12 dry shampoos for when you really cba to wash your hair

·7-min read
Photo credit: Natalia Mantini / Refinery29 for Getty Images
Photo credit: Natalia Mantini / Refinery29 for Getty Images

Where would any of us be without dry shampoo? Seriously, it's a question that crosses our minds most mornings. You see, no matter how simple it may seem to wash our hair, we will always want just that little bit longer sans soap and water.

Why? 'Cause we're lazy, that's why.

We fantasise about an extra 10 minutes in bed - god forbid another whole evening without having to endure the pain staking process of washing our greasy, greasy strands. And so, what do we do instead? Reach for what could be considered the most important product in our life: dry shampoo.

One might assume that you can just grab the first bottle you see and douse it onto your head. You'd be wrong. Just like shampoo, conditioner and all the other haircare items in the world, dry shampoos are tailored to different hair types.

We've broken them up into their rightful categories, so you can go forth and skip another hair washing day. Dreamy.

Oh, and a hot tip for when you've selected your perfect dry shampoo? Apply it correctly, and you'll see incredible results. If you, like us, thought it was just a case of targeting a spritz of product into greasy areas of your scalp, rubbing in the residue and heading off out the door, it's time for a quick 101 on dry shampoo application.

According to this tutorial, it's important to spray your whole head, working section by section, and leaving it to work its magic for 5-10 minutes. Then, and only then, should you take your brush or trusty fingers to work the product through to your lengths and ends.

This will help you achieve even distribution, and reduce chances of matting, knots and tangles. But let's not run before we walk - take a peek at our favourite dry shampoos of 2021, and happy shamping!

1 Best fragranced dry shampoo

This chic dry shampoo may as well be a hair perfume in its own right. A deliciously herby blend of leaves, flowers and pepper, sits against cedar, frankincense and juniper wood - whenever we're wearing it people can't stop sniffing our head.

2. Best dry shampoo for damaged hair

Sure, dry shampoo is god's gift to planet earth, but it can wreak havoc on your hair health. Not with Virtue - this little hair-treat is packed with Alpha Keratin protein, not to mention the volumising and clarifying tapioca and kaolin clay. If you're struggling with pangs of guilt when reaching for the dry shamps, this one's for you.

3. Best dry shampoo for shine and texture

Oribe's gorgeously luxe dry shampoo a perfect option if you're keen to steer away from matte-look hair. Sure, texture and volume is great - but why sacrifice shine in pursuit of clean? That said, this one's for one-day hair. For greater oil build-ups, you might want to opt for something more heavy-duty. This one's also gorgeous if you're just looking for a little extra texture.

4. Best shampoo for thin hair

Based on tapioca, not talc, this won't leave a powdery residue but will give your strands an instant pick me up, without any heaviness or tackiness. Perfect for hair that's limp and lifeless, day three sans wash.

5. Best dry shampoo for afro hair

Afro hair types are drier than others and so need a refresher that delivers moisture, too. This clever, hybrid usses cleansing powder, encapsulated in micellar water to cleanse without stripping on the go.

6. Best dry shampoo for travel

While 30ml teeny-tiny dry shampoo bottles are awesome for overnight stays, they don't cut it for longer trips (and kind of suck for the environment too). This product, at 53ml is slightly larger, but won't add too much excess weight to a suitcase. Plus it's a gorgeous formula which applies evenly in a fine mist, and helps lock in colour. Yes please.

7. Best vegan dry shampoo

Not only is this secret weapon vegan, it's also cruelty-free, and it doesn't contain sulphates. What's more, there's no talc in sight, as it uses natural rice starch to absorb excess oils. Oh, and it has been approved for use on all hair types. And if that didn't sell it to you, consider that it's just a damn good product that gets the job done, too.

8. Best dry shampoo for hiding roots

What began as a French beauty secret, used by Parisian super-stylists and French ingénues, quickly became a cult hair care product. It smells fresh, without being overpowering and the subtle tint works a treat for hiding roots.

9. Best dry shampoo for sensitive scalps

If your head is prone to irritation and discomfort, you should seek out a dry shampoo with no nasties. This one is the holy grail - free from sulphates, parabens and silicones, natural ingredients witch hazel, charcoal and rice starch absorb excess oil as gently as possible. It also contains biotin, to help stimulate the scalp and boost hair growth.

10. Best dry shampoo for dark hair

Ideal for medium to dark brunettes, this super-fine spray uses natural rich starch to disperse oil and leaves zero no residue in the hair. It also works well as a texturising spray.

11. Best dry shampoo on a budget

While Batiste is probably the leading budget dry shampoo on the market, Schwarzkopf have also brought this fruity little dream to the table. For less than the price of a meal deal, you'll get freshened up locks with no residue (after a good brush-through), and a little bonus boost of volume and texture too.

12. Best dry shampoo mousse

Don't let Innersense's foamy formula deter you from the potent purifying powers that lie beneath. You'll need to massage this into your scalp and let it dry before styling (though don't worry - it dries super speedily). This is one step closer to actually cleaning your hair, so a good shout if you're in need of some heavy-duty oil removal.

13. Best dry shampoo for the summer

Just like your skin, you need to protect your hair when exposed to the sun. This does-it-all makes use of French clay, which instantly detoxifies dirty locks, while added UV protection stops your strands from frying in the heat.

14. Best colour-safe dry shampoo

We'd put money on the fact that there's already a bottle Batiste in your bathroom cabinet - it's one of the most affordable yet effective dry shampoos going. But the brand is also unique in that they've specifically developed colour-safe dry shampoo to help prevent your hair colour from fading. Most sulphate-free dry shampoos (including the whole of Batiste's range) won't affect dyed hair, really - but this one goes the extra mile to lock in your colour.

15. Best volumising dry shampoo



This one goes out to the flat-haired dry shampoo fans, seeking out that magical boost that a spritz of something powdery can offer. Living Proof's Full Volume includes a super nerdy type of molecule (one we won't bore you with here) that helps you get that volumised effect without crispiness or stiffness. Oh, and it's UV protecting and colour-safe, so a bit of an all-rounder, too.

15. Best root refresh spray

Bouclème is a brand that's consistently recommended and favourited by the Cosmopolitan beauty team - and this root refresh spray is perfect for those looking to soothe and deodorise hair while protecting the dermatological health of the scalp. It's also a go-to if you wear your hair in protective styles.

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