Our Favorite Dry Shampoo: The 2022 List Beauty Awards

Navigating the past year has been difficult for a multitude of reasons. From determining what's best for our health and the health of those around us to remembering what it's like to socialize in person, 2021 posed a unique set of challenges. Through all of the ups and downs, we've tried to create moments of joy and discovery in our personal and professional lives. One of the easiest — and most enjoyable — ways we accomplished this goal was by trying new beauty products.

Experimenting with new products is always fun, but it's especially rewarding during a time when we've been able to safely catch up with people we haven't seen in a while. It's exciting to go through the motions of getting dolled up for a night out again, and the beauty products we tried along the way made the process even sweeter. One item that has become a staple in our beauty arsenals during this period is dry shampoo, because it saves us from having to wash our hair on the days we really can't be bothered with it.

With a good dry shampoo, your hair feels clean and looks great, which is really all you can hope for as you set out to tackle a new year. And while The List tried numerous dry shampoos during our quest to look presentable, our 2022 List Beauty Award for our favorite dry shampoo was bestowed upon one particular product that's simply better than the rest.

Verb Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair: Winner

Not all dry shampoos are created equal, which is an important lesson we learned in 2021. Many of these products get the job done in a pinch, but we really wanted to be wowed by our dry shampoo. At first, it seemed impossible to find a balance between effectiveness, affordability, and a mild scent — until we found the Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair by Verb. Available at Sephora for $18, this product is a game-changer. it's worth noting that although we tried the version for dark hair, there's also an option for light hair that uses the exact same formula.

Verb's dry shampoo is vegan, cruelty-free, and free from harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and formaldehyde (via Verb). It's formulated to work for every hair type and texture, making it the perfect option for everyone looking for a new dry shampoo in 2022. 

This product was the clear winner for us because it had everything we were looking for and then some. It's easy to apply, has a very light scent, and genuinely makes our hair feel clean. Like, "clean after we just washed our hair" clean, not dry shampoo clean. Sorcery, right?

The lightweight formula is what makes Verb's dry shampoo so effective. When you run your hands through your hair after using this product, you won't feel the chalky residue that typically accompanies dry shampoo application, and it won't irritate your scalp. It's the perfect item in every possible way. 

Ouai Super Dry Shampoo: Runner-up

You know those Pinterest-perfect photos of beautifully arranged beauty products that make you wish you had hundreds of dollars to spend on your own items? Ouai is one of the brands most prominently featured in these pictures, and for good reason. Created by celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin, Ouai features a range of products, from candles to fragrances to dry shampoo (via Women's Wear Daily). During our quest to find the best beauty products, we tried Ouai's Super Dry Shampoo, which is available at Sephora for $24.

We wanted to fall in love with this product, but we didn't quite make it to the level of devotion we dreamed about. Ouai's Super Dry Shampoo was nearly perfect, except we found the scent to be slightly overpowering. To be honest, this is the primary reason why Verb's dry shampoo was ultimately chosen as the winner in this category. Ouai's dry shampoo is as effective as Verb's, but Ouai's scent was just too much for our sensitive noses. It does smell great, but it's too strong. When we wafted the dry shampoo over our tresses, that's all we could smell for the rest of the day.

Despite its strong scent, Ouai's Super Dry Shampoo is one of the best options available. It's recommended for all hair types and textures, it's vegan and cruelty-free, and it's free from harsh chemicals. Your hair gets a little boost of volume, too, which makes it even better. If you don't mind a strongly scented item, this is a good choice for you.

dpHUE Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo Spray: Runner-up

For us, it was important to try new products that met certain personal requirements. We only wanted to use cruelty-free dry shampoos, and we wanted to avoid harsh ingredients. This led us to discover the Apple Cider Vinegar Dry Shampoo from dpHUE, which is available at Sephora for $26. 

dpHUE's dry shampoo is recommended for all hair types, but it's also safe for people with color-treated hair and for those with oily scalps. The apple cider vinegar used in this product helps restore the natural pH balance of your scalp and effectively seals the cuticle of your hair, making it healthier in the long run (per Sephora). We tried this product two days after we washed our hair and followed the instructions for application exactly as its written on the bottle.

Overall, we were pleased with how well dpHUE's dry shampoo absorbed the oil buildup in our tresses without making our scalp feel dry or flaky. The only downside here is that the scent isn't exactly pleasant. This is probably because of the apple cider vinegar, but either way, the scent made the product less appealing. 

Batiste Dry Shampoo: Runner up

We completely understand if spending upwards of $20 feels like a lot for dry shampoo. We typically gravitate toward more budget-friendly options ourselves since many of them work well and smell great. One of our favorite affordable options is the Batiste Dry Shampoo, which is available at Target and other leading retailers. The price for this product typically fluctuates between $10 and $12, and the bottle lasts for about a month, depending on how frequently you use your dry shampoo and how much product you spray onto your hair with each use. In terms of dry shampoo, this is one of the best deals you can get.

Batiste is effective at removing excess oil from your roots while providing some added volume. This is particularly nice if you've gone more than one or two days between washes, as this is usually when your hair starts to flatten out. Batiste's Dry Shampoo is available in a variety of scents, but we stuck with their Classic Fresh option. We found that it helped mask odors, making it perfect for using between a gym session and a girl's night out.

The only downside to this product is the powdery residue it leaves on your scalp. We found this to be relatively irritating with repeated uses, but if you only spritz a small amount of dry shampoo onto your hair once or twice per week, this won't be as much of an issue.

Dove Beauty Refresh + Care Volume + Fullness Dry Shampoo: Runner-up

Our final runner-up is the Refresh + Care Volume + Fullness Dry Shampoo from Dove Beauty. Available at Target for $5.99 for a five-ounce can, this dry shampoo is the best option for those looking to try something new without breaking the bank. It's free from harmful dyes and parabens, and it's recommended for all hair types. Dove's dry shampoo provided the most volume of all the options we tried, so if this is the most important aspect of haircare products for you, Dove is the way to go.

Lightly scented, this dry shampoo is easy to use and even easier to throw into your bag before you head out the door for work. This is especially helpful if you know you'll need a quick refresh later on. All you need to do is mist the product approximately 8 to 10 inches from your roots and allow it to sit for about two minutes before massaging it into your scalp. You can style your hair however you want once the dry shampoo has been applied.

We really like this as an inexpensive, convenient option. It isn't the best dry shampoo on the list, but it does the trick! Which one will you be adding to your cart?