So, I’m just going to be perfectly honesty with you. I don’t wash my hair every day. (Right now you’re either completely disgusted and bowing your head in embarrassment or nodding your
oily head in mutual understanding.) Between mothering, church responsibilities, housekeeping, etc.., I feel like any extra time is akin to the number of 5 year old little girls who have never heard “Let it Go.” In other words, RARE.
I really don’t have the time to do the whole wash, blow-dry and style routine every. single. day. But I also really don’t like the idea of looking like that kid from your 7th grade science class that went through puberty without a single shower.
Enter DIY dry shampoo.
Dry shampoo is used to absorb excess dirt and oil in the hair without the use of water. It allows me to go a day or 2 between washings while still looking fresh.
Grocery store products can be a little pricy, so I’ve come up with my own special concoction – one for dark hair and one for lighter hair.
Note: This recipe is fairly forgiving. Your measurements don’t need to be exact, but be careful not to have more cocoa powder than cornstarch/arrowroot powder in the dark recipe. If there is too much cocoa, it may start to melt or get a little clumpy.
Dark Hair DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe
1/2 Cup cocoa powder (click here to buy)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon powder –if you have red in your hair – optional (click here to buy)
1/2 Cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (click here to buy)
5-6 drops essential oils, optional (order essential oils here)
Light Hair DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe:
3/4 Cup Arrowroot powder or cornstarch (click here to buy)
1/4 Cup finely ground oatmeal powder – add your oats to blender till powdered (click here to buy)
5-6 drops essential oils, optional
Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. I chose to use Orange essential oil because I though it would pair well with the smell of the cocoa. (Which it did, but I also was a little nervous that my 4 year old was going to try and take a bite of my head. “Mommy, you smell like chocolate!! Yum!!!) Pour into container of your choice. I pretty much use mason jars for everything because I have about a million hanging around. This should last indefinitely as long as you regularly sanitize your applicator (makeup brush in my case).
With a large dry makeup brush apply a dusting of powder to roots of hair. I lift up a few large sections of hair and apply it to the roots on the upper half of my head. You don’t want to go too crazy though, otherwise you may look like you have some gray roots going on.
Then take a hairbrush of choice and comb the powder through until you can’t see it anymore. I brush it all the way out to my ends. Note: It may take a little practice to get a hang of what amount is right for you. I think everyone will probably be a little different depending on natural oiliness levels. You can see how much I use in the picture below. And I promise I don’t have dandruff. Just some dry shampoo dust!
The price for this recipe varies depending on whether you’re making the light or dark version, if you use the optional ingredients, and if you use the cornstarch or arrowroot powder. I’ll do a price compare for the exact recipe I used.
Baking Powder $0.55
Essential Oil: $0.40
The cheapest dry shampoo I was able to find at the grocery store was for Suave Professionals and it came in at $3.99 (not including tax). That means our recipe has an at least 53% savings!! And that’s with the cheap stuff. The saving only compounds from there when you compare it to professional grade dry shampoos.
So, after using this for a little while it’s safe to say I’ve found a keeper. What about you? Are you a user of dry shampoo? Have you tried any homemade versions? I’d love to hear what works for you!
Comments & Reviews
Thank you so much for the recipe. I skipped the essential oil and cinnamon powder. I used only corn starch and Cocoa powder and it worked so well. Past 7 years I have been washing my hair every other day and takes up a lot of time to blow dry my hair every other day.
Now I just wash my hair once a week and saves a lot of time being a working mother of two adorable children.
Thank you again 🙂
Tonnie Rogers says
Your price breakdown for ingredients lists baking powder which I don’t see in either “recipe” for light or dark hair. Is this an ingredient?
Gail Sprague says
I started using baby powder in high school (about 40 years ago) and so did my sister. I was blond but she was brunette. I used it straight out of the Johnson & Johnsons can, just sprinkled a little on my fingers and patted it on the top of my head til it didn’t look white. Worked great for an “I overslept morning”.
I’ve used baby powder for years. I have blond hair, so it works well for me. I use it to escape having to wash it every day (I have very oily hair). I also use it when I’ve gone too long without getting highlights to cover my roots. My only complaint is is makes my hair staticky, but I just add a little Moroccan oil to the ends. I’ve been using the same bottle of baby powder for about 5 years! Lasts forever.
I have been experimenting with the no poo method for about 6 weeks now and it is going well. I am doing it to limit the exposure to the toxic chemicals in the commercial products. Part of the program as I understand it is to make sure you condition your hair periodically with coconut oil. That may be the missing link if you are getting split ends?
I can’t wait to try this recipe because I have been having to touch up on my off days with dry shampoo and have been using a spray version and feel like I am breathing in all those toxic fumes and not accomplishing my original goal. Can’t wait to try it! Thanks Karri!
I’ve been no poo for several years. My hair and scalp are the healthiest they’ve ever been. Everyone is different. What works great for some won’t work for others. Don’t be afraid to try something just because it didn’t work for someone else. Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work then you learned something, and if it does work…great!
Be super careful with the baking soda/ACV no poo method. I did that for about a year. I liked it at first, but then I started noticing a lot of split ends. By the time I quit, I had the worst split ends I’ve ever had. It’s been about a year since I quit, and I don’t feel like my hair has fully recovered.
