DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

how to make natural dry shampoo for light or dark hair DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

Dry shampoos have been all the rage among some of my friends lately, and I can understand why… A product that makes your hair look clean when it hasn’t been washed in the past three days that day is a tremendous help, especially for those of us with little ones who are lucky if we get to use the bathroom alone, much less shower every day…

Dry shampoos are also great if you’re switching to “no-poo” or homemade natural shampoo, which will often leave your hair oily for the first week or so while your scalp adjusts to not having its natural oils stripped each day.  Personally, I have naturally oily hair even when I don’t strip the oils, so I am a huge fan of dry shampoo. (On the upside, relatives with the same naturally oily hair haven’t started going gray until their 60s or 70s, so I have that going for me…)

The basic idea of a dry shampoo (or wet-dry shampoo) is to put an oil absorbing substance (like arrowroot or cornstarch) on the oily parts of your hair to absorb the oil and leave it looking clean. This is also very helpful if you’ll be styling hair and need it to hold. Dirty hair hold better than clean hair, but it doesn’t have to look dirty. In fact, for an upcoming wedding I’ll be sporting hair that hasn’t been washed in three days (you’re welcome for that visual!) icon smile DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

A wet-dry shampoo uses the same concept, but puts the oil absorbing substance in a quickly evaporating liquid like vodka or rubbing alcohol (or Rum if you like to smell like a pirate…)

Commercial dry shampoos  can be pricey and contain things like “isobutane, butane and propane.” Make your own instead! You’ll not only save money since homemade versions are about 95% cheaper, but you won’t be putting explosive chemicals on your hair…

On my hair, I use a light powder (arrowroot) since I’m blonde, but for dark hair, cocoa powder mixed with arrowroot works better (plus you get to smell like chocolate! win-win!)

Here are the official “recipes” that can be customized to your hair type:

DIY Dry Shampoo for Light Hair

What to do: Put the drops of essential oil into the arrowroot or cornstarch and mix with a spoon. Store the mix in a small jar or old powder container. Apply with an old make-up brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair. Applying with the brush is optional, but it removes the need to comb through as much and is better for styled hair. If you don’t use the brush, comb the powder through your hair and style as usual.

DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot or corn starch
  • 5 drops of essential oils (optional)
  • An old makeup brush to apply (optional)

What to do: Mix the cocoa powder, arrowroot/cornstarch and essential oils (if using). Store in a small jar or old powder container and apply with the make-up brush. Comb through hair and style as usual.

DIY Wet/Dry Spray Shampoo for Light or Dark Hair

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vodka, rubbing alcohol or witch hazel (what I use is from here)
  • Essential oils or a spritz of your favorite perfume to scent

What to do: Mix all ingredients in a small spray bottle and shake well. Shake before each use and spray on roots or oily parts of hair. Let dry and style as usual.

Bonus Tips

Arrowroot or cornstarch can also be used as a mineral veil or finishing powder for homemade makeup or as an oil absorbing powder on the skin. I keep a mason jar filled with arrowroot on my counter and use as a dry shampoo in my hair and to set my makeup.

If you have dark hair but don’t want to use cocoa powder in your hair, just use plain arrowroot and apply before going to bed the night before or at least 2 hours in advance so that it has time to absorb  and you won’t get the fake-gray-looks-like-a-wig look.

Do you use dry shampoo? Ever put chocolate in your hair? What is your best haven’t-washed-my-hair-in-days trick? Please share below!

Reader Comments

  1. Michalraeann says

    Hi Katie,
    I just recently found your blog and I’m LOVING it!  You have so many good posts that are helpful in trying to live a clean life.  I have tried store bought dry shampoos in the past but just cant take the chemicals.  This looks like a great alternative to that and I can’t wait to try it!  Keep up the great blog!
    Michal 

      • Sherry Rogers says

        I put the powder on my scalp first. I keep it in a squeeze bottle, anything with a nozzle on top. if it held liquid before just use scissors to make the dispensing hole a bit bigger. then i bend over my sink or tub, give myself a vigorous scalp massage once the powder is in then brush or comb (I have fine hair so brush for me) the powder past the ends of your hair. If you get a bit too much in there the first time use a really thickly bristled brush and just brush brush brush

    • SaneDonna says

      I have been using corn starch for years as a quick fix when I don’t have time to wash my hair. In the 1980′s and 1990′s I used corn starch baby powder. I can’t believe this is now a trend, with an actual name! :-) Careful everyone, or you can look like you have gray hair, lol.

    • Norma-Jean says

      I have just tried this technique and I am SUPER happy!! I have long fine hair but my scalp gets oily fast, so I would have to wash my hair everyday which of course resulted in dry ends :( Well not anymore! Thank you for this time saving and money saving technique :)

  2. Jenny P says

    I’m so glad you posted this!  I love dry shampoos but I have dark hair and opted for the store bought kind as they seemed to disappear easier.  But making my own with out all the chemicals will be so great!  And such a money saver!

    Question though – what essential oils would smell good mixed with the cocoa powder?  I’m not too familiar with the different essential oils to know for sure. 

    Thanks for all the great ideas!
    Jenny

    • says

      Lavender would work well, or any citrus (orange and chocolate would be great!). Mint chocolate is also an amazing combination and either spearmint or peppermint would work (and mountain rose herbs has both pretty cheap)

      • Jenny P says

        I made this up this morning and used it.  I used sweet orange essential oil, but used probably 2 times the amount.  I LOVE this!  I’m SO excited about it!  The money I’m saving using this is huge!  Although I need a new way of storing it as I made a huge mess all over my counter when applying it.  I’m thinking of investing in one of those brushes that have the powder in the handle and just continue to reload it.  That should contain the mess that way.  Thank you for the idea and for your website!!!

      • Meg says

        I’ve also read that citrus helps absorb oils as well – I plan to try the orange/ chocolate mix. I’ll keep you posted!

