The 10 Best Travel-size Dry Shampoo of 2022

The accessible and effective Chi Dry Shampoo works on most hair types.

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 Travel-sized Dry Shampoo of 2022

Amazon

Traveling light takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to toiletries. Dry shampoo not only literally lightens the load in your suitcase, it also works to give your hair a second (or third or fourth) life while on the road. A quick spritze or shake of a travel-sized dry shampoo can help save you from hauling around a head of greasy hair on long flights, during camping trips, or any other situation when you just don’t have time for or access to a regular shower. 

Our pick for best overall travel-size dry shampoo goes to Chi Dry Shampoo because it works on all hair types (yes, even curly hair), is affordable, doesn’t leave residue or white cast, and is widely available. Looking for something a little more specific? We’ve also got picks for curly hair, dyed hair, short hair, and more—all available in travel-friendly sizes. 

These are the best travel-size dry shampoos right now:

Best Overall: Chi Dry Shampoo

CHI Dry Shampoo

Amazon

Why We Love It: It’s affordable, accessible, and larger than most travel dry shampoos.

What to Consider: It’s got a very strong scent that may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

Chi Dry Shampoo checks all the main boxes we need when it comes to a travel-sized dry shampoo. It can be used on all hair types, including curly hair (since you don’t need to brush it through), and has reliable results for quick fixes and adding oomph after a long travel day or right before running out the door. It’s also affordable and available at most drugstores, so it’s an easy-to-find and accessible purchase for even the most infrequent of travelers. We also like that it comes in a 2.6-ounce size—which is still under the TSA requirements to pack into carry-on luggage or checked luggage but over 50 percent bigger than most other travel-sized dry shampoos. Plus, it’s an aerosol, which allows for a much more lightweight and even distribution than powder dry shampoos, and it leaves no white cast. (Hot tip: If the nozzle clogs, just run it under hot water for a few seconds.) The one big drawback is that it’s very heavily scented.

Price at time of publish: $9

Size: 2.6 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best Organic: Acure Dry Shampoo

Acure Dry Shampoo

Ulta Beauty

Why We Love It: This dry shampoo touts a handful of free-from ingredients and works as fast as you need it to. 

What to Consider: It can be hard to control the amount of product you apply.

This certified-organic powder dry shampoo gets to work ASAP and is suitable for all hair types. A little goes a long way. Just a few shakes and puffs brushed into your hair will add volume, get rid of the greasy look, and keep your tresses looking fresh, even if it’s been a few days since your last wash. We love that it does all this while still being 100 percent vegan and free from parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, petroleum, formaldehyde, and animal cruelty. One downside is the salt shaker-like applicator top makes it harder to control the amount of product that comes out and sometimes can be a struggle between barely enough or way too much—opt for applying it directly to your brush for a more even application to your hair. 

Price at time of publish: $10

Size: 1.7 ounces  | Scented: Yes

Best for Dark Hair: Moroccanoil Mini Dry Shampoo Dark Tones

Moroccanoil Mini Dry Shampoo Dark Tones

Sephora

Why We Love It: It’s got a UV filter and an anti-brassiness component.

What to Consider: You have to wait a few minutes to let it “set” before massaging or brushing through your hair.

White cast residue from dry shampoo is a perpetual problem for darker-toned hair. Thankfully, Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo Dark Tones is specifically formulated for darker hair—the aerosol spray itself is tinted a reddish brown. It’s also lightly scented with the standard MoroccanOil scent. We love that it’s got a UV filter and leaves hair feeling silky and fresh without a rough residue. The company also says that it contains an anti-brass component, but my hair was too dark to notice. One thing to note is that this product isn’t as quick of a use as other dry shampoos. You’ll need to spray it in, then let it soak in for at least three minutes before rubbing it in or brushing it through. This can be annoying in tight-turnaround situations. 

Price at time of publish: $12

Size: 1.7 ounce | Scented: Yes

Best Unscented: Act + Acre Plant Based Dry Shampoo

Act+Acre Plant-based Dry Shampoo

REVOLVE

Why We Love It: It’s a clean, plant-based formula with only six ingredients. 

