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Can these dry shampoos fix oily, greasy hair? We tested them out

These are the 3 things you should look for when buying dry shampoo: hair stylist
These are the three things you should look for when buying dry shampoo: hair stylist

Dry shampoo can be a life-saver between hair washes.

Kat Marcus, partner and stylist at Palm Sunday salon in Toronto, says dry shampoo works by encapsulating sweat and oil, drawing it away from the hair and scalp.

“This product cosmetically refreshes the hair, making it look and smell clean,” Marcus explained.

READ MORE: The best mascaras on the market, from drug store to luxury brands

She says before you buy dry shampoo, there are three things to consider: the environmental impact of the product, its quality and what’s in the bottle.

“I would recommend looking for a starch-based dry shampoo,” she said. “Salon-grade products are concentrated, so you don’t need to use as much as you would with something from the drug store. It can actually save you money in the long run to invest upfront in a good hair product.”

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And remember, dry shampoo is not a replacement for actual shampoo and conditioner.

“The scalp and strands need to be properly cleansed in order to maintain healthy skin and hair,” Marcus added.

With an overwhelming number of products on the market, reporters at Global News tried out some of the best-selling dry shampoos in three categories: $10 and under, $20 and under and $20-plus.

Here’s what we thought.

$10 and under


Credit: Laura Whelan

Name: Tresemme Between Washes Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Price: $6
Available at: Walmart and a variety of retailers
Product specialty: Promises to restore oily, flat hair quickly and easily between washes.
First thoughts: The smell of this dry shampoo brought me back to my competitive dancing days because it has a similar scent to hairspray. It definitely gave me volume, but it also left a slightly sticky residue behind, so I had to use my blow dryer to work it through to my ends. 
End of the day test: My hair didn’t look oily, which was a plus, but it was definitely full of product to the touch. 
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes, it does the job and it’s cheap!
Score out of 5: 4 — Meghan Collie 

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Name: Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Revitalize Cucumber & Green Tea Dry Shampoo
Price: $8
Available at: Walmart and a variety of retailers
Product specialty: This dry shampoo says it revitalizes hair without water between washes.
First thoughts: This product was one of my favourites. The smell is super light and refreshing, and it goes on practically clear — I actually forgot I had it in after a couple of minutes. 
End of the day test: It held up really well, and my hair didn’t feel full of product like it usually does after a day of dry shampoo use. 
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes!
Score out of 5: 4 — Meghan Collie 

Name: Lush No Drought dry shampoo
Price: $9
Available at: Lush
Product specialty: Lush’s dry shampoo claims to absorb excess oils and give hair volume, all while keeping your scalp smelling fresh. It comes in a bottle, unlike most dry shampoos.
First thoughts: This product has a cult following and now, I totally see why. It’s super light and has nearly no scent at all, and it sucks up oil like I’ve never seen before. The only downside is the bottle makes application kind of difficult. At first, I tried tapping the product directly into my hair, but it went everywhere (even on my poor cat). Then I looked it up online and realized the recommendation is to tap it into your hands and then work it into your scalp, which makes way more sense. 
End of the day test: I actually used it on day two and day three, and my hair still felt light and fresh. I would actually feel confident using this after a super intense workout.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: I already have!
Score out of 5: 5 — Meghan Collie 

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Name: Pantene Pro-V Dry Shampoo Clean and Fresh
Price: $6
Available at: Amazon, Walmart and various drug stores
Product specialty: The oil-absorbing formula promises to maintain style for days and refresh between washes.
First thoughts: It didn’t leave any white powder on my hair, but it smells way too much like shampoo. 
End of the day test: It definitely kept my hair fresh all day, but every time I moved I could smell the strong scent, which really bothered me. I also found my hair felt waxy by the end of the day.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: I’d recommend this one for budgeting purposes only. It’s really affordable and doesn’t leave a residue, but I’d rather buy a product that doesn’t smell so strong.
Score out of 5: 3 — Meaghan Wray

