DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

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How to Make Your Own Dry Shampoo for Light or Dark Hair
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair

Dry shampoos have been all the rage, 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! During long days with little ones we are lucky if we get to use the bathroom alone, much less shower every day…

If you use a product (almost) every day, it’s important for it to a) work and b) have safe ingredients! But look at the label on most commercial dry shampoos and you’ll find ingredients like isobutane, butane, and propane… no thanks!

I found out it’s easy to make your own natural dry shampoo from scratch with just a few simple ingredients you might already have on hand. You’ll not only save money since homemade dry shampoo versions are about 95% cheaper, but you also won’t be putting toxic chemicals on your hair!

(And if you don’t have the time or desire to DIY, keep reading for a solution… )

How to Make Your Own Dry Shampoo at Home

how to make natural dry shampoo for light or dark hair

The basic idea of a dry shampoo (or wet “dry” shampoo, see that variation below) is to put an oil-absorbing substance like arrowroot or cornstarch on the oily parts of your hair. This absorbs the oil and leaves it looking clean and volumized.

On my hair, I use a light powder (arrowroot) since I’m blonde, but dark-haired mamas can mix cocoa powder in with the arrowroot for naturally tinted (and delicious smelling!) homemade dry shampoo. You can even use cocoa powder in homemade eye shadow.

Bonus: Dry shampoo is also very helpful if you’ll be styling hair and need it to hold. Dirty hair holds 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!) 🙂

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

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!
4.39 from 81 votes

Dry Shampoo Recipe

Make chemical-free dry shampoo in minutes with just two or three ingredients!
Prep Time4 minutes
Author: Katie Wells


  • ¼ cup arrowroot powder (or organic cornstarch, for dark hair use 2 TBSP arrowroot and 2 TBSP cocoa powder)
  • 5 drops essential oil (optional – I use lavender)


  • Place the arrowroot, or arrowroot and cocoa powder, into a small jar.
  • Add the essential oil and mix to combine.
  • 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.


Add 1 cup of warm water and ¼ cup of vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel to the above recipe to make a spray wet shampoo that works as a dry shampoo. Spray on roots or oily parts of hair, let dry, and style as usual. Shake before each use.
Don’t Want to DIY? You’re in luck! I started my own line of safe personal care products based on my DIY recipes. Learn more about my Wellnesse Revitalizing Dry Shampoo for All Hair Types here.

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

Here’s how:

Wet “Dry” Shampoo Option

A wet-dry shampoo uses the same concept but puts the oil-absorbing substance in a quickly evaporating liquid like vodka or rubbing alcohol.

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. With some time to absorb you won’t get the fake-gray-looks-like-a-wig look!

If you decide to go pro and try pre-made dry shampoo, let me know what you think if you try my Wellnesse line! I’ve been working hard to make sure these are the safest, most natural products for moms and families that work even better than conventional options. I’d love to know how they work for you!

Do you use dry shampoo? 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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Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


392 responses to “DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark or Light Hair”

  1. Milissa Bushner Avatar
    Milissa Bushner

    5 stars
    Wow! I just tried the wet/dry shampoo spray recipe. Added tea tree oil. Very impressed! I have dark brown (dyed) very straight and fine hair It will be nice to have my color last a little longer. Adds a lot of volume too. Far better than the spray I just bought at the drugstore. Sprayed a little on my hand to check the smell before applying and almost passed out from the fumes. Smelled like Jean Nate mixed with Hai Karate and a hint of Love’s Baby Soft.

  2. Coleen Goree Avatar
    Coleen Goree

    I’m so grateful for finding this recipe. I bought some dry shampoo for an “end of life” stage lady I help with. She’s unable to talk and is sleeping all the time but we haven’t been able to do anything but a sponge bath for a week now. Thank you

  3. Amy Avatar

    5 stars
    I used just the arrowroot and put it into an empty Evo haze pump bottle and it works brilliantly, thank you!

  4. Caroline Avatar

    Hi, there,
    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing so many great recipes.

    I have straw for hair and would like to try minimizing shampooing to twice/week and supplementing with this recipe. Wondering if alcohol or witch hazel will have a drying affect on my tresses?

  5. Laura Avatar

    That seriously worked! I’ve used store bought versions that don’t work as well as this stuff. Made up a small batch of the liquid version and my greasy hair feels clean and soft again, also feels like this is a safe option than the stuff I usually buy 🙂

  6. Jackie Avatar

    Do you think you could combine the dry shampoo spray recipe with your salt texturizing spray? I recently tried a texturizing dry shampoo that I really liked from the store but the alcohol in it made my scalp itchy, so I want to try a more natural approach.

4.39 from 81 votes (62 ratings without comment)

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