Best Dry Shampoos in Canada (2020 Reviews)


Maya Adivi

Last Updated:

Beauty
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Quick overview

Nothing says “I don’t have my life together” quite as loudly as greasy, unwashed hair. But as we’ve come to learn, frequent hair washing is in itself harmful to your delicate tresses, especially if you regularly dye or heat style your hair. Even if your hair is extremely oily, you shouldn’t be shampooing it every day… but then, what do you do about that oil?

When dry shampoo was first introduced to the cosmetics market, it changed lives. It is a powder, usually made of rice starch, that absorbs those oils from the hair instantly, without the need for a shower. It comes in an aerosol can, so you don’t have to awkwardly shake it into your hair and deal with the mess.  

They make the hair look clean and fresh, and can even give it a bit of volume. They are useful while traveling, after surgeries when you can’t shower, or simply to allow you to go a day or two longer before having to shampoo your hair.  

As with many cosmetics, everyone’s a little different, so we’ve investigated the ones available on the Canadian market to see which were the best for different needs and hair types. 

Best dry shampoos of 2020

Our research

9

Research Sources

34

Products Evaluated

37k+

Reviews Considered

18

Hours of Research

Best dry shampoos comparison

Batiste DarkBumble & BumbleDoveIGK First ClassNot Your Mothers
Best fordark hairhigh-endbudgetextreme oilinessunscented
Quantity200 ml85 ml142 g288 ml192 g
ScentMild and floralClean, fresh, and expensiveStrong, clean, and powderyClean and floralUnscented
Formula detailstinted dark and volumizingLightweight, contains UV-filtersvolumizingtexturizing and extra-mattifyingvolumizing, light
Total reviews11,9761,09618,9271,8653,537
Aggregate rating4.34.44.24.44.3

Best for dark hair – Batiste Divine Dark Dry Shampoo

  • Quantity: 200 ml
  • Scent: Mild and floral 
  • Formula details: tinted dark

Pros

  • Refreshes the hair and eliminates oils
  • Adds a touch of volume while remaining invisible
  • Dark colour blends in with dark hair without a cast 
  • Can help hide thinning hair and blend grays

Cons

  • Can rub off on things 
  • Formula can irritate sensitive skin

Oil absorption

This product does an excellent job of eliminating all oil residue within seconds after application to make the hair look clean and fresh, even after many days without washing. The effect lasts throughout the day. 

Styling and residue

The main issue brunettes run into with dry shampoo is that it shows up in their hair in the form of a white or ashy residue. Batiste has totally fixed the problem, by giving this product a brown tint that looks phenomenal on dark hair. It also helps to lightly volumize the hair and works well in conjunction with heat styling or hair sprays. 

The dark tint can also help lightly camouflage areas where the hair might be a little thinner, giving the illusion of lush, dense hair. If you have some gray hairs, it can lightly blend them into your dark hair, although it’s not a hair dye or root cover replacement.  

We have noticed that in some cases, especially when it’s used too heavily, the tint can rub off on white fabrics, so we recommend using just the right amount and sealing it in with some hairspray. 

Value

This product sits on the lower price range of our selection, and while it’s not the cheapest, it’s still easily affordable, with a large container that lasts for many uses. 

Gentleness

There are some instances of this irritating the skin, although they usually occur after it’s been overused or in those who already have very sensitive scalps. We wouldn’t recommend using it too many days in a row or leaving it in for too long. 

Best for extreme oiliness – IGK First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

  • Quantity: 288 ml
  • Scent: Clean and floral
  • Formula details: texturizing and extra-mattifying

Pros

  • Powerful oil control amazing for oily hair and extreme situations 
  • Gives texture that helps hold updos and braids
  • Leaves minimal residue

Cons

  • Texture and grittiness can be unpleasant in loose hair 
  • Polarizing fragrance

Oil absorption

This product is intense. It absorbs all the oils from the hair extremely quickly, leaving it very matte. IGK credits this effect to charcoal, but there are also starches in the formula that we think are more responsible for its effects. 

It’s perfect if you have a very oily scalp, or if you find yourself in extreme circumstances where you won’t have access to a shower for many days in a row. 

Styling and residue

As with most other options, the powder is indeed a little white and must be brushed out to blend with the hair. It’s still a fine choice for those with darker hair, although we don’t recommend using it when you’re in a rush and don’t have time to blend it out properly. 

As far as its styling effect goes, it does volumize the hair a bit but it also gives it a lot of texture and some grit. If you like to wear your hair loose, it’s not ideal, but it’s fantastic for putting the hair into updos, braids, or even ponytails since it helps the hair stay put. 

Value

While this product is certainly a little more expensive, it’s not quite as bad as it might initially seem. The bottle contains a very large amount of product, and since it’s such a strong formula you don’t have to use a lot at once to enjoy its effects. Additionally, it does feel like more of a luxury product than the drugstore options, so all-in-all, we think the price is reasonable even if it’s not cheap. 

