The 3 Best Dry Shampoos For Curly Hair

Bustle / Amazon

When your curls need a refresh and there’s no time to hop in the shower, the best dry shampoos for curly hair can give your locks a just-washed look and extend the life of your hairstyle without water, suds, or hassle.

If your hair looks dirty, sebum is likely to blame. Dry shampoos are powder-based products that absorb the excess oils that give your hair a greasy, weighed-down look. They can be a great solution for addressing unwanted grease in curls because they absorb oils without stripping the cuticle like over-washing with traditional shampoos can. Avoiding over-washing is especially important for curly hair, which is commonly more susceptible to dryness.

Some dry shampoos come in the form of loose powders that you sprinkle onto your hair, but in my experience, they can be difficult to control and easy to over-apply. Instead, I’d recommend sticking to a lightweight, spray-on version to give your curls even coverage. This also makes the product easier to blend in without messing up your curl pattern or causing unexpected frizz. If dryness is an issue, look for a dry shampoo that contains moisturizers like coconut oil, or consider using a spray-on dry co-wash, which is essentially a hybrid shampoo-conditioner that includes moisturizing ingredients like shea butter to help brittle or damaged strands.

For the best results when using dry shampoo on curly hair, apply it very lightly and in sections, holding the dry shampoo bottle several inches away and focusing the product on the roots where excess oil typically builds up. After applying, let the product sit for 30 seconds or so to give it time to work. At this point, double check the instructions for your dry shampoo, as some options suggest gently massaging the product into your roots while others advise you to actually remove the product from your hair with a brush or blowdryer.

Whether you're attempting to shampoo less often, save time, or maintain a good hairstyle for longer, you’ll find a fantastic option for your curly hair below.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.

1. The Overall Best Dry Shampoo For Curly Hair

Living Proof's Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is a little different from most dry shampoos in that it's designed to mimic the effects of actually washing your hair in the shower. The lightweight formula includes oil-absorbing rice starch and cellulose as well as Living Proof's Healthy Hair Molecule, a patented ingredient that coats your strands and makes the powders easier to remove from hair. The formula also soaks up sweat and neutralizes odors.

According to the manufacturer, after spraying the product on and letting it rest, you should gently remove it with a blow dryer in order to keep your curls bouncy. Because the product is formulated to be easy to remove, there's a decreased chance of excess product weighing down your strands at the root.

Positive Amazon review: “The dry shampoo is perfect for my naturally curly hair. I only wash my hair twice in 8 days and use this in between. My hair never looks oily and it gives my hair volume.”

2. The Best Budget Dry Shampoo For Curly Hair

Beyond just making hair feel refreshed, the OGX Coconut Miracle Oil Dry Shampoo also leaves hair feeling soft thanks to the included moisturizers. This starch-based formula absorbs unwanted oils that make hair look greasy while simultaneously protecting strands with a hint of nourishing coconut oil. It's the perfect fit for keeping hair feeling fresh and staving off dryness.

Amazon reviewers enjoy the light coconut scent and report that it doesn’t leave a residue behind either.

Positive Amazon review: “Instead of drying out my hair after a few days of use, it adds shine and softness while still absorbing oil from my scalp. My new favorite dry shampoo!!”

3. The Best Dry Co-Wash For Curly Hair

If regular dry shampoos leave your hair feeling too dried out, opt for Cantu's Refresh Dry Co-wash, which functions as a hybrid dry shampoo-conditioner. In case you're unfamiliar, co-washing is when you use a conditioner to wash your hair in the shower instead of shampoo — and this spray-on product essentially replicates that experience.

In this formula, apple cider vinegar and tea tree oil absorb oils and eliminate odors while shea butter moisturizes your strands. However, if you have hair that's prone to lots of grease buildup or tends to fall flat, this product might feel too heavy, and you should try one of the above options instead.

Positive Amazon review: “I thought about the dry shampoos, but was hesitant because they don't seem formulated for naturals, as they seem to remove the much needed oils in our hair. [...] I honestly don't have anything negative to say about this product. My twist out looks/smells great.”