Foaming Dry Shampoos: Advantages, Disadvantages and Related Products

Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Gaga

What is Foaming Dry Shampoo?

Foaming dry shampoo, also called dry shampoo mousse is a “wet” version of dry shampoo that turns into foam when shaken in the bottle. It offers similar benefits as ordinary dry shampoo; clean, odor-free, and fuller-looking hair.

Dry shampoo foam serves as a hair-washing solution when there isn’t time to take a shower and desperately need a quick fix for your hair. Foaming dry shampoo works by absorbing excess oil on the surface of your hair strands, thereby refreshing it. Just a few seconds after application, it disappears into your hair without leaving a white residue.

Dry mousse is ideal for “day after” washing when your hair is not yet very oily, or if you need to refresh a hairstyle to restore the first-day look.  The small percentage of water that the foam shampoo contains can help if you want to quickly restyle your hairstyle.

a bottle of foaming dry shampoo

If you are used to shampooing your hair daily, dry shampoo mist can stretch your regimen to every other day, leaving your hair clean and soft.

A bonus of dry shampoo foams is odor elimination: If your hair has picked the smell of tobacco or cooking, a foaming dry shampoo will deodorize your hair and eliminate unpleasant smells.

Additionally, foaming shampoo is a convenient solution after a workout when your hair is sweaty and when you need to prepare it for quick blow-drying.

Volumizing is another benefit of foaming dry shampoos: Sometimes you just need a little more volume after regular hair washing. If you apply a dry shampoo mousse to clean wavy hair, it will add more volume and create subtle beachy waves.

Dry Shampoo Foam vs Conventional Dry Shampoo

The main difference between dry shampoo and foaming dry shampoo is hydration:  foaming dry shampoo contains little water, but with a few strong shakes, the emulsion turns into foam that is easily applied to the hair. The water content makes the foaming shampoo non-drying to the hair, while traditional, powder-based dry shampoo can dry out the hair. Because the foaming shampoo does not come in a form of powder or spray, it is readily absorbed into the hair without leaving white residues and without creating a build-up or overly gritty texture. Plus, dry shampoo foam contains more hydrating and nourishing ingredients than ordinary dry shampoo.

Advantages of a Foaming Dry Shampoo

As already mentioned, you can use foam shampoo without fear of white streaks on your dark clothes or in your hair. Unlike dry shampoo, which has a dulling effect on the hair, dry shampoo “mousse” gives your hair more shine. Also, your hair will not look powdery and or be prone to tangling.

While traditional dry shampoo can make curly hair types dry out, dry shampoo mousse helps retain moisture due to the presence of water and conditioning ingredients.  A foaming shampoo will leave dry hair clean and soft to the touch. For curly hair prone to dryness, foaming dry shampoo offers a promising solution.

While conventional dry shampoos can make your scalp feel itchy from product build-up, dry shampoo foam doesn’t stress the scalp. Unlike dry shampoo, foaming shampoo does not clog pores. Instead, it hydrates the scalp and relieves itchiness, so you can feel that your scalp is really clean.

Because foaming dry shampoo is easier to apply to the desired area of the head than traditional dry shampoo, there is less waste as only as much product as needed is used.

woman applying dry shampoo foam to the hair


  1. Shake Well!
  2. Shake Well!
  3. Shake Well!

Many people give up using dry shampoo mousse just because they do not understand how important it is to shake the bottle vigorously before application. Shaking turns the liquid into foam which you then pump to the root of your hair. Let the foam sit for a few minutes and then distribute it over the rest of your hair. You can blow-dry hair to refresh the style. Important: Do not apply too much of the product to avoid sticky and heavy hair. Start with a small amount and then apply more if needed.

The Downside of Foaming Dry Shampoos

If you apply more of a dry shampoo mousse than necessary, the hair can look greasy, wet, and sticky. Overall, while the general effect on hair that is dry by nature is mostly positive, users who have oily hair have less reason to be satisfied as their hair can still look greasy after application.

a woman is refreshing her hair with foaming dry shampoo

1. R+Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist

This is one of the most effective foaming shampoos geared toward people who have dry or normal hair. It is ideal for refreshing the scalp and hair between washes and for soothing itchy scalps. Glycerin in its formula supports water retention in the hair, while silica makes hair stronger and more resistant to breakage. Castor oil retains moisture and nourishes the scalp and hair. The scent is subtle and unisex.

2. Pret-a-Powder Post Workout Dry Shampoo Mist by Bumble and Bumble

a woman relaxing after a workout

This liquid mist is formulated specifically to clean and eliminate odor in sweaty hair. When you don’t have time to wash your hair after working out, this dry shampoo will cut down on greasiness and take the sweat and smell out of your strands. Just spray it on your wet/sweaty hair and blow-dry it.

Important: Not for people who are sensitive to scents. The scent is perfumy and too strong.

3. “Pump stopped working”: OGX Bodifying + Bamboo Fiber-Full Body Renew Dry Shampoo

a broken pump of a foaming dry shampoo

This foam dry shampoo works beautifully for normal to dry hair, but if you have oily hair, this dry shampoo may make your locks even greasier and heavier.

Unfortunately, a faulty pump design leads to a clogged pump which usually stops dispensing the product after just a few uses.  It is a problem with the entire product line and has proven disappointing for people who have given it a try. Some people have tried to run hot water over the pump to make the nozzle clean and functional. But, let’s face it, dry shampoo is supposed to help save time and make life easier!  It would be a good idea to stay away from this product until the pump design is rectified.  

4. Why Do Your Favorite Products Get Discontinued? TRESemme Fresh Start Waterless Foam Shampoo

Tresemme stopped making this product, and now you can’t buy it in your local store. You only can find it as an overpriced item online which is very frustrating for many loyal consumers who have been using the product for decades. Why any manufacturer would discontinue a popular product is a mystery.

Maybe an alternative would soon emerge on the horizon.

5. Batiste Waterless Cleansing Foam

This product is formulated to refresh normal or dry hair between washes and is not strong enough to cleanse oily scalps. It smells great and doesn’t leave a residue. However, this cleansing foam doesn’t work well for eliminating greasiness. If your hair is oily, you might want to stick to traditional dry shampoo.

While the concept of dry shampoo foam sounds promising, the results are mixed if not poor. We look forward to product tweaks and developments in the future, and we will keep you posted!

sports woman training in a morning gym

About the author

Dragica Mitrovic Gaga
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Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.


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