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Best dry shampoo: Give your hair a boost with the best dry shampoos from £2.99

Looking for fresher hair for longer? This is our pick of the best dry shampoos from £2.99

How ever did we cope before the invention of dry shampoo? It tends to be the first thing we reach for when we need to bring our sad, tired barnets back to life – and don’t have time to hop in the shower to wash our hair. But there are plenty of products on the market, and at prices that run from a few pounds to double digits. Which is best for your hair needs? Which will produce the longest lasting results? We’ve put together a list of the best dry shampoos on the market – from cheap-and-cheerful high-street formulas to higher-end designer sprays – along with a guide on how to pick the perfect one for you and your follicles.

How to buy the best dry shampoo for you

What is dry shampoo?

Found mostly in powder form, dry shampoo aims to freshen up flat, second-day hair in one quick spray, soaking up oil from the scalp and adding volume as it goes. Before dry shampoos, the only way to conceal greasy roots was the old talcum powder trick – giving your hair a white tinge in the process. Dry shampoo is mess-free, practical and usually contains hair-loving ingredients. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t wash the hair – it actually adds more product into it, ironically making it dirtier – but it gives the effect of cleaner hair with more volume when you need a quick boost.

What should I look for?

If you’re a brunette or redhead, you should look for a translucent formula, as any white pigment in the powder will show up in your hair. It’s also worth checking you like the scent first – you don’t want to be surrounded by a fragrance you can’t stand all day. Some dry shampoos also contain pigment according to hair colour, which will refresh the hue as well as its texture.

How much should I spend?

If you have medium to long hair, you’ll get through a can of dry shampoo so quickly that you won’t want to spend a fortune. Most decent ones cost less than £15, although there are a few here that justify a higher price by doubling up as a styling spray, or simply smelling wonderful. Our absolute limit would be around £25. Usually the cheaper the formula, the more residue left in the hair, but there are some great bargains to be found.

The best dry shampoo you can buy

1. Batiste Dry Shampoo: The best dry shampoo under £3

Price: £2.99 | Buy now from Amazon

Perhaps the most well-known dry shampoo brand on the market, Batiste first launched its dry shampoo over 30 years ago. Now with 15 variations to choose from, it has expanded into a cult product that millions of women in more than 60 countries can’t live without. Why? Because it’s cheap, refreshes hair instantly and is easy to use. Each scent also comes in a handy travel-sized can ideal for holiday packing or keeping in your handbag. The results are satisfactory; hair looks and feels immediately revitalised and, despite not actually washing it, hair does look cleaner – fluffy even – as if you’ve just switched off the blow-dryer. The only downside is that it’s not translucent, so traces of white residue can be found in the hair if you over-spray. Make sure to keep the nozzle a good 20cm away from your hair as you apply, so this can be easily monitored.

2. Colab Dry Shampoo: The best translucent high-street dry shampoo

Price: £6.72| Buy now from Amazon

Created by model and super blogger Ruth Crilly, otherwise known as “A Model Recommends”, this hair boost in a can has the kudos of a luxury brand, without the luxury price tag. Ruth knows her stuff when it comes to beauty, so you’d expect this to be the real deal – and it is. The translucent formula means there’s no need to worry about white residue left on the hair. Some dry shampoos dispense far too much product in one spray, but even that has been carefully thought through here, meaning you can apply it at a steady pace without panicking that you’ve overdone it. It adds volume, creates texture and lifts the roots, yet doesn’t feel too heavy or sticky in the hair, and the results last for a few days. You can choose from many different scents, too: our favourites include the super-sweet Unicorn, the holiday-scented Tropical and the zingy, revitalising Fruity.

3. Percy & Reed No-Fuss Fabulousness Dry Shampoo: The best dry shampoo under £15

Price: £12.50 | Buy now from Amazon

First and foremost, it’s worth noting that all Percy & Reed hair products have a very particular signature fragrance. It’s like Marmite – you’ll either love it or hate it. If you decide you love it, however, then this is a very impressive dry shampoo. Not surprising when you remember that its two creators, Paul Percival and Adam Reed, are two highly respected hair stylists and owners of the Percy & Reed salons. The product comes out nice and gently, then absorbs oil on contact with the hair, as all decent dry shampoos should. Because of the gentle dispenser, you might need to apply more than you think into the roots to ensure they get a decent lift. If you like a super-subtle finish or simply need less of a boost than usual, spray it onto a brush or comb first, then use it to brush your hair from root to tip.

4. OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam: The best non-powder dry shampoo

Price: £24 | Buy now from Amazon

A mousse applied to dry hair may not sound like a good idea, but this is actually the ideal alternative for those who don’t like the effects of powder dry shampoos. Where a powder might leave the hair with a matte finish, this foam quickly and effectively adds shine and leaves hair looking freshly blow-dried. If you’re looking for a lightweight, residue-free dry shampoo and don’t get on with powder formulas, this is the one to go for. Applied with your fingers, the foam dries instantly after making contact with the hair, helping to soften and smooth the hair without weighing it down. The price might be a bit steep, but its light, lemony, rose scent sets it miles apart from the cheaper powder sprays that can leave a sickly sweet fragrance on your hair.

5. Hair by Sam McKnight Lazy Girl Dry Shampoo: The best dry shampoo under £20

Price: £19 | Buy now from Cult Beauty

Sam McKnight is one of the most successful and sought-after hair stylists in the industry, renowned for his magazine cover shoots, iconic backstage creations and long list of celebrity clients. So it’s no wonder his clever dry shampoo is one of our favourites, not least because the product comes in under £20. It’s a super-light mist that absorbs and refreshes hair quickly (and lasts), but it also doubles up as a styling spray more convincingly than any other dry shampoo. As long as you don’t overdo it, you could use it solely as a volume spray on clean hair without the worry of unnecessary residue. The smell was created by another industry legend – perfumer Lyn Harris – and can be described as elegantly botanical, so not only will your hair look clean, but it will smell freshly washed too.

Buy now from Cult Beauty

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