The Ultimate Dry Shampoo Review

Written by Jacalyn Beales | Illustrated by Elizabeth Stilwell

Remember when dry shampoo wasn’t really a “thing” yet? People appeared obsessed with baby powder, the snow-white, powdery substance meant to soothe babies’ bums but which was actually used to hide greasy hair between washes. What was once a DIY attempt at refreshing our day-old hairstyles with diaper-rash powder is now a full-fledged styling product common to the bathroom shelves of people everywhere. That baby powder definitely got a face lift, and it’s called dry shampoo. 

The uber accessible, cost-effective hair care brands you find littering store shelves and endless product aisles have all created their own versions of dry shampoo. Some are meant simply to absorb oil and refresh your hair, whilst others are specifically designed to act as bodifying sprays that mask greasy strands and add volume to limp, oily roots. If you’re as obsessed with dry shampoo as every other man or woman on the planet, then there’s a strong likelihood you’ve tried a vast array of generic dry shampoos. From Dove and Tresemme, to Batiste and Garnier, we love them because they’re cheap, always available and seem to do the trick. 

But what if the drugstore dry shampoos you’ve used with wild abandon are actually full of bad ingredients? What are the alternatives to these artificial products that can seriously damage your hair? 

According to publications like The Daily Mail and Wired, most of the dry shampoos commonly found on drugstore shelves are filled with nasty ingredients such as alcohols, liquified petroleum gas (seriously!), butane and other additives no one can pronounce. Maybe it’s time to put down the cheap dry ‘poos and opt for natural, nourishing ones instead. 

The next time you’re looking for a dry ‘poo solution to greasy locks, give these natural, organic and artificial-ingredient-free solutions a try for refreshed hair you don’t have to feel bad about. 


1. One Love Organics — Healthy Locks - $29

Healthy Locks by One Love Organics is a hair-nourishing dry shampoo made with Georgia Kaolin Clay and bamboo extract. With a light, playfully floral scent, the dry ‘poo helps to strengthen hair whilst absorbing oil and softening your locks. What’s great about this alternative to typical dry shampoo is its ability to eliminate grease from the hair without leaving your scalp feeling
dry, itchy or irritated. A little of the Healthy Locks goes a long way, making the 54mL bottle of organically farmed ingredients last. 


2. Alder New York — Bergamot - $30

Alder New York’s Bergamot natural hair powder combines rice powder, organic horsetail powder and kaolin clay to help absorb oil and deodorize hair. Its citrusy, peppery notes and subtly sweet scent remind you of delicious Earl Grey Tea, and it doesn’t hurt that this dry ‘poo restores volume whilst smelling so, so good. It comes packaged in a glass bottle, which the brand
encourages you to recycle (high-five!). It’s also talc, paraben, sulphate, formaldehyde and cruelty-free (!!!!). When I use this dry shampoo, I receive a crazy amount of compliments on how wonderful my hair smells, but I really love it for the root-boosting abilities it has.  


3. Fat and the Moon — Lavender & Cocoa Dry Shampoo - $14

Call me crazy, but I never thought to use cocoa powder on my hair as dry shampoo. But, thankfully, Fat and the Moon thought of everything when creating their lavender and cocoa powder infused dry shampoo. The cocoa powder adds a scrumptious scent which, when combined with scalp-soothing lavender oil, results in a delightful dry ‘poo that absorbs oil and
nourishes your hair. I love that this dry shampoo doesn’t leave you looking like you stuck your head in a bucket full of drywall dust. It transforms and refreshes greasy hair without turning your scalp white. Huzzah! 


4. Zabana Essentials — Shimmery & Lavender Citrus Mint - $8.95-$9.95 

Having tried both the Shimmery and the Lavender Citrus Mint dry shampoos from Zabana Essentials, I can confidently say that I am hooked. Ingredients like kaolin clay, arrowroot powder and mica absorb the access oil in your hair whilst fresh and floral essential oils add lovely scent profiles that lightly perfume your strands. But what you’ll love about ZE’s dry ‘poos just as much
as I do is their volume boosting properties. I’m particularly obsessed with Shimmery, which refreshes my hair for days but adds a subtle shimmer and glow. It makes me feel like I can #runtheworld.


5. Lulu Organics — Hair Powder - from $10 

If you’ve ever stressed over carrying bulky aerosol cans of dry shampoo with you everywhere, just ditch the store-brand stuff and opt for Lulu Organics' range of travel-size dry shampoos instead. The talc-free selection of dry ‘poos are crafted with organic powders and essential oils help to refresh the hair, but the compact bottles shouldn’t fool you—a little bit of this miracle hair powder goes a long way. Each dry shampoo has its own unique scent combo reminiscent of days spent out in nature and connecting with the wild. But let’s be real: the reason you’ll fall all over these dry ‘poo alternatives is for their cute size, which make carrying dry shampoo with you seriously effortless. Just toss them in your bag and go! 


6. Captain Blankenship — Mermaid Dry Shampoo - $24

Do you remember watching Ariel as a little girl and wishing you could just dive into the ocean and become a mermaid princess? Well, even if the idea of having a tail never thrilled you, Captain Blakenship’s Mermaid Dry Shampoo will get you pretty darn close to the princess part. A combination of organic powders and clay are paired with the essential oils of Rose Geranium and Palmarosa for a beachy, floral scent that is as feminine as it is effective. This dry shampoo works to absorb oil and grease for renewed hair and seriously soft locks. It sort of makes me regret never having stuck with the whole mermaid-princess dream, but it does give me voluminous roots and beautifully nourished strands. A good hair day is better than a throne, am
I right? 


7.  Herbivore Botanicals — Coconut Texturizing Sea Mist - from $12

Okay, so this isn’t really a dry shampoo, but it’s a pretty neat (and exotic) alternative to the dry stuff. Herbivore Botanicals’ Coconut Texturizing Sea Mist is a light and lovely hair spray perfect for creating that cult-beach-wave style everyone longs for but only Blake Lively can seem to pull off. It’s carefully formulated with the same salinity as Pacific Ocean saltwater, with the added benefits of Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice and Coconut extract for seriously healthy hair. Spritzing it throughout the hair adds body and texture to otherwise limp or dull strands, whilst its delicious coconut and vanilla scent make you feel like a tropical goddess. An alternative to dry shampoos, this mist adds serious volume to your roots and worked to refresh my naturally wavy hair even after two days between washes and zero dry ‘poo. I love that it softens my hair without adding that crunchy hairspray texture that most hair mists cause.

Whether you’re looking to add body and volume to dull roots, or spruce up limp strands between washes, dry shampoo is a simple and convenient way to liven up your hair without restyling. But the generic dry shampoo brands littering drugstore shelves everywhere can do more damage to our coveted locks than good. After all, you get what you pay for—and often what we pay for is cheap, mass-manufactured dry shampoo. So why not opt for natural, nourishing alternatives that soothe, soften and salvage the hair? The next time you reach for that bottle of Batiste, consider whether your hair would thank you for the added dose of butane, or if it would truly rejoice in rich clays, organic powders and lovely essential oils. Step away from the aerosol can and grab a bottle of natural dry shampoo instead.


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