10 Best Dry Shampoos for Brunettes | An Honest Review

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Dry shampoo is a must-have beauty staple, but for those with dark hair it is hit or miss. I’m pretty sure at this point I’ve tested every drug-store dry shampoo available and certainly have some favorites. But after seeing new dry shampoos hit the market in 2022 I wanted to test out the, supposed, best dry shampoos available according to every beauty blogger in America. After testing for over a month, here are the 10 best dry shampoos for brunettes from my experience!

10 Best Dry Shampoos for Brunettes | An Honest Review

This post may contain affiliate links where I earn a small commission on your purchases.

At this point you might be wondering, Sarah, you aren’t a beauty blogger. Why are we talking about dry shampoo? Well my friends, every now and then I get the itch to chat about things that make life a little easier in the appearance department. This is one of those times. I was also approached by a brand to promote their new line of dry shampoos and thought, “How can I promote this brand when I haven’t tried its competitors to see which is better?”

Long story short, I didn’t choose to work with that brand because their product wasn’t the best. But I did draw quite a few conclusions along the way. I did not try every single dry shampoo product for dark hair available, but I did test the most popular! I’d love to know your experience with some that you love that I might not have mentioned. Leave it in the comments!

Drug Store vs. High End Dry Shampoo

I am a drug store beauty product shopper at heart. I don’t do fancy products and I don’t pay $50 for shampoo. However, I was curious how the drug store vs. designer dry shampoos compared. So I bought two high end dry shampoos to include in my testing and found that they do have some pros that the drug store varieties don’t offer. I’ll elaborate on that in the testing results!

With that being said, I didn’t splurge for the $50 dry shampoo brands. In my opinion, $20 is expensive enough!

How often should you use dry shampoo?

Many times I’m asked how often I use dry shampoo. This will depend on your hair type!

I have thin hair, which gets oily at the roots quickly. I shampoo my hair every other day, and use dry shampoo for brunettes on the opposite days. When I need to, I can stretch my hair a third day using dry shampoo two days in a row.

However, for those who have very oily hair, you might find that you need to train your hair to stretch out the days for your blow out. Rather than using dry shampoo several days in a row, give your hair days off. Conversely, if you have dry hair, you may be able to go a week or more without regular washing and only using dry shampoo twice in that week.

However, take care not to overuse dry shampoo. It can build up quickly on the scalp. And a healthy scalp is what helps produce healthy hair! Overuse of dry shampoo can lead to hair breakage and thinning, so try not to use it more than twice a week.

How to Use Dry Shampoo Properly

The most common misuse of dry shampoo is applying it too closely to the scalp. Start by shaking the can vigorously before applying for 30 seconds. When spraying, keep the can 8-10 inches from your head. This allows the powder to disperse evenly and fan out so you don’t get streaks.

Start by lifting small sections of your hair to reveal the roots. Spray the product onto the roots specifically. Dry shampoo isn’t needed on the ends of your hair. Repeat this process around the crown and at the base of your neck. Specifically focus on oily areas like bangs and temples.

Once you’ve applied the product (sparingly), let it sit for 3-5 minutes. This gives the product time to absorb oils and dissipate into your hair. I often apply my dry shampoo first, do my makeup, and then finish my hair.

This gives it time to soak in without wasting my time waiting on it! Once you’ve waited a few minutes, use your fingers or a brush to rub in/brush out the product. This helps get rid of any residue and is especially important for dry shampoo for dark hair to avoid white residue.

Does it work best at night?

Since I’m no expert, I can only speak from experience and research. Many people will tell you that it is best to use dry shampoo for brunettes at night rather than in the morning.

While I haven’t found that it shows better results for oil absorption when used at night, I will say that it is helpful to tamp down any left-over residue on dark hair. Applying the product at night gives it more time to disperse and soak into your hair.

Top 10 Best Dry Shampoos for Brunettes

Dry shampoos for brunettes are becoming a more common product. Five years ago it was expected for those of us with dark hair to deal with streaks that made us look like the bride of frankenstein. So I’ve been so happy to see specialized formulas coming out to combat this issue!

