removes oil and grime and leaves your hair feeling refreshed and ready to go without washing. The 100% natural ingredients absorb oil fast - all you have to do is apply the powder and either rub or brush it into your hair. 

Value

9.0 / 10

The bottle sells on Amazon for $6.55 for 1.7 ounces. A little of this powder goes a long way - so we think this bottle is set at a great value. 

Overall Editor Score

9.0 / 10

Best Cheap Waterless Shampoo For Women

#2

Batiste Dry Shampoo For Women

Best Cheap Waterless Shampoo For Women: Batiste Dry Shampoo For Women
189 Bought
Oil Absorption
9.5
Volume
9.5
Scent
9.5
Value
9.5
Overall
95%
95 % Editor Score
91 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Great Batiste fragrance choice

  • Adds volume

  • Cleans thoroughly

Inexpensive and effective at absorbing oil.

The force of the Batiste spray and scent can be strong and overpowering. Those with darker hair should use the Batiste Hint of Color.

Expert Ratings

Oil Absorption

9.5 / 10

The secret to Batiste Dry Shampoos is an innovative starch based “no water needed” formulation. Adapting to your hair's needs, it targets excess oil and grease, helping to eliminate it at the roots. Just spray, massage in and style.
We can verifty the success of this secret formulation -this dry shampoo is incredibly effective at absorbing oil and grease. Although there is an obvious white powder when sprayed, it becomes invisible once brushed out. 

Volume

9.5 / 10

One thing we loved most about this Batiste waterless shampoo is how much volume it gives the hair when sprayed. As soon as you spray it on and rub it in, your hair will instantly be refreshed and full of bounce (even if your hair is looking dull, and lifeless). For extra texture and body, don't brush it out.  

Scent

9.5 / 10

We couldn't believe our eyes when we saw that Batiste comes in seven different scents. The cherry scent was our favorite, it's for anyone that loves their hair to smell sweet, smooth and full of luscious fruity flavor. If sweetness isn't your thing some of the other scent options include original, clean and classic, blush, floral, tropical, and wild. 

Value

9.5 / 10

For the effectiveness of this oil absorber, you can't beat the price. Batiste waterless for women is one of the cheapest on the market and you can find it at most drug stores. 

Overall Editor Score

9.5 / 10

Best Overall Waterless Shampoo For Women

#1

Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Best Overall Waterless Shampoo For Women: Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
235 Bought
Oil Absorption
9.5
Volume
9.5
Scent
9.5
Value
9.0
Overall
94%
94 % Editor Score
96 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Easy to use

  • Lightly scented

  • Natural looking

Extra gentle, softening, contains no parabens, silicones, sulfates, or sodium chloride.

Pricey compared to cheaper competitors on the market. 

Expert Ratings

Oil Absorption

9.5 / 10

Not only does the Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo For Women with Oat Milk do an impressive job at absorbing oil, it doesn't leave behind a sticky residue like most dry shampoos do. Once sprayed, this dry shampoo is barely detected - only leaving behind it's light and pleasant scent. Aside from absorbing your greasy strands, this dry shampoo protecs and moisturizes at the same time. Klorane uses Avena sativa L (a fancy word for oat), for its high content of vitamins and lipids which soften, protect, and moisturize. 

Volume

9.5 / 10

While researching and creating reviews for dry shampoos, we've noticed that the better the volume, the more sticky residue is left behind. What we love most about Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo is that it gives the perfect amount of natural-looking volume without leaving behind any residue. It makes the hair texturized instead of stiff and gives it that fresh blowout look. 

Scent

9.5 / 10

The best word we can use in our review to describe the smell of this product is, "pleasant". Reviewers agree, this scent is the best out there because it's not too overpowering. Many of the dry shampoos on the market have strong scents, such as baby powder, that last all day- we find this unbearable. We were happy to find that with Klorane, the scent is detected only when sprayed and doesn't hang around all day. 

Value

9.0 / 10

The average price on the market ranges from $6-$40 so Klorane has landed a spot right in the middle. For the quality of this product, the price is as good as it gets. We also appreciated that Klorane makes this dry shampoo in a travel size for $6 so you can try it out for yourself without the splurge. Just be warned, you will be hooked so you might as well buy the big bottle. 

Overall Editor Score

9.4 / 10

Faveable Ratings: 5 Best Waterless Dry Shampoos

5 Best Waterless Dry ShampoosOil AbsorptionVolumeScentValueOverall
Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Thumbnail
Best Overall Waterless Shampoo For Women
#1Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.0
94
Batiste Dry Shampoo For Women Thumbnail
Best Cheap Waterless Shampoo For Women
#2Batiste Dry Shampoo For Women
9.5
9.5
9.5
9.5
95
Acure Organics Dry Shampoo Thumbnail
Best Natural Dry Shampoo
#3Acure Organics Dry Shampoo
   
9.0
90
Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo For Women Thumbnail
Best Cheap Drugstore Dry Shampoo For Women
#4Refresh+Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo For Women
 
8.5
8.5
9.5
88
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo Thumbnail
Best Splurge Waterless Shampoo for Women
#5Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
9.0
8.9
8.2
8.8
87

Best Dry Shampoo Expert Tips and Buying Guide

Dry shampoo isn’t something new, but it really only gained popularity (and fans) in the last couple of years. Proving that it’s not just another short-lived beauty trend, dry shampoo carved a name for itself as an undisputed mainstay in our beauty routines.

