“My hair always looks better the day after I shampoo!

What can I do to freshen it up?”

Alterna Bamboo BEACH Mango Coconut Dry Shampoo

Alterna Bamboo BEACH Mango Coconut Dry Shampoo

I’ve been using dry shampoo since high school and I’m pleased to say that I’ve seen the selection grow in the past few years! Before there were only a few reliable brands and they were hard to find. Now that the craze has finally caught on, I’m getting a lot more questions about what works and how to use it!

A little bit of advice for my readers that are obsessed with dry shampoo…please don’t buy it every time a new company launches the newest and “best” product! That’s where I come in handy. I try new products because I am a hopeful hairstylist, but most of the time I am disappointed and end up using my old favorites.

I strive to give my honest opinion so I always try them several times and with varying circumstances. In the case of dry shampoos, for example, I will test out a product on 2-day hair that has nothing more than a leave-in conditioner in it and the next time on 2-day hair that has root booster & mousse in it to see if there is a difference. In this post I highlight some of my favorites rather than calling out the ones that didn’t make the cut!

There are lots of great brands out there, so if I missed your favorite, please share in the comment section and tell us why you love it! Hopefully these tips will help you improve your style and spend less time shampooing & styling!

Post Highlights:

Who needs to use dry shampoo?

How does it work?

What are the best brands and where can I find them?

Are there any dry shampoos that are hair color specific?

How do I apply dry shampoo?

I’m on a budget, are there any great products that don’t cost much?

Dry Shampoo – What Works?!


Who needs to use dry shampoo?

Dry shampoo can help a wide variety of hair types and textures! If your hair gets oily easily, whether it’s the day you wash it or two days later, the right product can make life so much easier! For people with excessive oiliness dry shampoo will help for a quick fluff but you may need to try changing your shampoo or adding a regular scalp treatment.

Dry shampoo can help with many things:

  • Your hair gets oily in the bang & crown areas.

    Usually this is caused by excessively running your fingers through your hair or constantly pushing your bangs away from your face. Our hands have natural oils and lotions or any residue left over from food or touching things can increase oiliness. Be sure to wash your hands regularly and try not to “play” with your hair too much!

  • You wash your hair only a few times a week but need a refresher.

    More people skip shampooing daily than you may think. A shower cap and a good dry shampoo are the best things that ever happened to my hair! You’re probably one of those people that says, “My hair always looks best on the second day!”. If this is you then washing your hair everyday is a hassle because styling takes time and it never looks as good until you sleep on it. Dry shampoo is a great way to freshen up your overnight hair and add some extra volume!

  • Your hair gets oily by the end of the day.

    If you wash your hair every morning because it gets too oily then dry shampoo may help you out. I have several clients that can’t leave from work and go straight to dinner or a night out because their hair looks too dirty. I don’t know about you, but there is no way I want to get ready before work and after! Spray dry shampoos work best in this case because you can get quick all over coverage, it will freshen up your hair in seconds, and add a little volume!


How does it work?

All dry shampoo formulas are different…that’s why some seem to work better than others or not at all. Brand new products are hit of miss because you’re buying the “first” formula. Although it has been tested, most companies are anxious to launch and know that they will be improving the formula eventually.

Alterna Caviar Dry Shampoo

Alterna Dry Shampoo

How many products have you seen with the labels “New Formula!” or “Lasts 10x Longer!”? I have experienced this first hand with TIGI Dry Shampoo. When it first came out I loved it, but after only a few uses it was empty! No doubt, it was THE BEST spray dry shampoo I could find, but the company still needed to perfect the packaging so the product would not leak out.

After several years…I think they have finally fixed it! Unfortunately for them, I found some other favorites while waiting for what seemed like an eternity on their “New & Improved” nozzles!

The science behind dry shampoo is complicated because creating a powder product that can spray is a little tricky! When applied at the root & scalp the product will absorb the oils on your scalp and on your hair strand.

A common misconception is that dry shampoo gets rid of the oils completely. Dry shampoo simply soaks them up which creates that amazing voluminous look you can’t get right after washing your hair!

Remember…your hair will not be completely rid of the oils or residue until you wash your hair!


What are the best brands and where can I find them?

I’m going to give you a list of my favorites and a few that have worked for my clients.

I’ve tried quite a few brands and most of them do the job, but some formulas outshine the rest!

