Hair, Reviews

The Dry Shampoo Edit

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A few weeks ago I talked a bit about my new IGK hair routine on instagram, and my friend @ohthewerewolf had some questions about the Jet Lag dry shampoo and how it compared to some others she’s using right now. Well, let’s just say she inspired me. I needed a travel size dry shampoo anyway since I doubt the TSA would look kindly on that huge spray can in my carry on, so instead of buying one – I got four. Well, three and a deluxe mini (the Drybar one). Combine that with the ones I already had and it turns out to be quite the roundup – but which one is the best? My hair is basically dry shampoo’s worst nightmare – curly, fine, and dark brown, so I tested it looking for no white cast, volume and of course oil absorption. Since I’m testing travel sizes here, I’m also awarding points for travel-friendliness (they’re all TSA-ok, but actually convenient to pack is another story). Fragrance is sort of a big deal to me too, because even if I like the scent of a hair product, I don’t want it to overpower my perfume.

Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder ($13)

I originally grabbed this at Sephora as a ploy to add more volume to my hair, and I haven’t really used it that much. It goes on very white, and the shaker bottle makes it tough to distribute evenly. Translation: it requires a lot of work to massage in and I pretty much can only use it when I wear my hair straight. On the plus side, it does add volume, and since it’s not a spray I don’t have to put it in my liquids bag for travel.

  • Invisible: No
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: Yes
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: Yes
  • Scent: Citrusy & light, almost unnoticeable

Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo ($14)

I hoped that maybe the spray version of the B&B Pret-a-Powder would be a little more user-friendly, but nope. It’s lightly scented and the size of the can is pretty convenient for travel, but that’s about where the good points end. It’s less white than the powder version but still not invisible. The biggest problem though, is it doesn’t seem to do anything. It didn’t absorb the oil in my hair, and it didn’t add volume. I had planned on keeping all the stuff I bought for this post (can you ever have too much dry shampoo?) but I’ll be returning this one because it simply doesn’t do anything for me.

  • Invisible: No
  • Absorbs Oil: No
  • Volumizing: No
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: Yes
  • Scent: Slightly sweet, almost unnoticeable

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo ($13)

Hoooooly moly, talk about a strong scent! It’s a fragrance that I’d enjoy in a perfume (they describe it as violet, sandalwood & musk) but it’s strong to the point of being inconsiderate to the people around you. I’m glad I tested this on a Saturday so my poor coworkers didn’t have to be punished for science. As luck would have it, I also used it when I’d straightened my hair, which is also a good thing. It goes on really white, and takes a lot of work to massage in. On the bright side, it does absorb oil and add volume. The canister is pretty slim too – the same as the free sample I got, just a little taller. Still, this is my least favorite of the whole bunch, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone unless you have light-colored hair and for some reason want your hair products to do double-duty as too much perfume.

  • Invisible: No
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: Yes
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: Yes
  • Scent: Musky floral & very heavy

IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo ($14 travel size)

As I mentioned in my IGK post, I’m a big fan of this dry shampoo. If I didn’t want to do a blog post about them, I probably would have just bought a mini Jet Lag and been done with it. But where’s the fun in that? While it doesn’t add as much volume as some of the others, it actually does go on invisible, which means I can use it when I wear my hair curly without massaging the roots into a huge ball of fuzz. It does have a noticeable scent, but it’s pleasant and fades quick enough not to compete with whatever my fragrance o’ the day is. I haven’t been able to figure out what the travel size container is like, because the one I have is full size and my local Sephora didn’t have the small one in store. If you know, please leave a comment!

  • Invisible: Yes
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: No
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: ???
  • Scent: Citrusy & strong, but not terribly long-lasting

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo ($13)

This was the first dry shampoo I had used in a long time. I bought it quite a while ago and I thought it was pretty ok – until I tried some other ones for comparison. It only has a slight white cast, and the volume is great. Unfortunately it’s kind of heavily fragranced, and if I wear it a couple days in a row my scalp itches like crazy. I’m also not a fan of the travel size bottle at all – it’s tall and wide, so it would take up a disproportionate amount of room in my liquids bag.

  • Invisible: No
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: Yes
  • Scalp-friendly: No
  • Travel-friendly: No
  • Scent: Citrusy & heavy

Ouai Dry Shampoo ($12)

Ouai’s dry shampoo ticks almost all of the boxes for me. It goes on without turning my hair white, it adds volume while absorbing oil (though it wasn’t the most-cleansing of the bunch), the canister is easily packable, and it didn’t make me itchy. The only problem? It has a pretty strong floral fragrance that doesn’t wear off for several hours.

  • Invisible: Yes
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: Yes
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: Yes
  • Scent: Floral & heavy

Verb Dry Shampoo ($8)

To be perfectly honest, I didn’t expect much from the Verb dry shampoo since like the B&B Pret-a-Powder, it comes in a powder form, in a shaker bottle (though the full size does have a pointed nozzle to help direct the product). What I found was even though it comes out of the bottle white, it only takes a very tiny amount of massaging before it disappears like magic – taking all greasiness with it. There’s no tacky residue either; my hair actually feels clean to the touch. Another major point in its favor is the fragrance – either it’s unscented, or it’s so light that I’m not able to smell it. The only thing I’m not in love with is the application method, which can be a little messy, but then I don’t have to keep it in a liquids bag for travel, which is nice.

