The Best Handbag-Friendly Dry Shampoos
We’ve all been there…you lay in bed an extra few minutes after the alarm goes off thinking you have all the time in the world to shower, wash hair, blow dry and get ready…before realising you actually have to be out of the door in less than 20 minutes.
For those mornings when washing and restyling hair just isn’t an option (especially as the days get arctic), dry shampoo can be the difference between hair hidden in a bun (chic, but pretty chilly in winter), or the glossy, volumised hair of your dreams.
But what happens if you need to top up during the day?
Instead of trying to fit a jumbo size bottle of dry shampoo into an already full work bag, or trying to guess how your hair is going to look at 3pm when it’s 7am, I’ve put together my three favourite handbag-friendly alternatives.
Best for a Natural Look
While my unruly hair certainly has plenty of volume through the ends (I was essentially a walking triangle as a teenager until I discovered hair serum), I sadly don’t have tons of it at the roots (probably due to the weight of my enormous triangle hair).
And although it doesn’t bother me hugely, there are times when it’s nice to get a bit more volume going, which led me to checking out Playa’s Soft Volume Powder.
Part dry shampoo-part volumising product, this powder uses Fuller’s earth clay to absorb the oil weighing hair down, while oat bran and various types of naturally-derived starch help hair preserve the volume naturally added as this powder is rubbed into the scalp.
I’ve included the full list of ingredients of this (and all the products I’ve reviewed here) at the bottom of this post.
For me the results are a natural looking, gentle volume and a noticeable dry shampoo effect. The addition of beta-glucan- derived from the oat bran- also keeps hair soft and pliable.
From the sustainability perspective I also like that this comes out as a fine powder designed to be worked through hair manually, although this does make it a little fiddly to use so take a few extra minutes with this one.
Great for: A bit of volume.
Not-so-great for: Those who like their products fuss-free as this is a little fiddly.
Best for Gloss and Volume
Literally my favourite dry shampoo of all time. IGK’s Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo somehow manages to fit volume, shine, and oil-eradication all into one floral-scented spray (literally, if this was a perfume I would buy it).
Containing volcanic ash to absorb oil, I find that in my hair at least this leaves absolutely no white cast, meaning it can be worked through in seconds.
Because of the addition of aloe vera leaf and passionflower extracts I also never feel this is actually damaging my hair in the same way as I fear other dry shampoos might (even though this does contain alcohol), and this never leaves a crunchy or chalky feel on my hands.
Part of a line of three IGK dry shampoos, each offering a different level of degreasing, Jet Lag is meant to be the gentlest (think day two or three hair), but I’ve also had great results with the stronger formulas, Direct Flight Multitasking Dry Shampoo (£10 for 98ml, Space NK) and First Class Charcoal Dry Shampoo (£10 for 90ml, Space NK), on day four or post-gym hair.
Great for: Pretty much everyone who likes shiny hair.
Not-so-great for: Anyone who doesn’t like alcohol in their products.
Best for Post-Gym
If you cycle into work, or otherwise work up a sweat during the course of the day, getting hair back into shape afterwards can be fiddly and time consuming.
Luckily, several brands have spied the need for active-friendly beauty, including Gymspell whose line of blotting papers for the face and hair are a super quick (and environmentally-friendly) way to pull of the whole gym class-lunch break thing.
Not quite as oil-absorbing as a traditional spray dry shampoo, these rice starch and kaolin-lined papers do remove surface grease- and I feel less guilty about using them.
Great for: Natural ingredients.
Not-so-great for: Seriously greasy hair.
*Denotes PR sample
The full list of ingredients:
Playa Soft Volume Powder: Ozyza Sativa (Rice) Starch, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Kaolin, Tapioca Starch, Silica, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil, Moroccan Lava Clay, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Water, Hectorite, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Iron Oxides (CI77489, CI77491, CI77492, CI77499), Sodium Benzoate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Carbonate, Acrylates Copolymer, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance.
IGK’s Jet Lag Invisible Dry Shampoo: Isobutane, Alcohol Denat., Butane, Zeolite, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Volcanic Ash, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Extract, Hedychium Coronarium (Ginger) Root Extract, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Fruit Extract, Passiflora Incarnata (Passion Flower) Extract, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Solanum Tuberosum (Potato) Starch, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Magnesium Carbonate, Water, Fragrance, Limonene.
Gymspell Rice Powder Infused Hair Dry-Shampoo Blotting Paper: Cellulose, Mica, Kaolin, Magnesium stearate, Rice starch, Roots, Iron Oxides