Braids are a bold and beautiful hairstyle, but they need some maintenance to keep looking neat.
For one thing, they’re more challenging to wash. They also trap odors, so if you sit in the food court for a while, your braids may smell of fries and burgers for a day or two.
Luckily, there’s an easy and convenient way to refresh your braids and make them smell better between wash days. Two words: dry shampoo.
It’s a holy grail not just for ladies with oily scalps but braid lovers too.
It’s a terrific way to keep your braids looking clean and fresh without getting them wet.
So, you need to look for the best dry shampoo for braids.
How do dry shampoos work?
Dry shampoo is pretty self-explanatory – it’s something you can use to wash your hair while it’s dry.
It’s usually made with starch to absorb any oils and grease that have built up in your hair and scalp when it’s been a few days since your last wash day.
It helps make your hair look cleaner and less greasy.
Many dry shampoos have scents ranging from fruity to floral to fresh.
They’re handy if you have a naturally oily scalp or work out between wash days.
I also love how dry shampoos give you added volume.
They lift the roots, which are probably weighed down by oils and gunk that have accumulated since you last shampooed.
If you’re rocking braids, it will also extend the wear of your hairstyle because you won’t have to be tugging at it while shampooing the traditional way.
Dry shampoos are pretty simple, especially ones that come in an aerosol can.
All you have to do is position the can six or so inches away from your head and spray into your roots.
Massage it into the scalp to get rid of any white, powdery residue.
If you want to deodorize your braids and make them smell awesome again, spray all over your hair up to your ends.
Don’t overspray, though; too much dry shampoo can make your hair dull-looking.
Best dry shampoo for braids
The following brands of dry shampoo are great for braids:
Taliah Waajid Refresh & So Clean Bamboo, Avocado & Peppermint Dry Gel Shampoo
Women with braids can use any dry shampoo they prefer to refresh their hair.
But Taliah Waajid thoughtfully designed a dry gel shampoo specifically for ladies who love protective hairstyles.
This dry shampoo is applied directly under the braids to cleanse the scalp.
It does so gently to reduce follicle irritation.
If you tend to have an itchy scalp that bothers you when you sport box braids, you’ll love that this dry shampoo provides immediate relief.
It’s formulated with peppermint and witch hazel, both known astringents that can purify the hair and reduce itching.
It’s also composed of a unique SciNatranol peptide fortifying complex made from bamboo, basil, and biotin to strengthen and deposit essential moisture into your hair strands.
- Gently cleanses the scalp to reduce follicle irritation under braids
- Peppermint and witch hazel act like astringents to purify hair
- Fortifies hair with a SciNatranol peptide fortifying complex
- Has a refreshing minty scent
- Can worsen itchiness if you use too much product
amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Bring your braids back to life while feeding it the nutrients of amazing sea buckthorn berry with this bestselling amika dry shampoo.
It’s made with rice starch in place of the more irritating aluminum starch.
It absorbs all the gunk and oils from your hair and scalp to refresh your hair.
The dry shampoo also restores volume at the roots, making your braids look plump and healthy.
It’s also infused with sea buckthorn berry, which provides omega fatty acids and antioxidants to protect your hair from free radical damage.
his dry shampoo comes out in a fine mist for more control as you spray it into your hair.
It also comes out invisible, so you never get stuck with nasty white residue.
- Made with rice starch instead of aluminum starch
- Infused with sea buckthorn berry for protection
- Restores volume while absorbing gunk and oils
- Invisible and never leaves a white residue
- Comes out in a fine mist
- Too light to absorb gunk from incredibly oily hair
Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo, Dark Tones
A surefire way to ruin the sleek look of your braids is to have white, powdery residue stuck in between them with no way to brush it away.
That’s why Moroccanoil formulated this dry shampoo specifically for dark-haired ravens like you.
This dry shampoo comes out in a darker hue, so white residue doesn’t disturb the richness of your black or chocolate brown hair.
Its ultra-fine rice starch sucks up all the impurities and grime that have built up in your hair, refreshing and deodorizing as it goes.
It’s infused with argan oil to add shine and light hydration to your hair, keeping it from looking dull and dry.
It also has UV protection to keep heat damage at bay.
- Comes out in a darker hue
- Ultra-fine rice starch sucks up oil and impurities
- Provides UV protection to fight against heat damage
- Infused with argan oil for a bit of shine and hydration
- The fresh scent can be a bit strong and overwhelming
Cleo+Coco Dry Shampoo + Body Powder In Sweet Surrender
If you’re looking to go the more natural and organic route, you’ll fall in love with this dry shampoo by Cleo+Coco.
