Say Goodbye to Greasy Hair With These DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes

Do you wish you had a quick and easy solution to freshen up your locks between washes? Look no further! DIY dry shampoo is the answer to your hair care woes.

January 16, 2023 8 minutes read
DIY dry shampoo with corn starch and baby powder

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If you're tired of dealing with greasy hair that seems to need washing every day, the discovery of dry shampoo may be a true godsend. Not only is it convenient, as it quickly absorbs excess oil and gives your hair a refreshed look in a matter of minutes, but it's also easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

In this article, we'll share some of our favorite DIY dry shampoo recipes you can whip up in no time. So whether you have dark or light hair, oily or dry, there's a dry shampoo recipe here for you.

What Exactly Is Dry Shampoo and How Does It Work?

woman using dry shampoo

Without any doubt, dry shampoo is one of the most popular hair care products, as it effectively absorbs excess oil from the hair and scalp without the need for water – so helpful for all of our greasy-hair-the-next-day friends. Dry shampoos typically come in the form of a spray or aerosol and are applied directly to the roots of the hair, where oil tends to accumulate.

This is all thanks to starch-based ingredients in dry shampoos, most commonly cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or rice starch. The starch is highly absorbent, soaking up oil and giving your hair a fresh, clean appearance for at least another day. Most dry shampoos also contain fragrances and other conditioning agents, making the hair smell fresh and look smooth.

And the best part: they work their magic in just a few minutes – you simply apply it to your roots, let it sit on your hair for a brief period of time, and then brush or comb it through your hair to break up any build-up and distribute the product evenly.

And while there are so many different dry shampoos available on the market, they can get pretty expensive, especially if you need to use it more than once a week. Plus, many commercial products may contain ingredients that can irritate your scalp. That's why more and more people are turning to homemade dry shampoos as a natural and budget-friendly alternative.

How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo

three types of DIY dry shampoo, for light and dark hair, infographic

Making your own dry shampoo at home is actually quite simple, as you'll only need a few ingredients and, basically, no tools (only a small bowl and a makeup brush for applying). So, here's the basic, customizable recipe for a DIY dry shampoo you can quickly make at home:

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe

DIY dry shampoos

In this recipe, you can use either cornstarch or arrowroot powder as a base for your homemade dry shampoo. They are both great at collecting oils from your scalp and hair roots. Still, arrowroot powder is a bit gentler on the scalp, a preferred option for those with sensitive scalp prone to irritation.

You'll need:

  • ¼ cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or baby powder
  • 3-5 drops of essential oils (*optional)


  1. If you have dark hair, mix one of the base powders (cornstarch or arrowroot powder) with cocoa powder in a small mixing bowl.
  2. If your hair is lighter, on the other hand, mix in 2 tablespoons of baby powder instead of cocoa powder.
  3. To add a pleasant scent to your dry shampoo, pour 3-5 drops of your desired essential oil into the powder mixture and stir well.

Note: This recipe makes enough dry shampoo for several applications, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. You can store the extra dry shampoo in an airtight container for later use for as long as you can. But, if you have any leftover that's been sitting for a while, you should give it a quick stir to remix the ingredients before using it again.

Another variation of making DIY dry shampoo is the no-poo method, with baking soda and apple cider vinegar rinse as the main ingredients. The phrase no-poo comes from no-shampoo, and this DIY dry shampoo recipe is excellent for those who want to minimize the use of regular shampoos or give them up completely.

No-Poo Dry Shampoo Recipe

no-poo dry shampoo with baking soda

Here's a traditional no-poo shampoo recipe with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. Baking soda, in this dry shampoo recipe, is supposed to absorb the build-up of oils and dirt, while apple cider vinegar is used as the final cleanse to restore the scalp's pH balance.

You'll need:

  • 2-3 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar

Preparation and application:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix the baking soda with water to get a smooth paste, and adjust the ratio of the ingredients until you get a fine paste that is easy to distribute.
  2. Apply the paste to your roots using a cotton pad or your fingertips. Massage the paste into your scalp, and then let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
  3. The baking soda can dry out your hair, so you can apply a bit of coconut oil to your strands beforehand.
  4. Next, mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water in a separate bowl, and then use it to rinse your hair.
  5. Or, if you have long hair, mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar to 5 parts water in a spray bottle. Spritz your roots and hair strands with the mixture and leave it on for about 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, rinse your hair with water thoroughly.

Use lukewarm water for rinsing, as it will close the hair cuticles, making your hair less frizzy. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil (or any other essential oil of your choice) into the final apple cider vinegar and water mix for rinsing to get a nice scent out of your dry shampoo.

How to Customize Your DIY Dry Shampoo Formula

You can always experiment with different ingredients and scents you can add to the basic DIY dry shampoo recipe and customize the formula according to your preferences. Here are a few ideas:

#1: Use Different Essential Oils

different types of essential oils

Adding just a few drops of essential oil to your DIY dry shampoo can make it (and your hair) smell amazing. Remember, these are highly concentrated, so you don't need much.

And, when it comes to choosing the best scents for a DIY dry shampoo, it's really a matter of personal preference. You can customize the scent of the dry shampoo by using more uplifting or calming aromas. Here are a few popular choices you can't go wrong with:

You can also mix and match different oils to create your own unique scent. Just be sure to use it sparingly, as too much essential oil can make your dry shampoo greasy, defeating its purpose.

