A Super Simple DIY Dry Shampoo, Sans Aerosol Can

Last Update: September 29, 2022

At some point in the new millennium, going without shampoo became acceptable—chic, even. Many modern women have come to believe that the tradition of lathering up daily has been a dirty trick all along.

While no one can really say shampooing every day is truly the worst, there are definitely good reasons to skip it now and then.

First of all, washing with chemical-laden shampoos can strip natural oils that protect the scalp and hair. And according to hairstylists, minerals in shower water can leave hair color looking dull. Less washing can help maintain hair’s natural lusciousness. Also, who’s got the time for a daily blowout? Forget it!

But, we know: greasy head, not the best look. Dry shampoo to the rescue! Many people are already hip to its game changing role in quick and dirty beauty routines. Not only is it a time-saver and hair-saver, but it also conserves water.

But what’s not so eco-friendly: aerosol spray cans, which is what dry shampoos are typically packaged in. While they’re no longer quite as demonic as they were in the 1970s—when use of ozone-depleting chemicals in them were phased out in the US—they still contain some volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which contribute to global warming. Plus, they’re pricey!

No need for all that just to degrease hair—especially when it’s super easy to make your own dry shampoo with all-natural ingredients. Intrigued? Try this simple recipe, and you’ll never even look at another can of dry shampoo again. You might even feel like ditching real shampoo forever.

1/4 cup cornstarch or arrowroot flour
1 to 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder or ground cinnamon (optional)
2-3 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)

The cornstarch or arrowroot flour work well on their own for blonde hair. Brunettes can add unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder, while redheads can pinch in cinnamon in order to allow this dry shampoo to blend better into hair. Adding color isn’t necessary—just do what looks and feels right to you. If you do add a little bit of coloring to somewhat match your own hair color, limit the amount to less than the amount of cornstarch or arrowroot flour for best results.

Once dry ingredients are mixed, add a few drops of essential oil if you’d like to infuse this dry shampoo with some scent. (May we suggest lavender for calm-inducing hair flips?)

Mix the ingredients well and store in a recycled herb or salt shaker. You can also use a mason jar with a lid or a paper coffee filter secured with a rubber band around the top—just poke a few holes in whatever lid you use.

Sprinkle this dry shampoo on your scalp in between washes, massage through the scalp to absorb oils, then comb or brush through the hair. Voila! Brand new tresses without a drop of water or shampoo.

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

This article is related to:

DIY, Haircare, Healthy Hair Tips

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Dana Poblete

Dana's love for all creatures under the sun (bugs, too) drives her in her advocacy for ethical eating, environmental sustainability, and cruelty-free living. A natural born islander, she surfs when she can, and writes, always.

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