Name: Batiste Tropical Dry Shampoo
Price: From $9
Available at: Walmart, Amazon
Product specialty: It promises a fast and convenient way to get soft, clean and fresh-smelling hair. By adding texture and body, this product says it revitalizes greasy, dull and lifeless hair.
First thoughts: It is almost impossible to control how much you deposit on your hair, and it leaves behind a ton of powder. It got all over my clothes and hands while I was applying it.
End of the day test: By the end of the day, I was finding patches of powder on my head that I didn’t manage to brush out.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: No. It made my hair feel less greasy, but my overall head felt dirty and chalky, like there was stuff in my hair and on my scalp.
Score out of 5: 3 — Meaghan Wray

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Name: Dove Care Between Washes Fresh Coconut Dry Shampoo
Price: $5
Available at: Amazon and Walmart
Product specialty: Claims to work with just a few quick sprays and brush strokes, and can be used with other Dove straight or curly hair products.
First thoughts: Smells very tropical and worked really well on my curly hair, which was important to me.
End of the day test: It did leave a little white residue on my hair, but I was able to brush it out. My hair did feel really clean after using this dry shampoo.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes.
Score out of 5: 4 — Katie Scott 

Name: L’Oréal Magic Shampoo in Sweet Fusion
Price: $9
Available at: Amazon and a variety of retailers
Product specialty: No white residue and adds volume to hair.
First thoughts: This product smells great. While I am not the biggest fans of strong-scented hair products, this one reminds me more of a light scented shampoo. The product is not sticky and is completely invisible; I was highly impressed.
End of the day test: I get oily hair very often during the week and while this product did work on my ends, it wasn’t the best for my oilier roots.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes, I think it is a good starter dry shampoo for people looking for something under $10.
Score out of 5: 3.5 — Arti Patel

$20 and under


Credit: Laura Whelan

Name: OGX Foam dry shampoo
Price: $11
Available at: Walmart, Shopper’s Drug Mart, variety of drug stores
Product specialty: The foam claims to revive volume and body while absorbing oil.
First thoughts: It felt a bit weird putting a wet foam into my hair, as it made my hair feel greasier — not cleaner. After it set, I still felt like my hair was wet or greasy, even though it didn’t look that way. 
End of the day test: My hair felt greasy all day, and as if I had mousse in it that hadn’t dried. It looked relatively clean, but by the end of the day I wanted to wash my hair. 
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: I think this product would be best suited for someone with thick, dry hair. I definitely don’t recommend it for someone with thin hair and a typically greasy scalp.
Score out of 5: 2 — Laura Hensley

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Name: Joyous Health Dry Shampoo Dark Hair
Price: $19
Available at: Joyous Health
Product specialty: It uses only non-toxic, biodegradable and organic ingredients, and has no talc, dyes, parabens or strong scents. It comes in dark and light hair options and has a sifter cap for ease of application.
First thoughts: I was initially concerned about the packaging because it’s not in a spray can. It proved a little difficult at first to put on my head. I loved that it has a very natural scent, rather than a shampoo-y smell.
End of the day test: It kept my hair fresh all day. I reapplied mid-afternoon because I didn’t put enough in in the morning, but it didn’t build up too much.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes. I love that it’s all natural and that there’s a dark hair option — which is great for avoiding a white, powdery look in my roots. While I was nervous about the container, it actually proved easier to control than a spray can.
Score out of 5: 5 — Meaghan Wray

Name: Sephora Hair Dry Shampoo
Price: $16
Available at: Sephora
Product specialty: Sephora’s dry shampoo offers oil control for straight and wavy hair. It is enriched with apple cider vinegar to help cleanse and rebalance the scalp.
First thoughts: The scent was not overwhelming, which I think is really important for a dry shampoo. I wasn’t sure if I put enough on because it felt a bit like hairspray, so I didn’t want to use too much.
End of the day test: My hair felt a bit rough at the end of the day but I still had great volume. It felt more like a hairspray, in my opinion. It didn’t feel like it absorbed any oil at all.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: I would recommend this shampoo to someone who is looking for a dry shampoo and hairspray in one.
Score out of 5: 2 — Katie Scott 

