The Best Dry Shampoos For Sweaty Hair
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In a perfect world, you'd have plenty of time to wash and restyle your hair after every workout or humid day. But when that's not the case (or when you just can't summon the energy), the best dry shampoos for sweaty hair will help you out. To separate the good from the great, look for products that contain starches derived from rice, corn, or tapioca flour, which are the active ingredients that absorb all of that excess oil and sweat from your scalp and hair. You can also look for a formula that combines starch (or starches) with other oil-absorbing ingredients like silica, charcoal, and nettle root extract.
How To Use Dry Shampoo Properly
Using dry shampoo might seem pretty straightforward, but there are a few rules you should follow to guarantee you're getting the best results possible. Before you even get started, you'll want to give your dry shampoo a good shake to make sure the product evenly distributes onto your scalp. To avoid major residue that's hard to remove, hold the bottle about 12 inches away from your head and work in small sections, aiming the product at the roots. Let the dry shampoo sit for a few minutes, then use your fingers to massage it into your scalp and hair to really activate the product (you can also hit your newly dry-shampooed roots with a blow dryer for a few seconds). If you notice any residue left behind, run a brush through your hair to help distribute the dry shampoo more evenly.
And don't forget that no matter how much dry shampoo you use, it's not actually cleaning your hair the way a real shampoo would. Loading up on dry shampoo can lead to buildup on your scalp, so you may want to reach for a clarifying shampoo once in a while to make sure it's thoroughly removed. You may also notice dry hair or experience an itchy, flaky scalp if you're relying on dry shampoo too often. If that's the case, take a break from the dry shampoo and try styling your hair in an updo to disguise greasy roots until you're able to wash your hair, instead.
Shop The Best Dry Shampoos For Sweaty Hair
In a hurry? Here are the best dry shampoos for sweaty hair:
1. The Miracle Worker: Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo
2. The Completely Invisible One: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Advanced Dry Shampoo
3. The French Favorite: Klorane Dry Shampoo With Nettle
4. The Jumbo Size: Redken Deep Clean Dry Shampoo
5. The One With Charcoal: IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo
6. The Powder Formula: dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo Powder
1. Writer’s Pick: The Miracle Worker
I grabbed a travel-size bottle of this on a whim before a girls' weekend last summer, and found myself wondering how I ever lived without it. While I didn't put this to the post-workout test, Drybar’s Detox Dry Shampoo kept my fine, oily hair grease-free for two full days through 90-degree heat and traveling (no small feat considering my hair requires washing every day). A little goes a long way with this, and because it's so heavy-duty, if you have dark hair like me, it will probably leave behind a residue at first. But a little massaging and a quick brush are all you need to fully blend it in. You can also choose between a few scents, from the original clean fragrance to the floral Lush and the tropical Coconut Colada.
Size: 3.5 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "The best dry shampoo I have found in a long time! Great for someone that works out a lot. I have a lot of fine hair which can get greasy easily and this is fabulous.”
2. The Completely Invisible One
The next best thing to actually shampooing your hair may very well be Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo. The vegan and cruelty-free formula was designed to expertly absorb oil, sweat, and odors with a combination of rice starch, corn starch, and silica. Despite the multiple oil-absorbing ingredients in here, this dry shampoo doesn't leave behind even a trace of white residue. It also includes conditioning agents like glycerin and algae extract to help leave your hair looking healthier and keep it protected against pollution exposure.
Size: 5.5 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "I love the clean feeling it leaves in your hair. I can’t feel or see any white residue. I’ve tried half a dozen dry shampoos and this is the best. Absorbs oil and leaves my hair nice and soft and not gunky feeling.”
3. The French Favorite
Rice starch and silica are the main oil-absorbers in this dry shampoo, but there's also nettle root extract in here, which pulls double duty. In addition to reducing excess oil and even helping to regulate oil production, the plant extract leaves hair looking shiny. I've used Klorane’s Dry Shampoo With Nettle during the sweatiest days of the summer and can attest that it refreshes greasy hair and adds an extra day or two to your blowout. It also didn't irritate my scalp and it doesn't have a strong, perfume-y scent if you're sensitive to fragrances.
Size: 3.2 oz. Cruelty-Free: No
Relevant Review: "This is the only dry shampoo I’ve ever tried that actually gets rid of the grease/sweat and makes my hair feel clean. It’s expensive but it works!”
4. The Jumbo Size
This is the biggest bottle of dry shampoo on the list, for those who are truly committed to their workouts (or to avoiding hair wash days). Redken’s Deep Clean Dry Shampoo was formulated to remove heavy oil (think post-cardio sessions) on all hair types, including those with a finer hair texture that's already prone to becoming oily. To counteract the starches in the dry shampoo that absorb moisture but can leave hair feeling rough, Redken added panthenol into the formula to give it a smoother finish.
Size: 9.6 oz. Cruelty-Free: No
Relevant Review: "This is the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used. I love the smell. And it is very effective and doesn’t leave any residue. [...] I just put this in my hair after a very sweaty workout and my hair feels like I just showered. I can just run my fingers through my hair and flip it and I can’t tell there is any product in it at all.”
5. The One With Charcoal
In addition to your typical dry shampoo ingredients like rice starch and silica, IGK’s First Class Dry Shampoo uses charcoal powder to help remove dirt and impurities from hair as it absorbs excess oil. This cruelty-free and vegan dry shampoo also offers UV protection, while antioxidant-rich white tea leaf extract works to soothe your scalp. To better help with keeping your hair looking and feeling fresh, try spraying the dry shampoo through your hair before you break a sweat to absorb oil as it crops up.
Size: 6.3 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "I try to wash my hair every few days, which is tough when you workout. This dry shampoo is super absorbent and smells great. It gets my hair refreshed to hold me over to my next wash."
6. The Powder Formula
Sprays might be the most common type of dry shampoo, but you can also find powder formulas like dpHUE’s Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo, which you can sprinkle directly into your hair (or use a makeup brush to apply). While tapioca flour starch and silica help to absorb excess oil, apple cider vinegar works to soothe your scalp and give your hair shine. It’s also a travel-friendly option if you're looking for a dry shampoo that meets the TSA’s carry-on guidelines.
Size: 1.6 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes
Relevant Review: "I have very fine hair, and dry shampoo can tend to be too heavy for my hair. I love this formula, and the fact that it is a powder and not an aerosol. I have more control on the amount of product I’m putting in my hair. The scent is amazing. I have dark brown hair, and this does not leave a white residue.”
About The Author:
Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.