Dry shampoo is the most important item in my beauty cabinet—it’s my morning saving grace, my desert island go-to, and the MVP of my entire routine. As a brunette, I’m very specific about which brands I’ll use and which I avoid for fear of a sticky white residue taking residence both on and in my light-brown hair. Some products do work—you’d physically have to pry a bottle of Amika‘s Perk Up Dry Shampoo from my hands before I boarded a plane without it—while others are better left to the blondes.
Also, aside from refreshing your hair between washes and extending the life of a blowout, dry shampoo happens to be a powerful styling product. When my hair feels too soft and clean, I add a spritz for matte texture and find it’s less sticky than most actual powders and sprays made for this exact purpose (ahem, salt spray).
Celebrity hair stylist John Vella, who’s worked with stars such as Kate Moss in the past and is an ambassador for hair brand René Furterer, agrees: “Applying dry shampoo to the midshaft and ends of hair gives you the best beachy look with movement and bounce,” he said, suggesting you also use on wet hair. “A little dry shampoo on damp hair can add to the volume of a great scrunch. The powder mixes with the water and forms a textured curl,” he said. “A little hair spray over it all locks in the textures and prolongs the life of your scrunch.” Vella also says that the most common mistake people make when spraying dry shampoo is to hold the nozzle too close to your scalp, which leaves said dreaded powdery residue. “Spraying further away is better and delivers the best result,” he said.
In the gallery above you’ll find the 10 best dry shampoos for women with brown hair to match all budgets, so start clicking (and shopping!) now.
Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, $10; at Klorane
Klorane's dry shampoo has to be one of the best of all time. The cult French brand uses oat milk to hydrate your locks while drying out the oil, and it's lightweight but with powerful oil-absorbing properties. Plus, it's only mildly scented and doesn't leave any white powder marks on your hairline, even if you have dark hair. Oh, and expect zero stickiness from this dry shampoo MVP.
Salon Grafix Dry Shampoo with Antioxidants Brown, $6.99; at Walgreens
Don't let that $7 price fool you—this spray can compete with some of the best. As one (brunette) STYLECASTER editor put it: "The color is super natural and it doesn’t leave behind any white traces." Which is exactly what you hope for in a dry shampoo.
Detox Dry Shampoo for Brunettes, $23; at Drybar
Specifically formulated for brown hair, this product can actually also help cover up grays. There's a little stickiness if you use too much, but it generally does everything you want a dry shampoo to do: absorbs oil, adds texture, and prolongs your blowout.
Medium and Brunette Dry Shampoo, $9.29; at Amazon
Often overlooked because of its almost too cheap price tag and strong scent, Batiste is actually one of the most effective shampoo powders for masking unwashed hair. It does leave a little brown residue along the hairline, so start with a light coating and then build up if you need it.
Naturia Dry Shampoo, $28; at Rene Furterer
Both blondes and brunettes rave about Rene Furterer's Naturia Dry Shampoo. Yes, it's a little more pricey than some drugstore options, but it leaves hair looking clean while also adding volume. It is scented, but the fragrance isn't overpowering unlike some powders.
Black Hair Powder, $36; at Bumble & Bumble
Bumble & Bumble was one of the earliest brands to do dry shampoo, and it's still one of the most popular. It also offers a powder for light-brown hair, but if your locks are really dark or even jet black, try this.
Bumble & Bumble
Dry Shampoo Dark Tones, $26; at MorrocanOil
The day after your blowout, this spray dry shampoo is all you need to extend the life of your look. However, if you've really been putting off washing your hair for a few days, we suggest trying the Amika or Batiste products—they're a little more heavy duty.
Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo, $10; at Birchbox
After choosing that extra 20 minutes of sleep over washing your hair one too many mornings in a row, you need Amika's dry shampoo. Although it's not specifically for brunettes, the powder is virtually weightless and there'll be no residual white stuff floating around your brunette roots after you brush it through.
Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, $5.99; at Ulta
Although it's not colored specifically for brown hair, Tresemme's Fresh Start Dry Shampoo absorbs oil fast without leaving any white powder along your scalp—as long as you remember to shake the bottle first. It's a favorite because you really don't need to spray a ton for it to have an impact—plus, you can easily pick it up on your next Duane Reade run for $6.
Kardashian Beauty Take 2 Dry Shampoo, $9.10; at Jet
OK, guys: Move past the Kardashian branding for a second, and you'll find a very well-priced, very effective dry shampoo. It can leave your hair a little stiff (like most of its competitors) if you spray too much, so start slow.