Name: John Frieda Dry Shampoo
Price: $10 to $14
Available at: Walmart, Amazon, Shoppers Drug Mart
Product specialty: This product promises to absorb oil without leaving a visible residue. It also says it’s “formulated with a light, fresh scent.”
First thoughts: I used this dry shampoo after a morning workout. I sprayed a generous amount on my roots and styled in a low ponytail. My hair looked clean and you couldn’t tell my scalp was covered in sweat a few minutes prior.
End of the day test: By the end of the day, my hair still looked decent and felt relatively clean. I didn’t feel like I needed to wash my hair, and even went out to dinner without adding any more product!
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: For an affordable product, this dry shampoo is a fantastic choice.
Score out of 5: 4 — Laura Hensley

Name: AVEENO Fresh Greens Blend Dry Shampoo
Price: $11
Available at: Amazon
Product specialty: Aveeno’s dry shampoo claims to add thickness and volume and to refresh hair.
First thoughts: This dry shampoo smelled really good and it sprayed on very easily. I wasn’t overwhelmed at how much came out of the can.
End of the day test: My hair was still extremely soft at the end of the day, and I think this product really absorbed the oil in my roots. It didn’t leave a white residue like a lot of other brands do. It also didn’t weigh down my hair or leave it feeling crunchy.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: I would definitely recommend this dry shampoo.
Score out of 5: 5 — Katie Scott

Name: Cake Beauty The ‘Do Gooder Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Price: $12
Available at: Walmart and a variety of retailers
Product specialty: Chemical-free, quick-cleaning and residue-free.
First thoughts: With my first spray, I was overwhelmed with smell — in fact, it made it hard to focus on the actual product. Products by Cake have similar scents, so if you are familiar with the brand, the dry shampoo’s smell shouldn’t be a surprise. But when it came to the actual product, the dry shampoo was grease-free and quickly turned my oily roots into dry strands.
End of the day test: It worked, but I did end up doing a touch-up before going out for the night again.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Only if you can stand the scent.
Score out of 5:  4 — Arti Patel

Name: Verb Dry Shampoo
Price: $20
Available at: Sephora
Product specialty: For all hair types and adds natural volume to oily hair.
First thoughts: I like products that cater to types of hair, and this Verb dry shampoo has both a light hair and dark hair version. The bottle is easy to use, the scent is minimal and the product is very light once it is in your hair.
End of the day test: Not only was my hair less greasy, but overall, I felt a bit of volume in my hair, too. Surprisingly, this lasted. When my hair is oily, it turns pretty flat.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes.
Score out of 5:  4 — Arti Patel

$20+

Name: Lululemon no-show dry shampoo
Price: $38 (for full size or 72ml)
Available at: Lululemon
Product specialty: It’s invisible and regular use is supposed to “reduce the appearance of oil over time.” 
First thoughts: It smells amazing — flowery but not overpowering. It’s light to the touch and it has a nearly clear application. I let it sit for a few minutes before brushing it through my hair and going to bed. Then I sat in bed for several minutes playing with my hair because it felt so soft!
End of the day test: I had to reapply once the following day when I woke up, which isn’t the norm with my go-to dry shampoo (I typically apply once before bed and I’m good for a day). It did its job for a few hours, but by the time I got home from work, it was like I hadn’t used any at all. 
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Probably not — it’s expensive for what you get. 
Score out of 5: 2 — Meghan Collie 

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Name: Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark Tones
Price: $34
Available at: Sephora
Product specialty: The argan oil-infused dry shampoo protects hair from UV rays while deodorizing and cleaning hair.
First thoughts: I’m not a fan of the scent, but I loved that this product is also part hair care. My hair is coloured, so protection from UV is important to me. I also liked that it left my hair feeling silky.
End of the day test: My hair was still super fresh by end of day and didn’t have a “dirty hair” scent. 
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes. Even though it’s pricey, the product lives up to the price point. It leaves behind really minimal powder residue and didn’t feel heavy on my thin hair, either.
Score out of 5: 4.5 — Meaghan Wray

Name: Monat Studio One The Champ Conditioning Dry Shampoo
Price: $45
Available at: Monatglobal.com
Product specialty: Promises to adds volume, texture and lift. Great for all hair types.
First thoughts: My roots remained very soft after spraying the dry shampoo and it didn’t leave any residue.
End of the day test: My hair was still extremely soft and I felt like it was a high-quality salon dry shampoo. I loved it!
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes, I would!
Score out of 5: 5 — Katie Scott 