  3. Jess says

    I only wash my hair twice a week, right now I’m going on 5 days, and have long thick healthy hair.  I started washing less out of laziness, I have a ton of hair and the whole hair process takes over an hour.  
    My friends all think I am crazy but I know that not washing the essential oils away has a huge benefit as well as not processing as often (I now only dry and flat iron twice a week too).   I use dry-shampoo after a workout or a quick fix if I am short on time before I go out.  I am excited to try your natural alternative; it seems better, easier and cheaper than dry shampoo.

    Tips- Parting your hair in different directions or places helps to hide your roots, also try a zig-zaggy part.  Once I get to day 4 or 5 I usually wear a pony tail (or messy bun), sometimes with a small braid across the front to hide my roots.  I usually don’t care what my hair looks like at work and always remember the benefits of washing less :) 

    • says

      Dry is indefinite as long as you wash the brush you apply it with. You can also just keep in a salt shaker or powdered sugar shaker and it will literally last for years. The spray lasts about 3-4 months (the longest I’ve tested it…)

  4. Lindsey says

    For fear of sounding dumb…The essential oils won’t make your hair oily-er? Like you, I have naturally oily hair regardless so the concept of putting something on my hair with oils in it (without stripping the natural ones 1st) in an attempt to cover up the oil seems strange to me lol. But ny dark hair is SICK of using commercial dry shampoos that turn my hair a nasty gray color & smell awful so I’m super excited to try your recipe!!

    • PalePinkBeauty says

      i find that only using it on your scalp, in small amounts, and using your fingers to vigorously rub it in solves the grey issue!! don’t comb it through your hair!

  5. says

    I think shampoo is the one ‘chemical’ I will never give up. It’s easy and I know the way it makes my hair behave. I tried dry shampoo once and it was weird :)

  6. Kristen H Andrews says

    I love this and did it right away!  I have bought the store stuff or used baby powder in the past but was never happy with that!  Thank you!  I have to laugh!  You seem to be on my wavelength!  Your posts are almost always something I’ve been thinking of or want to get to!  From barefoot running, to organizing the house, to natural dry shampoo!!  Thanks!

  7. Kristen H Andrews says

    I love this and did it right away!  I have bought the store stuff or used baby powder in the past but was never happy with that!  Thank you!  I have to laugh!  You seem to be on my wavelength!  Your posts are almost always something I’ve been thinking of or want to get to!  From barefoot running, to organizing the house, to natural dry shampoo!!  Thanks!

  8. Ilovebushwalking says

    Very interesting and will definately trying this. Any suggestions for covering some greying hair naturally. Also, suggestions for eyebrows joining my hair and going the same direction – grey. Only a little but enough to notice.

    • tammy says

      This won’t work on your scalp, but for your eyebrows a little bit of oil, especially thick like castor oil, would help darken eyebrows. The castor oil is supposed to also be moisturizing for eyeballs if put on eyeLIDS at night, as well as help eyelashes grow thicker and longer. So I put castor oil on eyelids and lashes at night (gets rid of my dry eyes) and then a little on brows when applying makeup to darken them and keep them in place.

  9. Tracie says

    I’m making this immediately!   I just used dry shampoo and had to open the bathroom door so I could breath!   Ugh, I was inhaling so many chemicals!

  10. says

    Thank you!!!!! I rarely have time to shower more then 3x a week and my hair gets oily so fast, I have med/dark hair and never like the corn starch idea (I’ve heard of using talcum powder too) as my hair looked awful, thanks for the cocoa idea! I usually just have a few head scarfs and hats that I wear when showers have been off the to-do list for a while.
    I’m gonna go try this now!!! And with the cocoa powder there is no need for essential oils, a nice chocolaty scent!

  11. Sboone188736 says

    I have dark hair and have used regular old baking soda as a dry shampoo. It absorbs much better and doesn’t show up as gray. I wonder if the cocoa powder would make your hair sticky…?

    • SS says

      Baking soda is more caustic than your hair is used to and can throw off the pH balance. It’s great if it’s working for you, but a lot of people have had problems with baking soda making their hair very unhealthy and brittle. I know you said as a dry shampoo, but you have to be REALLY careful using the baking soda/vinegar method of no ‘poo because it can be very hard on your hair.

      Again- if it works for you, that’s awesome, just be aware that it can cause problems. :)

      (I know this was awhile ago, but this is more for anyone who happens to be reading the comments in the future anyways.)

  12. Ashley V dos Santos says

    I have medium/dark hair, so i’ll be going for the cocoa powder recipe.  My hair is on the thinner side and it also get oily quickly, usually wash every day, though sometimes I can stretch it out to two days.  I am VERY new to this dry powder shampoo …. do you ever wet your hair?

    • says

      I don’t wet it when using the dry shampoo, though sometimes I spray my beach waves spray through and let dry first, as this often dries the oils enough that the dry shampoo is not even needed. Then, just brush on the cocoa powder lightly in the oily areas :-). I do wash my hair 1-2 times a week, but not in between or when not shampooing. The dry shampoo basically just lets me go longer without washing it…

  13. Wendyschlensker says

    Sadly my “best dirty hair trick” is a pony tail and too many bobby pins. I am going to make and try this right now!! Thanks Wellness Mama!

  14. Michalraeann says

    I just made this dry shampoo using an old Bare Minerals container that I still have and large bronzer brush.  It works so great and the container contains the mess very well.  Thanks for this post!

  15. Dancer8082 says

    I just tried this and it really works! I like this much better than the other store brands that i’ve tried. I am blonde so i used just the cornstarch at first but it made me look like i had grey hair so i added a little of the cocoa powder and it was perfect! Thanks!

  16. ClovE says

    Does cocoa powder become sticky if you sweat? I know that you brush off the dry shampoo first, but of course there is gonna be some leftover powder there. I have really dark hair and other recipes dont work for me, so I wanna know before I try it

    • Steph says

      I have black hair and it does work for me even when I sweat. That said I don’t use this recipe and feel like I can go hair down and for a few more days, I have been using it and styling my hair up on a messy pony tail/bun and washing the next day so basically it just buys me one more day.

