Picture of homemade dry shampoo
I love dry shampoo, but I feel like I run out of the aerosol stuff so quickly! I've been using cornstarch as a homemade dry shampoo for years. I remember reading about it in a teen magazine when I was young - I also tried baby powder, but that went badly and I smelled funny. In the past 4-5 years, I've been adding cocoa to my homemade dry shampoo so that it blends in better with my darker hair. Baking soda is another newer addition - I like it because it can help cut down on the "greasy" smell hair can get after a couple days.

This homemade dry shampoo recipe is a great substitute for the aerosol versions if the strong smells bother you, too. I'm not a bit fan of walking around smelling like alcoholic fruit or candy, and I'm sure you're not either. ;)

I've included a homemade dry shampoo recipe for both light and dark hair - it will make enough for tons of uses and you can fit it in a spice jar. And it gives thin, straight hair great texture - it ends up feeling thicker!
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Step 1: What you'll need:

Picture of what you'll need:
  • cornstarch
  • baking soda
  • cocoa powder - just make sure it's unsweetened! Sweetened cocoa powder will turn your hair into a sticky mess.
  • a paper funnel
  • a container to store it in
  • measuring spoons
I've also heard of people adding essential oils to the mix, but I've never done it so I can't tell you how that will end up. :D

Step 2: The basic recipe

Picture of the basic recipe
This is the recipe you'll use if you have light hair or if you don't have any cocoa powder on hand:
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
Combine the cornstarch and baking soda in a container and shake shake shake.

Ta-daaaa! Enough dry shampoo for tons of uses. As long as you keep it sealed up, you can store it in the bathroom with no issues.
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This is a great recipe, thanks so much! On a whim, I added a tablespoon-ish of finely ground lavender flowers (had ground them into dust, basically) just to see how that would work. It's nice, and adds a fantastic lavender scent. Thanks again for posting this one.

For all you lighter-haired girls, substitute some of the corn starch for finely ground corn meal, then you will get some golden color, even with a little added cocoa, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, clove or allspice added ( all of which add fragrance). Just eyeball it or experiment till ya get it right, don't be afraid, it's all organic!

what if we dont have all of the stuff and dont really have the money to buy it then what???

this shouldn't cost you more than couple bucks for probably more than 10 applications. cheaper than that would be just rinsing with water?

Eleventy1 year ago
Cool! Any ideas on something cheap you could add to give it SPF? I've sometimes tried dusting on a little mineral makeup powder (like bare minerals mineral veil), but I'm not sure how effective it is, and it shows in my dark hair. Might try mixing the mineral makeup with cocoa! But a less expensive option would be nice.
jessyratfink (author)  Eleventy1 year ago

Try looking there! Scoochmaroo made her own sunscreen - you might be able to mix in some of her ingredients. She used micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide - they're powders so it should be easy to add. :)

That is a really bad idea...zinc oxide for one should not be breathed in as a powder as it can be very harmful! Therefore using it in powder form as a dry shampoo on your head near your airways is harmful. Even when using zinc oxide to make sunscreen, caution must be taken when stirring in but once mixed the risk is gone because it is no longer a powder!

Cool, thanks!

ew go away.

Hair is dead protein, why would you need to have sun protection in a hair product?

i know this is a year old, but i have to reply, lol...the spf isn't for the hair, it's for the scalp! :D i'm one of those fair/blonde/curly girls, with hair too curly/fine to wear any way but short/very short, and scalp sunburn is seriously unpleasant, lol!! and yeah, i did see that others have said the same, but i just felt compelled to!! ;D

Gotcha thanks for the explanation. I have very thick black hair so that would not have occurred to me. The only time I've bothered about hair products with SPF is when I colour it to prevent the colour from fading.

I honestly can't think of anything else that would work for adding to the dry shampoo though unless you can find a way to make titanium dioxide or zinc oxide powder stick to your hair and it might make an ugly white coating on your hair. I believe other SPF chemicals are in a liquid form which wouldn't work with the dry shampoo concept.