Name: Nioxin Instant Fullness Dry Cleanser
Price: $20 to $29
Available at: Mat & Max, Chatters, Amazon and select hair salons
Product specialty: This product doesn’t market itself as a dry shampoo per se, and instead says it’s a “dry cleanser” that offers “instant fullness.” Nioxin absorbs oil and makes hair look fuller and more dense.
First thoughts: I disliked the feeling it left on my scalp. It made my hair feel dry, and almost bristly. It did, however, give my hair a “cleaner” look.
End of the day test: After a long day, my hair looked a bit greasy around the roots, but still voluminous.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: If the texture doesn’t bother you, then yes. It does give hair a more “washed” look as it seems to absorb grease. I just really disliked the way it made my hair feel.
Score out of 5: 3.5 — Laura Hensley

Name: GOLDWELL Kerasilk Repower Volume Dry Shampoo
Price: $36
Available at: Chatters
Product specialty: It has an aerosol spray formula that interlinks two innovative powders, preventing the whitening effect typical of classic dry shampoos.
First thoughts: It had a pleasant smell and it also added a lot of volume to my hair.
End of the day test: I didn’t feel like my hair was crunchy, but it did feel a little sticky at the end of the day. There was no visible residue at all, which was amazing.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes.
Score out of 5: 4 — Katie Scott 

Name: Oribe
Price: $26 (small size), $53 (large size)
Available at: Holt Renfrew
Product specialty: This product says it builds “incredible volume and sexy texture.” It also claims to absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with “just-styled hair for days and nights.”
First thoughts: It sprays on clear (meaning no white powdery residue) and smells nice. I felt like I needed to use a lot of product, however, to make hair look “washed.” I used this dry shampoo the day after washing my hair, so it was relatively clean already. The greasy areas near my roots, though, required even more product, and I ended up using a comb to tease my hair to add volume.
End of the day test: After a long day I felt like my hair needed a wash.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: No. It’s very expensive and I don’t feel like the price point matches the quality of the product. 
Score out of 5:
3 — Laura Hensley

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Name: Bumble and Bumble
Price: $38.00
Available at: Sephora, select hair salons
Product specialty: A “two-in-one style extender that cleanses and adds volume from roots to ends.” This product says it works on all hair types and is best for fine and medium-texture hair. Formulated with pink clay.
First thoughts: It smells fantastic. It doesn’t leave a powdery residue that other dry shampoos do. Easy to spray on roots and doesn’t dry out hair.
End of the day test: Hair looked pretty decent at the end of a workday. I used Bumble and Bumble in between washes, so my hair was already fairly greasy when I sprayed it on my roots. Definitely held me over and left my hair looking much fresher than it was.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes.
Score out of 5: 4 — Laura Hensley

Name: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
Price: $32
Available at: Sephora, select hair salons, online retailers
Product specialty: Absorbs oil, sweat and odour from hair.
First thoughts: This is one of the highest-rated dry shampoos in the market and rightfully so. The product itself is ultra light, grease-free and smells amazing. Not only did hair feel cleaner (which is uncommon after using dry shampoo), but I actually had an extra boost of volume.
End of the day test: Not only will the product last all day, but you won’t even realize you’re still wearing dry shampoo. The only downfall, really, is the steep price. But I would say it is worth the investment.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes!
Score out of 5:  5 — Arti Patel

Name: Niucoco Dry Shampoo
Price: $29
Available at: Niucoco
Product specialty: One hundred per cent natural powder dry shampoo with no powder buildup.
First thoughts: I am not a fan of power-based dry shampoos. I have dark hair and in the past, dry shampoo powders have left a white residue behind. I used this one thoroughly for a few days to figure out if buildup would occur. The bottle also advises users to shake it to release powder, however, I didn’t find enough product ended up in my hair with this method. Instead, I gently squeezed the bottle to release more product on my roots.
End of the day test: To my own surprise, while the powder did take some time to absorb in my hair (you really have to brush it out), it did disappear. My hair, however, still felt oily, but for a natural product, I was impressed.
Would you recommend this dry shampoo?: Yes if you are looking for a green alternative, but it is pricey.
Score out of 5:  3 — Arti Patel