We Tried It: The Best Dry Shampoos For Dark Hair

From powders to sprays, these formulas refresh your look without leaving white residue behind.

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Finding the perfect dry shampoo can be tricky, but it can be especially difficult for brunettes. A lot of formulas leave white residue behind, or won’t blend into darker hair, making roots look powdery and feel sticky. Thankfully, a lot of beauty brands have caught on to this common hair woe and have created tinted formulas.

We tested seven tinted dry shampoo formulas on dark-haired women at the Chatelaine offices, and these are the results:

dry shampoo for dark hair-dark brown cylindrical bottle with pink plastic top of got2b Fresh It Up Dry Shampoo

göt2b Fresh It Up Cocoa Brown Dry Shampoo, $9, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

“I was impressed by how this dark spray didn’t come out in thick, concentrated clumps, but rather a gentle smoky spritz that makes grease dissipate. I only wish it had that “long-lasting fragrance” it says on the bottle. In fact, I could barely smell the “sweet cocoa” scent. But you know a dry shampoo is good when you can rely on it during back-to-back Indian wedding events because you don’t have the time (or energy) to wash your unruly hair.” —Sejal Kapadia Pocha

dry shampoo for dark hair-light blue cylindrical bottle with Design.Me Quickie Me dry shampoo

Design.Me Quickie.Me Dry Shampoo Spray Dark, $22, designmehair.com.

“Dry shampoo has become one of my beauty essentials—seriously, who has time to wash their hair? I like that this formula doesn’t leave my hair looking ‘dusty’ and a really gentle scent that helps deodorize hair. Because my hair is really fine, I appreciate the little lift this gives me.” —Simone Olivero

dry shampoo for dark hair-silver tube bottle with black cap with AG Hair Care Brunette Dry Shampoo

AG Hair Brunette Dry Shampoo, $28, chatters.ca.

“I usually use Cake’s dry shampoo, which I love, so I was skeptical that another brand could win me over. But I liked that AG Hair is, like Cake, cruelty-free. It has a light scent and the dark colour blends really well with my dark brown hair. The formula is richly pigmented, meaning it helps camouflage the giant streak of grey in my bangs (which I am alternately depressed by and trying to embrace). But the deep colour also left a brown stain on my towel, even after I washed my hair (this has never happened with the Cake formula). On the upside, it blends slightly better than the Cake formula. The bottom line? I liked—and would recommend—this formula (if you have dark towels!), but the higher price ($28 vs. $15 for Cake) means I’m not likely to switch brands.” —Gillian Grace, deputy editor

dry shampoo for dark hair-black and white striped bottle with white pump top of The Takesumi Detox dry shampoo

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox OVernight Dry Shampoo for Brunettes, $32, kaianaturals.com.

“Unlike other dry shampoos, Kaia Naturals works its magic at night. You spritz (this eco-friendly bottle isn’t an aerosol spray, FYI) and massage it into your hair before you go to bed, which means it also won’t slow down your mornings. The activated charcoal in the formula removes odour and absorbs oil, so you get that great day-old hair when you wake up. I especially love the scent, which isn’t too cloyingly sweet.” —Mishal Cazmi

dry shampoo for dark hair-White metal spray can with green labelling of Klorane dry shampoo

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for Brown to Dark Hair, $16, shoppersdrugmart.ca.

“This dry shampoo is lovely. It didn’t leave my hair feeling full of grit or product, and it gave my day-two look more volume and less grease. My hair is quite dark, but I found that this light brown formula blended in well and definitely revived my look—plus, it smelled great.”—Ishani Nath

dry shampoo for dark hair-brown cardboard tube with white plastic top with Cake The All Powderful dry shampoo

Cake The All Powderful Tinted Dry Shampoo for Light to Medium Brown Hair Shades, $15, cakebeauty.com.

“I’ve never used dry shampoo before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Cake’s The All Powderful dry shampoo won me over with its powder formula (I found it less intimidating than a spray) and its delicious scent. I also loved how it helped provide volume at my roots and was a great pick-me-up after a workout.”—Amy Grief

dry shampoo for dark hair-brown and silver bottle of Batsiste dry shampoo

Batiste Dry Shampoo Plus in Beautiful Brunette, $10, walmart.ca.

“Batiste is the cult classic of dry shampoos, so I didn’t need any convincing to give the brand’s new Beautiful Brunette iteration a try. My only reservation came after I read the instructions on the back of the can, which advise that, in addition to refreshing day two, three or four hair, the spray can be used to cover grey roots in a pinch. A lapsed blonde, my current natural shade of brown is fairly light, so I worried about a reverse skunk-stripe situation, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the product nearly instantly vanished into my crown, imbuing a fluffy lift to my hair and a just-washed scent. I’m keeping this can at my desk for those mornings when I hit the snooze button a few too many times and need a pre-meeting hair pick-up.”—Charlotte Herrold, editor-in-chief, Flare