Dry Shampoo Recipes

How To Make Homemade Dry Shampoo

Apply dry shampoo to the roots of your hair, comb it through, and then brush or blow dry it out.
Apply dry shampoo to the roots of your hair, comb it through, and then brush or blow dry it out. Cecile Lavabre, Getty Images

Dry shampoo is a type of shampoo that you apply to dry hair and blow or brush out, taking excess oil and grime with it. You can buy a dry shampoo, but it's super-cheap to make it, plus you get to customize the formula. Here are several easy and inexpensive recipes for homemade dry shampoo.

Dry Shampoo Ingredients

You can use any of these ingredients as a dry shampoo or you can mix together several ingredients, depending on what you have available.

  • corn starch
  • corn meal
  • ground oatmeal (use a spice mill or coffee grinder to powder oatmeal)
  • baking soda
  • talcum powder or baby powder
  • arrowroot powder (great for blonde or light hair)
  • cocoa powder (great for dark hair, especially if you don't want any white powder)
  • couple of drops of essential oil (optional, for fragrance)

Good choices for essential oil include grapefruit oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil. If you prefer, you can omit the oil completely or else rub a small amount on your hands and run your hands through your hair to scent it.

Example Recipe:

1/4 cup corn starch
2 drops peppermint oil

How To Use Dry Shampoo

  1. Make sure your hair is completely dry. If it is damp, the powder will form clumps. It's called dry shampoo, right?
  2. Sprinkle the powder onto your hair from a height of several inches or apply it using an old makeup brush. Your goal is to get an even distribution of the powder, not blanket your head.
  3. Either comb the dry shampoo through your hair or use a blow dryer on its cool setting to distribute the powder.
  4. You can brush out the dry shampoo or bend down and shake it out with your fingers.

Making a Wet-Dry Shampoo

Another option is to make a wet-dry shampoo, which contains the same ingredients, plus a quick-evaporating liquid. You can spritz this product onto your hair and brush it out when your hair is dry. Make this type of homemade dry shampoo by adding a bit of rubbing alcohol or vodka to the dry ingredients. Note the alcohol will have a refreshing, cooling effect, but overuse of this type of dry shampoo may cause your scalp to feel dry.

Cheesecloth Method

If you don't have any of these ingredients or simply don't want to add anything to your hair, another option is to wrap a brush with a layer of cheesecloth. Brush your hair, depositing excess oil onto the cloth.