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The Best and Worst Dry Shampoos: DAOFitLife Hotlist

Time vampires come in many shapes and forms. One of the biggest ones is washing your hair.

Oh sure, washing it with shampoo and rinsing it out are worth minutes, but a “wash day” entails rinsing, shampooing, rinsing again, shampooing again, conditioning, treating, rinsing, applying product, drying, applying more product, styling, curling and oh yeah there is everything you have to do for what is below your head. When we get crazy busy, shampooing is one of the first things to go. For more about hair care generally, see my companion post, the DAO of Hair Care:

Having someone do this for you does not work that much better. While there is the advantage of being able to bring your laptop to a salon, most blow outs spend about 20 minutes over the shampoo bowl and at least an additional 45 minutes in the chair, plus the commute time. Sometimes I wish I could just drop my head off and come back.

So how do we juggle being able to fit in workouts and having clean presentable hair for more in person meetings? Enter, DRY SHAMPOO. You need to know how to apply it and pick the right kind, and this post will tell you how to do both.(Note, all views are my own, none are sponsored).

How to apply dry shampoo: Do’s and Dont’s

  • DON’T just spray it on your head and walk away. Knowing that most dry shampoo is aerosol and at least some chemical product, except for some of the “vegan” options below, it is really bad for your scalp to have this product sitting on top of it all day. Also, the “residue” that can come with the product is a result of not properly blending it.
  • DO treat dry shampoo like shampoo. You should be lightly rubbing it into your scalp and the top of your roots. Also, DON’T hold the nozzle close to your head. You want it at about 6-8 inches. For an idea of how much that is, extend your arm over your hed and then drop it to about a 45 degree angle.
  • DON’T Overdo it. Less is more. It should be spritzed, not a continous spray. Overdoing it creates buildup, makes your hair look dull, and unnecessarily wastes the product.
  • DO pick a good quality dry shampoo over cheaper options. This is your hair, and given the stress, sweat, and pollution we subject it to we need to treat it as nicely as possible. If you follow the above “don’t” you will not need as much and a bottle can last you for months, so think of it like an investment.

Below is a great video (you can watch without the volume on) on how to apply it correctly. I have started a new playlist on my YouTube Channel, DAOFitLife Beauty, because self-care is definitely part of a holistic fitness plan!