Here are a few product suggestions for you to try:

  • Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo– Sprinkles out of a small bottle for easy application on specific areas. I’ve used this brand for years and I love it! The only drawback is that is doesn’t work if you have all over oiliness….it’s too hard to sprinkle this stuff all over your head and not have a powder polka-dot. Be cautious- when it’s new and you go to use it for the first time it can come out a little too heavy! You can find it in higher end salons for around $22.
  • TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo– Another one of my favorites! Dirty Secret is an easy to use dry spray that smells awesome!  It’s great for long or short hair and costs around $18. The only complaint I have about it is that some cans I’ve bought had a faulty spray nozzle which is very common with many dry shampoo brands. The nozzles are a hare more touchy than hairsprays and can develop a clogged effect. Just put it under hot water for a minute or so and the clog should be gone!
  • Unite 7 Seconds Dry Shampoo– A great spray version of dry shampoo to try! This one is definitely up there on quality and results! It can be harder to find as it’s only carried in higher end salons. It conditions your hair without giving a greasy feeling and the best part is your fresh in 7 seconds!
  • Alterna Bamboo Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo– This is a great product to try if you are worried about seeing a powdery residue in your scalp! Cleanse Extend smells great and can also be used to achieve volume on freshly washed hair! It can can be found at ULTA for $22.


Are there any dry shampoos that are hair color specific?

For most of us the original version of dry shampoo works just fine. It may require careful application to avoid a gray look at the root but it does the job. If you’re not happy with how dry shampoo may make your hair look you can try products specific for your hair color. You can also use colored dry shampoos to camouflage your roots until your next color!

Bumble & Bumble Dry Shampoo Hair Powder

Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder

Here are a few product suggestions for you to try:


How do I apply dry shampoo?

Just like everything else, you may find your own trick to properly applying dry shampoo. It will vary for each person because it depends on where you need it. Are you using dry shampoo because your bangs are always oily by the time you leave work? Or are you just trying to freshen up hair that was washed yesterday…or the day before that? Trial and error will ensure that you’re using the right product in a way that’s best for you, but don’t hesitate to message me for help!

Spray Dry Shampoos:

  • Shake can well before each use.
  • Hold 5-8 inches away from your hair.
  • Spray liberally from roots to ends(only spray mid-shaft to ends if needed) while using a dusting motion with your free hand.

Powder Dry Shampoos:

  • Tilt bottle and lightly shake near roots where needed.
  • Massage in using your fingertips.
  • Brush and restyle as you normally would!
  • You can use your blow dryer to disperse it through your hair from the roots.


I’m on a budget, are there any great products that don’t cost much?

I’ve got to be honest on this one, I haven’t tried any of the off-brands yet! I’m willing to bet that some work better than others just like professional brands. The good thing is they’re less expensive so if one doesn’t work you can try another!

Batiste Deep & Dark Brown
Dry Shampoo

The following suggested products are brands that I’ve heard my clients, friends, and family talk about. I’m only listing those that were mentioned in a positive light, but I personally do not use these as they do not work for me.

  • TRESemmé Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo– I listed this one first because I have heard more clients talk about it than other brands. In general, TRESemmé seems to be a better brand to go with than Suave or Pantene. I haven’t heard any negatives so it’s worth a shot! Its mineral clay & citrus formula will give you a fresh style that won’t weight your hair down. Sold at ULTA for only $5.49!
  • Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo– Claims to refresh hair without water in-between shampoos for a fresh look. Can be found at drugstores and ULTA for around $7.99.
  • Batiste Original Dry Shampoo– I’ve never heard of this brand before but it’s sold in a handful of stores for only $7.99.


Hopefully you’re ready to grab the perfect dry shampoo and give it a try!  If you’re still not sure about what to buy or how to use it you can contact me with any questions!

You may also like:

Dry Shampoo Benefits For All Hair Types

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About The Author


Professional Hairstylist | American Board Certified Haircolorist | Makeup Artist | Beauty Blogger

10 Responses to Dry Shampoo – What Works?!

  1. […] packed a mini dry shampoo, styling oil, curl primer, and texturizing spray so I got by. I’m definitely going to pick up […]

  2. […] my hair out, apply dry shampoo at the scalp, and fluff! This will work if you only need dry shampoo around the bang area to the crown of your […]

  3. […] Try to stick to washing your hair no more than three times a week, and if you need to clean it on other days you can always use dry shampoo(check out my post for tips: Dry Shampoo – What Works?!). […]

  4. […] That being said….I love Philosophy’s dry shampoo and I’d give both brands a 10. That’s huge considering how many dry shampoos I’ve tried and how many have disappointed me…greatly! For more dry shampoo product reviews check out my post: Dry Shampoo…What Works?! […]

  5. […] Use dry shampoo when you need to, but don’t over do it. […]

  6. […] a smooth look and the colors are amazing.  Most of the time I am skeptical to try other products (like dry shampoo) from a company that mainly markets their nail polishes.  Luckily, the Julep Monthly Maven Box […]

  7. […] I can tell a huge difference in my gym regulars and those that wash one to three times a week when they come in for a color retouch!  Not only will it make your color last longer, but it will also cut down on damage because you won’t be using as much heat for styling.  If your hair gets slightly oily on the second or third day after washing then you may want to try dry shampoo to extend the life of your style.  I explain dry shampoo and the best types in Dry Shampoo-What works?! […]

  8. […] so bad does it?  And if you have solid gray there are products out there like colored mousses, dry shampoos,  and hair markers that can stretch you to your next color […]

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