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

By Shannon M. Bauer
January 08, 2021
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An image of a composition of dry shampoos and conditioners.
Credit: 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... 

Garnier Fructis Texturizing Invisible Dry Shampoo
Credit: Courtesy of Garnier Fructis

Best for Volume

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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.

Dove care between washes dry shampoo
Credit: Courtesy of Dove

Best for Dark Hair Colors

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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.

Living Proof Perfect hair Day Dry Shampoo
Credit: Courtesy of Living Proof

Best for Extra-Greasy Roots

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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.

Pantene Cheat Day Dry Shampoo Foam
Credit: Courtesy of Pantene

Best for Oily Curls

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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.

Drybar detox dry conditioner
Credit: Courtesy of Drybar

Best for Dry Curls

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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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