DIY Dry Shampoo: Can You Make It at Home?

Dry shampoo is a convenient and popular product that refreshes hair between washes. Do-it-yourself (DIY) dry shampoo offers a cost-effective and customizable alternative to commercial options. You can control the ingredients and tailor your dry shampoo to your hair type and preferences. This article explores the benefits of DIY dry shampoo and provides simple recipes for every hair color you can try at home.

Key takeaways:

DIY dry shampoo: benefits & drawbacks

Before we get into recipe details, let's evaluate natural ingredients' benefits and possible side effects.

Pros of DIY dry shampoo

Besides being creative and developing a custom hair product, here are a couple more benefits to a DIY dry shampoo.

  • Natural ingredients. Chronic use of generic dry shampoos contains ingredients that can harm hair and scalp. Natural ingredients are cleaner, allowing you to avoid harsh chemicals and synthetic fragrances found in many commercial products.
  • Cost-effective. The most popular and efficient dry shampoos can cost up to $30, making them a significant expense, depending on how often you use them. On the other hand, DIY dry shampoos are easily accessible at home and only take a few minutes to create.
  • Control and awareness. You control which ingredients you feel most comfortable adding to your hair and, therefore, can customize the ingredients to your liking.

Cons of DIY dry shampoo

Although creating your dry shampoo involves natural ingredients, adverse reactions are still possible. You may experience scalp sensitivity, product buildup, and allergic reactions. To ensure safety, consult a dermatologist or allergist before crafting your homemade shampoo if you have any allergies to natural elements. You can also patch-test an area of the skin, such as on the inner arm, with your DIY dry shampoo and monitor the site for 24 hours for skin reactions.

When using your DIY shampoo, wash and rinse the scalp to avoid product buildup. The same rules apply to application and frequency, like store-bought dry shampoo. Homemade shampoo should not be overused nor replace traditional shampoo. Once you've cross-checked the safety guidelines, follow these principles for developing your dry shampoo.

How to create your DIY dry shampoo

Each recipe varies depending on hair color, preference of ingredients, and even aroma. However, the main ingredient involves a powder to absorb the oils. Additional ingredients include powders to match hair color and essential oil to deliver fragrance. Below you'll find the most popular ingredients for creating your shampoo — many are already in your kitchen.

  • Cornstarch
  • Arrowroot
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Cinnamon powder
  • Charcoal powder
  • Peppermint oil
  • Lavender oil
  • Rosemary oil

Base powders

Arrowroot and cornstarch are the most common base powders in a DIY dry shampoo formula. Both powders serve as a thickening agent for soups and sauces. Either powder can go into your dry shampoo recipe to absorb hair oils. It has several cosmetic uses due to its oil-absorbing capacity, but scientific evidence does not necessarily support them.

After deciding on a powder, add one that matches your hair color. Lighter hair tones can combine cornstarch or arrowroot with an essential oil.

Cocoa powder

Unsweetened cocoa powder is an excellent choice for light to dark brown hair color. Cocoa powder contains abundant antioxidants and is arguably beneficial for stimulating hair growth — though little evidence supports this.

Charcoal powder

For jet-black hair, use charcoal powder. Studies claim that charcoal deep cleans hair and the scalp and effectively removes dirt and dandruff. Combine a small amount of charcoal powder until you build the formula that matches your hair color.

Cinnamon powder

For red hair, adding cinnamon to the recipe is perfect. Cinnamon may also enhance hair growth, according to an animal study. Mix a small amount of cinnamon with your base powder until you reach your desired color.

Essential oils

Essential oils are optional as well. Various essential oils benefit hair growth. Favorite scents include peppermint, lavender, and rosemary. You can often find these scents in cosmetic products — they help make your homemade dry shampoo unique and aromatically pleasant.

DIY dry shampoo recipe

If you are ready to craft your homemade dry shampoo, follow the simple recipe instructions below, and you'll have your formula prepared in a few minutes.

  1. Gather all your chosen ingredients.
  2. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot as your base powder to a bowl.
  3. Add one-half to two tablespoons of color powder to your base powder, such as unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, or charcoal.
  4. If you want to add scent to your formula, add six drops of your favorite essential oil.
  5. Do not add any water to the ingredients. Stir the ingredients thoroughly until evenly mixed and smooth — your shampoo is ready.
  6. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container for storage.

Storing DIY dry shampoo

After creating your dry shampoo, store it in an airtight glass jar. Some influencers on TikTok even suggest using a powder puffer bottle. You can also use a small spice jar if you're on the go. You'll also need a makeup brush to carefully apply the powder on the scalp and within the oily areas of your hair.

Most of the ingredients have an expiration date of two to three years. For example, based on the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), cornstarch has a shelf life of 18 months. However, when mixing products, it is best to be cautious and use a newly created DIY dry shampoo every 3–6 months.

How to apply your DIY dry shampoo

Always patch test before applying the product to your hair and scalp. Use the same application techniques as if using a store-bought dry shampoo. Use a makeup brush or fingertips to apply a small amount to oily areas. Massage the scalp to even out the product into the roots of your hair. If you use too much product, comb or brush off excess product.

DIY dry shampoo is an excellent alternative to traditional shampoo for individuals looking for a more natural option. You can customize a dry shampoo with any hair type and simple ingredients. Whether traveling or in between washes, DIY dry shampoo is a suitable and cost-effective solution.

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