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Dry Shampoo: The Female Traveler’s Best Friend

packing dry shampoo for travel

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You just got off the night bus and haven’t showered in days, but your new hostel mates want to go out on the town. There’s not enough time to shower, but you look like you just woke up. What’s a girl to do?

As I mentioned in the Low Key Traveler’s Beauty Kit, packing dry shampoo is pretty much the best thing you can do while traveling. It’s right up there with your passport in terms of importance, transforming your look in a matter of seconds.

Why is dry shampoo so great? I’m glad you asked.

Oscar Biandi Dry Shampoo
Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo

6 Reasons Why Packing Dry Shampoo Makes Sense

1 – Easy to pack

Dry shampoo comes in many sizes, so you don’t have to worry about taking up too much space in your luggage. You only need a sprinkling of it to do the job. It’s not like Lush Solid Shampoo in that you also don’t have to worry about it being wet in your bag.

2 – Not subject to TSA restrictions

Since it’s not a liquid, you can pack as much of it as you want. You’ve got to love the TSA loopholes. While you may still want to bring wet shampoo and conditioner for a deeper cleanse, the dry shampoo won’t factor into your allotted ounces of liquid.

*We are referring to the powder versions of dry shampoo- not aerosols, which count as liquids.

Types of Dry Shampoo

I prefer the powdered kind because it doesn’t count as a liquid when flying, and I don’t have to worry about it spraying all over my bag on any type of trip where I pack a bag.

The aerosol, however, has the effect of hairspray and can liven up your hair while the powder just keeps grease under control.

Can you take dry shampoo on a plane?

Yes, you can take dry shampoo on a plane, just keep in mind that aerosoles and foams will be subject to liquid carry-on restrictions. That means aerosol and foam versions will have to fit inside your 3-1-1 bag when traveling carry-on-only and not be in a container larger than 3.4oz (100ml).

We definitely recommend checking out the list of powder dry shampoo options at the end of this article so you can fly without extra liquid packing stress.

3 – Keeps you from looking like a dirty backpacker

I will put my big bad female traveling secret out there: I don’t shower every day. Sometimes not even every other day. I know, I know. So embarrassing. But I’m guessing neither do many people when traveling.

These are the people dry shampoo was created for.

It soaks up the oils in your hair and leaves it smelling like you just washed it, rather than the aroma of stale cigarette smoke and falafel grease from the night before.

4 – If it’s good enough for models

I recently learned that all those glamorous models in fashion magazines have dirty hair covered up by dry shampoo and hair spray.

When your hair isn’t freshly washed, it’s easier to style, which is why dry shampoo is so handy and recommended by professional hair stylists.

5 – It’s affordable

While Oscar Blandi is my preferred brand, you can easily substitute baby powder or even find a knockoff brand at your local discount store for around $5. But you get what you pay for, whether it’s $2 or $24.

6 – Works for many hairstyles

Length, texture and thickness makes no difference because dry shampoo will work on any style.

There are brands that cater to different hair colors as some people with dark hair find the white powder to lighten their hair. Our recommendation is to put dry shampoo on at night and thoroughly brush through in the morning.

Also, test it out before your trip!

How to Use Dry Shampoo

Shake a coin-sized amount into your palms, rub it into your hands and into your scalp as you would gel or anything else.

Make sure to pat or brush it down so you aren’t left looking like you’re wearing George Washington’s powdered wig.

If you’re using the spray version, hold it about four inches away from your head because if you get too close you will have one big white spot.

Step 1: Brush Hair
Step 1: Brush Hair
Step 2: Apply quarter-sized amount into palms
Step 2: Apply quarter-sized amount into palms
Step 3: Rub palms together
Step 3: Rub palms together
Step 4: Massage into scalp and roots
Step 4: Massage into scalp and roots
Step 5: Make sure it's all scrubbed in.
Step 5: Make sure it’s all scrubbed in.
Step 6: Pat your scalp to remove any excess powder.
Step 6: Pat your scalp to remove any excess powder.
Step 7: Brush through one more time.
Step 7: Brush through one more time.
Step 8: You're all set!
Step 8: You’re all set!

Other reasons for packing dry shampoo

It can also be used to soak up those oils in your face or decrease forehead and nose shine. Don’t cake yourself in it, but a light layer can help.

You can soak up grease and dampness on your back or other parts of your body.

Powder Dry Shampoos

  • Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo (2.5 fluid oz.) – BUY AT WALMART >>
  • ACURE Dry Shampoo (1.7 fluid oz.) – BUY ON AMAZON >>
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous Non-Aerosol Dry Shampoo Volume Powder (2.3 oz.) – BUY ON AMAZON >>

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Christine says

    Yesssss I am such a dry shampoo convert! My fave is Batiste, an Aussie brand–I love it so much that I’m having an Australian friend bring me some over this summer! I can’t believe how much more limited the options are in the States–particularly for brunettes.

  2. sarah says

    Or you can make your own. All you need is cornstarch, and maybe a little cocoa powder to darken it if you have dark hair.

  3. Mari Zanini says

    Gotta love the dry shampoo! I haven’t tried Oscar Blandi, but I specially recommend the Got 2b Rockin’it (available on any CVS store and on Amazon). It’s an aerossol version and smells amazing. I have oily scalp and usually don’t skip more than a day without washing my hair, but this dry shampoo works wonders and during my travels I can go for 2 or 3 days water-free! Jackpot! 🙂

  4. Christie says

    Dry shampoos in aerosol cans are subject to same TSA rules as liquid. This post should be clarified to avoid any confusion. I traveled with a can that was above the limit and it was confiscated.

  5. Jacqueline says

    heyy !! I was just wanna ask, is dry shampoo in aerosol form allowed in your suitcase ? I’m going to travel this saturday, and I want to bring my dry shampoo, but not sure if it’s allowed. So, I hope you can give me an answer for my problem 🙂