Best Dry Scalp Shampoos

UPDATED July 2021

With a good dry scalp shampoo, you can eliminate flakes and make your hair look great.



This shampoo is a good choice for those with oily hair because its patented formula works in just a few minutes. It comes in an aerosol can though, which can make it difficult to measure out applications and see how much is left in the can.


Designed to absorb moisture with one application, this dry shampoo is easy to use. Its formula uses natural ingredients like nettle. You can use it on any type of hair, but this shampoo works especially well on dry hair.


As this shampoo comes in an aerosol spray can, it’s hard to know exactly how much you have left. Some users may go through an entire can in a week or less.


This dry shampoo goes on evenly and does a good job of incorporating all ingredients before you spray it. The only real problem you may have with this shampoo is that it has a scent that can be a little overwhelming.


Marbles placed inside the can help you better mix the ingredients before applying a dose to your hair. It also sprays on evenly to coat each hair on your head.


Some customers may find that the scent of the product is a little too strong. There were some complaints from shoppers about how long the product lasted too.


Though more costly than other shampoos, this Naturia product uses natural ingredients like basil. It absorbs any type of moisture from your hair and leaves behind a nice fragrance. This shampoo may make your hair feel sticky, heavy or oily though.


Specially formulated to remove excess moisture, this shampoo uses dry ingredients that absorb natural oils and other types of moisture. It has a nice and clean fragrance also.


A common complaint registered by shoppers is that this shampoo leaves their hair feeling greasy or heavy. Some also found that the product that it left their hair feeling sticky to the touch.


Some users call this product magic because of how well it works. Not only does it extend how long you can go without washing your hair, but it also leaves behind a nice scent. ORIBE is a luxury brand though that may charge more than you want to spend.


Capable of removing oils and dirt from your hair, this ORIBE shampoo doesn’t leave behind the heavy feeling that other products can. Its formulate uses celery seed and other ingredients give your hair a clean look between washings.


As a luxury product, this shampoo costs more than others do. You may find that you can get the same results from a more affordable product.


CHI offers one of the most affordable dry shampoos on the market. Capable of restoring your scalp and cleaning your hair, this shampoo is great for using between washes. The aerosol tip can occasionally clog though.


The low price tag makes this dry shampoo one of the more affordable products on the market. It works on both your hair and your scalp to let you skip daily washings.


The tip on this aerosol can may clog between uses. Some customers also found that it didn’t provide as many applications per can as other products did.

Shopping Guide for Dry Scalp Shampoos

When you wash your hair every day, you strip the follicles and strands of the natural oils that protect your head and scalp. The best dry scalp shampoo keeps your hair clean between washings. Once used by patients in hospitals, the top products are now go-to supplies for professional stylists. A simple application will restore your hair and make it look clean. These products will also improve the smell of your hair.

Finding the best product for your own hair though can be a little tricky. Even if you look at the best dry scalp shampoo 2021 products, you may find yourself confused about which ones will work best on your hair. You can talk to your stylist the next time that you make an appointment or use our article for help.

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We tracked down all the dry scalp shampoo 2021 products, including the newest shampoos on the market and the older favorites. The research that we did helped us find the top products that are suitable for all types of users. You can finally get the great look that you want without spending more than you can afford.

Shopping Guide for Dry Scalp Shampoos

Expert Tip

Only use dry scalp shampoo on dry hair. Using it on wet hair keeps the product from targeting oils and other types of moisture.

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What is Dry Scalp Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is, as its name implies, a shampoo that is dry. The shampoo that you use in the shower is liquid because you apply the shampoo to your hair, let it sit and then rinse it out with fresh water from the shower head. With a dry scalp shampoo, you can apply the product to your hair and let it sit until you apply more the following day. These products are also safe to use in between showers.

The dry formulate allows the product to absorb any moisture found on your hair and scalp. It specifically targets the natural oils that your scalp produces, which can make hair look and feel greasy. If you don’t want to shower every day or wash your hair regularly, you can use a dry scalp shampoo to keep your head and scalp fresh and clean. These products use ingredients like clay and vegetable powder that absorbs liquids and oils. Many manufacturers use basil and other ingredients that leave behind a nice scent.

