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I Rely On Dry Shampoo To Keep My Hair In Check Between Washes — Here Are My Favorite (And Least Favorite) Brands

In my experience, dry shampoo can either be a miracle or a disaster waiting to happen.

Hi! I'm Fabiana. I'm admittedly someone who is very lazy when it comes my hair. For some context, my hair is long, extremely thick, wavy, and prone to frizz. One of the pros of having this type of hair is that I can put off washing it for a good week. (Or week-and-a-half, if I'm feeling dangerous.)

The author smiling

But since I live an active lifestyle — which includes working out every morning — and I barely wash my hair, dry shampoo has become a best friend.

However, I have yet to find a dry shampoo that I really love.

While I'd like to think I do have realistic expectations of dry shampoo — because nothing can fully replace a good hair washing — I'd still like to find a reliable in-between.

So I decided to test several different dry shampoos after my morning workouts. I was hoping to find a dry shampoo that 1) kept my hair smelling and looking fresh, 2) didn't leave a white residue, and 3) didn't make my hair feel gritty.

Various dry shampoos

Before I embarked on my quest for the best dry shampoo, I asked some hair experts for their best tips for preserving hair in between washes and after workouts with the help of dry shampoo.

Kerry Yates of Colour Collective, a hair expert and trichologist, suggests using a silk scrunchie during workouts so that you're not pulling back your hair too tightly. 

Yates also recommends setting the dry shampoo with a cool blast from your hair dryer. "[With the scrunchie], loosely pull your hair back at the nape to keep it off your face during a workout," said Yates. "After working out, lightly spritz your favorite dry shampoo and then do a quick dry followed by a cold hit to smooth out any stubborn spots."

Devin Toth, a hairstylist at Salon SCK in NYC, says his clients use dry shampoo in various ways — and all of them can work well. "Some love to use dry shampoo before their workout, or right before they leave their house on a hot, humid day," Toth said. "Another client sometimes uses it at night before she goes to bed, so it doesn't appear as white the next day."

Here's how everything went!

TEST #1: Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo, $25 from Amazon.

Redken dry shampoo

Although my initial reaction was excitement over how good it smelled, I was immediately disappointed with how much white residue was in my hair.

The author applying dry shampoo

TEST #2: Beyond the Zone Rock On Dark Hair Dry Shampoo, $7.49 from Sally Beauty.

BTZ dry shampoo

As promised by the "for dark hair" descriptor, the dry shampoo did not spray on white at all.

The author applying dry shampoo

TEST #3: Drybar Detox Clear Invisible Dry Shampoo, $23 from Sephora.

Drybar dry shampoo

After parting my hair as I have been each day and spraying a few short bursts into my hair and roots, this dry shampoo lived up to the "invisible" claim — but it didn't hold up to thicker hair.

The author applying dry shampoo

TEST #4: Beachwaver Second Chance Dry Shampoo, $12.60 from Beachwaver

Beachwaver dry shampoo

I had to admit, I was expecting this spray to leave streaks of white in my roots — but it actually didn't at all. I sprayed some more dry shampoo in other areas, and my hair felt clean and dry to the touch.

The author applying dry shampoo

TEST #5: Lee Stafford Dry Shampoo, $10.49 from SkinStore

Lee Stafford dry shampoo

Although this dry shampoo won me over with its sturdy applicator and clean smell, it failed in other areas.

The author applying dry shampoo

TEST #6: ColorProof FreshStart Dry Shampoo, $25 from Amazon or $17.50 directly from the brand.

Color proof dry shampoo

I was also able to be generous with the ColorProof without it making my hair feel sticky.

The author applying dry shampoo

TL;DR: The Beachwaver Second Chance Dry Shampoo ($12.60 from Beachwaver) and the ColorProof FreshStart Dry Shampoo ($25 from Amazon, or $17.50 directly from the brand) were the clear winners for me. Both smelled great and delivered on making my hair feel clean, dry, and lifted at the roots. Neither left white residue behind. ✨

Are you a fan of dry shampoo? Which is your favorite? Tell me in the comments below!