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The 7 best dry shampoo options, an easy cleansing solution for your hair – Ouai, Living Proof, and more

Try one of these alternatives on non-wash days

A man using dry shampoo inside a car.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Dry shampoos are one of the best shampoos for men and they’re the perfect pick-me-up for when you need a refreshed look during those too-lazy-to-wash-my-hair days. But did you know there’s also a more practical reason for it? You have probably heard once or twice that it’s against the laws of grooming to wash your hair every day. For real? Yes. It’s because of sebum — an excess oily substance your body produces naturally to defend your skin. It moisturizes, protects, and coats your body’s outer barrier.

If you’re wondering why we’re rambling about sebum, it’s to make you understand exactly why you shouldn’t wash your hair every day. When you rub your scalp with shampoo, you are stripping away the natural production of oils that nourish your hair. Sebum doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s how your hair gets the ever-so-coveted glow. And when you are constantly doing it, your body may not be able to keep up with producing sebum, making your hair and scalp can become dry and itchy.

When presented with this information, many guys jump to the defensive conclusion of needing to wash their hair every day because it will look and feel greasy. The solution to making your hair look good on your non-wash days? Dry shampoo. When your hair becomes greasy, you have an excess oil buildup. Dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean your hair or scalp. Instead, it uses starch or alcohol to gently lift some of the oil, making your locks look fluffy and clean. It cleans up the excess build-up without stripping away sebum entirely as many shampoos for men do in the cleaning process.

That doesn’t mean you should skip the showers and use dry shampoo daily. It’s best when used in moderation, a few times a week, and intermittently between showers or as a touchup after the gym. Dry shampoos come in either spray or powdered form and can sometimes leave a light residue that needs to be massaged through. We gathered a list of the best dry shampoo for you to add to your grooming cabinet.

Oribe Dry Shampoo
Oribe

Best dry shampoo for men

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

The most luxurious dry shampoos don’t come with any white residue. They also add depth, texture, and volume and smell mighty fine as they work to absorb excess oil. You’ll need to hide this one, from Oribe, from your partner because trust us, they’ll want to steal it. It lifts the grease out of your hair but definitely not the shine.

Best for: All hair types, especially medium to long

A bottle of Dove's dry shampoo on white background.
Dove

Dove Care Between Washes Dry Shampoo

This highly rated drugstore option is from Dove. The scent is pretty low-key, but the formula is fire. The key for guys is to find a dry shampoo that is ultra-lightweight. A few mists will revive flat or greasy hair instantly without weighing it down with too much texture. You might see a white residue, but for the price point, it’s totally worth it. Just make sure you massage it in before leaving the house.

Best for: Guys with thin or fine, straight, or wavy hair

A bottle of Briogeo's Scalp Revival dry shampoo on white background.
Briogeo

Briogeo Scalp Revival

If you’re super concerned about maintaining proper scalp health after reading the intro to this article, then Briogeo’s Scalp Revival is for you. This formula has been carefully crafted with something called Binchotan charcoal. It’s a natural, three-starch blend that absorbs excess oil. It also contains witch hazel, which normalizes oil production, and biotin, which nourishes the hair follicle to support healthy hair growth.

Best for: Guys with thin hair and a natural oily scalp

ACT+ACRE Plant-Based Dry Shampoo
ACT+ACRE

ACT+ACRE Plant-Based Dry Shampoo

This plant-based (yes you heard that right, although we don’t recommend you consume it) dry shampoo has ingredients such as rice and tapioca powder, which absorb oil and leave your hair looking revived.

Best for: Guys with annoyingly oily hair that need a quick fix

A bottle of Clean Freak from Not Your Mother's on white background.
Not Your Mother's

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak

Another drug store favorite, this product is great for guys with excess shine. The mattifying properties lift the grease without dulling it completely. It also adds a bit of texture to normally flat hair.

Best for: All hair types, especially guys with excess shine

A bottle of Living Proof's dry shampoo on white background.
Living Proof

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo

Even though we don’t recommend it, you can literally get away with weeks off from washing your hair with this Living Proof dry shampoo. It smells pleasant and works wonders for all hair types for long periods of time. Plus, it comes in a great mini size to throw in your gym bag or car. It’s among the highest-rated dry shampoos for all hair types, lengths, and concerns. It might leave a slight white residue, but that can be easily massaged in as the formula starts working.

Best for: Every single guy with hair

A bottle of Ouai Super Dry Shampoo on white background.
Quai

Ouai Super Dry Shampoo

If you want a quick fix to overall shiny hair due to excess oil, this will be your savior. This dry shampoo immediately absorbs excess oil and leaves your hair refreshed, clean, and voluminous.

Best for: All hair types, especially those with excess shine and oily hair

Man spraying hair
Image used with permission by copyright holder

How to use dry shampoo

  1. Shake the can or bottle.
  2. Target the area of your hair with the most grease buildup.
  3. Hold the spray bottle or powder about 8 inches away from the target.
  4. Spray or pour lightly and evenly and let it sit for at least 30 seconds.
  5. Gently massage or brush the residue in and around, letting it distribute evenly.
Many spraying dry shampoo in his hair
Old Spice

Types of dry shampoo

  • Powder dry shampoo – Powder dry shampoos are a versatile choice. They’re ideal for those with fine, thin hair and lighter hair colors who want to extend the life of their hairstyle.
  • Aerosol spray dry shampoo – This option offers ease of application and quickly absorbs oil for refreshed hair. It comes in tinted options for different hair colors. Aerosol spray dry shampoos are best for normal to oily hair — but great for most hair types.
  • Dry shampoo mousse – It starts as a foam and transforms into a powdery substance when applied to the hair. Dry shampoo mousse also adds volume and texture. It is ideal for thick, curly hair. Men with fine, thin hair or oily scalp should steer clear of this option.
  • Gel/serum dry shampoo – This lightweight dry shampoo option applies directly to the roots and is most suitable for refreshing specific areas. It usually leaves no visible residue and can help add shine. It is best for dry, fine hair, itchy scalps, and/or dandruff.
  • Dry shampoo mist – Another lightweight option, dry shampoo mist is great for refreshing your entire head quickly. Mists often come in scented options, leaving your hair smelling fresh. It is ideal for oily hair and for targeting certain areas. ​​
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Nate Swanner
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nate is General Manager for all not-Digital-Trends properties at DTMG, including The Manual, Digital Trends en Espanol…
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