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When you’re traveling, you don’t always have the time to wash and shampoo your locks thoroughly.
This can leave your hair feeling oily, heavy, and dirty.
That’s where dry shampoo comes in!
Dry shampoo is a miracle beauty product for super busy gals who still want that fresh and fab feeling even when they have to skip a wash day.
However, as incredible as dry shampoo is, safety concerns were raised recently about several dry shampoo aerosol products for containing cancer-causing contaminants.
The solution to these worries? Non-aerosol dry shampoo.
Non-aerosol options allow everyone to enjoy dry shampoo and its many benefits safely. This way, you can have a trusty dry shampoo in your hair care arsenal.
So you’re probably wondering, “What are the best dry shampoos that are non-aerosol?” We’re here to answer this question for you!
Check out our must-try list of the eight best dry shampoo products.
- Eliminates grease and odor
- Ultra-fine powder leaves no residue
- Provides added texture and volume
- Contains natural plant powders
- Weightless texture
- 99% naturally derived
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Dry Shampoo?
- 2 How Does Dry Shampoo Work?
- 3 Dry Shampoos and the Aerosol Problem
- 4 What Is Benzene? Why Is It in Aerosol Dry Shampoos?
- 5 Can You Still Use Dry Shampoo?
- 6 What To Look for in a Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo
- 7 The 8 Best Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoos
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 The Best Dry Shampoo for You
What Is Dry Shampoo?
Dry shampoo is a cosmetic product that may be applied to your hair when it’s dry, helping refresh and revitalize your locks.
Dry shampoo is often starch-based, and it comes in aerosol and non-aerosol forms. Aerosol dry shampoo is sold in an aerosol spray can, while non-aerosol dry shampoo is sold in various containers like powder shakers.
Most commercial formulas consist of the following:
- Absorbent — This is usually starch or silica. It absorbs sweat and oil from the hair and scalp.
- Propellants — These are gasses used in aerosol dry shampoos. They are responsible for delivering the product to the scalp and hair quickly.
- Aromatic ingredients — These are fragrances or essential oils. They ensure your scalp smells fresh in between washes.
They are often marketed as an excellent alternative to washing your hair when you can’t get to a shower, like a quick pick-me-up after sweating at the gym or running between appointments or airports.
This is because dry shampoo doesn’t need to be washed out of your hair. You can apply it directly to the crown of your head and all over your scalp, where oil may collect.
How Does Dry Shampoo Work?
So how does this hair care product work to keep your locks fresh? It’s actually quite simple: it removes excess sebum from the scalp and hair and often provides a refreshing scent too.
The scalp is full of hair follicles from where hair sprouts and sebum is produced. Sebum is the natural oil the body produces that softens the scalp and gives hair its texture.
Sebum serves an essential purpose. It protects the skin on your scalp and keeps your hair soft. However, sebum can build up on your scalp and strands if you run or work out or if your hair follicles overproduce oil.
And while a bit of oil on the scalp is normal, too much of it can lead to buildup. This can give your locks a greasy appearance and weigh them down, making them appear limp and dull.
Washing your hair with regular shampoo and blow-drying it can deliver the cleansing you need and remove excess oil.
This can be time-consuming, though. And shampooing your hair too much is not advisable, or you risk stripping your locks of natural oils that hydrate them.
And that’s why dry shampoo is so popular. It uses alcohol or starch-based absorbent ingredients to absorb the oil and sweat from the scalp and hair, making it look cleaner and more refreshed.
Like root boosters, many dry shampoos can also offer root-lifting benefits and give your hair more volume and texture.
They also usually have a fragrance that keeps your locks smelling clean and fresh.
Dry Shampoos and the Aerosol Problem
Dry shampoo is such a popular product. Because of this, several brands sell their own version of it.
Many of these products were initially introduced into the market as aerosol products, meaning they came in a spray can with an added propellant that allowed the product to be delivered to the scalp with high speed and equal distribution.
While these aerosol dry shampoo products were effective, safety concerns were raised about their design and ingredients, specifically the aerosol component.