#2: Use Spices

cinnamon powder for DIY dry shampoo

Adding a pinch of powdered herbs can make a huge difference, enhancing your dry shampoo's scent and shade. Some good options would be cinnamon, nutmeg, matcha powder, and ginger, adding a cozy and comforting aroma to your dry shampoo. And since cinnamon also has a unique color, adding it to your dry shampoo may be just what you need to adjust the color of the powder to your warm-brown or reddish hair.

#3: Add Clay

different types of clays in the form of powder

If you have excessively oily hair and scalp, you may greatly benefit from adding a teaspoon or two of bentonite clay or kaolin clay to your dry shampoo mixture. This is because these clays can further absorb excess oil and impurities from the scalp, boosting the cleansing properties of your dry shampoo. They will also make your hair look thicker and fuller, a much-needed solution for those who have thin hair in addition to it being oily. However, don't add too much, as clays usually have cool, gray tones and can disrupt the color of your dry shampoo.

#4: Use Different Base Powders

different types of powders to add to homemade dry shampoo

If you can't get your hands on cornstarch or arrowroot powder, no worries! There are other absorbent powders you can use in your dry shampoo recipe that might even work better for your hair type and color. Some options to try would be colloidal oats, potato starch, tapioca starch, rice flour, and even activated charcoal, with the latter being an excellent option for black hair.

#5: Customize the Color

cocoa powder for dry shampoos for dark hair

In essence, once the base powder absorbs all the oil from your hair and scalp, its color will, so to say, dissipate. However, there might be some residue left, in which case you should consider making your dry shampoo's shade closest to the natural shade of your hair, especially the roots.

So, for example, if you have light hair, add more baby powder to your dry shampoo. If you have darker hair, add darker-colored powders, such as cocoa powder, charcoal, or cinnamon. The subtle tint of these powders will also cover up the grays pretty well.

#6: Adjust the Thickness

corn starch in a bowl

If you find that your dry shampoo is too thick or too thin, try adjusting the ratio of ingredients to find the right balance for your hair type. For example, if you have oily hair, you might want to use more cornstarch or arrowroot powder and less cocoa powder or baby powder. If you have dry hair, you might want to use more cocoa powder or baby powder and less of the other powders.

How to Use Your DIY Dry Shampoo

makeup brush for applying dry shampoo and a comb for distributing it evenly

First off, it would probably be best not to use your DIY dry shampoo as a shampoo replacement (unless, of course, you're the no-poo method advocate). But rather as a way to extend the life of your blowout or freshen up your hair between washes.

To use your DIY dry shampoo, you will need an empty container with a shaker top, an empty baby powder bottle, or a small bowl and a makeup brush. Then follow these steps:

Step #1: Shake, or mix, the blend well before use to ensure that the ingredients are nicely combined.

Step #2: Sprinkle a small amount onto your roots using the powder bottle or a fluffy kabuki makeup brush. Try not to apply too much of the product at once.

Step #3: Use a brush or your fingers to work the mixture into your hair, making sure to coat all of your roots and distribute the shampoo evenly. If you have very oily hair, you may need to use more powder.

Step #4: Once you've applied the dry shampoo, give it a few minutes to absorb as much oil as possible.

Step #5: Brush your hair, from the roots to the ends, to distribute the dry shampoo properly, then style your hair. If you have any visible residue, use a hair dryer on a cool setting to set the powder. Then, rub it out gently with a dry cloth or a clean makeup brush.

Step #6: You should notice that your hair looks and feels cleaner and refreshed. If it doesn't, it probably means you should repeat the process once again.

Step #7: Regarding the frequency of use, it will depend on your hair type and how quickly it becomes greasy. Some people may find that they only need to use dry shampoo once a week, while others may need to use it more often.


We can say without hesitation that we love dry shampoos and that they are perhaps one the most useful beauty products out there, as it works with our busy schedule and the fast-paced day-to-day. It refreshes the hair so quickly, so you don't need to worry about washing it today – instead, have an hour or two more to sleep.

Great, right? And what's even better is that you don't even need to buy it; you can pretty easily DIY it at home with our quick recipes for both powder-based and the no-poo formula. So, have a go at making your own homemade dry shampoo, but keep in mind that finding the perfect recipe for your hair type will need some experimenting. Therefore, be prepared for some trial and error, but don't be afraid to tweak the recipe and try different ingredients until you find a formula you love.


What can I use instead of dry shampoo?

You can use any other powder product instead of dry shampoo. But, as most people have it at hand, the most popular choice is baby powder. Sprinkle it on your roots, let it sit for a minute or two, comb your hair and use a brush to remove any excess powder.

How do you make a simple dry shampoo?

Here's the simplest formula with just two ingredients: you can make a DIY powder-based dry shampoo by mixing cornstarch (or arrowroot powder) with cocoa powder if you have dark hair or with baby powder if you're blonde.

Can you make your own dry shampoo?

Yes, you can make your own dry shampoo by mixing a base powder, like cornstarch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder, with cocoa powder or baby powder. You can also experiment with different scents by mixing in a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Is dry shampoo just baking soda?

You can use the paste made of baking soda mixed with some water as a shampoo. However, do follow with a rinse, as baking soda can dry out your hair. If you want 'a wash' without water, use powder products as a dry shampoo, like baby powder mixed with cornstarch, and rub it into your roots to absorb the oils.

How do I fix greasy hair fast?

The best and quickest way to fix greasy hair is using dry shampoo. If you don't have a ready-made product, check your kitchen, and you'll likely find all you need for making your own dry shampoo, like cornstarch, cocoa powder, and other powder-based ingredients.

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