A quality dry shampoo for men will not only save you time but will naturally remove an oily buildup on your scalp while also adding both volume and texture to your hair.
In this guide, we not only review the best dry shampoos for men, but we go on to cover all the important features you need to be on the lookout for when selecting a product for your unique hair type. Furthermore, we also share with you a few pro tips in order for you to easily spot a bad shampoo that can quickly destroy your hair.
In addition to our expert reviews and buying guide, we also go over a few common questions men had about dry shampoos along with a detailed look at how a dry shampoo fits into your grooming regimen.
Let’s get started:
Table of Contents
The 9 best dry shampoos for men 2020
1. Best Dry Shampoo Overall: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
This dry shampoo by Living Proof will cover all the needs a guy might be concerned about when looking for a new hair product: it’s color safe, free of common chemicals like parabens and silicones, and it resists humidity.
Many reviewers noted that this shampoo has a strong scent, which is not feminine or otherwise strange, but will fill a room, so be aware of that before using it.
Unlike many other options, this one is unanimously accepted as leaving no chalky mess on your scalp. It’s a great choice for men who need an all around dry shampoo; dark hair or light, it will get the job done.
- Free of dangerous chemicals
- Doesn’t leave significant residue
- Resists humidity
- Strong fragrance
What You Need To Know
2. Best for Color Treated Hair: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo
Made by an expert haircare brand, this is an excellent choice for guys who have light or color treated hair. It’s been purpose built for light hair, and has very subtle violet tones added into it to reduce the brassiness that lightened hair can get.
Light hair (as well as dyed hair) can also be more sensitive to UV light from bright summer days. This dry shampoo protects your hair from UV damage, which is an excellent feature for men who spend time outdoors.
This shampoo lacks the “refreshed” scent of some other dry shampoo options so if fragrance is a deciding factor for you, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Very little residue
- Protects light and dyed hair
- Subtle fragrance
What You Need To Know
3. Best for African American Men: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk
Klorane’s dry shampoo has an ultra fine powder that not only mixes well into darker hair, but also leaves it conditioned with an oat milk formula. The shampoo is free of damaging chemicals, and leaves almost no chalky residue.
This is a great choice for men who want to avoid the false (but stylistically compromising) dandruff that some dry shampoos can create.
- Nourishes hair
- Super fine powder easily brushes out
- Natural scent
What You Need To Know
4. Best for Thin Hair: Duke Cannon Dry Shampoo
For a guy who needs to add a bit of volume, dry shampoo is a great choice. This product gives the volume that should be the calling card of every dry shampoo. It’s CFC and paraben free, so it’s guaranteed to be safe for you and the environment. It’s also a great pick because it comes with a travel sized canister, so you can be sure that you’ve got something to take on your next work trip, or even to the gym.
During our research we found one reviewer was even able to use it for several days without washing with traditional shampoo, which speaks to the natural and non-irritating formula used by Duke Cannon.
- Creates a full, voluminous look
- Comes with travel sized canister
- May be inappropriate for guys with thicker hair
What You Need To Know
5. Best for Thick Hair: Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
Oribe Gold Lust is the perfect choice for guys with thicker hair because it doesn’t add volume, grip, or weight to your hair — it has an extremely light footprint. There is both bamboo and rice silk in the formula which leaves hair feeling silky and light — which is not a common characteristic in dry shampoos which often focus on volume.
Oribe helps to fortify and nourish your hair without adding any chalky grit — the powder itself is translucent.
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Doesn’t leave residue
- Men with thick hair love this shampoo
What You Need To Know
6. Most Affordable: Batiste Original Dry Shampoo
Batiste is a classic brand that offers a great budget choice for guys who are looking to try out a waterless shampoo for the first time, or guys who know what they’re looking for and don’t want to pay too much for it.
Batiste comes in multiple scents, and refreshes hair nicely — the downside is it doesn’t have the all natural formula of some more boutique picks. During our research we found some Batiste dry shampoo reviews that said it leaves behind too much of a residue, but with vigorous brushing it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
- Well known and successful brand
- May create residue
What You Need To Know
This product is really unique and worth trying out if you’re a guy who uses both dry shampoo and styling wax. Unlike other brands, this one is left in the hair and helps adds a workable texture.
The dry shampoo paste has volcanic ash that helps purify hair, and coconut oil which helps with volume and texture — all with a great fresh scent. Reviewers had high praises for this unique and practical dry shampoo paste.
- Absorbs oil while adding texture
- Great for thin or greasy hair types
- Easy to work into hair
- Leave in shampoo not good for using several days in a row
What You Need To Know
Old spice has introduced a dry shampoo that covers all the bases you would want in terms of practicality — unfortunately it’s not an all natural product, but the excellent fragrance more than compensates for this shortfall.
