DIY all-natural dry shampoo

DIY natural dry shampoo

Ladies, we’ve all been there: you’re running late, your boyfriend/husband is nagging you, and as much as you want to wash and style your hair, there is just no time. Or maybe you want to throw it up in a pony-tail to make an early-morning run to the grocery store without looking quite so slick. Or maybe you just pressed the snooze button a few extra times than you should have.

Life happens. But bad hair days don’t have to when you have dry shampoo.

When aerosol dry shampoo came on the market, it was a life-changer for me (I was in college at the time, working and studying, and often running late to both). What an amazing invention! Until you look at the ingredient label…

Ruh roh. Lots of nasties in these babies. The iconic Pssst Dry Shampoo, has a “6″ ranking in EWG’s Skin Deep Database, which is the highest score in the “moderate hazard” range.  Its most offensive ingredients have been linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive harm and organ system toxicity.

Which is why an all-natural alternative for me was a must. And who knew it would be so simple and effective?

By simple I mean one ingredient for blondes (cornstarch), two for brunettes (cornstarch and unsweetened cocoa powder mixed to a 1:1 ratio). Yep, that’s it. I mixed mine (as I am a brunette) and put it in an old spice container with a shaker top (pictured above). That way I can easily just sprinkle a little on my roots (sounds a tad silly, I know) when needed. I simply shake my hair out to blend it in. Many others use on old make-up brush to apply the powder, simply buffing it in as you would with facial powder, until completely absorbed. This is a useful technique and guarantees you get right to the roots.

Some of you may be skeptical, but I assure you this is amazing. Way more life-changing than I had once thought aerosol dry shampoo to be. The first and foremost reason obviously being that it is all-natural. The second being that it blends much more easily for me (I always seemed to have one large white patch with the aerosols that just could not be blended and had me rubbing my head for what seemed like minutes) yet absorbs the oil completely. To boot, my hair does not get the same stiff feeling as with the aerosols.

Try it out! With cornstarch costing around $1.50 and cocoa powder costing around $3.00 at the grocery store, there is absolutely no reason not to.

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46 Responses to DIY all-natural dry shampoo

  1. Would this work the same with arrowroot? x

  2. Nadia says:

    Hi, Michelle! It does work similarly and absorbs the oil. For me, it was slightly harder to get to blend in than cornstarch, but give it a go and let me know how it fares for you!

  3. [...] Here is a homemade dry shampoo recipe using cornstarch. [...]

  4. Sarah Smith says:

    Years ago, I used a blend that included clay and was rather white; it didn’t work well on my dark hair. I was very excited to see this idea to mix in cocoa powder!

    I just tried this using arrowroot instead of cornstarch (and hadn’t noticed these comments about that). I used one of my kids paint brushes to apply it (I apparently got rid of my makeup brush during one of my many house clean-outs). Just tapped the paintbrush lightly after dipping it to get rid of any excess powder. The cocoa/arrowroot mixture worked wonderfully on my 3rd-day hair! Thank you!

  5. chrissie says:

    Yep! I love this. I have been doing this for a while now. Yesterday my hair was G-R-E-A-S-Y! So I did this and went to dinner, the next morning you there was no oily hair.

  6. Elaine says:

    Im confused. Do you sprinkle, rub in and leave it? Or do you wash out like regular shampoo in the shower?

  7. Nadia says:

    Hi, Elaine! Like other dry shampoos, you just leave it in your hair. It absorbs the oil so your hair looks nice and clean without needing to get in the shower, dry off, blow dry your hair, and all that rigmarole. It’s a real time saver when you’re in a crunch!!

  8. Elaine says:

    Thanks Nadia! I’ll definitely try it.

  9. Marcia says:

    I have used baby powder for this for years and since my hair is white it blends in fine..but I’m going to try the cornstarch as it seems a better choice.

  10. Hannah says:

    Any ideas for redheads? I’m not sure if brown or white will blend in very well

  11. Chrissie says:

    Hannah, try adding some cinnamon. I have reddish/brown hair and I used a mix of cinnamon and coco with the corn starch.

  12. Nadia says:

    Readers helping readers- love it!! Thanks, Chrissie! That is a great suggestion.

  13. Hannah says:

    Awesome! Thanks for your help, Chrissie :)

  14. Keona says:

    Thanks!!! i put a bit of cinnamon in and had complements all day on how good i smelt ;)

  15. Nadia says:

    Haha Keona, that’s awesome!! Glad it worked out for you!

  16. Jodi H says:

    How much do you use?

  17. Nadia says:

    Hi, Jodi! It depends on how oily my hair is. I usually start with a little sprinkling, rub it in, and then see if I need more.

  18. Wendy says:

    Do you think this would work for bangs?

  19. Nadia says:

    Hmm I don’t see why not! I might be hesitant to add the cocoa though in case you sweat (my fear being that it could come off on your forehead). I have never personally had a problem with rain making the cocoa run down my face – this was certainly a fear when I first wore it in the rain through – but since bangs are always right against your forehead I would just be cautious of this. If I were you, I would use arrowroot rather than cornstarch. Many people use arrowroot to set their makeup or just to give themselves a shine-free finish, so I would personally rather have this against my skin. Give it a go and see how it works! Worst case scenario, you now have some extra baking supplies :)

  20. This is brilliant! I have tried 5 diff aerosols (i’m a brunette) to try to find one that doesn’t leave me looking grey! I’m trying this NOW lol :)

  21. Natalie says:

    I wonder if coconut flour would work? I don’t like the idea of cornstarch. I think this would work well in a shaker jar with medium holes for all over coverage:)

  22. Nadia says:

    Arrowroot works if you don’t like cornstarch.

