How to DIY Dry Shampoo the Right Way

We’ve sampled out a few different recipes of DIY Dry Shampoo.  Here we’re sharing what worked and what we suggest so that you can make the best version for your hair and hair color!

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried a dry shampoo before.  I come from a time when we used to sprinkle baby powder in our hair (and breathe in that scent) to make it drier and lighter.  This was back in the days before dry shampoo was really a thing.

Well you could get dry shampoo but you had to have your hair dresser order it for you and you had to pay a premium for it.

Now you’ll find that almost every hair care brand has their own version of dry shampoo.  Some of these are better than others.  One thing that they all have in common is that they’re pricey.

We set out to try some different versions of DIY dry shampoo and we found that there are definitely some recipes that work better than others.

My favorite ingredient for dry shampoo is corn starch

Why I Use DIY Dry Shampoo

Well we all want our hair to look full and healthy and smell great all the time don’t we?  

Washing your hair everyday can strip it of it’s natural oils and make your hair dry and unhealthy.

I mean that’s the scientific reason but my real reason is that I’m lazy.  I don’t want to have to wash and style my hair everyday.

A DIY dry shampoo can absorb excess oils and help you maintain healthy hair.

As a person owning a head of very fine hair, I’ve also found that dry shampoo helps give my hair some volume and makes it easier to style.

If you’ve ever had a day when you just wanted to freshen up your hair without having to go through all the steps of washing, conditioning, drying and styling, dry shampoo can be a time saver.

And if you’re ever running late (raise your hand) it can be a huge lifesaver too.

Every dry shampoo, whether you make it yourself or you buy it in the store, is made to do the same thing.  They are supposed to soak up the oils in your hair.

In a homemade solution your base is what is absorbing excess oil.  In a store bought solution it’s generally alcohol that dries out the oils in your hair.

As with any over the counter product, it’s going to contain ingredients that you won’t recognize and some of them may be harmful to our environment or to our scalps.

Many brands also include a fragrance, which can be a combination of ingredients.

In other words, a DIY dry shampoo is natural and safe because you know exactly what you’re using.

DIY dry shampoo with ingredients you have in your kitchen -

When to Use Dry Shampoo

I think you can easily tell when you need to use dry shampoo.  Your hair will either look or feel a little greasy.  If it’s been a few days since your last wash and your roots are looking  a little oily then you should apply your dry shampoo.

If your hair isn’t oily then you definitely don’t need it.

Using dry shampoo when your hair isn’t oily can remove your own natural oils that keep your hair healthy and shiny.

Why You Shouldn’t Use DIY Dry Shampoo

Remember that just because something is natural or organic doesn’t always mean that it’s the best product to use.  Most beauty products that are sold these days have been tested so you can be assured that they are non allergenic or non comedogenic.  

When you’re using common ingredients from your kitchen it’s up to you to use a patch test on your skin to be sure that the ingredients don’t irritate.

Also, if you use too much dry shampoo, either store bought or DIY, it can clog your hair follicles.  Dry shampoo is a solution for between washings.  It’s not meant to keep you from having to wash your hair at all.

If you clog up those hair follicles it can cause your hair to become less healthy and thinner.

If your scalp gets irritated or your hair doesn’t appear healthy then you shouldn’t use the dry shampoo.

Remember we aren’t doctors – we’re just sharing our opinions and experiences using DIY dry shampoo.

You can easily mix up your own dry shampoo using one or more of the ingredients we recommend

How to Make Dry Shampoo

Base Ingredients

After reading about different ingredients to use in dry shampoo we found several that you can use for your base:

  • Baby powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Bentonite Clay

Baby powder – I’m not sure we even need to cover this ingredient since I think it’s completely out of favor in general these days but in case you’re considering it.  Don’t.  You’d think that fresh baby scent would smell great all day but no.  It’s a scent that will stay with you.  Really.

Baking Soda – There are lots of recipes that use a mixture of corn starch and baking soda together to create a base.  Baking soda is a nice clean product but we preferred the corn starch without the added mix.

Cornstarch – One of the huge benefits of cornstarch is that you can easily pick it up at the grocery store and it’s very inexpensive.  It works great as a base for DIY dry shampoo.

Arrowroot – This is a very fine powder that has a nice consistency and is our favorite pick for base of our shampoo.  The downside is that it’s not as easy to find so your best bet is going to be to find it online.

Bentonite Clay – This is another great base to use for your DIY dry shampoo.  Bentonite Clay is an antimicrobial and it also promotes hair growth.  It can be very soothing if you’ve got a dry scalp but it can be hard to get it out of your hair if you use too much!  It can also be very drying so you’ll have to be much more careful when using it as your base.

