If you like to work up a sweat before work or during your lunch break, the chances are that sometimes you’re going to have to skip washing your hair afterwards – especially if you have long hair which takes its sweet time to dry. And if you like to do something active most days you’ll quickly find washing your hair after every session leaves your hair somewhat limp and lifeless. One way around this washing dilemma is to get yourself a can of dry shampoo as a stopgap that can revitalise your hair in a matter of minutes. Most commonly available as a powder sprayed from an aerosol, it freshens up flat hair by soaking up your scalp’s oils and adding volume.
Some dry shampoos are scented so it’s worth hitting a shop to smell a few before buying your first one, and it’s worth knowing that some dry shampoos contain pigment according to hair colour, which will refresh your hair’s hue as well as its texture. You can find cans dry of dry shampoo from as little as £3 and our selection goes up to fancy £24 ones. In general, the more you pay, the less residue will be left in your hair, but before you get hooked on the most expensive option, bear in mind that if you have medium to long hair you may be surprised at how much dry shampoo you can get through.
The Best Dry Shampoo For £3 Or Less: Batiste Dry Shampoo
Having launched its first dry shampoo over three decades ago, Batiste is the original brand and one you’ll find in many a gym bag thanks to the killer combination of being very cheap and very good. We did find that it left white-coloured flecks when applied too liberally, so don’t go overboard.
Buy on Amazon | £3 for 200ml (currently reduced to £2.25)
The Best Translucent High-Street Dry Shampoo: Colab Dry Shampoo
Colab’s translucent formula means you needn’t worry about your hair getting a white tinge and it dispenses the shampoo at a steadier rate than other products, so you won’t accidentally blitz your hair leaving lots of icky residue. There’s an eight-strong selection of scents too, from the sweet-smelling Unicorn to the zingy Fruity.
Buy from Boots | £3.49 for 200ml (currently reduced to £2.33)
The Best Dry Shampoo Under £15: Percy & Reed No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo
An olfactory note of caution: the scent of Percy 7 Reed hair products tends to polarise people. If you’re in the “love it” camp, you’ll no doubt be pleased to hear that this dry shampoo does a spectacular job. It’s no great surprise since creators Paul Percival and Adam Reed are both venerated hair stylists who preside over the Percy & Reed salon empire. Like Colab, the product is dispensed particularly uniformly, though in this case you should apply liberally in order to ensure you get a sufficient lift to your locks.
Buy on Amazon | £12.50 for 150ml (currently reduced to £10)
The Best Dry Shampoo Under £20: Hair By Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo
Celebrity hair stylist Sam McKnight’s dry shampoo isn’t a lacklustre cash-in, but a genuinely good product that is cheaper than we’d expect. It blasts out a light mist that is easily absorbed. It doubles up as a styling spray and the effects last too. The enticing, botanical scent was created by another industry maven, perfumier Lyn Harris.
Buy from Cult Beauty | £19 for 250ml
The Best Non-Powder Dry Shampoo: OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam
Applying a mousse to dry hair doesn’t sound like a particularly smart idea, but in the case of this foam from OUAI, it makes a sound alternate to those who don’t get on with powder products. Where powders can leave your follicles with a matte finish, this foam – which you apply with your fingers – adds shine and leaves your hair looking like it’s just had a session under the blow-dryer. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s light, citrusy scent sets it apart from the cheaper powders on this list.
Buy from Space NK | £24 for 150g