    • says

      I use this trick and do crossfit so I spend a good hour of the day drenched in sweat. It doesn’t get sticky and even by day 3 or 4 of no washing and sweating the trick still does wonders. What’s really fun is that you’ll smell like chocolate (if you use cocoa powder), when you do sweat! Wait, that usually just makes me want chocolate, lol. It doesn’t run or get sticky and works miracles if you only have time to do a quick rinse after a hard work out! Saves me so much time!!!

  17. Christa says

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!! I tried this and loved it! I have two toddlers so getting to wash my hair more than two or three times a week is a huge luxury. I have thin, oily hair so using this in between is wonderful! Oh also..I have red hair so I added a bit if cinnamon to the arrowroot/cocoa powder concoction and it worked out well! I love all of your post! Thank you for sharing such wonderful tips and recipes!!

    • Julie Getmanenko says

      Does the cinnamon irritate your scalp? I have red hair, too. Just the cornstarch leaves my hair looking funny and I’m afraid the cocoa isn’t the right color family. Any other suggestions?

    • Crystal says

      I do not recommend perfumes… essential oils have healing qualities to them, perfumes more often than not have damaging qualities to them. You can pick up a btl of Essential Oil for between 8 and 20 dollars (some can be very expensive, others more cost effective)… it will also last you forever… just my personal opinion

  18. Aaron says

    Baby powder works for light brown or lighter hair. I never thought of arrowroot, for hair it make up. I have especially oily skin on my face and have yet to find something that works since origins stopped making the one thing I had found years ago. Thanks for the tip!

  19. Josie says

    I tried to do the cocoa for my dark hair.. idk as i was brushing it threw it really toke the oil away; I brushed my hair to keep taking the remaining off; but idk if i like it too much it got on my clothes :/ I really liked the smell of it in my hair suckss that it got on my clothes.. I usually just use baby powder & it does show as gray but i brush it off with a towel & brush & does wonders

  20. says

    Make up brush!!! I’ve been trying to figure out an effective way to get it on my hair without getting it everywhere else (floor, sink, my clothes – although it just brushes off wiht a dry towel). I’ve been using this for a couple months now – I can’t believe how much time it saves – literally hours throughout the week!!! The only problem I have is by day 3 or 4 my boyfriend has caught on and starts calling me a dirty hippie even though I assure him I have showered, lol. Whatever, this is the greatest beauty trick ever! Oh I just use straight cocoa powder – I have light brown hair. It blends well and can’t tell at all.

    I wear a lot of hats so sometimes by day 4 I just throw on a cute hat and am on my way and can push through that fourth day, but otherwise I can’t quite make it past the 3 day mark. I think because I do crossfit so I am covered in sweat everyday (which by the way, this trick works wonders even if you work out). The best part is when I’m working out I smell like chocolate at the gym!

  21. Baffled says

    Just made this and used some. It passed the hubby test. Best thing is that my son’s GF won’t be stealing it since it is in an unmarked mason jar :-)

  22. cecilia says

    i put some cocoa in my daughter’s (thin, curly and oily but normally dry) hair this morning. It helped tame the oil (she had a coconut oil treatment last week which is still helping her dryness) today, gave her good body and her hair was still looking nice tonight. i’m so happy about this. even though she is 7, it is like she has toddler hair, so it is hard to find things to work well in her hair. i’m loving anything that i can do to help her hair. :)

  23. says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Just tried this and it worked great. I can not wait to try your other creations. You are a saviour to those of us with severe allergies to almost all chemicals and perfumes (which unfortunately includes a lot of natural/organic products). Thanks again! ^_^

  24. Laura D says

    I’m wondering….if I left out the arrowroot powder for the wet-dry shampoo, would it work as a body spray? Maybe more witch hazel, less water?

  25. chelita says

    Hi
    I have been using arrowroot powder as a dry shampoo for a couple of days now, and I notice that I have some build up. I wonder if somebody else have same problem.

    • says

      Cinnamon! I have been using it for years and I used to use a cinnamon that was too red for my hair. I have recently found a cinnamon that doesn’t have as much red in it. I invite you to go on a cinnamon treasure hunt and find a cinnamon that looks more red. It seems to vary depending on soil, climate, water, etc. I am curious to try the red clay. I am very curious about the suggestion to add a little beet root or hibiscus powder – perhaps mixed with the cinnamon? Maybe even rose petal powder?

    • Linda Golden says

      I was wondering the same thing about red hair. If cocoa powder is too dark, I wonder if something like cinnamon or paprika might work?

  26. Marissa says

    I have thick blonde hair and I generally wash my hair every day/every other day. I’m trying to go ‘poo free. I’m going to be swimming in a pool every other day so how should I go about keeping the chlorine out of my hair while not using shampoos to wash my hair? Will rinsing out the chlorine and using a dry shampoo work? How often do you rinse your hair? Everyday? Or should I just wait until I won’t be swimming as often to start going ‘poo free?

    • says

      That is touch with chlorine. I’d probably do a diluted apple cider vinegar rinse after swimming to get the chlorine out, or just use an organic shampoo until you stop swimming….

    • says

      Hmmm…. I think that the ACV is a good idea, but you may need to put a conditioner in your hair so it doesn’t dry out. You can also try a little jojoba oil (it works best on my hair after it’s dried, rather than applying when it’s wet).

    • says

      get your hair wet with non-pool water before you swim. your hair strands will absorb that water instead. if you’re only cutting shampoo, not conditioner, mix a tiny bit of conditioner into the water first, and it works even better! this also helps your hair from getting nasty from the salt water at the beach!!

  27. Reemsy48 says

    I made the dry shampoo for dark hair and I love it! I didn’t add any essential oils to it, though, because I love the chocolate scent. My hair isn’t very oily (I wash it every other day) but this dry shampoo is great for days I don’t feel like washing it or for when I used too much styling product and need to absorb it. Most dry shampoos I have used made my hair feel icky, but this one keeps my hair dry and adds loads of volume.