What to Consider: The extra-small size makes it one of the priciest picks on the list.

This dry shampoo is a must-own for travelers looking to stock up on clean, cruelty-free beauty products. Act+Acre goes with the less-is-more philosophy, only using six total ingredients in this product, with fulvic acid and tapioca starch being its main cleansing and oil-absorbing components. For anyone with chemical sensitivities or issues with perfumes and fragrance, this dry shampoo stands out as an unscented liferaft in a sea of scented products. Even if you’re not shopping for a clean, cruelty-free dry travel dry shampoo, this is worth checking out and works surprisingly well considering its lack of chemicals. The one gripe we have is the size—at 0.46 ounces, it's very small. Thankfully, a little goes a long way and lasts, so you won’t need to use as much product as you expect. 

Price at time of publish: $26

Size: 0.46 ounces  | Scented: No

Best for Color-treated Hair: Pureology Style + Protect Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo

Pureology Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo

Sephora

Why We Love It: It’s got a UV filter.

What to Consider: It doesn’t take long to go through a bottle.

Pureology’s Refresh & Go Dry Shampoo is an aerosol dry shampoo that’s suitable for all hair types, but makes our pick for color-treated hair thanks to vitamin E, UV filters, and sunflower oil—ingredients that help protect dyed hair against environmental factors. As an aerosol product, this dry shampoo is a fine mist with an even application, though be prepared for a hairspray smell. The bottle’s plastic cap and smaller size make it possible to pack into checked or carry-on luggage for a flight. It’s also on the cheaper end of the spectrum when it comes to quality travel-sized dry shampoos, which is good since it’s pretty easy to go through a bottle of this stuff on one trip.  

Price at time of publish: $9

Size: 1.2 ounce | Scented: Yes

Best for Curly Hair: Odele Dry Shampoo

Odele Dry Shampoo

Odele

Why We Love It: This dry shampoo has a clean formula and is made by a woman-owned company. 

What to Consider: It may leave a white cast on dark hair or roots.

Odele Dry Shampoo is a plant-based powder that is applied via a pump dispenser. This is our pick for curly hair since it is lightweight and can be reapplied several times a week between wash days with caking. It’s also one of the few dry shampoos that does not require you to brush through the hair in order to achieve required results—Odele Dry Shampoo can be dusted directly onto roots and massaged in for absorption and volume. The formula is 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free and does not contain any phalates, sulfates, formaldehyde, parabens, or dyes. The floral fragrance is 100 percent natural. We also love that this is from a woman-owned company and hope that a dark-toned formula is next on their list since we did notice a bit of white cast on our dark brown roots.

Price at time of publish: $12

Size: 1.13 ounce | Scented: Yes

Best for Fine Hair: Aveda Shampowder Dry Shampoo

Aveda shampowder™ dry shampoo

Aveda

Why We Love It: It gives hair volume and bounce and smells amazing.

What to Consider: It’s challenging to control how much product is dispensed.

If you’re looking for a dry shampoo to use on second-day hair that will leave your hair silky and volumized, this is it. It also works especially well on fine hair, giving it that little extra oomph that can often allude those with fine strands. This vegan and talc-free dry shampoo powder uses bentonite clay to absorb sweat and oil at the roots while adding a lively amount of body and bounce when brushed through your hair. Plus, it smells out-of-this-world good—I literally had several people comment on how great I smelled whenever I used this dry shampoo. The vertical squeeze bottle application makes it easier to apply to your entire head, though there is a risk of squeezing a little too hard and ending up with an uneven amount of product (and a mess). 

Price at time of publish: $31

Size: 2 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best for Oily Hair: IGK Mini First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

IGK Mini First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo

Sephora

Why We Love It: It works best on hair three or four days unwashed (not just second-day hair). 

What to Consider: It may dry out non-oily hair.

