5 Best Dry Shampoos and Conditioners for Busy (AKA All) Parents

Parents staffers put 12 top dry shampoo and conditioners to the test and these were their favorite formulas for hectic mornings.

An image of a composition of dry shampoos and conditioners.
Photo: Art: Jillian Sellers.

For some of us, our hair texture simply doesn't need a daily shampoo. For others, our hair does need it, but super-demanding days don't allow it. Happily, there's an option to re-create a just-washed look for every texture.

If you have greasy hair, dry shampoo will coat your roots to soak up excess oil and add oomph. Aim it at your roots from 6 inches away to prevent white splotches. If you have dry, curly hair, opt for a dry conditioner to add hydration, shine, and a nice scent. Parents staffers put 12 formulas to the test. And the winners are...

01 of 05

Best for Volume

Garnier Fructis Texturizing Invisible Dry Shampoo
Courtesy of Garnier Fructis

Garnier Fructis Texturizing Invisible Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoos use powders, such as the rice starch in this formula, to absorb grease and give strands a lift. Testers liked that this tropical-scented spray gave a wash-day freshness.

02 of 05

Best for Dark Hair Colors

Dove care between washes dry shampoo
Courtesy of Dove

Dove Care Between Washes Go Active Dry Shampoo

The moisture-soaking powder is so fine that it stayed invisible, even when testers sprayed it directly at a black T-shirt. Their hair stayed degreased all day.

03 of 05

Best for Extra-Greasy Roots

Living Proof Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo
Courtesy of Living Proof

Living Proof Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo

This stuff is like the Magic Eraser of dry shampoos: Sweaty workout buns and hair past its wash-day prime didn’t stand a chance. The formula has a cleaning technology that sops up dirt, oil, and odor so hair becomes cleaner as you spray.

04 of 05

Best for Oily Curls

Pantene Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam
Courtesy of Pantene

Pantene Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam

Curly-haired moms could finger-comb this whipped foam through roots without disrupting their curl pattern. Then they added a bit more to strands to tame frizz.

05 of 05

Best for Dry Curls

Drybar detox dry conditioner
Courtesy of Drybar

Drybar Detox Dry Conditioner

Testers aimed this argan-oil and mango-butter formula at mid-lengths and ends to moisturize and soften coils—and infuse them with an addictive jasmine-vanilla scent.

This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's February 2021 issue as "Refresh Without Water." Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here

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