The shampoo is great because it brings a strictly masculine scent to the space, which has been lacking this option for a long time. It’s a great basic purchase for guys who may not have a specific need for dry shampoo other than something convenient to throw on in between outdoor activities and an early evening date at the cocktail bar.
- Great price
- Men love the fresh scent
- Works in minutes
- May overpower other scents and colognes
What You Need To Know
This shampoo uniquely uses potato starch as its media base. It’s paraben, sulfate, and phthalate free — although not all natural, it has avoided the most worrisome chemicals common in aerosol products. The scent has notes of coconut and vanilla, while not overpowering it’s certainly not masculine.
There are a variety of natural extracts and oils in the formula to fortify and nourish hair that may have been damaged from the sun, a hair dryer, or dying.
- Avoids harsh chemicals
- Scent isn’t masculine
What You Need To Know
Before Buying: 6 Considerations when purchasing a dry shampoo
Perhaps the most important aspect of dry shampoo is its ingredient list, so don’t overlook this as the ingredients will have vast impacts on results and efficacy.
Many natural and organic dry shampoos have a starch base, that’s made from either tapioca, white rice, or oat starches. The reason is that starch will naturally absorb grease — but it may also leave a white residue on your hair so be aware of that and use it sparingly and brush it out as per instructions.
Activated charcoal is another common choice to prevent greasy hair, as it absorbs oil and is well suited for dark hair. Activated charcoal doesn’t just absorb oil, it also generally detoxifies (which is why it’s used in toothpaste and detox drinks) and binds well. You’ll want to be careful in the application of activated charcoal dry shampoo though as it can definitely do damage to white clothes.
Older hair spray propellants have chlorofluorocarbons (CDCs) which are damaging to the ozone layer, however, newer spray shampoo products do not, so there’s no need to worry. They typically are fueled by butane or propane, the same material that’s in spray antiperspirants. These are highly flammable so handle them with care.
Dry shampoos come in several types to target specific problems men have with their hair.
There’s a reason dry shampoos are popular for men who dye their hair – they’re perfect for the job. High-quality dry shampoo won’t make your roots chalky, and it reduces the number of showers you need which can dramatically extend the length of time between treatments. Dry shampoos typically don’t contain sulfates which destroy hair color.
Volume & Texture
Most dry shampoos help the root of your hair stand up straight on the scalp, by absorbing excess sebum (the natural oils that are found on the scalp and skin) thus allowing the roots to support the weight of your hair. This provides the appearance of a fuller and more voluminous hairstyle. If you’re a man who has thinning hair, this can definitely help to instantly give you a bit more volume on your scalp, but use it conservatively as it may look chalky if you overdo it when styling.
Neutralize Oily Hair
The biggest advantage of dry shampoos is their ability to absorb excess oils on the scalp and give your hair a fresh feel. Men who have naturally oily hair, or younger men going through the late stages of puberty can find that the buildup of oils can weigh down their hair. If you’re not washing your hair daily (which is fine and even recommended), dry shampoo can give you a clean feel between washes by absorbing grease.
Dry shampoos have to adhere to TSA travel restrictions so you’ll want to keep it to a travel-sized bottle, 3.4oz or below, if you’re planning to take it on a plane in your carry-on.
While dry hair shampoo used to largely be a product for women, now that men are beginning to use it a wide selection of scents is coming onto the market. There are many floral scents out there, which actually isn’t much of a problem — after you apply the powder, dry shampoo will easily be masked by your favorite clay or pomade. The scents are quite honestly not too bad and depending on the type you’ll find that the scent doesn’t stick around very long anyway.
When it comes to the best dry shampoo for greasy hair, there are a few well-established brands that dominate the market:
Dry shampoo costs a bit more than standard shampoo (generally around $20 a bottle) but it provides great value in time savings and benefits to your scalp. The active ingredients in dry shampoo are often natural which provides higher quality results while grooming.
Other Hair Products You Should Check Out
A grooming regimen doesn’t end with dry shampoo. There’s a lot a guy can do to step up his style when it comes to grooming, like getting a great brush or comb, shampoo formulated for men or using a leave-in conditioner. Here are some essential hair care products you might want to add into your daily regimen:
The search for a really effective comb can be more difficult than you would expect — don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. By giving you better command over your hair, a quality comb ultimately access to a more sophisticated style. There’s a reason why the professionals use them.
Shampoo Formulated For Men
Shampoos designed for men’s hair will provide masculine scents while getting rid of oil and giving better feedback (lather and bubbles) without feeling to soapy.