  • Invisible: Mostly
  • Absorbs Oil: Yes
  • Volumizing: Yes
  • Scalp-friendly: Yes
  • Travel-friendly: Yes
  • Scent: Couldn’t really smell it

 

So is there one dry shampoo to rule them all? As usual, I’m hesitant to point at one and say “this is absolutely the best.” They each have something that makes them less than perfect, but really shine in certain situations. With that in mind, my top picks are:

Verb – for all-around general use. It doesn’t win for convenience, but it works really well, is easy to travel with, and I love that it’s unscented.

IGK Jet Lag – this is my favorite for when my hair is curly (and doesn’t need much volume boosting), or if I’m in a hurry.

An honorable mention goes to the Ouai dry shampoo for being a solid all-around option, especially if you don’t mind a strong-ish fragrance or a spray format is a requirement for you.

 

Are you a dry shampoo fanatic? Which one is your favorite?

 

15 Comments

  1. Rachel

    February 24, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I feel the same way about the Verb dry shampoo! I usually pour some into my hand and apply it with a brush, but it’s still very time consuming. (However, on one particularly early morning, my brain thought powder + brush = apply to face .) I want to try the IGK one next!

    1. Nikki

      February 25, 2018 at 12:38 pm

      Oh nooooo, you dry shampooed your face??? LOL

  2. Joely Smith

    February 26, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Wow this is a really great list and you totally nail all the important issues, pros and cons with dry shampoo! I use dry shampoo often since my hair is so thin and gets oily looking half way through the day! I will try some of these out!

  3. Nicole

    February 26, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    This is the BEST review of dry shampoos I have ever come across. I’m always trying to find one that works for me, and you have some listed here I will definitely look into. Pinned!

  4. Glamamom

    February 26, 2018 at 6:07 pm

    I live for dry shampoo and don’t currently use any of these so I will have to check them out! I use Ouai’s shampoo and conditioner. Def picking up the dry shampoo. Thanks for the thoughtful reviews.

    1. Nikki

      February 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Ohh, I’ve been thinking of getting the Ouai shampoo & conditioner when I run out of my current ones. I actually got a Ouai set w/the dry shampoo, smoothing spray & hair spray, and they’re all pretty nice!

  5. Karissa @WithOurBest

    February 26, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Dry shampoo is a lifesaver!! I have tried a few brands, but sadly the one I love the most was the very first brand I ever tried… and I don’t remember what it was! I just thought all of them were going to work that well and didn’t think to remember it’s name! I have brown hair so I can get away with a few days, but the others dry shampoo makes it all look ok!

    1. Nikki

      February 27, 2018 at 8:42 am

      Was the first one Oscar Blandi? That’s the the first one I ever used!

  6. Ali Rost

    February 27, 2018 at 1:31 am

    I’m going against the grain here, I know, but I’ve really struggled to get on the dry shampoo bandwagon. I’m not sure if I’m too old-school, but I wash my hair almost every day. The one that’s worked the best for me when I do have to use something is by Aveda. It goes on as a funny little *foof* and seems to do better than most others I’ve tried. x

    1. Nikki

      February 27, 2018 at 8:44 am

      I have to admit I only don’t wash every day because I’m constantly running late and it takes too much time!

  7. Reesa Lewandowski

    February 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

    I cut a lot of my hair off about a month ago and have been looking into a dry shampoo to help style it and last between washes better. I bought the Baptiste brand. I like it, but I do not know anything different yet. I need to check out your recommendations!

  8. Marie

    February 27, 2018 at 9:39 am

    I’ve always wanted to try dry shampoos, I’m just not sure which and where to buy -I live in a german-speaking country– and I still haven’t bothered looking up what it is in the language…lol. I’ve used powder shampoo for my cats so I’m guessing it might work like that…giving them a not so oily appearance after. ok, that might sound weird, but I’m gonna look up some on your list on amazon uk… :D

  9. Melissa Dixon

    February 27, 2018 at 10:12 am

    I love the idea of having a dry shampoo that actually benefits my hair in lots of ways. I am new to the whole thing but can see the benefit for sure. I need to save this post for later and get shopping for my new line of products!

  10. Nadalie Bardowell

    February 27, 2018 at 11:42 am

    I did not know that Sephora sold hair products, I have only gone in for skin care and makeup. I can only imagine it being top-quality product and would leave your hair feeling loved and cared for.

  11. Anafielle

    March 23, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    My favorite dry shampoo is actually a paste -I can’t live without the R+Co Badlands dry shampo paste. I use it all the time, either as a traditional dry shampoo, or I even use it when my hair is freshly clean for a little texture and grip. I don’t use a lot of hair products and this one is just a multitasker for me. One jar also lasts forever.

    My salon swapped to R+Co products a year or two ago and in my opinion this is the stand out product in the line. As a bonus it doesn’t get much more travel friendly than a paste- no need to spend $13 on a travel size bottle, I just spatula some into one of those bitty travel jars.

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