Then in December 2021, Proctor and Gamble issued a voluntary recall of their aerosol dry shampoo and dry conditioner products because of the presence of benzene in some of them.
Less than a year later, Unilever did the same, voluntarily recalling 19 aerosol dry shampoo products due to possible benzene contamination.
What Is Benzene? Why Is It in Aerosol Dry Shampoos?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), benzene is a group A human carcinogen, meaning there is enough scientific data from human studies that indicate it has a causal link to some cancers and blood disorders.
But how does benzene get into aerosol dry shampoo products? It most likely occurs during the manufacturing process of adding propellant to these products.
Most propellants used in aerosol dry shampoos include butane and propane, which are pressurized inside an aerosol can. This helps them turn dry shampoo from a liquid or powder form into a fine mist for quick and even application.
If propane and butane are not properly purified or separated from petroleum or if the benzene in petroleum adheres to butane, benzene contamination can occur.
This is why many recalled dry shampoo aerosol products were found to have trace amounts of benzene.
Can You Still Use Dry Shampoo?
After the dry shampoo aerosol scare, many people were left wondering if using their favorite hair-freshening products was still safe.
The answer is yes, but it’s best to explore alternatives to aerosol dry shampoos.
It’s true that not all aerosol dry shampoos have benzene present.
But tests conducted by Valisure — an independent laboratory in New Haven — in 2022 revealed that approximately 70% of the dry shampoo product samples their lab collected contained trace amounts of benzene.
So buying any aerosol dry shampoo opens you up to the risk of exposure to the carcinogen. To stay safe, it’s advisable to steer clear of aerosols as much as possible to reduce and minimize this risk.
Instead, you can use a DIY dry shampoo or a non-aerosol dry shampoo. Skip the pressurized cans and opt for those with a manual dispensing system.
While these products may not have the same pressure, even distribution, and fine texture as their aerosol counterparts, they are safer. Many of them are also just as good as aerosols.
What To Look for in a Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo
Knowing the potentially harmful effects of trace benzene in aerosol products, you may be convinced to buy non-aerosol dry shampoo.
But before you make your purchase, here are four things to look for when buying this type of product:
1. Non-Aerosol Distribution System
Naturally, the first important thing to look for is a non-aerosol manual dispensing product that requires shaking, squeezing, or dusting/tapping for application.
You can choose a non-aerosol spray dry shampoo or a dry shampoo powder that you shake or dust directly onto your roots right near the scalp and not your full strands.
It’s important to note that there are still dry shampoo sprays that are safe to use. Non-aerosol sprays do not dispense products with a pressurized spray system, so they don’t use propane or butane.
If you are unsure about a certain dry shampoo spray, check the ingredients to confirm if a spray has added propellants.
2. Natural Ingredients
It’s not enough to avoid potential benzene exposure. You also want to find products that use natural ingredients as much as possible and those that don’t use any additional harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, and sulfates.
It’s also good to avoid dry shampoos that contain talc as talc can often be contaminated with the known carcinogen asbestos. This is because these two minerals are often mined together.
Some natural ingredients to look for include rice starch, tapioca, clay, charcoal, and other plant-based ingredients like essential oils.
3. No Product Buildup
Since you are using dry shampoo to help combat product buildup and excess oil, look for a formulation that doesn’t leave additional buildup in your hair.
Avoid dry shampoos that leave residue, as this defeats the purpose of using the product in the first place.
4. Ease of Use
Lastly, you want a product that’s easy for you to use. Some people prefer non-aerosol sprays, while others prefer powders that you shake or tap onto your scalp.
There’s no correct answer when it comes to which one is better. This boils down to personal preference.
The 8 Best Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoos
Now that you know what to look for, your next question is, what are the best dry shampoos that are non-aerosol?
We’ll answer that question for you! Check out our picks for the best non-aerosol dry shampoos.
This highly effective, plant-based loose powder dry shampoo leaves hair feeling clean and fresh.
Key benefits: Eliminates grease and odors; ultra-fine powder leaves no residue; provides added texture and volume
- Free of sulfates and parabens
- Gentle on all hair types
This ultra-gentle product is a great dry shampoo for all hair types and textures.
