There are two rules of motherhood everyone tells you: one, sleep when the baby sleeps, and two, bathe at least as frequently as you bathe your little one. It’s this last one that feels the hardest to hold to, as naps are most welcome, anytime, anywhere, but squeezing in a daily (heck, even every other day) shower feels like a luxury that just can’t always happen. That’s why we’re so grateful to the hair gods for the blessing that is dry shampoo, a miracle drugstore beauty product that can banish greasiness, add soft texture and mega lift—all without water.
We can’t even count the number of times we’ve relied on dry shampoo’s genius to nix unwashed hair in an instant. Our pro tip? Keep one bottle in your bathroom and one in the diaper bag, so you’re never caught unprepared.
But here’s the good news: If you’re not washing your hair daily, you’re actually doing it right, as over-washing can lead to color-fading or hair damage, says Stephanie Angelone, lead stylist at RPZL Hair Salon in NYC. Dry shampoo can absorb oil from hair while also boosting volume so your locks have that just-washed, super fresh look again.
Preserve your style and your sanity with these stellar dry shampoos. They are available in all price points and for all hair types. Mamas, if you haven’t tried these yet, they are literally *magical*.
Best Dry Shampoo for Everyday
Dry shampoo has soared in popularity in recent years, probably because people (um, moms especially) have finally started to realize that washing and drying their hair every single day is highly overrated. If you’re a wash-and-go person (i.e. you barely take the time necessary to blow-dry) *raises hand*, please see Kristen Ess Style Reviving Dry Shampoo. It’s a fool-proof dry mist formula that you’ll spritz around the crown of your head and rub through with your fingers to activate and absorb any excess oil. For extra oomph, flip your hair over and spray at the roots, upside down. Angelone says it’s important to never brush your hair before applying dry shampoo. “If you brush your hair first, 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.”
Best Dry Shampoo for On-the-Go
Turns out, oat milk is good for more than just your morning latte. In Klorane’s Oat Milk Dry Shampoo, it can sop up excess oils and revive lifeless locks. The oat milk extract soothes and protects the scalp and follicles, effectively “cleaning” the hair without clogging up the scalp in the process (a top complaint from dermatologists about dry shampoo). Klorane is a staple brand in French pharmacies and is gaining major traction in the U.S., thanks to a reasonable price point and clean formulas that are hypoallergenic and created without parabens or sulfates. The lack of sulfates also means it’s safer for color-treated hair, thank goodness. Try the 3.2 ounce spray can, which is a mini size that can pack away nicely in your bag/car console for on-the-go spritzing.
Best Dry Shampoo for Super Rushed Mornings
When you need to wake up to a good hair day but want to sleep until the last possible minute, we’ve got a gamechanger for you: Kaia Naturals Overnight Dry Shampoo. Here’s the genius part: Apply the powder to your roots and scalp THE NIGHT BEFORE, massage in (don’t brush!), then rise the next morning with fresh, clean hair. Powered by detoxifying charcoal, this product seriously soaks up everything—we’re talking major absorption. The only catch is that it takes at least four hours to work, so you’ll need to seriously plan ahead…or just work it into your evening skincare routine (you have one of those, right?). This product is great for all hair types, and it comes in two tones, blonde and brunette. “This really works if you use as directed – at night before bed, don’t shake it out. Only negative is my husband laughing at me because of the visible circles of powder in my hair. I don’t mind, I wake up with clean hair!” notes Samantha on Credo.
Best Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair
If your tresses could use a little help in the volume department, try Rahua’s Voluminous Dry Shampoo. It’s a non-aerosol formula made with cassava root, clay and star anise and provides instant lift and touchable texture. On second-day (or, lbh, third- or fourth-day) hair, squeeze to apply a light dusting to roots all over your scalp. Use your fingers to massage it into your hair and fluff for that magic bounce you’ve been missing. “This is a great alternative to aerosol dry shampoo,” says Samantha L. on Amazon. “If you use this right, it works fantastic and lasts all day. It’s not hard to wash out if you use it sparingly…It gives you great texture and lift.” We also love that it leaves behind a light, vanilla-anise scent, which means your next-day strands will thankfully smell squeaky clean again (and not like last night’s dinner).
Best Dry Shampoo for Thick/Curly Hair
If you’ve got thicker tresses, don’t settle for any ol’ powder—you need a foam. The hydrating formula is especially great for those with waves or curls, as it adds instant shine and bounce. And we mean instant: This formula dries in 60 seconds—with no white powder residue in sight. Did we mention it smells like coconuts? Totally transporting. It’s a cinch to use: Shake it, massage it all over, then scrunch and style. The finished effects feel like you actually took a 20-minute shower where you shampooed *and* conditioned without interruption (bliss!). “Amazing! I’ve used their dry shampoo before, but this stuff leaves no residue! I love it. It’s especially great because I have colored hair, and it lasts so much longer when I can get a couple extra days between washes with this stuff! Also, smells really fresh and takes away the oily look!” says one enthusiastic Amazon customer.
Best Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair
Acure’s cocoa and rosemary dry shampoo is a godsend for brunette mamas. The vegan, organic, cruelty-free formula is super clean and free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petrolatum, and formaldehyde. Made from a combination of corn starch, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, baking soda, cocoa powder and essential oils, it’s so clean you could technically eat it, but don’t, because then you’d have less for your hair, duh. The lightweight powder comes in a shaker bottle, and a little goes a long way. Just tap out a bit directly onto roots and rub in, scrunching hair along the scalp to really soak up the oils. For bonus points, squeeze it directly onto your brush and come through to the ends of your strands (but who has the time?). Even if you use the quick-and-dirty method, this stuff will work all the same.
Best Dry Shampoo for Light Hair
If you’re already into Verb’s line of professional-quality products at affordable prices, you’ll especially love this dry shampoo (um, it had a 10,000-person waitlist). The light, powdery formula has a gentle scent that doesn’t overpower and comes in two tones; light and dark. The tone thing is important, as you don’t want to sprinkle white powder over dark hair (unless you’re trying to give a gray effect?), and you wouldn’t want to use a dark powder over blonde hair, either (so hard to hide!). Verb’s light formula is a pale purple-tinted powder that gives a subtle boost to your own color (the dark version is a cocoa undertone), and it blends in seamlessly. It camouflages grease and odor pretty well, too. Use it on same-day hair for extra volume once dry, or use it on next-day hair to remove excess oil. Brush and blow-dry for the best effect.
Best Dry Shampoo for Him or Her
If you’ve got a partner who’s regularly swiping your products, be wary, because they’ll love this one, too. R&Co’s Badlands Dry Shampoo is a universally appealing formula as it’s a hybrid dry shampoo and styling paste in one. The consistency is unlike the others on our list—the waxy styling paste somehow transforms into a powdery substance in your strands, leaving behind dryness where there was grease, and volume/texture where there was limpness. Don’t ask us how, but it might be something to do with the volcanic ash, coconut oil, and argan oil in its ingredient profile. The trick to using it effectively is to rub it into your hands first, then tousle your tresses to your heart’s content (or until the paste turns clear). Blow dry to set and you’re ready to roll. “Holy grail if you have fine/oily hair,” notes Maura K on Amazon. “I thought I’d tried everything, but this was the game changer. I’m not a person who generally shells out for expensive hair shit, but this is so worth it that I always keep a backup supply to make sure I never run out. One of those rare products that actually dramatically improves the quality of your life if you feel like you’re constantly battling stringy/greasy/flat/sad hair.” Um, sold.