DIY Dry Shampoo for All Hair Types

Posted on Dec 3, 2012 in Blog, DIY Beauty, Recipes | 14 comments

DIY Dry Shampoo for All Hair Types

When I first mentioned the concept of dry shampoo to my husband he said something to the effect of, “Why don’t you just wash your hair?” Honestly, this is a reasonable response and perhaps I should in fact, just wash my hair. But, as I imagine you know if you are reading this article, it’s not always practical, convenient, or timely to wash your hair every day. Life happens and sometimes you just need a hair pick-me-up to allow you to postpone that next shower.

By no means am I advocating that you throw your personal hygiene to the wind and stop bathing altogether. However, those occasions do exist when that shower just isn’t going to happen. For those times, this is the recipe that I like and use:

Brown & Red-haired Folks Will Need: (**For lighter hair, see instructions at bottom)
2 Tbsp Corn Starch or Arrowroot Powder
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ tsp Baking soda
3-5 drops of Essential Oil (I like lavender and rosemary)
An empty spice shaker OR a small jar & a makeup brush

1. Combine the corn starch, cocoa powder and baking soda in a small dish. Stir to combine.
2. Add 3-5 drops of the essential oil of your choosing. I like using lavender or rosemary but you can experiment with any scents that you like.
3. Mix again and then use a funnel or a rolled up piece of paper to pour the mixture into your spice shaker. (*This mixture can also be stored in a small jar and applied with a makeup brush.)
4. You’re all set! Shake some on to your greasy locks when they need to be refreshed, brush through, and enjoy!

A few simple ingredients

A few simple ingredients

**For Blondes: If you have light hair, you most likely will not want a dark-colored dry shampoo. You can replace some or all of the cocoa powder with more corn starch.

A Final Note: Keep in mind that if you are putting cocoa powder into your hair, your hair will smell a bit like freshly baked brownies. While this might seem obvious, I was nonetheless a little surprised the first time I used this. My advice is to relish the fact that you smell like a walking baked good (I’ve heard no complaints). When you finally do shower, you’ll feel like you’re bathing in hot cocoa. There are worse things, so soak it up and enjoy!


  1. This recipe is amazing, Alex! I really don’t know how I’ve been without this (read: greasy) for so long. The spice container is brilliant and makes it super easy to travel with. I’m excited to test out more of your projects!

  2. My close to 80 years old Aunt just told me she sprays water with vinegar in her hair for a pick me up. I need to try both of your approaches as i have very long blond hair which I prefer to wash every two to three days but shower daily.

    • I use a showercap to avoid frizzies from shower steam, and it really helps to stop my hair from becoming oily too quickly. Plus, your don’t have to restyle your hair every single day= more time to sleep in in the morning!

  3. what about redheads???

    • What a disappointing oversight! That’s completely my bad. I’d try using the recipe with the cocoa powder for brunettes. It’ll help the mix to blend in better. Hope it works!

      • Would cinnamon work? It’s a natural antioxidant and is recommended for homemade face powders so for the cost I reckon it would be worth a go!

        • Cinnamon is generally more expensive than cocoa powder, but I don’t see why you couldn’t give it a try. Let us know how it goes!

  4. Thanks for the great tip! I love the cocoa idea – pure genius! And since you included essential oils, I just had to post this on my essential oils FB page :)

  5. If you make the mix without the essential oil will it still work? just wondering cuz I have none on hand at the moment. Thanks :)

  6. I have been using baby powder for years! Baby powder is lighter than cornstarch. I tried cornstarch a while back, and it seemed so heavy!

  7. HUH! I’ve used just baking soda in my hair but never liked how powdery white it could appear in my brown hair. Maybe I’ll have to try the cocoa mix. The thought of adding food to my hair seems so… not intuitive to me. I like the thought of brownie smell though!

  8. Sorry, you still don’t have all hair types included. My hair is dark dark brown, almost black. Cocoa looks ridiculous in my hair because it is still too light. Believe me, I’ve tried. Any other suggestions?


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