How to Choose the Best Dry Shampoo for Travel

Laura Lopuch

Dry shampoo can flip a bad hair day into a va-va-voom hair day with one hair swish. A very prized superpower when traveling. 

Dry shampoo is a God-send. 

Especially on those days when a shower (or just washing your hair) is not feasible. Maybe the water supply where you’re staying went out. Or, maybe an extra ten minutes in bed was more necessary than clean hair.  

What’s a girl to do?

Pack a dry shampoo — which is what you’ll be able to do after this post. As an added bonus, none of the shampoos on this list are aerosol. Non-aerosol means less packaging and propellant and more actual product.

How To Pick Great Dry Shampoo

Your decision here is easy: what kind of hair do you have?

Pick a dry shampoo that’s suited for your type of hair.

If you’re not finding a dry shampoo that’s good for your hair, try a couple out, at home, before you travel.

My advice? Buy from an online beauty store that has a killer refund policy, like: 

  • Beauty.com (30 day refund window for full refund or in-store credit)
  • Sephora (60 day refund window for full refund and no shipping charges)
  • Ulta (60 day refund window for full refund)

How To Pack Dry Shampoo

If you’re traveling with dry shampoo that’s a powder, zip it in its own 3-quart zip bag. Just in case the bottle explodes. Then stash the bag in your carry on in a spot where it won’t get banged or bashed.

However, if your dry shampoo is a mist or paste (yes, it’s possible!), put it in your 3-1-1 quart bag to go through security. 

Make sure to travel with a brush, in case you need to brush the dry shampoo through your hair vs applying directly to your scalp. 

Best Dry Shampoo for Carry On Travel 

Housed in a cute 2-oz baby pink bottle, this dry shampoo lets you “spot apply” dry shampoo exactly where you need it. Or opt for applying the powder to a fluffy brush and blending into your scalp. 
Byrdie’s reviewers reported clean hair with plenty of movement.

Not a powder. Or an aerosol. This dry shampoo is a mist. 

I know — blows my mind, too. Mi-Anne Chan at Refinery29 wrote up a review of this dry shampoo after a sweat-drenching workout. 

“It never leaves my hair feeling gritty or irritates my sensitive scalp, and it even leaves a touch of natural-looking shine behind, almost as if I actually shampooed my hair. At first spritz, it basically feels like spraying water into your hair, but let the solution sit for about half a minute before massaging the product into your scalp. Once it dries, you’ll be left with hair that looks and feels freshly washed.”

Plus, this dry shampoo hits all the other right notes, like: vegan and cruelty-free.

This is the dry shampoo I travel with and love. Granted, it’s a wee bit pricey but it works so, so well for my fine hair. 

And it’s not a one-trick pony. It works on all hair types. 

When doing research for this post, this dry shampoo showed up time and again on every recommended list. 

A dry shampoo that’s a paste. Ok — stay with me here. Put this cream right on the areas that need it. Made with volcanic ash, coconut oil, zeolite, this dry shampoo sounds exotic… and like it does its job.

This reviewer agrees:

“Instant texture, volume, lift, and separation with no added weight, stickiness, or obscene smell. I have a asymmetrical bob/choppy with wave type curls and this works perfect for giving me a little height around my face and creating a layer that doesn’t look harsh and crisp from hairspray.

‘Scuse me while I go purchase. 

Talc-free formula that *could* bring you that much closer to living life as a mermaid. Just kidding, but not about the talc-free part.

Plus, this dry shampoo has organic essential oils — rose geranium and palmarosa for a beachy rose smell. The aluminum-free baking soda mixed with organic arrowroot powder soaks up extra grease. 

Did you know the best time to apply dry shampoo is at night? That gives the powder more time to absorb the oils. 

This dry shampoo was designed to be used at night. Beware: lots of powder when you apply, but that’s kinda the point. 

Available in two tones: brunette and blonde.  

Best Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair

Made with plant-based ingredients, this dry shampoo is best for all hair types. However, reading between the lines, it’s likely best for those of us with fine hair. Because it promises volume. 

Just go slow when you squeeze to disperse the powder as its loose. 

This dry shampoo is good for you… and the Earth. It’s non-aerosol, gluten-free, organic, vegan, and comes in recyclable packaging

So cute in a travel size that I just wanna squeeze it. But restrain yourself! 

Because if you squeezed this adorable little bottle, a puff of powder will come out. Which is your dry shampoo escaping. 

This dry shampoo rates 4.4 out of 5 stars based on 151 reviews on Ulta.com.

Bumble and bumble say its made for all types of hair (fine to thick, straight to wavy, color or non-color treated). However, reviewers say this dry shampoo is best for oily and/or fine hair.

I trust Allure Magazine for all my beauty buys. For ten years, they’ve never led me astray.

For this powder, their executive beauty editor Jessica Chia says: 

 “It makes your hair look fuller and lifted at the root, and not grimy like most sprays because the powder is super fine,” she says. “And, it doesn’t show up even on black hair if you brush it through.”

Best Dry Shampoo for Curly Hair

This dry shampoo is specially formulated for curly hair — both “coiled and tightly coiled.”

With 98% natural ingredients like charcoal, biotin, and clay, this dry shampoo works wonders on your dirty hair… and it’s good for your hair. The charcoal detoxifies the hair by absorbing oil and product build-up while the biotin supports the appearance of thickness. 

Best Dry Shampoo with Plant-Only Formula

Made with 25 flower and plant essences, this dry shampoo not only works — ahem, soaks up oils — but also makes your hair smell like a calm summer garden. Bonus: this dry shampoo is 99% made from plants, non-petroleum minerals or water. 

Your hair ends up cleaner, thanks to morikue protein (a blend of proteins from Brazilian nuts and wheat).

TL;DR

Dry shampoo can flip a bad hair day into a va-va-voom hair day with one hair swish. A very prized superpower when traveling. 

But only if you bring a non-aerosol dry shampoo along in your carry on. Here are your new best superpowers *ahem* dry shampoos to pack along in your carry on.:

Best Dry Shampoo for TravelKlorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk ($20)

Best Dry Shampoo for Fine Hair — Bumble and bumble pret-a-powder ($13)

Best Dry Shampoo for Curly Hair Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Biotin Dry Shampoo ($24)

Best Dry Shampoo with Plant-Only Formula Aveda Shampure Dry Shampoo ($31)

 

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