The Klorane Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo Powder is one of the best in the industry, loved by users and haircare professionals alike.
Its talc-free formula uses rice and corn starch to deep clean the hair and effectively absorb dirt, oil, grease, and odor. Simultaneously, the product uses oat milk to help soothe the hair and protect the scalp.
Not only is it free of harmful chemicals, but it also smells delightful and doubles as a dry texturizer, helping create more hair volume.
This dry shampoo is full of natural ingredients that absorb oil and detoxify the scalp!
Key benefits: Supports healthy hair growth; minimizes oil production; absorbs excess oil at the roots
- No sulfates, silicone, or parabens
- Binchotan charcoal for scalp detoxification
- Safe for all hair types, even colored and chemically treated hair
Get fresher, fuller, and healthier hair with this easy-to-use dry shampoo.
Why is this product the best dry shampoo for hair that’s really oily? In addition to rice starch, clay, and tapioca natural absorbents, it also contains detoxifying charcoal powder.
This draws out impurities from the hair and scalp and witch hazel to help balance out oil production over time.
It also contains biotin, which helps stimulate healthy hair growth, making this dry shampoo a full, effective, long-lasting scalp treatment.
It’s easy to apply; just section your hair carefully, squeeze the powder to dispense it right onto your roots, massage it in, and you’re done!
This tap-on dry shampoo powder instantly mattifies and volumizes your hair.
Key benefits: Creates fuller-looking hair; good for sensitive skin; easily absorbs excess oil
- Ultra-fine dry shampoo powder
- Lightweight formula
- Contains black ginseng and biotin
This compact, easy-to-apply dry shampoo powder promotes a healthy scalp while instantly refreshing your tresses.
The Tap Secret Dry Shampoo Powder is a favorite among beauty lovers and influencers for its lightweight and effective talc-free formula and ease of use.
This product comes in a small compact jar with a powder puff. You just put the powder on the puff and tap it directly onto your roots.
The formula also contains 15% root-boosting powder to provide texture and volume, biotin to promote healthy hair growth, and black ginseng to revitalize the scalp.
If you want something easy to bring around, this is an excellent dry shampoo to take on the go, as it’s small, light, and compact.
Spray or shake this ultra-fine dry shampoo powder directly onto your roots to reduce oil and boost texture.
Key benefits: Provides extra grip and elevation; absorbs oil and impurities; removes loose flakes; leaves no residue
- Contains natural ingredients
- Cruelty-, gluten-, sulfate, and paraben-free
- Small and convenient packaging
R+Co Skyline is a great product to take on the go to add bounce to your locks and promote a healthy scalp.
What’s the best dry shampoo according to celebrity hairstylists? It’s this non-aerosol powder dry shampoo by R+Co!
It combines natural ingredients like kaolin clay, tapioca starch, and diatomaceous earth (a mineral compound) to help absorb oil and impurities on the hair and scalp, revitalizing your hair and making it look full and fresh.
Plus, it has jojoba oil and burdock root extract with antioxidant properties, which create a healthy scalp environment by reducing sebum and removing loose dandruff flakes.
It also utilizes a manual spray pump distribution system that doesn’t use propellants, so you can easily and safely pump the product onto your roots and massage it in.
No wonder it’s highly rated by so many users!
With this lightweight, non-aerosol dry shampoo, your second-day hair will look just as good as it does on wash day!
Key benefits: Adds volume and texture to limp hair; makes hair shiny; doesn't leave product residue
- Contains natural plant powders
- Weightless texture
- 99% naturally derived
Combine all the best natural ingredients in one revitalizing dry shampoo, and you've got Aveda's Shampowder.
This premium dry shampoo powder from Aveda is packed with all the good stuff. It’s made with a powerful blend of clay, corn, tapioca, and oat powders to absorb oil and odor.
A great choice to refresh your hair between washes, this product leaves hair feeling shiny and revitalized without looking greasy.
It’s 99% naturally derived, talc-free, and infused with plant powders, making it one of the best natural dry shampoos. It also has a weightless formulation that leaves no product buildup.