  28. says

    I had a bottle of dry shampoo that was in an aerosol can…until I looked at the ingredients one day and saw that it contained aluminum O_o After I passed it off to someone who doesn’t care about that kind of thing, I did a lot of searching for a dry shampoo that didn’t contain aluminum and that wasn’t in aerosol form. I found one at Sephora, but it’s $22 for a 2.65oz bottle. Yes, it would last a while, but holy cow! I’m an actor…so I’m basically broke all the time. Still haven’t had it in my budget to buy the one at Sephora. I’ve recently discovered I can make virtually everything in my house myself (beauty and cleaning products) for a fraction of the cost of buying commercial products, and knowing that they are safe and healthy for myself, my husband, our pets, and the environment. That’s how I stumbled upon this, when I decided to see if it was possible to make my own dry shampoo. I just have a couple of questions. One of the things I love about dry shampoo is that it gives my otherwise fine, flat hair some nice volume. Does this recipe do that? I’ve seen a couple of people mention it, but I’m wondering if more often than not people experience a boost in body. Also, I have darker brown hair, but am not so keen on the idea of smelling like chocolate. I LOVE chocolate, and I LOVE the smell of chocolate, but I don’t think it will mesh well with any of my perfumes or the scents of my other products. I’ve seen cinnamon mentioned a couple of times, and while I’m also not that keen on smelling of cinnamon, I think it will blend better with my musky/woodsy scents. So my questions here are: How much cinnamon is needed to keep my hair from looking grey? And how potent is the smell exactly? Does it fade after a little while? Thanks for any help anyone can give me :)

    • says

      The cinnamon doesn’t make your hair look grey because it is dark. It actually diffuses any grey hair if you have some. I found a nice light brown colored cinnamon that isn’t very red at my local health food store, which matches my hair perfectly. It gives my hair lots of volume – I love it! If you are uncertain, you can try it on a day when you have time to wash your hair if you don’t like it. Over the years I have turned quite a few friends onto it and they love it.

  29. says

    I would also like to help everyone who keeps asking about coco powder getting sticky (in addition to being an actor, I’m also a professionally trained chef…so I know a thing or two about food). Coco powder is just ground up coco beans, which contain no natural sugars. That’s why if you took a spoonful of coco powder and tried to eat it, or mix it with hot milk for a hot chocolate, you’d make quite a face. When you add fats and sugars to coco powder to make chocolate bars, syrups, etc, is when you get stickiness. So unless you try to dump a packet of hot chocolate mix on your head, you’re going to be fine.

  30. says

    while i’ll certainly try the wet/dry spray, i’m wondering if cinnamon would work instead of cocoa as a dry shampoo for red heads! thanks for the recipes, and i’ll get back to you if i try the cinnamon!

    • says

      I have been using cinnamon for years and it works great! Friends say I smell like a cinnamon roll! My hair gets oily very quickly and I can look like Professor Snape the day after washing my hair. As I have long hair, I don’t want to wash it every day and the cinnamon trick has saved me a lot of time. Once, while camping, I went 10 days and my hair looked and smelled amazing. I have to be a little careful because the cinnamon can get on the collars of clothes that are light colored – but it washes out easily. I keep my cinnamon in a bottle and step onto the back porch. Then I pour about a tablespoon onto my brush and work it into my hair while I lean over. I am going to try the cocoa powder today!

  31. Chelsikins says

    Finely ground oats work well as dry shampoo too. Plus you smell like breakfast all day. I consider that a plus. :)

  32. LA says

    Need to say that Orange Oil(fruit oils) are photosensitive, and should only be applied on the skin if they are washed off, same as Cinnamon(photosensitive), if applied to skin, they can pose problems. especially when exposed to sunlight. Essential oils should not be applied NEAT(directly) on skin, they should be accompanied with a carrier oil(maybe the cornstarch and cocoa is enough, not sure). Just a heads up that you should be very careful when selecting essential oils.

  33. Gabrielle says

    Thank you for this! I know this sounds crazy and gross, but… I don’t need to wash my hair for months at a time. It’s thick, coarse, wavy and dry, and it just doesn’t get oily. And it looks much better when I don’t wash it, so I don’t. DOES ANYONE ELSE DO THIS? The problem is it ends up smelling like dirty head. So, I’ve been experimenting with dry shampoos, and spraying witch-hazel etc., to clean off whatever the scalp build-up is. QUESTIONS: 1. The witch-hazel is stinky. Does all witch-hazel smell like that? Even when I add lavender it smells nauseating. Is it really fine to use vodka? Other options? 2. My hair’s dark, so the light powders make it look grey, and I don’t love smelling like chocolate. I don’t actually need oil-absorption — I just need some form of non-water cleansing — for the scalp, I guess? ANY BRILLIANT SUGGESTIONS WELCOME! Thank you, everyone!

    • Tauna Houghton says

      Have you tried rubbing essential oils onto your scalp, such as rosemary, rose geranium or lavender? You could experiment with just a few drops – you don’t need much. Don’t use citrus, though, as it is light sensitive and could interact with sunlight.

  34. Elissa Wery says

    I just tried the spray and my hair seemed more oily than before the spray. Could the essential oils be the problem? I used 2 drops rosemary, 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lavendar. Should I add more arrowroot the the mixture?

  35. Katey says

    Love this recipe, and as long as you don’t use too much it works wonders!! I have used every store bought dry shampoo out there, and the cocoa powder and corn starch leaves no residue, and my hair feels like I just washed it!!!

  36. Adel-Alexander says

    How do I mix the Arrowroot and Cocoa powder? Should I wet it or should I just mix the dry powders together?

  37. candice H says

    holy crazy amazing astronauts from another planet on drugs! I am in shock! the wet/dry formula just wiped out my nasty oily hair, added body, didn’t cause ‘powdered wig’ look, and took all of 4 minutes to make including cleaning out an old spray bottle and shaking!!!! My hair looks like I just blow dried it after a shower and added product to make it tame! granted, i did do a hot oil treatment a few days ago, my hair is AWE—SUMM!