Hi there. After having issues with shampoo and conditioner either drying out my hair and it becoming extremely oily by the 2nd day, I have decided not to poo. At all. I currently use baking soda as my shampoo and apple cider vinegar (diluted with water) as my rinse conditioner. My hair feels clean. I am on day 3 and its still full of body, not oily at all. I was apprehensive at first, thinking it would smell like vinegar, but that is not the case once it starts to dry. I love it!!
I have been no poo for almost three months, and I mean no poo, including soap. I haven’t gotten to the point where I shower with cold water but I haven’t used any soap or shampoo on my body since the second week of January. I did some research and reading before starting this because I was worried about body odor, but a lot of people said they never got complaints so I’ve tried it. So far no complaints.
I still use soap to wash my hands and a crystal deodorant for my armpits. I usually use a washcloth in the shower to make sure I get any extra dirt or what-not on some parts of my body, but that’s it. I use almond oil on my skin while still wet, especially during the winter when it’s dry (but I was doing that before anyway).
Hi, I just wanted to chime in since I’ve been no ‘pooing for about 4 months and I like it a lot. I use a baking soda paste to “wash” my hair and then I use a white vinegar/water rinse to “condition” my hair. I like white vinegar more than apple cider vinegar because the smell is not as strong. They both work equally well for my hair. I no poo every other day to every third day and use a dry shampoo much like Karrie’s recipe for dark hair in between if needed (which after 4 months it really isn’t needed too much anymore). I have an odd hair type that is slightly oily, thin and wavy that can also tend to be frizzy if I mess with it too much (alcohol containing products, heat, etc.) Prior to no poo I washed my hair with a 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner 6 times a week. I usually took one day a week off (a day that I wasn’t working) and by the next day my hair was very oily. My main motivation for switching, though, was to help relieve my itchy scalp. The no poo method has worked wonders for that and I noticed less itchiness within a few days. I was nervous about “transitioning” from all the horror stories that I read online, but honestly it was not bad at all. My transition period lasted about 3 weeks in which I wore a lot of pony tails…lol! To my understanding, this is really variable depending on the individual. All in all, I really like this method and I recommend it to anyone willing to try it.
Don’t do the no poo! It destroys a lot of hair. Do some research. I was doing the cider vinegar/baking soda for a bit and my hair was horrible. Not dirty but damaged. Better to just wash every other day or more with a gentle shampoo.
Jill, I’ve been thinking of going “no-poo” as well.
As it is right now, my hair is a smidge on the dry side, so I only wash it twice a week and it doesn’t get oily-looking. It does look fairly frizzy the day I wash it, but I hate the feeling of product in my hair, so I just let it be. It looks much better the day after washing.
If it makes you feel better, I only wash my hair every other or third day as well. Why? Because when you shampoo your hair, it strips your hair of natural oils that protect it and keep it healthy. This causes your body to overproduce these oils to try to make up for them being stripped every day. Once your body gets used to you only washing every other day, it doesn’t produce as much oils and your hair doesn’t look as oily as quickly.
In fact, I’ve been considering becoming a no ‘pooer. Instead of washing your hair with shampoo, you wash your hair with a baking soda paste (possibly with essential oils if needed) and then condition with apple cider vinegar. This cleans your hair without completely stripping the hair’s natural oils. When you first do this, your hair gets really oily for a while (like 3 months) because it’s used to producing lots of oil, but then it gets used to not having to produce as much and is a lot healthier (plus you can easily go 3-4 days in between washings and your hair still looks great!).
Anyway, those are my thoughts :).
I definitely want to try recipe this for days I can’t shampoo. I have started making my own natural shampoo. I didn’t want to go as extreme as “no ‘poo” with baking soda because I have read some stories about the length transition time of super oily hair. So I use a mixture of pure aloe vera, water, and Dr. Bronner’s soap (all natural and organic oils). I also add some vitamin E oil and lavender essential oil. The result is fantastic. It still suds up some, but it doesn’t strip my hair like regular shampoo does. It also ends up being really cheap. I use apple cider vinegar as a conditioner, which keeps it shiny.
I have been “no poo” for about 4 or 5 years. I have tried a few different things… Dr. Bronners with a Vinegar Rinse, baking soda mixed with Dr. Bronners with vinegar rinse, Dr Bronners Shikakai. I did have problems with breakage and dryness with most of these routines, and I couldn’t really grow my hair past my shoulders without looking scraggly. I think this dry shampoo is the ticket! I have been using this dry shampoo for a few months and washing my hair once or twice a week with just water. I have curly fine hair. When I wash my hair with just water it feels a bit greasy, but looks good. On days I don’t wash, I sprinkle dry shampoo with make-up brush and comb through with wide tooth comb. I have received a bunch of compliments! My boyfriend says my hair smells nice and looks “voluminous”. I think the secret is scrubbing hard with my finger tips when I do wash with water and combing my hair A LOT when I don’t. This is the happiest I’ve been with my hair routine in a while, thank you for the recipe.
I tried the no poo and couldn’t do it. My hair looked better for a couple of days until it just looked and felt oily and dirty. Can you post your amounts that you combine for your DIY shampoo? My hair is dry right now so I’m looking for a change.
I followed the recipe above and then just dip my brush with it and dust my hairline with it. I don’t have a specific amount that I use just a dip with my brush!
I don’t use mousse or hair spray on my hair and I can go for a week or more with just rinsing my hair in the shower every day. I do not condition my hair either so try this and you will be surprised how soft and easy to manage your hair. I do blow dry my hair everyday too.