DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

How to Make Your Own Dry Shampoo for Light or Dark Hair

Dry shampoos have been all the rage among some of my friends lately, and I can understand why… A beauty 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 Shampoo Recipe

how to make natural dry shampoo for light or dark hairDry 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!) 🙂

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:

Dry Shampoo Ingredients

Dry Shampoo Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

If you’d rather have a spray wet shampoo that works as a dry shampoo, you can accomplish this by adding some water and edible alcohol to the above recipe:

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.

If you’re not into making your own dry shampoo, this pre-made option from Morrocco Method might be a good fit for you.

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!

Three recipes for homemade DIY dry shampoo (or spray dry shampoos) for dark or light hair that are inexpensive to make and work as well as store bought!

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