    Thank you for all these insanely wonderful things, I found out about your site literally last week on tuesday like less than 12 days ago, since then I have made sunblock, shampoo, dry shampoo!!!!, lip balm, have ordered the toothpaste ingredients, made deodorant, ordered water kefir grains, learned about kombucha, will be ordering a ton of herbs including yarrow (probably through mountain rose herbs-I’ll navigate from your site so you get the points) and stocked up on some others at the local indian market and found out how versitile coconut oil is!!! My mind is totally blown, seriously my husband thinks I’m having an outer mind experience. I literally jumped up and down at the Mother’s market when I saw 30oz glass jars of coconut oil on sale for $12 bucks each… Your site and my reading and research (‘genetic heavy metal toxicity’, ‘the hundred year lie’) is changing how I live and how I feel! I am on such a high, a life High! thank you for pooling all your information on this resource! i just prayed and thanked God for the internet thismorning! My family is going to be heck of healthy and in so much better shape than the norm! I can’t wait to get some more ideas of what to make next! Thank YOU!

  38. Vannessa Miller says

    baby powder!!!
    It is cornstarch and already smells great!!! I am blonde so I just lightly sprinkle in my hair before bed and brush and style the next day! Been doing this for years as I have dry hair that is waist length
    and a pain to wash and dry. This way I wash only twice a week:)

  39. Andrea Bechtel says

    My mom taught me to use baby powder on my roots for oil absorption. I’ve been doing this for a decade now, and it keeps my hair looking spiffy. Since I have curly hair, I don’t brush and using a little on my roots is all that is needed, as the ends are drier. I love this post!

  40. Whitney Hempsey says

    Thanks so much for this. I no poo and didn’t have time to shower before church so this is saving me from looking like a greaseball. The dark hair version works great!

  41. Jessica says

    Does the powder leave residue and rub off on clothes, sheets, etc.? you know kinda like make-up does.

  42. Jessica says

    Okay one more question…..where is a good priced place to get essential oils (seems that they are very pricey) and things like beeswax shea, cocoa, and other types of butters in the other recipes for lotions and deodorant? I am most definitely on a budget and a cheapo!

    • LysiJoy says

      I don’t know if you’re still looking, but Mountain Rose Herbs has good prices on very high quality and organic products – everything you mentioned. I 1st discovered them when looking for a reasonable price on organic lavender EO and then when I stumbled upon Wellness Mama months later I saw that she also buys her supplies there.

    • Shirley says

      If you’re still looking for essential oils I like to buy from brambleberry.com and bulkapothecary.com because both sell in either bulk quantities or “sample” sizes. I like to have many fragrances on hand at a time so buying a few of them in .5 oz quantities and seeing which ones I like and which I don’t works well for me.

  43. aznbodyguard says

    Thank you so mush! i just started to do the no poo method and working out. so I really needed a good dry shampoo on the in-between washings. :) I noticed for me, brushing with the dry shampoo really for my roots and spaying the middle of my strands and the back of my head with the wet shampoo is a really good combination. ( I have long think black hair- a big pain to do each separately for my whole head)

  44. Amanda R Baker says

    I’m trying to go no ‘poo (I started with the BS/ACV method, but it left my hair feeling like straw – further research showed that it’s actually BAD for your hair – not PH balanced) but I haven’t yet found a ‘wash’ recipe I like. I’m currently trying aloe gel & coconut oil, but my hair is greasy the day I use that. Some days I just scrub really good with water only, but I still have issues with oily hair (I’ve always had oily hair/face) so I decided a dry shampoo was the way to go. I finally picked up some arrowroot today and, while I LOVE my essential oils, I was to lazy to blend everything together, so I did cocoa and also added in some cinnamon. Smells delicious! It gets rid of that oily look and makes my hair look fuller. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Halley Sissom says

      Have you tried a rhassoul clay shampoo? I’m currently doing a 3:2:1 of Aloe Juice, ACV and Rhassoul Clay and it leaves my hair feeling so clean! Worth a try and you only need to use like a tablespoon at the most per wash.

  45. Sarah Hanson says

    I’ve used plain baking soda for about 2 years, and I’ve heard of adding cocoa powder for awhile. I am extremely into natural and organic living, because of the health benefits and I KNOW it’s not tested on animals (when I make it). I really appreciate all of your ideas, and will be using so many of them. Thank you for all the help, and simple ideas. (:

  46. Rachel says

    Oh my gosh. I’ve been using dry shampoos (many different brands) for years now, and I’d pretty much settled on one or two as my go-to favorites. I’ve gotten tired of spending my bucks on it and started to get a little freaked out by the ingredient lists, however… then along comes your recipe! It just popped into my life when I least expected it, and I love it! Love. It. It’s definitely as effective as my usual brand, and about $25 cheaper. And because I have really dark hair and use the cocoa powder recipe, I smell like a bakery instead of a chemical factory. Win.

  47. Leah7453 says

    I’ve been using plain cornstarch on my hair every couple of days. Despite the fact that I haven’t washed it in almost 1.5 WEEKS, it looks like I washed it yesterday! Perhaps I will never have to shampoo again?! Will see how long it lasts as I hate washing my hair. Also it helps to make my dark roots look less obvious

  48. applemoon says

    Hi Katie I just found your post. I’m trying to go natural I have fine thin wavy hair due to having a perm that never came out so sometimes my hair can be dry. It seems 2 me that my hair gets dead ends fast now and I don’t do anything other than wash and go could it be due to what I was using such as Wen? I did try a beer rinse and loved it ACV makes my hair brassy and dry my hair is dark and I have been graying since 21 now I’m about 15% gray I’m very oily as well so how long does it take for the scalp to get used to no shampoo and just water?

  49. Rachelle says

    I just made the “Wet/Dry spray” & tried it. It now looks like I have tiny flakes of dandruff (The arrowroot)!! Help!!! I have dark brown hair. I followed the recipe exactly, using witch hazel.

  50. Ashley says

    I love your blog, and this is so simple and awesome-and it really works. Adding the cocoa for darker hair is such a good idea. Thanks for all you do!