  23. nina owens says:

    Do you think this would work for dread locks on African American Hair. Or just Black hair period?

  24. Nadia says:

    Hi, Nina. Hm. I think on dread locks it would not rub in very well, but I think the brush-buffing technique could work well since it makes it easier to blend. To be honest I’m not sure! If you do happen to try it, please report back :) I’d love to know and am sure others would as well!

  25. Lena says:

    Will definitly try this with the addition of coca and cinnamon – this could be a livesafer for a first time mum, thanks so much :D

  26. Caroline says:

    Hi! Thank you to everybody for sharing. My concern is – wont the cornstarch eventually fall on the user’s shirt, leaving what looks like dandruff?

  27. Nadia says:

    Hi, Caroline. Nope! It stays in the hair. When applying it, I do typically get some on my shirt, but it brushes off easily.

  28. Britney says:

    I’ve been meaning to make this, and your post just gave me last push I needed to get my butt to the store & buy some cornstarch! I am a brunette but will probably add some cinnamon in there the scent. Has anyone tried adding in essential oils or would that totally counteract the whole idea of absorbing the oil of of your hair?

  29. [...] by Empowered Sustenance Homemade Shampoo by DIY Natural DIY Shampoo Bars by Learning and Yearning Dry Shampoo by Body [...]

  30. emilybutler says:

    can you use self rising flour not corn starch

  31. Nadia says:

    No clue!

  32. Lib says:

    Will this work on Asian? Obviously I have black hair and my hair get oily very quick.

  33. Nadia says:

    It should! You may have to rub it in a bit more since your hair is so dark, but I don’t see why not.

  34. Laura says:

    Could you use cacao powder instead of the cocoa powder? I don’t see why not, but wondered if it would make any difference, and that’s just what I have on hand. Thanks for the awesome idea, as I get greasy after only one day and it’s such a pain to have to wash my hair every day just to look socially acceptable :)

  35. Nadia says:

    I don’t see why not! And ooh girl do I feel you about having to wash your hair everyday ;) This really is a life-saver.

  36. Robyn says:

    The secret is to brush it out with a hairbrush with some cheesecloth over it. Nothing left in the hair.

  37. Hi there! I have super-greasy hair, and love using “dry shampoos” but I don’t like using cornstarch if I don’t have to… would rice powder work as well? I’ve tried using baking soda, but that leaves me with messy gritty beach hair (awesome sometimes, not always). I’m considering adding a couple of drops of EOs and mixing well.

    Your blog is wonderful, I have become addicted! I managed to somehow follow a link here, and I’ve been digging through your site for the past hour straight :) So much of the tiny bits of info I’ve been looking for to fill in my natural regimen!

  38. Nadia says:

    Arrowroot works just as well as cornstarch. Is it because you are worried about GMO cornstarch? If yes, you can buy organic.

  39. I have a lot of rice powder and am trying to find ways to use it :P … I’ll have to take a look for non-GMO cornstarch next time I go shopping though. I do also love what rice does for my skin, so I was just wondering if there were more ways to use it.

  40. Kitiara says:

    Hey, just wanted to pop in and say I have been using this recipe for a few days now and it works ten times better than store bought spray dey shampoos. I’m in love! Just wanted to quickly mention a few things I’ve learned out there on the interwebz: apparently corn starch encourages the growth of the scalp fungus that causes dandruff. I’ve been using corn starch anyway and haven’t noticed any extra flakes yet, but it might be something to consider if you’re particularly flaky. Also this is a much better option than baby powder, because baby powder is basically talc, and talc particles are so small that they can cause serious breathing problems when inhaled. You don’t want to use it around humans, basically. Cocoa powder FTW!! And I am really interested if rice powder works too. Please let us know if you try it , Miyu!

  41. millie says:

    Okay, so…. yeah. I’m a redhead, which is kind of an issue here. Tips please?

  42. Nadia says:

    I think someone above said they added cinnamon! Also, you can just do plain cornstarch. You’ll just need to blend it in very well, but it will work!

  43. millie says:

    Thanks!

  44. Jacqui Roy says:

    I tried the cornstarch and cinnamon but it just looked like I had dusty hair. No matter how many times I brushed, it still looked like a powdered wig in my red hair =/ It did take the oils away but I still had to wash it to remove the cornstarch and I really didn’t use much. I am trying not to wash my hair every single day because of damage to my ends but I have an oily scalp so after one full day, I could lube an engine with it. Sadly, this didn’t work out for me as well as it has for others.

  45. sarah says:

    I have red hair, and today I used straight cinnamon (I use tons of cinnamon, so I get it at Costco for less than four bucks for a big shaker bottle). I sprinkled it directly onto my roots from the bottle, then just worked it in with my fingers and then brushed my hair. It worked FABULOUSLY! Even after a mid-day workout (I showered, but didn’t wash my hair) my hair STILL looks and smells great!

  46. Nadia says:

    That’s so awesome to hear!! For all the other redheads out there: take note!

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