You can watch this with no sound!
  1. Best Non-Aeresol brand – R& Co Spiritualized – if you are sensitive to aerosol or someone in your household is (because for example they have allergies or are asthmatic) then this is a brand that will keep domestic disputes away. This is a spray but more like a spritzer, and lasts long between shampoos. You can also use this on damp hair and let it air dry, and this way it extends the life of your clean hair even more. Buy it: R&Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo – https://dao.tiny.us/Rcospiritualized
  2. Best for men – R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste, Volumizing Texture and Oil Absorber– this dry shampoo can double as hair gel, which is why I think it is great for men and women with shorter hair. Another non-aerosol and leak proof item as a bonus, although because it is a paste make sure not to store it in super warm temps. See #3 if you are worried about that. Buy it: R& CO R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste, Volumizing Texture and Oil Absorber, https://dao.tiny.us/badlands
  3. Most TSA Friendly – R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder – so you may be thinking well isn’t a paste good enough for a non-liquid, but you were wrong. On my latest vacation I got into a row (the British word for argument) at Heathrow airport over whether my dry shampoo paste was a liquid. So don’t take a chance – take a powder – and this one is by far the best! No residue, and when you pump it releases these sparkly little clouds that make your hair shiny, too. Buy it: R+Co Skyline Dry Shampoo Powder, https://dao.tiny.us/skyline
  4. Best for not drying hair – Kerastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo – recommended to me at a salon, I definitely can get dry hair especially in the summer, so this dry shampoo does the trick as you would expect a reputable brand like Kerastase to do and absorbs the extra oil. If you are looking for volume, this is not your ticket, but if you want to feel clean and not like you have dry shampoo in your hair, pick this one. It also has a nice but not intrusive scent. Buy it: Kerastase Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo- https://dao.tiny.us/kerastase
  5. Best for Value – MATRIX Total Results High Amplify Volumizing Shampoo. This is a va-va-voom and economical option excellent for teasing a bit of volume at the top of your hair. Dry shampoo can double as both a teasing spray and a shampoo, did you know? If you are like me and have finer hair, you definitely want to watch this video for the perfect way to jazz up your do and get a little bit taller! MATRIX Total Results High Amplifying Shampoo, https://dao.tiny.us/matrix
  6. Best for Overall Styling: Oribe texturizing spray. The Oribe Spray is super luxuirious and the near 50 dollar price tag shows it, but it is great for all over hair and creating “beachy waves.” Buy it: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray, https://dao.tiny.us/oribe
  7. Best at absorbing post cardio oily hair – Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo You had time to squeeze in a run or SoulCycle class before that client meeting, but you had to choose that or time to wash your hair. Hey, sometimes we can’t have it all. But this dry shampoo from Living Proof sprays on clear, does not leave residue, and really makes it look like you legit washed your hair even if there is still sweat in it. Pro tip: Spray it but then blow dry your hair. Buy it: Living Proof Perfect hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo – https://dao.tiny.us/livingproof
  8. Best drugstore brand: TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo. Sometimes you will be traveling and yikes no shampoo and the hotel shampoo is just atrocious. So run to Walgreens/ Duane Reed and get this! It isn’t the best on the list and you really have to blend it so it does not get sticky but it does not leave residue and does the job. Buy it: TRESemmé Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, https://dao.tiny.us/tresemme
  9. Best for thinning hair – Vegamor Gro Dry Shampoo – Vegamour is one of those “Instagram” brands, and they have a lot of products aimed at regenerating hair. I have their gro serum, and have noticeably thicker hair and comments about how much healthier my hair is. All their products are vegan (I know, another halo label), but this product feels really pure, lightweight, and seems to improve the overall health of my hair! Only available on the vegamour site – Buy it: Veanour Gro Dry Shampoo, https://dao.tiny.us/vegamour
  10. Best smell – Klorane dry shampoo – Another “vegan” brand, but this has a very soft feel and a heavenly smell. I have the lavender kind, and it is perfect for a summer day without being overpowering. Buy it: Klorane Laboratories Plant-based Dry Shampoo, https://dao.tiny.us/klorane
  11. Best reader suggestion – One of my readers who is the baddest boss lady I know recommended Ouai Super Dry Shampoo Foam, so it definitely makes the list. She also has exquisite hair, so her word is gold. The online revews are also excellent, and I definitely will add this to my stockpile. Buy it: Ouai Super Dry Shampoo Foam, https://dao.tiny.us/ouai

Worst Dry Shampoos

  1. Worst white residue – Batiste (and most drugstore brands in general) – Now, I am not a drugstore brand snob – see #6 above. But most of them, including Garnier, Dove, and especially Batiste are just bad. I am picking on Batiste because it is probably well known for its too good to be true commericals:

If you are expecting your hair to go like this, you will be disappointed!

And the product is just as bad. Chalky, drying, and white residue no matter how much I blended it. I bought several varieties, and gave it several chances. Hard pass.

  1. Worst smell – Dry bar detox – OMG, waste 40 bucks to smell like the inside of dry bar and have gross residue on my hair? No. 
  2. Worst chemical feeling – Not your mother’s dry shampoo –  if you want chalky, sticky, dry hair buy this – it’s not my mother’s because she wouldn’t be caught dead with this in her hair
  3. Worst dullness – Moroccan oil dry shampoo – this was so disappointing because first of all it was expensive but second I LOVE moroccan oil products, so had high hopes. It left a sticky residue and honestly did nothing to make my hair cleaner. I had to keep spraying and then it just built up and got dull.  The fragrance does not stick around. It weighs my hair down, makes it dull looking and makes the ends of my hair kinda clump together. By midday I’m wishing I would have just washed my hair.
  4. Worst heaviness – Bumble and bumble Pret a Powder – if you want to smell like old lady perfume and feel like you have it all over your hair, this is your product. Again, great brand with other good products, they just did not do dry shampoo well.

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