Choosing a dry shampoo for your back-to-school beauty routine & reviews

With back to school just around the corner, a huge portion of the population is about to get kicked into overdrive. Mom will be soon be back on the grind–making lunches, being a bus driver, cleaning, running errands, cooking, trying to not forget carpool duty, making work calls in between it all, and heaven forbid trying to look presentable in between all of this. If you are a student or a working student like me, then you know the pressure of looking semi-presentable even though you stayed up till 3:30 AM trying to finish “one last homework assignment.”

We are all about to get busy, my friends. and not like Sean Paul circa 2002 (I would be lying if I didn’t say I’m totally jammin’ to it now, mon’). Stepping up your back to school game can often feel like a shock to the system and usually by week 2 you will likely start feeling extra tired and tap that snooze button a few too many times. If that is the case, then it is likely your hair is what will suffer. Enter the first world miracle that is dry shampoo. Dry shampoo had its first wave of popularity in the 70s. With dry shampoo’s recent comeback, nearly every hair company touts of its own dry shampoo product.

Dry shampoo is about more than making your hair clean. It is extremely helpful when you volumeless hair (raises hand). It doesn’t matter if you thick or thin hair we all go through two of the same hair lamentations:

  1. Dirty/greasy/sweaty (that shiz happens–don’t pretend you’re above it)
  2. Volumeless

Dry shampoo can help with one of this issues or even both. Over time I rounded up my favorite dry shampoo products and made a little cheat sheet.

The Contenders

Psssst! Dry Shampoo

I bought this when I was in a pinch traveling,  and I love it. Psssst! ($5.99) is definitely for “dirty” hair. It does give volume, but it is made to absorb grease. It sprays on really white. Spray it on 6-8 inches away, leave it for minimum 4 minutes, then brush it out. I usually do my makeup while I’m waiting for the spray to absorb. Once you brush it out, the “white” should go away, and you should be left with gorgeous clean-looking, volumized hair!

Paul Mitchell Dry Wash

I bought this on accident thinking I was getting the hairspray in this line (it is my all time fave). This ended up being a happy accident because I love this dry shampoo. It has clean smell to it without being overpowering. It dries very quickly and absorbs faster than any other dry shampoo I’ve ever tried. Paul Mitchell has great products that I generally trust (I love their Awapuhi line), so it’s of no surprise that I like their dry shampoo ($23.) I usually leave this on my roots for about 2 minutes max. This is great when you are on the go or doing a touch up.

Oscar Blandi Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

This product sprays on clear, so if you worry about being able to brush all of the white out then this is the dry shampoo for you. This spray is definitely more for volumizing rather than “cleaning.” It absorbs some oil, but it isn’t for dirty hair. Sometimes when I shower before I go to bed my hair doesn’t totally feel perfectly clean where my head was resting on the pillow, and my hair looks extra flat in the mornings. This is the perfect volumizing dry shampoo. When I use this, I flip my head upside down and spray as I layer my hair with my fingers (lift and spray sections one at a time). Oscar Blandi’s dry shampoo ($11) is perfect for moments when you don’t have access to a mirror and don’t know if you’ll be able to get the traces of powder out of your hair.

Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo

I tried Suave’s dry shampoo first per recommendation of my friend and cosmetologist (mentioned in this post). It is cheap–think $3 cheap. In my humble opinion this stuff is the best when you need to absorb oil and add volume. I use it on those days that I sleep in way too late. It’s also great when you’ve curled your hair and perhaps you put on a bit too much product, and you don’t want to compromise your do.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

This is the latest dry shampoo that I’ve found, and I adore it. For $7, Batiste is totally worth the purchase. I rank it up there with Suave. This is also great for genuinely dirty hair. I’ve used it when I’ve hit the gym and didn’t have time to shower before the next activity (gross but true). It absorbs next to everything. This is an extremely white product. I recommend spraying it while you are not wearing your outfit for the day. At the very least, throw on a robe.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Dry shampoo is meant to be sprayed on roots not on the body of your hair. You’ll have a nightmare on your hands if you spray it all over your hair.
  2. Like I mentioned before, don’t wear your #ootd while spraying on your dry shampoo unless it’s an “invisible” spray like Ocar Blandi’s.
  3. Let the dry shampoo “set” before brushing it out. Most dry shampoos need a few minutes to soak into your roots.
  4. Spray dry shampoo 4 to 6  inches away from your head. If you spray it on a concentrated area, you’ll have a big white nasty mess to deal with. The idea is to mist it onto your roots–not soak them.

So there you have it!


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