Gentleness

There may be a correlation between how strong it is and how likely it is to irritate the skin because there are some instances of this product causing itchiness or breakouts. That said, most who try it don’t experience any trouble. 

Best budget pick –  Dove Volume and Fullness Dry Shampoo

  • Quantity: 142 g
  • Scent: Strong, clean, and powdery 
  • Formula details: Volumizing

Pros

  • Gives a lot of volume
  • Leaves little white cast to work for all hair colours
  • Super affordable

Cons

  • Strong fragrance
  • Weaker oil-absorption

Oil absorption

This is not the most absorbent product on our list, especially when compared to hardcore products like Batiste or IGK. It still works to make the hair look cleaner, but for serious greasiness, it likely won’t be good enough. If your hair doesn’t get too greasy and you are fine with lighter effects, then it’s definitely a good choice.  

Styling and residue

As the name implies, this dry shampoo gives quite a bit of volume so it’s an awesome choice for thin or flat hair. It goes on a little powdery, but it brushes out easily so it’s a solid choice for all hair colours, and it doesn’t leave any texture in the hair so it’s fantastic for loose hairstyles.  

The only drawback is that it has a fairly strong fragrance that is quite persistent throughout the day. If you love the fragrance then yahtzee, but there is no shortage of people who find it displeasing. 

Value

Considering you can find it online for less than $3 for 142 grams, even if this product doesn’t work for you it’s not a great loss. This is the kind of affordable, budget item that is truly affordable for everyone.  

Gentleness

Despite the strong fragrance, we find that this formula doesn’t tend to irritate the scalp. If you have a sensitivity to scents or get headaches frequently, it won’t be a great choice, but otherwise, we find it quite gentle. 

Best high-end – Bumble and Bumble Bb. Pret-a-Powder Tres Invisible Dry Shampoo

  • Quantity: 85 ml
  • Scent: Clean, fresh, and expensive 
  • Formula details: Lightweight, contains UV-filters

Pros

  • Lightweight formula cleans well with no residue
  • UV filters protect hair from the drying and colour-fading effects of the sun
  • Gorgeous scent leaves the hair smelling fresh

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Oil absorption

In the most important category, this product excels. The cleaning effect comes from a mix of regular rice starch and modified rice starch as well as a bit of pink clay, which thoroughly absorbs oils but has a very fine, nearly invisible texture. It works quickly to refresh the hair and absorb grease, and we find that its results last all day. 

Styling and residue

While the spray emits a fine powder that gives a very light white cast at first, once the hair is brushed it fades into it seamlessly, so it should work well for all hair colours. 

Since this product is more lightweight it doesn’t add quite as much volume as others on this list, though it still helps to bulk up the hair just a little. As a bonus, it has a really pretty, delicate scent that doesn’t overpower but still lingers a bit to make the hair smell fresh.  

There is one more thing that makes this dry shampoo a little extra special: it contains UV filters that help protect the hair (including dyed hair) from the drying and colour-fading effects of the sun. 

Value

This option is expensive, coming in at one of the highest prices for the smallest amount of product, and we’re not sure the added benefits like the UV filters justify it. With that said, it absolutely feels like a high-end product, with gorgeous packaging and a luxury scent, so we think it can be a nice treat when you want to pamper yourself or feel fancy.  

Gentleness

Something about the more complex blend of starches in this formula and the delicate fragrance seems to be very well suited to sensitive skin, and as a result, very few people seem to react to it. While we cannot guarantee anything, we still think it’d be worth trying if you have a more sensitive scalp.

Best unscented – Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Unscented Dry Shampoo

  • Quantity: 192g
  • Scent: None 
  • Formula details: Volumizing with mild oil-control

Pros

  • Unscented formula less likely to irritate or cause headaches
  • Light and refreshing with medium oil-control
  • Adds just the right amount of volume and grip to the hair

Cons

  • Slight white cast
  • Not enough for very greasy hair days

Oil absorption

This is a nice “second-day” option since it provides light oil control. The Not Your Mother’s aerosol is not as high pressure as other options on this list, so it lets out a gentler stream of product and it doesn’t coat the hair with as much powder all at once. It might not be enough for those with very oily hair or for a third or fourth day without washing. 

Styling and residue

It leaves a bit more of a white cast in the hair than a few other options on this list, so it definitely has to be brushed through thoroughly, especially if you have darker hair. For blondes, this won’t be an issue. 

As far as styling goes, it does give a bit of volume and texture to the hair and is versatile enough that you can use it both to help texturize the hair for updos as well as when wearing the hair loose. 

Value

This product is a little more expensive for us Canadians than it is for our American neighbours. Even with the slightly higher price this is still the most affordable unscented option available in Canada. Price-wise, it’s in the middle of the group of our favourites.   

Gentleness

Thanks to its unscented formula, this product is much less likely to irritate the skin or cause headaches. 