Did you know?

Dry scalp shampoos come in both powdered and aerosol formulas

What is Dry Scalp Shampoo?
What is Dry Scalp Shampoo?

Selection Criteria

To find the best dry scalp shampoo for our readers, we went right to the web. In addition to looking at the top selling products on Amazon, we also took a look at the number of reviews that each product got, the average rating for those products and the highs and lows of each one. This helped us weed out reviews from people who complained about one key thing like price. We also factored in the price of the top products. You can use our average price section listed below to see how much it costs to buy each of our top five shampoos.

We also used the size of the product when figuring out how to rank these shampoos. Those that come in a smaller package often cost less but do not give you as many applications. As we did all the leg work for you, you can kick back and find out everything you need to know before buying a dry scalp shampoo.

Selection Criteria - Best Dry Scalp Shampoos

Dry Scalp Shampoo Sizes

Dry shampoo products come in a range of different sizes. Check out the average sizes for each of our top five products.
Klorane Nettle
3.2 oz
Philip B
PHILIP B Amber Imperial
7 oz
Rene Furterer Naturia
6 0z
Gold Lust
ORIBE Gold Lust
3.2 oz
8.2 oz
Though we looked at dozens of different beauty products, the best all-around dry scalp shampoo that we found is the Nettle formula from Klorane. The ingredients used in this formula include both plants and organic materials that restore shine and give hair a healthy and thicker appearance. You can use this every day without worrying about product build up, which can make your hair look dull and lifeless.

This also ranks as the best dry scalp shampoo for those with oily hair. It removes the excess oil that makes your hair look greasy, but it will not strip the natural oils that promote healthy hair growth. Klorane promises that you can add an extra day in between showers when you use this product.

Did you know?

Nettle is a natural ingredient that restores and purifies hair.

PHILIP B makes the best dry scalp shampoo for those who want to save time. Its Russian Amber Imperial product comes with 8.8 ounces of dry scalp shampoo inside an aerosol can. This gives you more product that you can use at home or on the go. You’ll get more out of this single can than you would almost any other product on the market.

Despite coming in a larger size than other products, it’s still easy and convenient to use. The can fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Once you give it a good shake, you can press down on the tip and watch as the dry scalp shampoo comes out.
Best Dry Scalp Shampoo for Those Who Want to Save Time

Aerosol vs. Powder

Dry shampoos come in both powder and aerosol formulas. The top products on our list are all aerosol sprays. Most people find that these are easier to both apply and use.

You just need to shake the can, spray the product over your hair and runs your fingers across your head to ensure that it reaches your roots.

The only problem that some have with aerosol sprays is that they use a little too much. This can make your hair look quite greasy. Another problem with spray formulas is that you cannot judge how much is left in the can.

The amount that you use and the length and thickness of your hair will determine how many applications you get out of the can.

Powders are generally cheaper than sprays. These formulas are a little harder to use though and will not work well on thick hair. With powders, you can see inside the container and know instantly how much product is left in that container.

Powders are a good choice for those with light and thin hair. You may find that you use too much of the powder and that the powder makes your hair feel heavy.

Aerosol vs. Powder

How to Apply Dry Scalp Shampoo

The best way to apply dry scalp shampoo is from underneath, especially if you have longer or thicker hair. Stand with your feet planted on the floor as you carefully bend over from the waist. Let your hair drape over your head and shoulders. Carefully spray the dry scalp shampoo along the roots, making sure to keep your hand at least 10 inches away from your scalp. Use a few sprays to evenly coat your roots. You can then use a bristled brush to move the shampoo through your hair and over your scalp. Though you can use your hands to rub the shampoo into your scalp, use caution. The natural oils on your hands can break down the shampoo.

If you use too much of the shampoo, reach for a dry towel. Touch the towel to your head to slowly absorb any of the excess product from your hair. You can also use tissues or the blotting paper that you use to blot your lipstick. Blotting paper and tissues will also remove any excess oils that the product did not remove.

Expert Tip

Look for tinted dry scalp shampoos in the same color or shade of your hair.