For men who live in naturally dry climates, leave-in conditioner can help retain hair’s oils and condition the scalp by adding in much-needed moisture. It also makes hair look better by providing a light and non-greasy sheen.
Hair Styling Products
There are many options out there – take a look at our guide where we compare them all. We also have dedicated guides to all the major hair care categories:
Hair dye is an effective means to deliver a great color if you’re looking to cover up a few grays. For guys who are showing some slight signs of aging, check out our roundup of hair dyes that can make you look a few years younger.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) about dry shampoos
Q: Does baby powder make a good dry shampoo?
You should really avoid baby powder as a media for dry shampoo — on its face it may seem like a simple solution, but the formula used for powders contains talcum which is the subject of debate on safety, and will also strip your hair of oil. It’s better to use an all natural medium that features rice or other starch to remove excess oils. For more information take a look at this article by the NIH, where the institute discusses possible links to cancer.
Q: Can a dry shampoo be used for dreadlocks?
Unfortunately dry shampoo doesn’t work well on dreads. The formula is meant to be applied and then combed out, and must be thoroughly worked through the hair in order to do its job. It’s just not the right delivery mechanism for locks.
Q: Can I carry dry shampoo in my checked luggage?
It’s fine to carry dry shampoo in your checked luggage, but if it’s in a carry-on it has to be under 3.4oz.
Q: Does dry shampoo cause dandruff?
No official studies have been done on whether or not dry shampoo causes dandruff. Typically, most men who leave dry shampoo in for more than a day may find that it causes irritation, leading to itching the scalp, thus causing dandruff.
Another common misconception is the white chalky residue around the roots that’s left by some dry shampoos if you apply too heavily (always be sure to be sparing in your delivery.) This isn’t dandruff, but it’s unsightly nonetheless.
Q: How many days can you use dry shampoo in a row without looking or feeling gross?
Generally recommend to not exceed a day, and only go two days at most. We understand that when it feels like you’re living in an airport, it can be tempting to search for a product that can be applied day after day, but this might cause irritation to your scalp and will start to get diminishing returns. It’s best to clean your hair the old fashioned way every few days, as this also gives you an opportunity to massage your scalp, clean your locks, and apply conditioners.
Q: Is dry shampoo bad for your hair?
While there are no scientific studies to support the claim that dry shampoo is either good or bad for your hair, it’s generally thought that over washing your hair is bad for your skin, hair and the environment. Dry shampoo offers a great low maintenance way to look presentable: just work it in and brush it out.
Q: Can I dye my hair with dry shampoo in it?
While some men have tried this and gotten satisfactory results, we suggest simply washing your hair before you dye it. Clean hair will help the dye do its job and yield better colors.
Q: Will dry shampoo leave a white residue in my hair?
Deepening on which product you go with and how often you apply the dry shampoo may result in a buildup of product on your head. In order to avoid this, you will want to scale back how much dry shampoo you are applying to your scalp or switch to a different brand that doesn’t contain starch. Should a powdery buildup occur, you can simply give your hair a thorough wash.
Dry Shampoo vs. baby powder vs. regular shampoo
There are alternatives to dry shampoo so you should search for the right option to find what suits your life and needs.
Dry shampoo typically contains natural ingredients and uses a propellant like a traditional hair spray, but it’s not a full shampoo substitute. It will save the day when on a time crunch, and is better for the environment.
Although baby powder contains a common ingredient with many dry shampoos, talc, it has recently been recalled by the FDA as it may contain asbestos. Due to the safety concerns, we recommend avoiding using baby powder as a dry shampoo. It has a messier application than propellant based products anyway.
The obvious downside of regular shampoo is that you need to take a shower which can be a laborious process that takes time. Shampoos can be made to solve different hair conditions though, like oily, thick or thin hair; as well as hair loss. Unlike dry shampoo, regular shampoo can also treat dandruff. It comes in natural and organic options. If you are sensitive to scent, there can also be more scentless options available.
Hairspray or Sea Salt Spray
Dry shampoo and traditional hairspray are somewhat similar in that they rely on propellants, however, they are fundamentally different. Hairspray and sea salt spray are for styling and holding hair, or may be used to volumize and texturize (which dry shampoo can also help with). Sea salt spray is often all-natural so it’s a good choice for men who are eco-conscious.
How we selected the best dry shampoos
Every man who’s in search of a great dry shampoo should be able to find something to suit his needs here. We looked at many different brands before compiling this list, which has some of the best dry shampoo for oily hair, or just for when you want to avoid washing your hair.
The products that made the list were based on the criteria we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, like propellant type, ingredients, and ability to volumize hair.
Be sure to take another look and dig into some of our other guides if you’re interested in stepping up your hair grooming game.
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