If you haven’t jumped onto the bandwagon just yet, welcome aboard! For the time-strapped, busy, and sometimes-lazy woman, dry shampoo could just as well be the eighth wonder of the world. It gives you clean-feeling and fresh-smelling locks in a snap, prolongs the life of your blowout, and gives limp and flat hair much-needed volume.

Using a dry shampoo doesn’t only save your bum on mornings when you’re in a hurry, but it can actually contribute to your hair’s health in the long run. Washing your hair every day can lead to damage, making your locks dull, dry, and lifeless. It can even exacerbate hair loss, too. This is why beauty experts agree that shampooing less frequently is healthier for your hair.

Now that all of the wonderful benefits of dry shampoo have been mentioned loud and clear, let’s move on to a more detailed discussion. In this guide, we’ll talk about all the ways you can use this product, as well as how you can choose the best waterless dry shampoo for your hair.

Best Times to Use a Waterless Dry Shampoo

You might think that dry shampoo is only good for lazy mornings, but it’s actually convenient for many other situations, too! You’ll be able to squeeze a lot of use out of this amazing product—especially if you frequently find yourself in the following situations.

For long haul travels. If you regularly take train rides and flights that exceed 10 hours, having a dry shampoo will let you easily freshen up during the trip.

When you’re in a place where water is unavailable or unsuitable for hair washing. If you like going on camping trips to the mountains, you’ll know that bathing water isn’t always available for everyone. Similarly, some places around the world have water that is too hard, which could be bad for your hair.

For hospitalization and injuries. When you’re confined at a hospital with an IV needle attached to your arm, showering is pretty much impossible. Some injuries can also make it challenging to take baths. For these situations, dry shampoo will save you from that icky, oily feeling.

For emergencies and disasters. Some places are more prone to natural disasters. Hurricanes, droughts, and other calamities can cause the water supply in your area to be temporarily cut off. Keeping a bottle of dry shampoo for these situations will let you survive a few days without washing your hair.

To freshen up after work. Melted makeup and oily T-zones that appear at the end of the workday can always be remedied with a quick touchup. But if you have another appointment (or a big date) after work, you might want to touch up more than just your makeup. A small bottle of dry shampoo tucked in your work bag will help ensure that you look fresh and polished even after a grueling eight hours at work.

The Best Dry Shampoo for Your Hair Type

Other than helping you get away with skipping a shower (or two), some dry shampoos are formulated to help manage different hair types. Whether you have dry, oily, or limp hair, there’s something out there that is suited specifically for your needs.

Use a texturizing dry shampoo for limp and flat hair

If your day two hair usually means flat and limp locks, texturizing dry shampoos are your best friend. Aside from absorbing excess oil, a texturizing formula will give you fuzzy and grease-free waves.

Although dry shampoos should always be sprayed mostly on the roots of your hair, applying a little bit of product all over your mane will let you score much-needed structure and texture.

Choose a volumizing dry shampoo for oily and fine hair.

Women with fine hair are in a constant battle against looking like a walking oil mine. Even a small amount of grease massively affects the look of fine hair, so a volumizing dry shampoo will work wonders.

Avoid moisturizing formulas because they can weigh your hair down. Dry shampoos that contain clay or silica will absorb excess oil while making your hair look fresher and fuller.

Use a moisturizing dry shampoo if you have dry hair

If your hair is brittle, coarse, and dehydrated, the last thing you’d want is to exacerbate dryness with the wrong type of dry shampoo. Moisturizing formulas will get rid of grease while nourishing your hair.

Ingredients like almond oil, B12, and keratin will help bring your dull hair back to life. That said, stay away from shampoos that have a lot of talc and starch as these components can suck all the life out of your scalp.

Use a paraben-free and gently-formulated dry shampoo for sensitive scalps

If you have a sensitive scalp, you have to be more discerning of the hair products you use. Dry shampoos that contain chemicals which may be too harsh for your skin can aggravate itchiness and irritation.

That said, paraben-free products with soothing ingredients are your best bet. Look for gentle ingredients like oat extract and tea tree oil that help calm inflammation and unclog hair follicles.

Powder vs. Aerosol Dry Shampoos: Which Is Better?

Powder and aerosol dry shampoos pretty much work in the same way. The fundamental difference lies in the application. Some prefer aerosol sprays because they’re a bit faster to use and are better at leaving an even coat. Powder, on the other hand, is less wasteful and its application easier to control.