Scented Shampoos

When you buy a traditional liquid shampoo to use in the shower, you probably factor in scent when picking a new product. You should also think about scent when picking a dry scalp shampoo. As these products are more concentrated than liquid shampoos, that odor is one that you’ll smell all day as you work or play. Caraway and basil are among two of the top ingredients used in these shampoos. Basil has a slightly sweet odor, while caraway has an almost fruity odor. Other dry scalp shampoos use fruits like lychee and watermelon that smell both fruity and sweet. Chamomile and lavender both have relaxing properties that may make you feel a little calmer. Products that use those ingredients can help you stay relaxed during a busy day.

Expert Tip

If you suffer from migraines, look for products that use natural ingredients and no added fragrances.

Scented Shampoos

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Part your hair in a few different places before using dry scalp shampoo. Apply a small amount of the product to each section before using a brush. This ensures that the shampoo reaches all of your roots.
  • Though you should use a brush instead of your hands, you can use your hands to move the product through your hair if you wait a few minutes. Give the product at least 10 minutes to sit on your scalp and work on the dirt and oils on your head. Wash and thoroughly dry your hands to remove all traces of water before running your fingers through your hair.
  • Use a tinted product to hire your natural roots in between appointments with your stylist. If you dye your hair a lighter or darker color, you can apply a small amount of tinted or colored shampoo to cover your roots and make those roots blend with your dyed shade.
  • Before brushing your hair, turn your hair dryer to low and aim it right at your roots. Move the hair dryer over your head as you brush the dry scalp shampoo from your roots to your tips. The heat increases the oils that your head produces during the day and helps you avoid excess oil later.
Expert Tips & Tricks

Using Dry Scalp Shampoo Instead of Washing Your Hair

One of the main benefits of using dry scalp shampoo is that it lets you skip showers. Every time that you take a shower, the shampoo that you use strips your hair of its natural oils. Showering with just plain water can do just as much damage. Using a dry scalp shampoo lets you remove excess oil while still leaving behind the right amount of oil needed to promote healthy hair growth. That does not mean you can use dry scalp shampoo every day instead of taking a shower though.

Experts generally recommend that you wash your hair every two to three days. It really depends on the texture and thickness of your hair though. Some find that they can go four to five days without washing their hair, while others feel uncomfortable going longer than two days between shampoos. When using a dry scalp shampoo, wash your hair thoroughly at least once a week. You can use these products for up to seven days in a row before you need to use a liquid shampoo to remove the build up from your hair.

Using Dry Scalp Shampoo Instead of Washing Your Hair

Expert Tip

Use a small dab or spray of dry scalp shampoo in the middle of the day to fight frizz caused by humidity.

Benefits of Dry Scalp Shampoo

Dry shampoo has more benefits other than just letting you skip daily showers. Some of the top benefits include:

  • Dry shampoo comes in convenient sizes that help you freshen up on the go. You can use a can before getting off the airplane while on vacation or before heading into work after hitting the gym.
  • It reduces the damage caused by overuse of a hair dryer. Using a hair dryer each time you shower can strip your follicles of natural oils and make your scalp feel dry and itchy.
  • Using just a small amount of the shampoo can give you all the volume that it needs. Dry formulas actually help plump up the individual strands on your head.
  • Dry products can make your dye job last much longer. Even liquid shampoos designed for dyed hair can still cause damage to the strands and make the dye leech out. Dry shampoos will not strip the dye from your hair.
  • Many men and women found that dry scalp shampoos extend the life of their hair styles too. Using soap and water will quickly flatten your new do. A dry scalp shampoo will help you maintain that new style.

Expert Tip

If you have dandruff, stick with aerosol products. Powdered shampoos can make your dandruff worse.

Celebrities Who Use Dry Scalp Shampoo

Some celebrities swear by dry scalp shampoos. Julia Roberts uses dry scalp shampoo to create the tousled look that she sports in films and on the red carpet. Her stylist, Serge Normant, uses dry scalp shampoo on multiple spots along her scalp to reach deep into the roots. He then uses a little finishing powder to keep her hair from moving as she walks. Cate Blanchett admits to using dry scalp shampoo regularly because she leads such a busy life that she doesn’t always have time to hop in the shower. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are two other celebrities who reach for dry scalp shampoo. The former child stars turned fashion designers both use dry scalp shampoos to give their hair more texture.