Below I’m sharing the results of my little experiment to see which dry shampoo is best for brunettes or dark hair. Remember, this is from my personal experience and my hair type dictates some of the results I’ll share, such as how it feels and how long it lasts.

Let’s start from the bottom up! There were a few that I would totally pass on, but most held their own!

10. Equate

Equate rose beauty dry shampoo was a “worth a try” grab from the shelves at Walmart one day. It was cheaper than any other option stocked that day and I wondered if it would be just as good as the rest of the drug store dry shampoos.

Equate Dry Shampoo

Spoiler, it wasn’t. It left a huge amount of white powder residue, which would not brush out. I had to literally take a shower and wash my hair to remove it. Kind of defeats the purpose…and not much more is required to say on that topic.

9. Suave Moroccan Infusion

Suave is a classic drug store brand that I’ve used for many years. It’s a more middle of the road brand so I thought it might be an affordable option to try for this experiment.

Suave dry shampoo

Suave Moroccan Infusion Weightless Dry Shampoo went on nicely. It was a very fine mist and didn’t leave heavy residue. I was able to brush it out easily and the texture wasn’t too gritty.

However, it didn’t have staying power. By the end of the day, I was reaching for the can to apply another round.

8. TRESemmé Between Washes Dry Shampoo

I tried the TRESemmé Between Washes Dry Shampoo because of its high ratings. It was extremely affordable and left only the slightest bit of powder. I like that it comes in unscented and a variety of other scents, however, even the unscented carried a bit of a scent.

Tresseme between care washes

This option worked well on dark hair when used sparingly. However, the build up of two continuous days of use would be noticeable. For that reason, I moved on to the next option!

Now, we are moving into the realm of dry shampoos for brunettes that I would happily use in my weekly routine. The next few products all had different pros and cons, but ultimately worked well!

7. Not Your Mother’s, Clean Freak Tinted

Not Your Mother’s tinted dry shampoo was one of the first that I tried. It applies nicely with no white powder, has a subtle scent, and absorbed oil quickly. I love that it is 100% invisible on dark hair and lasted all day.

Clean freak dry shampoo tinted

However, at the end of the day I felt sticky. When my hair is dirty, I don’t want a dry shampoo to make it feel more gritty. That, and the fact that cost of this product is higher, moved it further down the list.

6. Batiste Dry Shampoo for Brunettes, Divine Dark

The Batiste Dry Shampoo for Brunettes in Divine Dark worked very well for dark hair! Plus, it is easily the most affordable budget friendly dry shampoo option with the two pack from Walmart.

It is a tinted dry shampoo for dark hair that had great coverage and oil absorption. It worked well all day without need for reapplication.

Batiste Dry Shampoos for brunettes

However, the cons of this brand (in my opinion) are the scents and powder transfer. All of the Batiste dry shampoos have a strong scent (even the unscented). While they aren’t necessarily odorous with a bad scent, it is simply strong. I don’t like to smell my own hair!

I also noticed some of the dark powder transferred to my pillow case after using it for two days. I think had I only used it one day it wouldn’t have been a problem. It did wash out, but I wasn’t a fan of that transfer.

5. Dove Refresh & Care Volume Dry Shampoo

Dove Volume dry shampoo was my first love. I found it pretty quickly in my dry shampoo journey and loved the volume it gave my limp and thin hair. At the time, my hair was much lighter and after adding low-lights I started to notice the powdery residue more keenly.

Dove dry shampoo

However, I kept using it because of the volume it added and superior oil absorption. It is easily one of my favorite dry shampoo brands as it lasts all day and I can often get two days out of it. If you are a brunette with highlights or a light brown brunette then this option should still work for you!

After a while, the powdery residue started to bother me and I set out to find a dry shampoo for dark hair. Stay tuned!

4. Kristin Ess

I tried out the Kristin Ess Style Reviving Brunette Dry Shampoo based on many people sharing their experience with it. It was promoted as a product that cleans hair while reviving. I found it did an excellent job of oil absorption and did not leave a gritty residue! Those were two big bonuses for me as I’ve found more and more dry shampoos feeling dirty in my hair.