  51. Lindsey McCully says

    I have been using your dry shampoo for almost a year now and it has worked great! I love it! I am wondering though if the arrowroot powder can dry out your hair eventually? I can’t tell for sure if this is happening or if it is from something else and wondered if others that have used this noticed anything? Thanks!

  52. Alyssa H. says

    I’ve never used dry shampoo before, but I think I need it because my hair is pretty much super oily the second it’s dry. No joke. So my question is, how exactly do you put it in your hair? Do you need to flip your head over, or do you apply it while standing straight up?

  53. Rachael Robinson says

    Love this recipe as well, especially the coca powder edition. My tip is: when my hair is really needing a good oil soaking up, like day 3 or around my cycle, I do my usual application, but I don’t work toward the end right away. I put on a shower cap and shower or put on my make up, whatever needs to be done. Right before I need to go, or after 15 or so minutes, then I work it through and/or style my hair. Also, putting it in right after a fresh shampoo helps prevent oily build up and that yucky cakey feeling. Take action, not reaction.
    Love the mention about baking soda for odor control.

  54. Canadamama says

    I love this. I have used the cocoa powder mixture, when needed, for a while now, and my daughter uses it almost every day. She is 12, and thinks that it is fantastic. She also likes that her hair smells sweet without the scent being overpowering. I add a few drops of tea tree oil when I make it, in the hopes that it helps keep little critters away. :)

  55. Leila Molaei says

    I was wondering how the powder would work in a refillable spray bottle. One of the things I love about these products is that you can spray them on.

  56. Cassidy says

    I’m trying this for the first time now! I used the cocoa recipe for dark hair, and I’m so impressed with how non-chalky my hair is. Thanks so much! I adore this blog. :)

  57. Ryan Furney says

    I have seen other similar posts using these ingredients but also using baking soda in addition to cocoa powder and corn starch. Do you know what the difference would be?

  58. Lina Msl says

    Hello there! This post was very helpful and interesting! I saw that some good brands of dry shampoo have as their “key ingredient” the rice starch.. Does cornstarch work as well as the rice starch? I’d also like to ask if talc (baby powder) has any effects as a dry shampoo =)

  59. Renee Fischer says

    I’d love to try this, but my multi colored RED BLACK BLAND hair would be soo confused… got any ideas for read/ginger hair? pretty please?

  60. Renee Fischer says

    I’d love to try this, but my multi colored RED BLACK BLAND hair would be soo confused… got any ideas for read/ginger hair? pretty please?

    • Nina says

      Hi, Renee! Try mine: cinnamon and paprika. Cinnamon has light brown color, so you add the paprika to change the tone. Paprika comes in a variety of colors, so the redder the hair, the redder the paprika… Be careful not to use smoked paprika, your hair will smell awful (I guess)! Apply small amounts on the roots with a soft brush, leave it for a minute or two, then brush your hair over the bathtub. You don’t want to do this in your bedroom! Final step: clean the bathtub :D!

  61. Alice Franke says

    Ponytails. . . Fancy ones. Haha. That was my secret when my hair was long and I hadn’t washed it in days. Now I have shorter hair and my partner and I are trying to go no-poo or all-natural, whichever ends up working better. I was afraid that although baking soda-vinegar rinse will work for me, the Mr. would get sick of the smell of vinegar, which he hates. Your homemade shampoos recipes are going to be tested at some point; thank you so much for doing what you do!

  62. Nina says

    Hi, girls! This is my own recipe for dark and/or red hair: I mix equal parts of cinnamon powder and paprika (not the hot or smoked ones, of course!) and apply it with a brush to the roots. I used to use cocoa powder, but it’s kind of oily itself and, besides, my husband didn’t like the smell… The new recipe works like a charm every time; the bad part is you have to be extremely careful not to let it get in your eyes, it really stings (happened to me a couple of times)! But it’s great, my hair looks amazing, has volume and smells fantastic.

  63. Brianna says

    I want to make the wet/dry shampoo, but am a little confused with which witch hazel do I use? I am now looking at the Mountain Rose Herbs site which I have gotten my shampoo and conditioner from and see a bunch of witch hazel. Can’t wait to make this.

  64. Robin says

    I’ve just discovered that dry/powdered ginger is also a great DIY dry-shampoo for blondes. I just applied it directly with an old makeup brush then used by hair brush to brush it through my hair. The smell is a little odd, so I misted on some perfume afterwards. I expect this could have been avoided with a well matched essential oil, but seeing as I was improvising it turned out pretty well. The light yellow colour is a major bonus too

    • Lisa says

      It seems there are more brunettes than blondes. I, too, am blonde and was sitting here wondering what spice I could add to the cornstarch to give it some color that worked for my hair. I didn’t think of ginger. Thanks, Robin. That’s perfect! A great color for my hair AND I have it in my kitchen cabinet in a pint mason jar as it’s a favorite cooking spice. :)

  65. Ruth Campos says

    I used an empty baby powder container to store my dry shampoo. That way I can just sprinkle it into my hair where I want it. My dry shampoo is a mixture of corn starch and baking soda. My hair color is dark blonde, so I find it works better to sprinkle the dry shampoo on and work it into my hair the night before. By morning everything is absorbed, and my hair looks light and fluffy (I have fine hair). So, my hair goes from oily and clinging to my head to clean and full of body.

    • Lisa says

      Yay Ruth, another great hint! My blonde hair is also fine. Applying powder at night and sleeping on it will save even more time in the morning. :)

  66. Heather says

    I seriously love you lol! I looked up two totally different topics just now on google and your site was on both (first I might add). Thank you for your wealth of knowledge! Helps me so so much!

  67. Carolyn says

    I have a bag of carob powder I bought years ago and never used. Any reason I shouldn’t use that in place of the cocoa powder for my dark hair? Unless advised otherwise, I will give this a try this evening & let you know how it goes!