Secondary Ingredients (all optional)

Once you’ve determined the best ingredient to use for your base you may want to add in a secondary ingredient.  These can tint your powder so that it doesn’t look so white or you can add an essential oil for a nice scent.  A few of these suggestions are:

  • Cocoa Powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Activated Charcoal Powder
  • Essential Oils

Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder has been recommended to tint the white powder for darker hair.  Well, it works okay as a tint, but you’re definitely going to have a scent of chocolate.  You might also note that if you workout and get real sweaty, you may not love the smell.

But I’m thinking when I work out and get real sweaty, well, yeah.  Shower and shampoo.

Cinnamon – Cinnamon is used for the same reason as cocoa powder for more reddish tinted colors.  If you’re a red head or strawberry blonde then you might want to try it.  We didn’t actually try out cinnamon since none of us are reddish shades.

Activated Charcoal Powder – This may be the best choice for those of you with dark hair.  Activated charcoal is a treatment for dry and itchy scalps and adding a bit of it to your base powder can give a nice tint to keep you from getting the white cap from untinted powder.  It only takes a tiny bit!

Essential Oils – You can add a few drops of an essential oil to your base to give a nice fresh scent.  A few popular ones are vanilla or lavender but you can use any scent that you enjoy.

Just be careful – it takes 2-3 drops for 1/4 of powder and you want to be sure that it doesn’t irritate your scalp so skin test this before using it!

Using a brush to apply your DIY dry shampoo is the best tool

How to Apply Your DIY Dry Shampoo

Apply your dry shampoo with a brush.  Not a hairbrush but a makeup brush.

This one will become obvious pretty quickly once you’ve used your new DIY dry shampoo.  

Don’t try using a shaker to apply it onto your roots.  It’s almost impossible to get it sprinkled evenly and you’ll wind up with clumps and probably way too much powder in one spot.

Yep, we tried it.  Very messy indeed.

Also a mess to clean up.

Instead, use an old makeup brush.  You know you have one somewhere stuffed in a drawer that you upgraded to your favorite one now.

Just like applying powder makeup, dip your brush in the powder and tap off the excess.  It’s going to take a lot less powder than you think because a tiny bit of this stuff goes a long ways.

Don’t make a cloud, it’s not a great idea to inhale powders!

If your hair is darker it can also be really obvious when you apply too much dry shampoo.  You’ll wind up with  a grey-haired patch on the top of your head.

Even if your hair is blonde, too much powder can cause you to have a bit of a greyish tint.

And guess what?  If you don’t use enough it’s way easier to add more than it is to try to shake out too much of it.

Start by parting your hair

Part your hair in sections and apply a small amount of powder near the scalp.  I like to use it around my forehead and also along the hairline on the back of my neck.

Use your fingers to rub it in and let it do its job. 

Let it sit for a few minutes to soak up the oil and then you can brush it or shake it out.  If you’ve got any lingering powder this will help blend it in so no one else will know that you aren’t freshly shampooed.

A couple of tips:  If your hair is dark and you’re struggling with too much white in your powder you can rub it in the night before.

We don’t recommend using dry shampoo more than twice between washings.  This is mostly opinion but you don’t want to get too much built up in your hair.

So make your own dry shampoo to have for after the gym or for when you wake up late.  It’s a great time saver and you can run out the door with amazing hair everyday!

Follow us on Pinterest and on Instagram for lot’s more ideas and inspiration!

Want More DIY Beauty?  Check these out!

Brown Sugar Scrub
Grapefruit Scrub
Coffee Scrub
Peppermint Scrub
Bath Fizzies
All Natural Moisturizers

You can easily create your own dry shampoo that works for your hair type following our recipe

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    For the most part, you will want to steer clear of hair products and treatments that use chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What’s good for your hair is good for your skin as well.

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  3. Ceasanny Padua says:

    What is the ratio you use to make yours?

    1. Hi Cessany:
      Because I have blonder hair I only use a base ingredient. Usually just cornstarch and nothing added to it. If you’re adding another ingredient the ratio should be to tint it to the color that you’re looking for or add an essential oil to scent it. I’d start with a couple of tablespoons of base and a teaspoon of secondary. Or one drop of essential oil. A little goes a long way for this recipe!
      Flower Girl

  4. So many are not aware that scalp therapy shampoos for fast hair growth (of course with no sulfates, no parabens and no DEA) exist. Persons are now able to experience longer hair and achieve more options. Certainly worth exploring.

    If you’re talking about alopecia, damaged hair, avoiding skin disorders, hair growth, hair health more often than not, very similar principles become relevant.

    As a rule of thumb, you have to steer clear of hair treatments and products that include chemicals such as parabens, DEA or sulfates.

    What is beneficial for your hair is healthy for your skin all the same.

    Clearly your content on this page is spot on for many reasons. It stays away from the common mistakes and traps most fall into: buying ineffective alternatives. Greatly appreciated!

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