Got an oily scalp or just looking for a dry shampoo that can tackle hair that’s more than a day or two without a wash? The IKG Mini First Class Charcoal Detox Dry Shampoo is formulated with charcoal powder to absorb oils and neutralize those unwashed hair odors, and it contains cleansers that actually do the dirty work without water. There’s no gluten, sulfates, parabens, mineral oil, or petroleum. This is the stuff you’ll want in your luggage for camping trips and other active outdoor adventures where you may not be able to wash your hair for days or on trips where you expect to get extra sweaty. One thing we love about this product is that you can put it on at night, let it work its magic while you sleep, and wake up with refreshed hair without a wash—key for those early-morning travel plans—but beware of using this if you’ve already got dry hair. 

Price at time of publish: $16

Size: 2 ounces  | Scented: Yes

Best for Short Hair: R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste

R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste

R+Co

Why We Love It: It has a clean application and it doubles as a texturizing product. 

What to Consider: Some people prefer a spray application.

A little goes a long way with this dry shampoo paste with a light citrusy and ginger scent that does double duty as a styling product. Unlike most dry shampoos, R+Co Badlands Dry Shampoo Paste is not a spray or powder but rather a paste that comes in a 2.24-ounce TSA-friendly tub. Application is as easy as dipping your fingertips in the product and then rubbing it in your roots and through your hair. Since this dry shampoo also works as a styling paste, you can use it to add texture to your hair or style individual pieces—making it a big winner with shorter haircuts and styles. Note that this product leaves your hair with a beach-day look, so if you’re looking for a soft and silky type of result, you may want to reach for a different product on the list.

Price at time of publish: $34

Size: 2.24 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best Water-activated: Seed Phytonutrients Balancing Shampoo Powder

Seed Phytonutrients Balancing Shampoo Powder

Seed Phytonutrients

Why We Love It: It’s a TSA-friendly and eco-conscious alternative to regular shampoo. 

What to Consider: It won’t work without water.

A dry shampoo that needs water to work? Yes, you read that correctly. Seed Phytonutrients Balancing Shampoo Powder is a dry shampoo in that it’s a powder, but it works like regular shampoo—all it needs is a little H20. This is a great dry shampoo option for travelers who want to skip the stress of TSA liquid regulations, or anyone who is working on reducing their footprint —this 2-ounce bottle equals one liter of regular “wet” shampoo. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and made without parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances (it’s got a natural lemony bergamot scent). We like it because it’s also residue-free and doesn’t weigh your hair down, though we do wish it worked with or without water. 

Price at time of publish: $24

Size: 2 ounces | Scented: Yes

Tips for Buying Travel-sized Dry Shampoos

Consider your hair color

Dry shampoo consists most often from a white powder (even in aerosol form) and may leave a white cast or look gray on darker hair colors. If you’ve got a darker hair color or roots, consider finding a tinted dry shampoo specifically for dark hair. 

Consider your hair texture and type

It can be more challenging to find dry shampoo that’s up to par if you’ve got curly, coiled, or fine hair, so be sure to read the reviews or find a dry shampoo that is specifically formulated for your hair texture before buying. For example, most dry shampoos require you to brush the product through your hair and may not work as intended on curly or coiled hair.  Likewise, dry shampoos made for oily hair should not be used on hair that’s already struggling with moisture.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How does dry shampoo work?

    Most dry shampoo works by absorbing natural oils at your roots, resulting in a “cleaner” look. A good dry shampoo will also either cover up or neutralize odors, add a touch of volume or bounce, and disappear into your hair without visible residue. A great dry shampoo will also cleanse, protect, and nurture your hair, too. 

  • When should I use dry shampoo?

    Use dry shampoo when you want to “freshen up” your hair. Most dry shampoos are meant to be used on dry, unwashed hair that’s a bit oily at the roots. 

  • Can I bring dry shampoo on a plane?

    In most cases, yes. Dry shampoo powder is allowed in carry-on and checked luggage at any size (though you might have your luggage pulled aside for inspection, if the container is large). Aerosol and paste or cream dry shampoos are allowed to be packed into checked and carry-on luggage as long as they are 3.4 ounces or smaller in size. Aerosols must also have a protective cap. 

Why Trust Travel + Leisure? 

For this list, Katherine Alex Beaven tested several different dry shampoos in between hair wash days and researched dozens more in order to uncover the best travel-sized dry shampoos for your travels. 

Up Next: The Best Travel Hair Dryers

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