With TSA-friendly picks meant for oily hair, color-treated strands, and more.
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Dry shampoo helps instantly refresh your strands, making it a must-have for travel–especially if you’re coming off of a long-haul flight. Fortunately, just a few spritzes of the hair staple is powerful enough to combat dirt, oil, sweat, and product buildup in a matter of seconds, meaning you can spend less of your precious vacation time washing, blowing, and styling hair.
The best dry shampoos can also eliminate the sometimes unpleasant odor that comes along with build-up and “promote[s] movement and a cleaner look,” says San Diego-based hairstylist Gina Rivera. L.A.–based hairstylist Bradley Leake also notes that a good dry shampoo pulls double duty by “lightly” volumizing the root while also absorbing excess oil to effectively eliminate greasy strands.
Put simply, “Dry shampoos are a necessity when traveling,” says Denver-based colorist and Aloxxi Creative Advisor Sam LaBella. “Changes in temperature and humidity can cause your scalp to overproduce natural oils, so having a travel-size dry shampoo in your bag is a lifesaver.”
To help narrow down your search, we asked stylists to recommend the best dry shampoos on the market. Ahead, our complete list of expert-approved (and TSA-friendly) picks to pack on your next escape.
Best for Oily Hair
Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo is a favorite of New York City–based stylist and salon owner Nunzio Saviano for its plant-based ingredients—specifically clay and tapioca—that “add texture, absorb oil, and refresh the hair and scalp.” The clean, fresh scent is a bonus, especially after spending hours on a plane.
L.A.–based hairstylist Genevieve Garner loves Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Biotin Dry Shampoo for its 99 percent naturally derived, do-it-all formula. According to the stylist, it’s made with “charcoal to detoxify your scalp, witch hazel to balance out your oil production, and biotin to keep your stands strong.”
Kerastase Mini Fresh Affair Refreshing Fine Fragrance Dry Shampoo is another favorite of Rivera’s. “This is a great product for those that are traveling or on the road as one application can last up to 24 hours,” she says. It’s also infused with vitamin E to support scalp and hair health.
Best for fine hair
Dull hair, begone! For voluminous tresses in a matter of seconds, Raven Hurtado, a stylist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, recommends DryBar’s Mini Detox Dry Shampoo. Per the stylist, this versatile dry shampoo “works great on thin hair that needs a little extra volume.” Ingredient highlights include oil- and odor-absorbing rice powder and moisture-boosting golden root extract. Choose from three tantalizing scents: original (jasmine, sandalwood, and vanilla), lush (violet, sandalwood, and musk), and coconut colada (coconut water, lily of the valley, and coconut).$14 AT SEPHORA
Best for thick hair
Spritz some R&Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo onto your roots for a quick boost of volume. Per Leake, this dry shampoo is “great for thicker hair as it’s strong enough to work wonders regardless of how heavy your hair is.” It’s also infused with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and rice protein. The scent—which features notes of fig, bergamot, lotus, cedarwood, and tonka beans—adds a nice touch, too.
Best for color-treated hair
According to Leake, the Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo effectively removes dirt, oil, and sweat instead of simply masking it. The gentle yet effective formula makes it an excellent pick for colored and chemically treated hair. It’s also formulated with glycerin, which attracts moisture to the hair (so long, dry strands!).
Rivera recommends Pureology’s Mini Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo for its lightweight formula, which utilizes rice starch to absorb oil and buildup without drying or weighing down your strands. Per Rivera, it’s also “terrific for color-treated hair” since it features a slew of protective ingredients and a UV filter to prevent color from fading.
Best for dark hair
“For those that have darker hair color and find that most dry shampoos leave a white cast on your roots, this is the dry shampoo for you,” says Garner of Batiste’s Dry Shampoo in Divine Dark. Unlike traditional dry shampoos, this one offers a hint of pigment to seamlessly blend into dark hair—while simultaneously concealing gray or overgrown roots.
Best for sensitive scalps
According to Garner, the aptly named IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo is gentle enough “for even the most sensitive scalp.” The formula’s volcanic ash and ginger root extract are excellent for cleansing and softening, while vitamin-rich mango fruit extract adds extra nourishment.
According to Saviano, the Oribe Mini Gold Lust Dry Shampoo uses translucent powders that blend into the hair, which help extend your ‘do. It’s also enriched with rice silk, which, per the stylist, “leaves hair feeling soft and smooth.” Other highlights include antioxidant-rich bamboo, nourishing myrrh extract, and lavender and chamomile, both of which can help soothe itchy or irritated scalps. The stylist also praised the product’s long-lasting fragrance that “boosts its hair-refreshing benefits.”
Dry Shampoo for Oily Hair FAQ
Does dry shampoo work on oily hair?
Dry shampoos for oily hair are everywhere. The trick is to use the right amount in the right places. That usually involves splitting the hair into sections and spraying generously along your scalp. It’s also a good idea to concentrate on the front of your hairline since it touches your forehead (aka: the oiliest part of your face). Make sure to brush out fully to avoid white residue.
Which shampoo is best for oily scalp and dry hair?
Again, all dry shampoos work similarly, regardless of your hair’s thickness or texture, so it comes down to technique. Concentrate wet and dry shampoos with oil-targeting ingredients on your scalp only. For the rest of your hair, if you do find your strands feeling a bit brittle after consecutive use, doing an argan oil treatment on your ends before your next full wash should help.
Beauty Icon and Expert
Gina Rivera skyrocketed to success when the company she founded in 2007, Phenix Salon Suites, became the fastest-growing salon suite company in the beauty industry. With more than 300 locations nationally and international expansion occurring in the UK, Entrepreneur Magazine named Phenix Salon Suites a Top 500 Franchise list seven years running.