Hold onto your follicles, market research says the dry shampoo market is worth about $3 billion USD (and growing), which explains basically everything you need to know about whether or not it’s worth trying. The short answer: Yes. The long answer: If you have more strands of hair than hours in your day, yes, and I am totally here for the affordable drugstore dry shampoo options and their reasonably-priced friends.
I once wrote for Reader’s Digest about my hair helping me earn an actual living to legit help put food on the table for my five (gasp!) kids ages 10 and under. My hair is both a source of income keeping my family swimming in decent-quality diapers and an emotional security blanket, which means I’m committed to keeping it rolling in the similar money, power, and respect that ’90s rap videos garnered. Not over-washing it is part of that process, which is where dry shampoo comes in.
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Stephanie Angelone, lead stylist at RPZL in New York, says a good drugstore dry shampoo can help keep your blowout game going strong for days longer, saving unnecessary hair damage and cash. “If you have thicker or coarse hair, your blow dry can last up to a week with a little dry shampoo. If you have thinner, finer hair you can except anywhere from two to four days.” Obviously, if you’re not getting a blow dry, dry shampoo can just make your strands look more relevant days into not shampooing. (An honest miracle-worker for us moms who just don’t have enough time in the morning, day, night, or ever.) Read on for the top picks and stock up to rock up your look.
CURRENTLY HAVE THREE CANS IN MY LIFE
If you want to know which dry shampoo I probably keep the most of on-hand, it’s this seemingly-fancy European drugstore dry shampoo that counts on oat milk to sop up excess oils, stinky scents, and post-gym grossness. It’s a staple in French pharmacies and gaining serious traction in the United States thanks to a fair price point, gentle formula, no white residue, parabens, or sulfates. The lack of sulfates means it is color-safe and totally okay to pair with your favorite reef-safe sunscreens for your hair.
NAME IS ACCURATE
If you’re already into Tarte’s cruelty-free and vegan beauty products because they’re easy to use and you stand behind the brand’s ethos, you’ll love this affordable dry shampoo. The light, powdery formula has a gentle scent that doesn’t overpower and is virtually invisible when sprayed from a few inches away. Expect it to sop up excess oils, some gnarly smells if you spent the weekend at a garlic festival, and add much-needed life back into your tresses.
EVERY BAG YOU OWN NEEDS ONE
These teeny-tiny TSA-approved dry shampoo bottles from SexyHair are perfect in your overnight bag, purse, the tiny purse you only wear to other people’s weddings, your gym bag, and anywhere else you might need a hair pick me-up. It’s easy to use, non-aerosol, and sops up the nasty stuff life tends to deal our scalps.
WHOLE CAN COSTS LESS THAN A LATTE
I hate to bring mom-economics into a perfectly wonderful hair conversation, but if someone offered you the promise of several days of decent hair or a single venti no-foam with the mild scent of French vanilla lingering in the background, which would you choose? They’re both the same price. Thought so, which is why Batiste makes some of my favorite drugstore dry shampoo formulas, like this hydrating one.
SMELLS LIKE ROMANCE (THE GOOD KIND) WHEN YOU HAVEN’T SHOWERED
If semi-clean hair and the scent of roses stirs up all the best reminders of how you became a mom anyway, this CHI dry shampoo is probably the volume-enhancing trip down memory lane you’ve been searching for all along. Spritz it on while you reminisce about Kelly’s best Saved By The Bell hairstyles for the full experience because it has the power to add serious volume. It’s color-safe too, which you’ll probably need if you can legitimately recall Kelly’s best looks.
EVEN SKEPTICS LOVE THIS FORMULA
If you’re constantly against the idea of dry shampoo because your dark hair hates light-colored powders, the future is here. Moroccanoil offers dry shampoo in both light and dark tones, but the dark version is every dark-maned girl’s dream thanks to thought-free blending that’s hard to find in other formulas. It can also disguise an overgrown roots situation in a pinch if you need it to, buying you just a few extra hours, days, or maybe even a week or two of time to get to the salon.
TAKE A TROPICAL VACAY AWAY FROM DIRTY STRANDS
A lot of drugstore dry shampoo options have the same core ingredients, but things like scent and the way the product is distributed can set one apart from the rest of the pack. This color-friendly dry shampoo is a cinch to use, and comes in a vacation-worthy Coconut Colada scent every mom deserves even if she can’t actually get away.
SILKY-SMOOTH WITHOUT GOING EXTRA ON TEXTURE
Dry shampoo in general is great for adding texture and lift, but sometimes it all just feels a little extra, which is why an ultra-soft formula like this one from ColorProof is so great. With the right application method, it wouldn’t be unusual to squeeze a full week out blowout bliss from this formula. Angelone says it’s important to never brush your hair before applying even the best drugstore dry shampoo options. “If you brush your hair, the oils from your scalp are distributed all the way to the ends where dry shampoo can’t do much. Instead, apply it to the oily areas of your head, massage it into your scalp, and let it sit for 30 seconds before hitting it with a cool blast of air from your dryer to remove and residue.”
TRAVEL-FRIENDLY OPTION THAT FEELS LUXE
If having an endless supply mega-fancy beauty products is high on your wish list but seems unrealistic due to feeding, clothing, and housing children — that’s cool, sounds like you’re a normal human. Pai-Shau Texture dust has the feel and scent of an obscenely priced hair experience at a more reasonable price, and it’s easy to pack in just about any bag. This one is ideal for minor spot treatments or just a little bit of added oomph, like if you’re aiming to solve an oily crown instead of an entire head of deep-fried hair.
Our mom experts only recommend picks they really love. We may earn a commission on purchases made through links from our site, but if we love it, we know you’ll love it. And we Scary Mommies gotta stick together.