It also gives your hair an enviable lift and added volume.
This multipurpose dry shampoo absorbs oil and detoxifies the scalp for long-term hair health.
Key benefits: Absorbs oil and neutralizes odor; adds texture and volume; ensures scalp health and wellness
- Natural and non-toxic
- Perfect for all hair types and colors
- Contains rice powder and fulvic acid
This lightweight, translucent dry shampoo powder perfectly absorbs excess oil while providing scalp care at the same time.
This plant-based, lightweight, and talc-free formula contains organic rice powder and tapioca powder to get rid of excess oil from the scalp.
The formula is also powered with fulvic acid, a nutrient-dense compound that delivers 65 minerals to your scalp to promote healthy hair growth. What’s more, it works to neutralize any odors to revitalize and refresh your locks.
Additionally, it’s translucent, so it’s perfect for every hair color. And it’s gentle enough to use on chemically treated and colored hair without leaving any residue.
It also comes in a non-aerosol spray bottle for easy, hassle-free use.
This dry shampoo helps decrease excess oil and add volume with a unique formulation of plant-based vegan ingredients.
Key benefits: Volumizes hair without water in two minutes; deodorizes and purifies the scalp; combats scalp odor
- Non-toxic formulation
- Contains peppermint and lavender
This product is an excellent choice if you want a gentle but effective dry shampoo formulation that’s sustainable and made with all-natural ingredients.
This dry shampoo by Handmade Heroes is made of 100% natural plant-based, vegan ingredients. It’s also cruelty-free with sustainable packaging.
Non-toxic, talc-free, and lightweight, it uses rice powder and kaolin to combat excess sebum.
It also combats odors with a combination of natural essential oils, including peppermint and lavender. These oils make it one of the best-smelling dry shampoos available.
You just sprinkle the product directly onto your roots and blend it in with your fingers or the matching Handmade Heroes Detangler Hair Brush for easy blending.
If you want instantly refreshed, volumized hair that’s easy to style, try the Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo!
Key benefits: Adds instant volume and texture; cleans and refreshes hair; ensures effortless styling
- Free of talc and harsh chemicals
- Sweet-smelling natural fragrance
- Organic and all-natural
This easy-to-use, organic, and pure plant-derived formulation is one of the best healthy dry shampoos.
The Rahua Dry Shampoo is from the widely acclaimed Rahua haircare line of products featuring rainforest-grown natural ingredients.
It utilizes organic plant-based ingredients like clay and tapioca powder to help control oil and volumize hair.
This powder also comes with a precise opening cap that allows you to target specific areas of your hair and control how much product you use based on your hair’s individual needs.
And it smells great with a natural star anise scent for an earthy and slightly spicy fragrance that’ll leave your hair feeling fresh and fabulous.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Use Dry Shampoo Every Day?
Dry shampoos, even non-aerosol variants, aren’t recommended for daily use. After all, remember, dry shampoo doesn’t actually clean your hair. It just removes excess oil by using starch and absorbents.
Overuse may cause buildup, clog your hair follicles, weaken your mane’s overall strength, and cause scalp infections or dermatitis.
Don’t use it for more than two days in a row; use it for a maximum of twice a week. Give your scalp time to breathe and rest in between use. You can use it up to three times a week for really oily hair.
When’s the Best Time To Use Dry Shampoo?
Ideally, it’s best to use dry shampoo on your locks at night before sleeping so it has time to absorb excess scalp oil. This way, you wake up with refreshed locks.
However, special circumstances may call for different applications.
For example, if you just want to fix that sweaty and oily feeling after a workout at the gym or touch up your hair after a long flight, you can use dry shampoo to give your locks an instant refresh.
The Best Dry Shampoo for You
Dry shampoo has undoubtedly had a very remarkable journey from miracle product to controversial item, and now it’s back to being considered a hair care staple.
As long as you avoid potentially harmful ingredients, there’s no reason you can’t utilize this multipurpose beauty product.
Check out our recommendations for non-aerosol dry shampoos; you’re sure to find the perfect one to refresh and revitalize your locks.
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