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The best dry shampoo gets straight to your roots and absorbs oil cleanly without leaving behind chalky residue. We interviewed two scientists, one product developer, a chemist, and three hair stylists to find out which ingredients made a dry shampoo safe and effective.
Return to top. There are a lot of great aerosol dry shampoos out there. A whopping nine out of the 13 aerosol contenders we tested got perfect marks for hair feel from our testers, giving them locks that felt cleaner and looked freshly washed, no suds necessary. When the race is that close, we get to be picky. Not only is it one of two aerosol products we tested that includes water, which helps offset the drying effects of the denatured alcohol in its formula, it also includes an extra conditioning ingredient cetrimonium chloride.
What really put Living Proof over the top was its easy application. Living Proof goes on like a translucent spray paint: in an even, clean, and uniformly wide strip. However, quality and preference are also important to think about — how much more per ounce are you willing to pay for an increase in quality? If finding the best aerosol was the final episode of American Idol , finding the best powder was the first round of auditions.
In a field of dusty residue and repackaged baby powder, the Rush Brush stands out for its blendability for every hair type. Powders are especially prone to leaving behind chunky, dandruff-like residue ahem, Verb that compelled testers to immediately jump in the shower — the exact opposite of what a dry shampoo should do.
Cake excelled for offering natural-looking volume, a cleaner-feeling scalp, and hair that looked freshly washed. Overall, testers rated brush-based products as more convenient than any other powder packaging. By simply merging the powder and brush into a single compact tool, The Rush Brush cut way back on the mess factor. Cake boasts that its core principles revolve around being an honest company that produces harmless products.
With percent vegan products, Cake says no to sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and talc, making the Rush Brush pretty guilt-free in our opinion. The Rush Brush might be our most convenient way to apply powder, but its small size could also be a detriment. It comes with a little over a quarter of an ounce of product per package, which means it might runs out quickly for frequent dry shampooers.
In our sweep of beauty stores Ulta and Sephora and popular online retailers Amazon, Target, and Walmart , we found nearly dry shampoos on the market. The best way to find the most reliable dry shampoos on the market was to listen to those who use them. The base of every single dry shampoo is the same: an absorbent powder to soak up the oil on your scalp.
Some companies use kaolin clay, others use starchy powders like cornstarch, talc, or cocoa powder yes, this one smelled like chocolate. But in an aerosol can, the absorbent powder base is combined with a solvent usually a simple alcohol and a propellant usually propane or butane to get it from the can to your scalp. Propane, butane, and alcohol are all scary-sounding, so we brought it up with our experts: two research scientists, a product development CEO, and a chemist who formulates dry shampoos.
While our experts were generally unconcerned about propane and butane, saying they evaporate within just 30 seconds of leaving the can, some experts were a little more hesitant about simple alcohols because of their potential long-term side effects. We did look for ingredients to combat this drying effect, and we were surprised to find out that every aerosol product we tested included a conditioning agent in its formula. After making our ingredients cuts, we sent each of the remaining 36 dry shampoos home with two testers.
We asked them to use the products as directed, then got their feedback on the ease of applying and distributing each product and the feel and look of their hair after using it and if that changed throughout the day. We graded effectiveness based on six criteria:. But the other shoe dropped on products that left users with lifeless locks, stubborn residue, or itchy scalps. We eliminated all products that had any negative impacts, including those that were hard to apply or distribute. Our experts convinced us that the bigger the brand, the safer the product.
Dry shampoos come in two major forms: powders and aerosol spray cans. They also come in vegan formulas, a variety of scents, colors and packaging. Equally as important, dry shampoos can cater to your specific hair needs, such as dry, fine, thick, curly, natural or frizzy.
They each have their pros and cons. The characteristics of each break down like this:. Our experts concluded that you can only know what works best for your hair by trying it yourself. We recommend trying out any of the following dry shampoos to see which one works for your specific hair type, fragrance favorites and ranking preferences.
Our favorites beyond just our top 2 picks :. In online reviews, the smell of dry shampoos is one of the most talked-about topics. If the one you buy has a scent, you need to love it enough to walk around with it on your head all day. In general, instructions for dry shampoo include: apply to roots, massage into scalp, brush out hair, style as usual.
Aerosols may either include spraying from a distance inches or spraying direct to roots in closer proximity. Powders and mousse dry shampoos may require handling the product in your palm before distributing through your locks. In fact, Dr. Our experts advocated on behalf of traditional shampoo and washing your hair regularly, rather than letting dry shampoo become a direct substitute. Too much dry shampoo, especially those with clay or starch powders, can clog the pores of your scalp and result in irritation.
Cons Small amount of product per package. What do we mean by harsh ingredients? Did your fave get cut? Here are the results that sealed the deal:. Scalp dirtier than before.
Scalp dirtier than before and itchy. Itchy scalp. Aerosol Powder Easy to apply accurately and evenly Takes more work to apply accurately and evenly Little to no mess on hands, counter, or shirt after application More product ends up on hands, counter, or shirt after application Tend to be stronger scents Tend to be more subtle scents Product runs out more quickly Little product lost in the air, lasts much longer than aerosol Harsher ingredients Gentler ingredients.
Price Allure Best of Beauty Winner? Salon brand? How do I use dry shampoo? How effective is dry shampoo? How often can you use dry shampoo? Are there any side effects of dry shampoo? Teeth Whitening Safety Guide. Table of Contents. Cake the Rush Brush Dry Shampoo. Vanilla, caramelized sugar, hint of lemon.
Uses rice powders for oil absorption; also available as Dry Conditioner. So affordable — find Dove products in almost any drugstore nationwide.
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