That said, one isn’t necessarily superior to the other. Because it all boils down to personal preference, we recommend that you give both a try and decide which works best for you.

Common Dry Shampoo Mistakes Women Make

Mistake #1: Not applying dry shampoo to the right places.

When your hair feels super limp and greasy, you might be tempted to go cray-cray and spray dry shampoo all over your hair—don’t! Limit application to the roots and maybe the first couple of inches of your actual hair. Hair grease usually stays within the topmost part of your hair anyway, and applying dry shampoo near the ends can make your hair look lifeless and stiff.

Mistake #2: Spraying too close to your head.

Many of us are guilty of spraying too close to the scalp. This leads to a chalky look since dry shampoo needs to be sprayed from the right distance for it to be distributed evenly. Generally, the spray nozzle should be six inches away from your scalp (or as instructed by the manufacturer).

Mistake #3: Using a color that doesn’t suit your hair.

When dry shampoo first started making waves, it only came in a universal light shade. These days, more and more brands are coming out with tinted versions, which means having limited options isn’t an excuse anymore. Whether you have blonde, silver, red, brunette, or black hair, there’s something out there for you.

Avoid using something that’s too light if you have dark hair because this leads to the dreaded chalky look. On the other hand, using dark dry shampoos if you have light hair makes your head look dirty and discolored.

Mistake #4: Applying too much product.

We all love dry shampoo for its wonderful benefits, but applying too much does more harm than good. Apply just the right amount, and you’ll get fresher, bouncier hair. Applying too much leads to dull and discolored locks. Not cute!

That said, apply a small amount at a time and slowly build up the application if you need to. Remember, it’s always easier to add more dry shampoo than to remove excess product.

Mistake #5: Forgetting to completely massage it in.

It’s essential to massage dry shampoo into your roots and scalp. If you don’t, the product just sits on top of your hair—making you look like you have a bad case of dandruff.

Mistake #6: Using dry shampoo way too much.

Dry shampoo is an awesome alternative for days when you can’t wash your hair. But that’s all it is—an alternative. Limit using your dry shampoo to once or twice between hair washes to avoid accumulating too much product on your scalp. Otherwise, the built-up residue can really clog your hair follicles and lead to irritation, itchiness, and even microbial growth.

The Correct Way to Use Waterless Dry Shampoo

As you can tell from the section above, misusing dry shampoo is rather common. First-time users are particularly prone to making dry shampoo mistakes. But fret not! We’re here to help you ace your first (or 50th) dry shampoo application. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Shake the can before using. Dry shampoo might separate and settle inside the container, so mixing it up before you spray it is important.
  2. If you’re using an aerosol dry shampoo, hold the can at least six inches from your scalp. The best distance will vary per product, though, so it’s always best to check out the instructions from the manufacturer.
  3. Divide your hair into sections and spray the dry shampoo evenly while aiming at the roots. If you’re using a powder shampoo, apply a small amount of product directly on your roots.
  4. Let the dry shampoo sit for at least two minutes to give it enough time to absorb oil. Don’t forget to massage the shampoo to really work it into your hair, especially if you use powder and not aerosol.
  5. Brush your hair to distribute the product and minimize discoloration.
  6. If you’re using a texturizing or volumizing formula, you can spray a bit of product mid-shaft to enhance your hair’s texture. Be careful not to overdo it, though.

More Dry Shampoo Hacks

  • If you haven’t tried applying dry shampoo right before you go to bed, give it a try! The product will have plenty of time to absorb oils as you sleep. The result? You’ll wake up to fab-looking, fresh-smelling, and refreshed hair.

  • Spray some dry shampoo onto your bobby pins to keep them in place. If you’re constantly dealing with your bobby pins slipping out, using dry shampoo is a gentler, less sticky alternative to the good old bobby pin-hair spray hack.
  • Smelly shoes? You can use your favorite scented dry shampoo to freshen up your favorite pair. Not only will they smell better, but the dry shampoo will also absorb excess moisture inside your shoes.
  • Using the same oil-absorbing abilities, you can use dry shampoo to soak up excess sweat post-workout (or when it’s a really hot day). Our backs, legs, and underarms are prime spots for sweat and oil, so having a dry shampoo in your bag can help you keep yourself feeling fresh and dry all day long.

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Article Staff

Marina is a California girl and former Idaho resident who is currently living her best life in the Seattle area with her husband and newborn baby. She has a BA in Journalism from Boise State University, as well as a M.Ed from Western Washington University.

Marina has a passion for running, hiking, brunching and, of course, all things home decor. When she isn’t writing, Marina loves to be with family and friends, preferably in the outdoors.

Marina covers everything from health and beauty to babies and women. If the product is in one of these categories, she's likely tried it. For all beauty + mom advice, she's your go-to girl. Want to be friends? Follow her on Instagram: @mrswiersma

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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5 Best Waterless Dry Shampoos

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