I love to use dry shampoo to freshen up my mane after a long flight so that I can hit the ground running wherever I land.
It’s also great for those days when you wake up late and don’t have time to shower and style your hair.
In short, dry shampoo is a dream-come-true hair product for traveling.
Here’s my quick guide to dry shampoo for travel.
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What is dry shampoo?
Dry shampoo is a hair product that soaks up oil on your scalp to freshen up hair in between washes.
It’s typically a spray, but can also be found in a powder or foam consistency.
Can I use dry shampoo every day?
Sorry lazy girls, dry shampoo isn’t meant to help you go weeks or months without a proper wash.
Extreme overuse of dry shampoos prevents the oil on your scalp from doing its good deed, which in turn can damage your hair or cause hair loss.
It’s best to save dry shampoo for the occasional touch up, like post-flight exploring, going from beach to dinner, or impromptu meetups with new friends.
Can you bring dry shampoo in carry on luggage?
Yes, you can pack dry shampoo in carry on luggage.
The majority of dry shampoos are considered a liquid. There are a few powders out there, but the more popular spray and mousse forms of dry shampoo are considered liquid.
And yes, even if the canister says it’s a spray powder, the spray is still liquid in consistency, so you have to abide by Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules when it comes to liquids in carry on luggage or handbags.
What does that mean?
If you want to bring dry shampoo in your carry on, it has to be 3.4 oz or less. Larger canisters must go in checked luggage.
Can you pack dry shampoo in checked luggage?
Yes, you can pack dry shampoo in checked luggage, regardless of whether it’s in an aerosol canister or a container of dry shampoo loose powder.
Which dry shampoo is the best?
To be honest, whether a certain brand or type of dry shampoo is best truly depends on your hair.
I know you don’t want to hear that, but we don’t all have the same hair texture, color, or other qualities that can make or break a dry shampoo!
So I can only advise on which dry shampoos are best based on personal experience that is likely based on my hair: dark blonde, naturally wavy, and average thickness.
Also, I get highlights and lowlights done on my hair (ugh, dang gray hairs and vanity!), as well.
I’ve tried probably close to a dozen brands of dry shampoo over the years. Some have worked well, some have been ok, and others did absolutely nothing for my hair.
But, that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you or that what worked for me will work for you!
Bottom line: If you’re committed to finding a dry shampoo for traveling, you’ll likely have to test a few before you find the one that works best with your hair.
My favorite dry shampoos
OK, so now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here are the dry shampoos that have worked best for my hair.
There are 4 dry shampoos that I use in rotation:
- Amika Perk Up dry shampoo
- DryBar Detox dry shampoo
- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo
- R+Co Death Valley dry shampoo
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo
I sometimes use Living Proof Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner, which goes a long way when it comes to ensuring good second-day hair regardless of whether you use dry shampoo or not.
I got hooked on this shampoo after getting a deluxe sample kit at Sephora right before a trip to Florida in September.
Despite the heat and humidity during that trip, my hair still looked pretty good with minimal styling.
Given my success with Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day shampoo and conditioner, I tried their dry shampoo. It’s just as great!
The Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo refreshes my second-day hair very well, doesn’t leave any residue or color, and gives my hair some volume.
Amika Perk Up dry shampoo
I love the Amika Perk Up dry shampoo, especially since I can get it in travel size easily from Sephora.
It never leaves a white residue, there’s no strong smell, and it refreshes my hair quite well.
I don’t ever feel like I need to spray a ton of it, either.
Of my favorite dry shampoos, this is the one I reach for most often when traveling.
Dry Bar Detox dry shampoo
Dry Bar’s Detox dry shampoo is another brand I often reach for. In fact, I just got a delivery from Sephora with a new bottle of this stuff.
This dry shampoo comes in 2 scents and is available in standard and travel size canisters.
R+Co Death Valley dry shampoo
Last up is R+Co Death Valley, a new dry shampoo that I’ve added to my arsenal.
I received a travel-sized sample in a Birchbox and was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked it.
It has a coconut-y scent that isn’t overpowering. Further, my second-day hair still felt great at the end of the day.
Dry shampoos that I don’t like, but are worth a try
Now for the dry shampoos that I didn’t care for.
As I mentioned above, just because these dry shampoos didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean they won’t work for you.
None of them were terrible, but for my hair, other brands did a better job.
I still think these 3 are worth a try, as they did have good points that might work for your hair.
I had high hopes for Tresemme’s Fresh Start dry shampoo, as it seemed to be an excellent cost-effective choice.
Unfortunately this dry shampoo didn’t do much on second-day hair for me.
In general, Tresemme products have done well and have a good reputation, so I think it’s still worth a try if you want to start with something at a lower price.
Not Your Mother’s
Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak dry shampoo was just ok.
That said, when I initially tried it, they only had one formula. They have since expanded their line.
Given its low price, this is another brand worth trying.
Ouai dry shampoo is a foam or mousse, rather than not a spray.
I was intrigued by the change in consistency, but unfortunately I ended up disliking this aspect of it.
Since it’s a foam, that means it will make your hair damp. My hair takes a long time to dry, so I can’t just spray and go with Ouai dry shampoo foam.
Additionally, it had a strong flowery scent. For some, that will be a plus, but for me it just made my eyes water.
Despite these negative points, once my hair dried, it looked like I had freshly washed and styled, similar to how my favorite dry shampoos do.
So, if you can put up with the foam and flowery scent, I recommend giving it a try!
Other dry shampoos worth a try
There are tons more dry shampoo brands out there, but I haven’t tried them all – or it’s been too long since I have that I can’t honestly review them.
While I haven’t tried the following brands myself, I’ve heard good things about them from friends and family that have, so perhaps they’ll work well for you!
Moroccan Oil is another brand I recommend trying based on my positive experiences with their shampoo, conditioner, and volumizing spray (which is pretty amazeballs, but that’s a topic for another day).
It is available in light and dark formulas to help cut down on the possibility of chalky white residue.
Batiste is super popular these days for many reasons. For those that like their dry shampoo scented, Batiste has many different scents available.
They also have formulas specific to hair shades to ensure no white or chalky residue like some dry shampoos can leave.
A friend of mine with dark, thick, naturally curly hair swears by Oscar Blandi dry shampoo powder for brunettes.
Klorane is a popular brand of dry shampoo that I just picked up based on raving reviews on many shopping sites where beauty products are sold.
I haven’t tried it yet – but I’ll be sure to update this post with my thoughts.
What is your favorite dry shampoo for travel?
For more travel beauty tips, check out my post on the best makeup bags for travel.