Dead things can't renew like live things do, so sometimes they need even more protection than live things do.
There are two good is that it would land on your scalp, which, being skin, is subject to sunburn.....and if your hair is coloured, it will help protect it against fading.
The scalp underneath can still burn. For those of us with thin hair, a dry option for sunscreen would be awesome.
It would be for the scalp. Have you ever gotten a sunburn along your part? It is not pleasant. (And neither is putting greasy sunscreen in your hair! :-) )
jtmcdole6 months ago

I think I'm going to give this a try, but with a small addition: finly ground oatmeal.

This is a good idea. How is the oatmeal working out?

Just tried this... I've been dealing with frizzy oily hair lately and put this in. Suddenly no frizz and hair feels fresh yay!
young_sien1 year ago
My wife has black hair, do i need to add other ingredients?

No, use cinnamon and cocoa, it works!

Leslie621983 months ago
I just tried this out cause I have been looking for a way to get rid of the oily smell and it works!
Also I used it with cinnamon because I love the smell, I even put cinnamon in coffe:) and it worked well for me. My hair is a dark shade of auburn, so the red tones worked better for me.
Thanks for the baking soda tip!
zabs4 months ago
Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just tried this out this morning and it worked out beautifully. Thanks for giving me an anti-anxiety proof way of dry shampooing my hair.
jessyratfink (author)  zabs4 months ago

Oh yay! I'm so happy to hear it!!

This dry shampoo is definitely one of my very favorite things :D

This is such a good idea. Saves a lot of water too! I don't know if many of you remember when women brushed their hair 100 strokes a only to distribute body's natural oils but to brush dirt out of you hair. I am middle aged, and used to wash my hair everyday.....but last winter, my skin became so dry, I couldn't shower daily (Nothing helped!) However the condition of my hair really improved. Im going to add some fragrance, so my hair smells nice.

Abigail026 months ago
How often do you use it?
jessyratfink (author)  Abigail026 months ago

Really only when I need it - probably a 1-2 times a week. :)

If I know I won't have time to wash my hair the next morning, I'll put it in at night. Or if I wake up and just don't feel like washing, I'll use it in the morning.

Newell_Jalynn6 months ago
Does it really clean ur hair
jessyratfink (author)  Newell_Jalynn6 months ago

Doesn't really clean it - just soaks up the excess oil so you can skip a wash!

ayer6 months ago

Would it work with cinnamon powder?

jessyratfink (author)  ayer6 months ago

I've heard of folks doing this, but I've never tried it myself! I'm not sure it'd be entirely comfortable to do because the cinnamon smells so strongly, but it couldn't hurt to try a bit. :)

pixelcurious ayer6 months ago

Not the OP, but I think cinnamon would irritate your scalp.

How much would you put on your hair?
jessyratfink (author)  charlieanderin6 months ago

I'd say I normally do a 1/2 teaspoon, maybe? It's hard to tell since I always eyeball it. :)

I love dry shampoo but I run out of it fast to- I'm hoping this lasts longer
boudiceaT11 months ago

Would adding cinnamon work instead of the cocoa?

Chryz_z boudiceaT10 months ago

I used cinnamon, it works very well

racham611 months ago

Great idea and very creative!

tstevens1111 months ago

Thank you for this, i know the post is like a year old but i happened upon it while looking at a DIY website...I have super long hair, I have been growing it for 5 years now...The amount of money I spend on shampoo and conditioner each month is redic! My hair is to my butt in a high pony tail and is super thick so I have to use a ton of conditioner in order to be able to brush it after taking a shower, a shower for me is 5 mins of washing my body and shaving and 15-20 mins of washing my is much easier for me to use dry shampoo in between washes to keep it from looking super oily...I dont always have time for a half hour shower as I work 2 jobs, go to college and take care of my house, pets & family...I have noticed that since I have only been using shampoo less often my scalp doesnt itch as much, my hair is healthier and im seeing as much hair in my brush or as many split ends. I was told by my dermatologist when I was 15 that I should only shower 3 times a week because i have eczema and this would allow for my skin to rebuild the esstenial oils it needs...I do not smell and I am not dirty just to clarify that for people who like to assume things...I cant wait to try this..i hate using the areosol because they always get clogged and I feel like im going to pass out from the fumes

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