Easy DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes (Just 2 Ingredients)


Jars of DIY dry shampoo for light and dark hair

Ahh, motherhood. Sometimes you wake up to lazy morning snuggles, and sometimes you get dressed in ten minutes flat while simultaneously locating a pair of lost shoes and stating for the 396th time that pants are not optional. Showers do tend to be optional on those occasions, but that doesn’t mean we have to put up with limp, oily hair.

Today I’m going to share my secret weapon for “washing” my hair on days I technically have to skip the suds. Made with just a few simple ingredients, this DIY dry shampoo can transform greasy hair into locks that are fresh and full of body.

What is dry shampoo?

Basically, it’s a powder or spray that works by absorbing excess oils on your scalp and hair, leaving your hair looking freshly washed. It’s good for all hair types – oily, normal, and even dry when used sparingly. I use it as an alternative to traditional shampoo when I’m camping, traveling, or just busy.

Below you’ll find two basic recipes based on hair color. The reason for different formulations is that the recipe for light hair can leave a visible white tint on dark hair until it fully absorbs. Even though my hair is almost black I have used the lighter formula, but I have to apply it before bed instead of in the morning so that my roots have time to soak it up.

On the flipside, people with light hair will want to avoid the dark hair formula because it can temporarily tint their roots brown.

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe For Dark Hair

  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe For Light Hair

  • ¼ cup of arrowroot powder or non-GMO cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon of cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder (You may or may not need this depending on the color of your hair. If it is very light or white you might want to skip it)


Add arrowroot powder/cornstarch and cacao/cocoa powder to a bowl and stir the ingredients until they are thoroughly combined. Transfer your dry shampoo to an airtight jar for storage.

How To Use Dry Shampoo

Before we get started, let me share my best dry shampoo tip with you: LESS IS MORE. Over-application can make your hair difficult to work with and/or look chalky. When used properly, though, it lifts while creating a beautiful texture.

To Apply: Dip your makeup brush in dry shampoo, then tap to remove any excess powder. Most people recommend that you divide your hair into sections and apply the dry shampoo to your roots, moving from the crown of your head down. I’ve found that it’s actually a pretty forgiving process that doesn’t require much fuss, so here’s what I personally do:

First, I grab the makeup brush and apply dry shampoo to the roots around my forehead and temples. This is typically the area that needs the most volume. Next, I flip my head over and use the brush to apply it to the rest of my scalp.

Afte that, allow the powder to set for 2-3 minutes, then brush your hair from root to tip. This helps to distribute the powder throughout your hair as well as remove any excess.

Now, run your fingers through your hair and look for oily places you may have missed. Spot apply as needed, then brush again. Ideally, you’ll want to give your hair 5-10 minutes to fully absorb the shampoo before styling, but if you’re in a rush go ahead and style immediately.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most common questions I’ve received after first sharing these recipes a few years ago.

Why make my own dry shampoo instead of buy it?

For starters, it is very inexpensive and quick to make. Also, many dry shampoo products contain ingredients such as talc, parabens, phthalates, which have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption.

If you’d rather buypre-made options, though, here are some non-toxic options:

  • QET Botanicals Lavender Powder Dry Shampoo
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (Dark Hair)r
  • Drop Dead Gorgeous Dry Shampoo (Light Hair)
  • Organic Dry Shampoo

Can I add essential oil?

Many store-bought products use lavender essential oil or another oil in their formulas. Personally, I opt not to because it’s a dry powder instead of an oil-based product, which makes the essential oils more prone to oxidation and therefore reduces the shelf life.

Can I use baking soda in my dry shampoo?

Some formulas, including the organic dry shampoo above, use baking soda in their formulas. It works well for some people but can cause scalp irritation for others. Because there are so many other ingredients that work just as well, I haven’t experimented with using it in my recipes and therefore can’t offer any guidance on how much to use in a batch.

How often should I use dry shampoo?

Most sources I have read say it’s best to use 1-2 days in a row (3 at the most) before washing.

A quick way to "wash" your hair on days you technically have to skip the suds.

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