  68. Tracey says

    I used an old pill container for this so I can just put everything in and mix it quickly and its small. Tried it on my husband after a lot of heavy convincing and we were pleased to say it really worked! Glad I dont have to buy those spray dry shampoos in the store anymore as they are expensive and dont last long.

  69. Ellie says

    I just mixed up a batch of the dry shampoo for dark hair and I am stunned with the results! The arrowroot powder completely disappeared in my hair – there is no visible residue to be found. The cocoa smell was mild in the beginning and has since disappeared, and I am left with full, soft hair. I haven’t washed my hair for 3 days and this dry shampoo has done an amazing job!!!! Thank you for the fantastic DIY recipe.

  70. Andrea says

    I was so excited to make this. Immediately I ran to the kitchen looking for a Cocoa powder substitute since I had none, nor did I have an extra makeup brush so I improvised. I mixed Arrowroot powder with Cinnamon powder into a salt shaker.
    It works and smells great but I’ll definitely try Cocoa powder next time because I found the Cinnamon to be too granular.

  71. Korryn says

    I just found this post and website today because I never had good luck with store bought dry shampoos and was sick of greasy hair when I skipped a shower for just 1 day. I would put baby powder in it and used perfume but I have dark hair and I could never get all the baby powder out so I didn’t have funny looking roots. So I found this and made it just a few minutes ago and it works great :) I added a little more cocoa powder though since my hair is really dark and I had some scented body powder I used to make it smell nice so I wasn’t walking around smelling like a chocolate bar lol Thank you so much for posting this it will be a life saver!

  72. deanne says

    I can’t wait to try the cocoa powder and cinnamon for my dark hair! (could also be a new diet for me…if I smell like candy all day, maybe I won’t eat it) I am going on a 1000 mile hike for several months this summer, and have been trying to figure out how to keep my dark, fine, oily hair somewhat presentable without cutting it off, or getting braids – which would itch after a week of no washing. Thanks for all the ideas!

  73. Julia says

    I have thick light colored hair. After day 1, it is only slightly oily, but after day 2 it is very oily. I am going to try this but I have some questions before I do. Can you use the cocoa powder in blondish/brownish hair? And is tea tree oil an essential oil that you can use in this. Or would that not quite smell right with the cocoa, I’m not sure if I have other oils to use.

  74. Kacey says

    Thanks for this recipe! I am soon to embark on a trip form the US to South Korea, which involves three planes, layovers, and over 2 days total traveling time, at the end of which I will be reunited with my husband after not seeing him for a little over a month. I have super oily hair, and anything that will help me too look a little bit less bad upon arrival will be very useful to me.

  75. Sara says

    This looks so awesome and simple!! A couple questions, do you think I could sub corn flour and or cacao powder? I have these on hand but not sure if they would work as good as the recipe above. Thank so much!!! Your blog is great!!!

  76. c.a. says

    last month i made the wet/dry shampoo spray, and i love it! i have long, very fine dark blonde hair, and an oily scalp. in the past, if i had to go without a shower and shampoo, i would feel i had to wear a hat to cover the oily roots. with this spray, my hair is GREAT (with the bonus of body and texture) on the first day, tolerable on the 2nd day, and then only on the 3rd day would it be hat time. thanks for the great recipe! i just made my 2nd batch in about 2 minutes. (i used arrowroot, and some rose geranium essential oil)

  77. says

    Can’t wait to try this out! Do you suggest the dark shampoo for light brown hair? I’m not sure if the light is only for blonde or if it might also work for lighter shades of brown. Thanks!

  78. Emilia says

    I can’t thank you enough for this! I have always wanted to wash my hair more infrequently and with this I can go more days without washing. I was just wondering is there any negatives if you have this stuff on your head for like two days? Can it clog pores or something? I ask because I like to use this after the day I’ve washed my hair because my hair gets greasy so easily but I don’t wash my hair that same day so it sits in my hair for two more days and I usually even put it more. I’ve noticed that my scalp might feel a little bit itchy if I have this for like two days in my hair. Thanks and sorry for weird sounding question! lol

  79. Connie says

    I just found your site upon doing a search for DIY dry shampoo. I have to say I love it! I just tried your dry shampoo but used carob powder and cinnamon along with 1/2 corn starch and 1/2 arrowroot! I had used baby powder when I was younger but it always looked like I scraped my head against the chalkboard. This “recipe” works wonderfully on my extremely dark hair. Thank you so much! I look forward to trying out your other DIY’s!

  80. Rute Almeida says

    Does the cocoa powder work alone? I have curly, extremely tangled hair, too, so I can’t brush it when dry, not even with a wide tooth comb… What should I do about it? Thank you!

  81. Janet says

    This is great! I ran out of cocoa powder though, and tried it with carob powder instead. It worked out fine, as I have mid-tone brown hair to begin with, and it covered up my gray flyaways that have begun to rear their wise strands! Got lots of compliments today. Yay! A solution to toddler mommy hair!;)

  82. Mary Anne says

    Tried the dark hair version this morning in a pinch – worked GREAT. Better than the store bought stuff. Thanks again for all your help!

  83. Jen says

    So on days you’re not shampooing and you use this, do you still shower and just rinse with water? Or wear a shower cap to keep your head dry?

  84. Jeannette says

    Thank you for this. I used the corn starch and cocoa powder on my hair. I just started using your shampoo recipe and the first two times my hair was fine. This is the end of the second week, washing every other day and my hair seems to be a bit oily. Sometimes the oily-ness goes away after a few hours, but I tried this and it works great. I hope my hair adjusts soon, I have thought about adjusting the amount of castille soap. I am determined to make it work. I want to use natural beauty methods but I can’t afford expensive organic brands.

  85. Kandy says

    Went “no-poo” for a month or two. Caved and washed again with product. Still using Hershey’s cocoa powder as a dry shampoo and have never been happier! I use it straight without any arrowroot, but may consider adding it since the cocoa powder is very colorful. I have dark brown hair anyway though. Man, it’s luxurious smelling like chocolate all day!