You may spot Taylor Momsen reaching for one of these bottles too. This former “Gossip Girl” actress spends so much time touring with her hit rock band that she’s often on the road or in a tour bus. She uses dry scalp shampoo to freshen up her hair before a big show.

Unique Reasons to Use Dry Scalp Shampoo

You already know some of the top reasons to use dry scalp shampoo, but now it’s time to take a look at some of the unique reasons to use these products. Those with curly hair will find that using a dry scalp shampoo gives them curls that will last all day long. The product coats all the follicles to keep each curl separate from the next. This keeps your curls from fading or clumping.

Dry shampoo also keeps any hair accessories that you use from slipping out. Whether you wear barrettes to keep your hair pulled back or bobby pins to keep an updo in place, dry scalp shampoo adds the grip that those accessories need to stay in your hair.

If you have bangs, using a small amount of dry scalp shampoo just beneath your bangs will keep those hairs from sticking to your skin. It lifts the hair away from your forehead. The shampoo adds just the right amount of lift to give you bangs ready for any red carpet event.

You can also use these products to hold your hair in place. Though dry scalp shampoo works like hair spray, it won’t leave behind the sticky feeling that hair spray does.

Expert Tip

Lift your bangs up with one hand, apply the dry scalp shampoo to the roots and then lower your bangs.

Other Types of Dry Scalp Shampoos

The most popular dry scalp shampoos come in either an aerosol can or a powdered form. Some manufacturers now make foaming shampoos too that are fairly similar. These products come in a canister with a spray top. You can use that top to measure out the exact amount that you need based on the texture, thickness and length of your hair. The product will come out as a thick foam that you can apply with a brush, comb or your own hands. Foaming products take a few minutes to dry and are not as convenient as traditional dry scalp shampoos are.

You’ll also find dry scalp shampoos designed for your four-legged family members. These products contain ingredients that are safe to use on your dogs and cats. Unlike dry scalp shampoos that you use just on your roots, dry scalp shampoos for pets are safe for all areas of your pet’s fur. You can use one of these shampoos to give your pet a fresh look and smell in between baths.

Other Types of Dry Scalp Shampoos

Average Price of Dry Scalp Shampoos

Though there is no set price for a dry scalp shampoo, you can expect to pay between $20 and $50 for one of these products. CHI offers one of the most affordable dry scalp shampoos and one that gets great reviews from professional stylists and other customers. You can get a can of this dry scalp shampoo for around $20. Klorane offers its nettle shampoo for around $20 as well. If you can afford to spend a little bit more on a product, you can get an even better shampoo. Both PHILIP B and ORIBE offer dry scalp shampoos that retail for between $40 and $50. These shampoos offer more application per can and do a better job of absorbing oils from your hair than cheaper products can. The dry scalp shampoo from Rene Furterer retails for around $30, which puts it right in the middle of our top shampoos. You’ll typically spend at least $45 for high-end products. More affordable dry scalp shampoos retail for around $15 to $20.
Average Price of Dry Scalp Shampoos

While cheaper products are available, the more expensive products usually come with more product.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The best time to apply dry scalp shampoo is in the morning. You can use it right after waking up or before heading out the door. It adds body and lift to your hair and cleans your scalp.
A: Though many companies make both dry scalp shampoos and conditioners, you can use each product as-is or use a combination. When using both, apply the shampoo first. Give it time to soak into your hair. Apply the conditioner five to 10 minutes after using the shampoo. You can also use a dry conditioner in place of a dry scalp shampoo.
A: Dry shampoos now come in aerosol cans that you can shake to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients before applying the shampoo to your hair. You only need to shake the can for 30 to 45 seconds.
A: Many men and women make the mistake of spraying the product too close to their scalps. This can make your hair look greasy and feel heavy or oily. Hold the can at least 10 inches away from your scalp before you begin spraying the product.

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