Bottom line

Batiste DarkBumble & BumbleDoveIGK First ClassNot Your Mothers
Oil absorption55454.2
Styling and residue4.854.84.54.5
Value4.83.554.44.5
Gentleness4.54.84.54.55
Cansumer Rating4.84.64.64.64.6

What to consider when looking for a dry shampoo

Oil absorption 

Dry shampoos don’t exactly clean the hair. Instead, their primary job is to absorb the oils that the scalp produces, to get rid of that greasy look most people end up with after going a few days without shampooing. They should have an instant effect, but then should continue to work throughout the day to keep the hair looking clean.

Some absorb more oil than others, so if your hair gets very oily you should choose a spray that ranks highly in this category. If your hair is fairly dry but you’d still like to use the occasional dry shampoo, you can prioritize other criteria instead. Naturally, those that don’t absorb oils at all haven’t made it on our list.  

Styling and residue

In addition to making your hair look less oily, it will also just make it look better. Some of the most common pitfalls are related to styling — they can make the hair get clumpy, cause static, or they can leave a white or ashy residue (especially on dark hair). 

However, in the best cases, they will blend into the hair flawlessly and help to lightly volumize it by building up a bit around the hair shaft and lifting up the hair. Tinted options can also help the hair look denser and hide gray hairs. 

For some people, a product with a clumpy effect that leaves the hair feeling “gritty” can actually be helpful. That effect allows hairs to stick to one another, which is great for the longevity of updos which can fall apart very quickly if the hair is too smooth or soft. 

Value 

For the most part, there is very little difference between low and high-cost products. Occasionally, more high-end products can justify the price by offering a very specific scent or a unique effect, but most of the time the best way to judge the value is with simple cost per volume. 

Gentleness

Occasionally, they can irritate the skin, especially if they are used for multiple days in a row. If you have sensitive skin or if you are looking for one you can  use very regularly then this criterion will be very important to pay attention to. You may also want to look for a gentle formula if you’ve bleached your hair recently since that often irritates the scalp. 

We judge the gentleness of shampoos based on their formulas as well as user experience. Normally, fragrance-free options are less likely to irritate, although for some the problem is the starch which is, unfortunately, the most important ingredient. 

FAQs

How to use dry shampoo? 

To start, give your bottle a few very firm shakes. Then, hold it about 8-12 inches away from your hair and start spraying, initially aiming for the part of your hair. Then, flip some of your hair over to create a new part and spray again. Keep flipping the hair over until you’ve covered the entirety of your roots with the fine powder. 

Next, we recommend using a hairbrush rather than your hands to distribute the powder that’s in your roots all the way down to your ends. Just brush normally, and you’ll see that even if there was a bit of white residue initially it will disappear shortly. Once you’re done brushing and all residue has disappeared, you can style your hair as you normally would! 

Is dry shampoo safe for my hair? 

When used correctly, dry shampoo is safe for the vast majority of people. Issues can crop up if it’s used too often or left in the hair for too long, in which case the powder can build up and clog the hair follicles, leading to irritation or even acne-like bumps on the scalp. In a worst-case scenario, it can irritate dandruff-prone skin and lead to more flakiness. 

To keep your scalp safe, we recommend using it the day before you will finally wash your hair, to extend your time in between washes by just one day. If your skin is more hearty, you might be able to use it two days in a row, to extend your time in between washes by two days, although for those with sensitive skin this might be a little much. 

It’s important to thoroughly wash the hair at least two days after using it to totally get rid of it and avoid its pore-clogging effects. It can also cause issues when applied to a damp scalp, so ensure that your hair is totally dry before using it.  

How to choose dry shampoo by hair colour? 

When they first came out, those with dark hair had a very hard time making them work. The first iterations of this product were very white and powdery, making dark hair look like it was covered with baby powder or flour. Nowadays, most of these sprays will blend into the hair once they’re brushed, so they can work for all hair colours.

If your hair is very dark and you don’t always have time to blend things out, we recommend choosing a tinted formula that is specifically recommended for brown or dark hair. 

If you have lighter hair, avoid those tinted formulas and stick to original options. Some brands also make sprays specifically for blondes, which have a bit of a golden tint instead, but we find that they’re rarely necessary. 

Does dry shampoo work for curly hair? 

Yes! There is a misconception that curly-haired folks can’t use dry shampoo, but that’s not true at all! While those with curly hair have less need for this product since their hair tends to be drier, it can still be helpful. It can actually help fluff up and volumize curls beautifully, and almost all formulas work just fine. 

To make it work for you, even with curly hair, the only key detail is to use a little less product than someone with straight or wavy hair would, and then to massage it and run through your hair with your hands instead of a hairbrush in order to keep your natural curls intact. 

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Over to you

How often do you wash your hair vs use dry shampoo? Do you have any styling tips and tricks we should know about? Share them with us by leaving a comment!

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