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Dry shampoos

We test drive a variety of budget-friendly and splurgy dry shampoos.

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Bumble and bumble Hair Powder, $35 at Sephora (locations at sephora.com)
What it promises
Matte finish, instant fullness
What it delivers
My blond hair tends to look dirty when I haven’t washed it for 24 hours, so I’m excited that this product purports to brighten up hair. Color options include white and “blondish.” I try the latter, which looks closer to a medium brown and darkens my hair. Over the course of the day, some powder residue slowly sloughs off, smudging my keyboard. The white fares much better: My hair looks gray at first spray, but when I run a comb through, my locks look sun-bleached and voluminous.
How long it lasts
Until you wash it out
Extra perk
Although the color didn’t work for me, women with thinning hair might find it’s a miracle product.

skinnyskinny Dry Shampoo, $32 at skinnyskinny.com
What it promises
Oil-free and healthy hair, even after a few days of not washing
What it delivers
In the morning, I dab on a dime-sized amount of the starchy organic product. A minute later, I comb it out as instructed. My hair—unwashed for 24 hours—looks only fractionally less greasy. I dump on a couple of tablespoons more and, voilà, oil-be-gone. However, six hours later, I look in the mirror just before I leave work, and the grease has reappeared at my problem spot—where my part meets my forehead.
How long it lasts
About six hours
Extra perk
The faint jasmine smell, which lasts until you wash it out

Pssssst! Instant Dry Shampoo, $6 at Walgreens
What it promises
Absorbs excess oil, eliminates odor and boosts natural volume
What it delivers
After a long day of high humidity and hat wearing, I spray on this old-school dry shampoo, available on drugstore shelves for some 40-odd years. It smells as if I bathed in a vat of toxic chemicals, but my locks look less greasy, and the odor fades into a soaplike scent. The most noticeable aspect is that my hair looks exceptionally soft, shiny and full. Compliments from my husband ensue.
How long it lasts
A couple of hours
Extra perk
It’s free of color and doesn’t need to be brushed out.

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