Kristin Ess Dry Shampoos for Brunettes

While I found that it had no visible residue on my hair itself, I noticed it left brown powder on my hands when styling. Then, in the shower the next day I could actually watch the brown liquid go down the drain. I wasn’t quite expecting that! So while I loved how it looked and felt in my hair, the amount of powder that is dispersed seemed high. Plus, it is on the more expensive side.

3. Pantene Pro-V

I have tried a few different varieties of the Pantene Pro-V Dry Shampoo. While this isn’t specifically a dry shampoo for brunettes, I found that it was fairly invisible compared to many other brands! It applied nicely, revived my hair and made it look and feel clean. The scent was also subtle and nice.

Pantene Pro V

A couple of cons from reviews I noticed was that the cans clog easily. I didn’t experience that, but enough people mentioned it in reviews that I thought it was worth noting. Another con was the price seemed higher than necessary for a brand that isn’t considered high end.

2. Living Proof

Living Proof dry shampoo is easily one of the most touted dry shampoos by bloggers and influencers, especially in 2020. I was on the fence about this brand after trying it several times. It is in the number two spot for top 10 best dry shampoos for brunettes for one reason and one reason only.

My hair feels SO soft using this product. It feels clean, moveable, and not at all straw-like. It is the only dry shampoo I’ve found that does not cause my hair to feel super dry after using it. It still feels like I am fresh out of the shower after spraying it for two days.

Living proof dry shampoo for brunettes

However, the rest of the attributes of this product are 100% comparable to cheaper dry shampoos. Yes, it did well on cleaning my hair and longevity, but it was not invisible and took more work than usual to brush out the powder fully.

When using this dry shampoo on dark hair, I would recommend applying it the night before to help alleviate that problem.

1. Dove Dry Shampoo for Brunettes

Dove Care Between Washes Dry Shampoo for Brunettes takes the number 1 spot! Remember when I mentioned my favorite dry shampoo brand in number 5? Well they finally made a dry shampoo for brunettes!

Dove dry shampoo for brunettes

This product checked all the boxes for an invisible spray, subtle scent, affordability, oil absorption, and longevity. The thing it is missing is the volume boosting element that the Dove Volume Dry Shampoo offered. The only other con is that by the end of the day, I’m feeling gritty. It doesn’t happen all at once, but let’s just say that by 8 pm my hair is in a pony tail.

An Honest Review of dry shampoos for brunettes

Was that what you were expecting when I said I’d be giving an honest review of dry shampoos for brunettes? Perhaps this is what makes me NOT a beauty blogger. I want to be authentic with you, my friends! I did not find a dry shampoo for dark hair that checked every single box.

However, I found quite a few that I would use happily as an alternative to washing my hair each day. Each product I reviewed above had pros and cons and it is up to you to see which would fit your needs best.

Different people have a tolerance for different issues. Whereas I am much more prone to focus on how my hair feels and smells, others will focus on how it looks and lasts.

These dry shampoos for brunettes all have something to offer and can be a beneficial part of your weekly beauty routine. Except for number 10. Just don’t buy number 10. 😉

Shop My Favorite Dry Shampoos

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10 Best Dry Shampoos for Brunettes | An Honest Review

9 Comments

  1. Such a perfect time for this review – thanks so much:) I have been contemplating adding dry shampoo to my routine. I don’t wash my hair daily as I have pretty dry hair and can go 4-5 days without doing so. However I have been thinking that my hair may smell – I’m giving your #1 a try! Love your blog and your little squares – have a great day😀

  2. I am a proud brunette and have used dry shampoo for years. I always have some in my pursue for last minute emergencies. I really don’t like your # 1 choice. In fact I would have ranked it #10.

    #1. Would be Batiste

    But we all have our own preferences. Just sharing mine.

  3. So I would love someone to write about the difference between all the different types of “hair” sprays available today. For example, you have regular hair spray, you have dry texture spray, and then you have finishing spray. I’ve even seen dry texture finishing spray. What is the difference between all of them? What types of hair or styles would be best with which ones? I used regular hair spray for years, then I cut my hair in a short angled shag and discovered dry texture spray and finishing spray and will probably never go back to using regular hair spray again. I haven’t had any luck with dry shampoo but dry texture spray is the bomb. There must be a difference between the two, I’m assuming. I particularly like the SGX NYC brand products, by the way.

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