It’s quite an innovative hair product because it can also double as a body powder.
That means freshness from head to toe between wash days.
This talc-free dry shampoo doesn’t use the usual starch and alcohols to get rid of excess sebum in your scalp.
Instead, it incorporates arrowroot powder, kaolin and bentonite clays, and coconut charcoal to clarify your scalp the natural way.
It leaves your scalp and braids feeling clean and smelling of sweet vanilla and lavender to calm and relax the senses.
- Doubles as a hair and body product to neutralize odors
- Has a vanilla and lavender scent to calm the senses
- Contains only natural ingredients, like clays and charcoal
- Made with a talc-free formula for your safety
- Comes in a pump, not a spray, so it’s harder to control how much product comes out
OGX Extra Strength Refresh & Restore + Coconut Miracle Oil Dry Shampoo
If your hair and scalp are more on the drier side, dry shampoo can be pretty intimidating.
But don’t fret; there are some dry shampoos, like this OGX one, that strive to care for your braids and still provide them with that smooth and silky texture.
This dry shampoo does a great job at eliminating excessive shine and greasiness in your scalp.
But instead of stripping it of softness and leaving the hair dull, it has ingredients like coconut oil, essence of tiare, and vanilla bean extract to make your hair soft, silky, and touchable.
It also plumps up and revives your hair, transforming it from limp to voluminous!
- Absorbs oil to give your hair a cleaner, fresher look
- Infused with coconut oil, essence of tiare, and vanilla to strengthen hair
- Plumps up your hair to give it more texture and volume
- Has a tropical coconut scent that leaves your hair smelling fabulous
- Takes time to massage away the white, powdery residue on dark hair
Colab Dry Shampoo Unicorn Fragrance
It can be stressful looking for a dry shampoo that won’t leave a white, powdery mess on your gorgeous, black locks.
Luckily, this unicorn dry shampoo by Colab allows you to spray all you want worry-free with its invisible finish.
This dry shampoo claims to leave no trace of white residue on dark hair.
It also has a lightweight formula so that you won’t feel an added heaviness in your scalp and braids.
The best part about this dry shampoo is the “unicorn” fragrance, which smells of enchanting jasmine and vanilla.
The scent doesn’t fade as quickly as other scents might.
This one lingers in your hair, making you feel, look, and smell fresh in between washes!
- Leaves your hair smelling like jasmine and vanilla
- Has an invisible finish with no powdery residue
- Lightweight formula that won’t feel heavy on the scalp and braids
- Vegan-friendly and animal cruelty-free
- The effect isn’t immediate; takes about 30 minutes for it to absorb oils
Batiste Dry Shampoo, Original
There’s no doubt that when it comes to dry shampoo, Batiste is the gold standard and the queen reigning them all.
The brand carries dozens of variants and scents for their dry shampoos, but their claim to fame is this iconic Original scent.
The reason why this dry shampoo is so well-loved is that it’s incredibly effective at eliminating oil and gunk trapped in the scalp in mere seconds.
While it does leave a white residue on darker hair, it’s super easy to blend and massage into the hair to help it dissipate.
This Original scent is refreshing, with notes of citrusy bergamot and florals like roses and lilies.
It smells clean too, as if you were just out of the shower.
- Created by an iconic and renowned dry shampoo brand
- Has a clean, citrusy, and floral scent to refresh your braids
- Super effective at eliminating oil and gunk
- Easy to massage the white residue into the scalp
- May dry the hair out because it doesn’t have softening ingredients
SheaMoisture Jojoba Oil & Ucuuba Butter No-rinse Foam Cleanser With Carrot Seed Oil
If you’re worried that dry shampoo will leave your scalp and hair dehydrated and flaky, opt instead for a gentle, nourishing foam cleanser like this one from SheaMoisture.
It removes dirt, gunk, and residue from your hair without the need for water.
While it gets rid of nasty impurities, it also replenishes your hair with much-needed moisture.
Rich shea butter, jojoba oil, carrot seed oil, and ucuuba butter hydrate the hair intensely, leaving it glossy and plump.
All you have to do is pump some product into your hands and slowly spread it across your braids while being careful not to be too rough.
When you’re done, you’ll be left with braids that are shiny, moisturized, and looking fresh and snatched.
- Cleanses the hair without needing any water
- Gets rid of dirt and impurities stuck in your braids
- Moisturizes the hair with nourishing oils and butters
- Formulated without sulfates, parabens, petrolatum
- Can leave a waxy coating on the hair if you use too much
Alterna My Hair My Canvas Another Day Vegan Dry Shampoo
If you’re on a tight budget but want to experience a more luxurious dry shampooing experience, try this vegan dry shampoo by Alterna.