  86. Jan says

    This stuff works way better than store bought. I’m on day three and you would not know. I used to wash daily because my hair is pretty oily. A few months ago I switched to only washing on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Friday I used my usual store bought spray and today (Saturday) used my diy and my hair looks better than it did yesterday. And of course no cloud of fumes while using! I put it in a spice shaker, which made a bit more of a mess than I would like, so I’m going to try a brush next time. And it smells divine, I might add! I’m going to make the switch soon to homemade shampoo. I think this stuff it will help considerably with the transition.

  87. Alicia Lambert says

    Yeah I wish I’d done an Internet search before going to the store and giving them my first born for a tiny bottle of dry shampoo that smells like my great grandmother.

  88. erica says

    I wash my hair everyday. I know that’s supposed to be bad. I started using the Shielo Hydrate Shampoo, my hair looks and feels so healthy. I barely need to use any shampoo, a quarter-size only, and I have a ton of hair. Typically I’ve had to rinse and repeat , but with Shielo – I use just the quarter-size and its perfect. Feels soooo good and its super hydrating.

    I would recommend this to any gal with thick hair prone to getting dry.

  89. Tina says

    Hi there, I am newish to this diy shampoo. I tried the baking soda shampoo and acv rinse my head as very sore, itchy and very oily. Then I tried just acv rinse and still very oily. Tried aloe versa and water, and also just water which was better, still too oily. There was several weeks with all experiments. Just wondering if wash with only dry shampoo like cinnamon, or should I try use aloe versa wash, with dry shampoo between.

    • says

      A lot of hair care is finding what works for you… everyone’s hair and scalp are different and what works wonders for me might not for you. I encourage you to continue to experiment. maybe start with only the dry shampoo, as you suggest, and add in the aloe vera wash if it becomes apparent something else is needed. I know it’s time-consuming, but once you find a routine that works well, you will be much happier. Keep me posted on your results: I would love to now what you come up with!

  90. Cee says

    I have auburn hair. I use cornstarch first, then get rid of the “gray hair’ look with loose powdered bronzer sprinkled at the roots and brushed through to blend. I wrapped my pillow in a dark towel. Love the idea of adding essential oil for fragrant hair, and of putting the powder in a small shaker or squeeze bottle. Thanks ladies!

  91. Julianne says

    Just tried this after finding this post a couple of days ago and wow oh wow did it do wonders!! :) I have super thick dark hair and ever since I started using all natural shampoo bars, it seems like my hair gets greasy faster since they don’t strip your hair of the essential oils like traditional shampoos do. I did cocoa powder, arrowroot starch, and a few drops of sweet orange essential oil and it smells amazing! I can officially say I have found my fix! :) Thank you so much!

  92. Sune Papachristodoulou says

    I have been on no shampoo for 3 weeks and just came across this site. I have been a model for over 10 years so my hair has taken a lot of strain over time. It is long and thick and very heavy, and since I started this routine it is feeling softer and lighter. I never knew about the cocoa and my hair was oily as I haven’t used bicarbonate and vinegar for 4 days now, and I just used cocoa powder in my hair and it is transformed! I also smell like chocolate which makes it better haha. Although my husband had a good laugh when I walked out the kitchen looking like I fell into hot chocolate!

    Thanks so much for this info, I can’t wait for my hair to be over this transition phase and be healthy and glorious! Xx

  93. Dawn says

    I have dark brown/ red hair and have also used cinnamon as a color enhancer, so I don’t end up looking gray. Either way – cocoa or cinnamon (or both)- be careful when wearing white, depending on your hair length it did discolor some of my white tees over time…..

  94. Diane says

    I’ve tried cornstarch and cocoa powder before but could not stand the way it smelled! Just made this, added peppermint EO and that saved it! Thrilled you posted this! Thanks!

  95. Brittney says

    Thanks for the idea Katie! I’ve been using a kind of “homemade” (except I didn’t make it :) bergamot dry oil for my face but I hadn’t considered trying a dry shampoo.

    What does the cocoa powder do exactly though? I’m wondering if I should leave it in or take it out. Thanks!

    • says

      The cocoa powder in the dark hair dry shampoo is a bit of color. It keeps it looking too chalky in the hair. You certainly don’t want to look like you have baby powder in your hair ;)

  96. Sandra says

    Thank you for the recipe! I can’t wait to try it.

    Before I go out and get the ingredients, I was wondering if the cocoa powder would be noticeable in jet black hair. If that’s a possibility, is there anything else you’d recommend or suggest for black hair?

    Thanks! :)

  97. Vanessa says

    I googled Arrowroot to see where I could buy it and Bob’s Red Mill Arrowroot Starch was suggested. Will this work?

  98. christina says

    My hair is a bit drier than it was when I was younger (im 45+). I also live in a very dry climate in western Colorado which also contributes to the dryness of my hair. I use the Shielo Restore Oil because its perfect for making my hair soft and moist again. I have short hair so I only use a small amount on my fingers and spread it through all of my hair. I can shower twice a day when necessary and if I use the Shielo Oil, my hair does not dry out. I like the result!

  99. Renee says

    I’ve done this for years. For darker hair, I use ground cloves which is more brown with little red in it. Tumeric is good for blonds/lighter hair. Just FYI… I use ground cloves, red morracan clay, cinnamon and paprika in my blend for my auburn hair.

  100. Nikki says

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! I have always been unhappy with my lackluster hair if I don’t wash my hair daily, but I have an almost 2 yr old, so my mornings are very busy. After many days of still being unshowered and greasy by 4 PM, I thought I ought to start showering at night. Problem is, my thin hair was always greasy by morning! And put a workout in there??? Game over. I made this last night after it popped up on my google search (first, I do believe) and tried it this morning after I showered last night and did yoga and sweated through the humidity of this rainy August day. The verdict? Incredibly close to looking as though I just had showered and used a blow dryer this morning. This is so amazing. I made the dark hair version, only corn starch and cocoa powder. I actually don’t smell anything when I use it, but I only dab at the base of my hair. I think I may make this as Xmas gifts this year…Again, thank you, this is amazing!!!

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