It’s made with premium ingredients like white charcoal and botanical caviar, and it doesn’t get any more luxe than that!
White charcoal helps absorb every trace of oil and grime on your scalp.
Meanwhile, botanical caviar ensures your hair’s natural shine and softness is retained so that it can still be touchable post-refresh.
It’s a great option if you hate dry shampoos that dry out your scalp.
It has a lightweight formula that is translucent in color.
That means no product build-up even after using it a couple of times, and definitely, no white powder left on your dark-colored braids.
- Has a lightweight, translucent formula for zero powdery residue
- White charcoal absorbs all the sebum and grease on the scalp
- Botanical caviar retains hair’s softness and natural shine
- Vegan formula to support your green lifestyle
- Has a wetter consistency and feel than most dry shampoos
SexyHair Big Dry Shampoo
Are your braids looking a little flat?
Add some extra oomph and body to your roots and braids with this dry shampoo by SexyHair!
This dry shampoo makes sure your hair looks grease-free and voluminous even when it’s been days since your last wash.
Spraying this into your roots will make your braids look less limp and more plump and bodied.
I also appreciate how this has UV filters to keep your hair from getting damaged by the sun’s rays.
That means you can stay outdoors for as long as you want without worrying about the heat and UV damage dealt to your hair, all while looking slick and fresh.
- Adds volume to your roots, making them look less limp
- Absorbs oil, impurities, and product buildup on your scalp
- Has UV filters to protect your hair from sun damage
- Safe to use on color-treated hair
- The smell is too strong for some users
Kerastase Fresh Affair Fine Fragrance Dry Shampoo
If your main concern is getting rid of that shiny look left by heavy greasiness on the scalp, this Kerastase dry shampoo will do the trick.
It has an added bonus of fine, feminine fragrance added to your braids too!
This dry shampoo is made with rice starch, one of the most common dry shampoo ingredients.
It’s so effective at refreshing the hair because it sucks up all the excess sebum and oil in the scalp in no time.
This dry shampoo leaves you feeling fresh and grease-free.
It’s scented with Neroli oil, an essential orange oil with a sweet and citrusy fragrance with notes of honey and spiciness.
It’s terrific for deodorizing braids that tend to trap odors in its twists.
- Rice starch quickly sucks up excess oil in the scalp
- Contains vitamin E reduce breakage and provide protection
- Scented with Neroli oil for a sweet, citrusy fragrance
- Sprays very finely for lightweight touch with no build-up
- The scent can be too strong for some users
How often should you use dry shampoo?
Use dry shampoo when your hair and scalp are looking a tad bit greasy, and you’re a day or two away from your wash day.
You can use dry shampoo a couple of times between washes, but you shouldn’t use it more than two days in a row without washing your hair on the third day.
Using too much dry shampoo can cause product buildup that can clog your hair follicles and lead to itchiness and scalp acne.
Remember that dry shampoo is just an in-betweener and will certainly never replace your traditional shampoo and conditioner on wash day.
Should we use dry shampoo at night?
Many people use dry shampoo on their hair while getting ready in the morning.
That’s because this is when they’re rushing to bolt out the door and looking for convenient ways to refresh their look without taking too much time in the bathroom.
That’s completely fine if it’s what you prefer.
After all, the point of dry shampoo is to get you to cut down on prep time when getting ready.
When it comes down to it, there aren’t any rules about when you should be applying your dry shampoo anyway.
But you’ll be surprised to know that the best and most effective time to apply your dry shampoo is actually during the nighttime – specifically right before you go to sleep.
Applying dry shampoo at night allows it ample time to absorb all the oil and grease in your scalp and hair while you sleep.
It also gives time for that powdery residue to blend into the hair better and disappear.
Applying at night cuts down on the extra minutes you spend in the morning refreshing your hair.
And who doesn’t love an extra ten minutes to enjoy their morning coffee in peace?
Who has time to hop into the shower every time your scalp is looking a little oily?
Shampooing your braided hair frequently isn’t just a hassle – it risks frizzing and loosening up your braids too.
So it’s best to maintain that gorgeous hairstyle with a dry shampoo to keep your hair fresh and clean-smelling.
The fact that it absorbs all the grease and gunk that has built up on your scalp is another plus.
If you’ve been looking for the best dry shampoo for braids, I hope this review has helped you to make a decision.
What are you waiting for?
Extend your braids’ lifespan while keeping them looking tight and snatched with any of the dry shampoos on this list!