Dry shampoo will simplify your life and save you time because who has time to wash their hair daily? Here’s how to make all-natural DIY dry shampoo for light or dark hair in under 2 minutes! 

Dry shampoo for blonde and brunette hair in glass jars.

I’ve been using this dry shampoo for over 11 years with incredible results, allowing me to go 3-4 days between washes. I’ll guide you through the exact recipe and steps in this post. 

What Is Natural Dry Shampoo?

  • Hair naturally produces oil called sebum. The sebum provides a barrier to the hair and skin and also moisture. Daily shampooing strips the hair of natural oils, resulting in dehydrated hair and the overproduction of sebum. 
  • Even my hair stylist has commented that she doesn’t wash her hair daily and instead uses a dry shampoo between washes. She uses dry shampoo for in-between days to keep the grease from building up. I started doing the same many years ago per her recommendation.
  • Dry shampoo absorbs excess oil, allowing you to go multiple days between washes.

Key Takeaways: Why Make Your Own Dry Shampoo? 

  • Natural Ingredients – Many commercial dry shampoos use alcohol to absorb excess oils, but that can leave behind an itchy scalp. Another concern with commercial dry shampoos is using questionable ingredients: propane, isobutane, butane, and fragrance. Fragrance, for example, can be made with up to 3,000 toxic ingredients. You can reduce your exposure to potentially harmful ingredients used in these products and, instead, make homemade dry shampoo using safe and effective ingredients. 
  • Easy to Customize for All Hair Types – The best thing about making a dry shampoo recipe is you can make it work for any hair color: brown hair, blonde hair, gray hair, red hair, and black hair. 
  • Use Between Washes – The ingredients in this recipe absorb grease and excess oil, allowing you to go multiple days between hair washes without using regular shampoo and worrying about greasy hair.
  • Shelf Life – Store this dry shampoo formula in an air-tight container for up to 12 months! 
Ingredients needed to make dry shampoo on the counter.

Before You Get Started

Ingredients Needed 

Here are the simple ingredients needed for the base recipe. Then, if required, add cocoa powder, or activated charcoal for brunette, red, or black hair. 

  • 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder – Like cornstarch, this natural starch is a lightweight, white, powdery substance generally used for cooking and baking. Arrowroot absorbs excess oil, giving oily hair a dirty look. 
  • 1 Tablespoon Bentonite Clay: A naturally occurring, organic powder commonly used to make a soothing face mask and foundation powder. In this recipe, bentonite absorbs excess oil. 
  • 7-10 Drops of Essential Oil: If you’d like to add a natural fragrance, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. I love lavender essential oil as it has a calming scent, and some say that it has hair growth properties. Other options include rosemary essential oil or tea tree essential oil (essential oils also work as a lice repellent, which is an added benefit if you have young kids at home and don’t want to partake in the yearly classroom lice “party”).

​Equipment

  • Small bowl and spoon- for mixing the ingredients 
  • 4-ounce storage container – I love to use an old spice bottle as the top has little holes that make application easy and mess-free.

How to Customize This DIY Recipe For All Hair Types

Play around with the ingredients and create a custom shade based on your hair color and shade. I provide exact measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • For blonde and gray hair – Combine arrowroot powder and bentonite clay. Depending on your blonde shade and light hair, you can use arrowroot powder on its own if the clay has too much silver tint for you.
  • Brunette and red hair – Combine arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, and a touch of cocoa powder to darken the tint for brunettes and red hair. Some blogs recommend cinnamon powder for a darker brunette shade, but I would avoid cinnamon as it may burn your scalp since it’s a “hot spice.” 
  • Black hair – Combine arrowroot powder, bentonite clay, cocoa powder, and, if you’d like, a small of activated charcoal to darken the mixture.

How to Make Dry Shampoo: Step By Step Guide 

  • Step 1 Combine the dry shampoo ingredients – In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch, bentonite clay, cocoa powder, activated charcoal (if using for a darker tint), and essential oil (if using for a scent). 
  • Step 2 Add to a Storage Jar – Pour the ingredients into a storage container of choice. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients directly to a spice bottle, salt shaker, or Mason jar, place the lid on the bottle, and give the ingredients a good shake to combine. 

​How Long Will It Last? 

Store for up to 6 months – Store homemade dry shampoo at room temperature for up to 12 months. 

How Do I Use Dry Shampoo? 

  • Step 1 – Lift sections of your hair. Sprinkle the DIY dry shampoo powder near the scalp, hair follicles, and crown of your head. There’s no need to get the ends of your hair, just the roots. I recommend using a spice bottle to sprinkle the powder in your hair quickly. If you don’t use an old spice bottle or salt shaker, either sprinkle some of the powder into the palm of your hands and apply near the crown and scalp of your head, or use a large makeup brush by dipping the brush into the powder and then applying the powder.
  • Step 2 – Wait a few minutes for the dry shampoo powder to set in and absorb the oils.
  • Step 3 – Massage the dry shampoo into your scalp and the hair follicles.
  • Step 4 – Brush your hair to distribute the dry shampoo powder evenly. You should not be left with any visible powder after this step.

What to Avoid Doing 

  • Don’t Use More Than You Need – Wait to apply a large amount of dry shampoo in one area. Instead, a little bit goes a long way! You don’t need to use dry shampoo on your entire head. Instead, focus on the areas that get the most oily and treat them spot-on. I focus on my temples and the crown of my head, around my roots. Sprinkle the shampoo over near your roots in a light dusting. Sprinkling the powder with your fingers or using a shaker bottle (a spice bottle) works best. 
  • Only Using On Dirty Hair – You can use this oil-absorbing substance on more than just dirty, oily hair. Try sprinkling a small amount on clean hair, before styling and after drying, to give hair more volume. 
  • Not Being Patient – The ingredients need time to absorb the excess oil, so give the powder 2-5 minutes to work before massaging your scalp and brushing it out. 
  • Not Brushing or Blow Drying After Applying – After applying the dry shampoo and giving it a couple of minutes to absorb the oil, massage the roots and brush and/or brush dry your hair. This method will help distribute any excess powder throughout your hair.

How to Prevent Product Buildup

  • Natural dry shampoo is fantastic for extending how many days you can go between regular washing, but it doesn’t replace cleaning and washing your hair with regular shampoo.
  • To prevent buildup and encourage hair health, clean your hair using traditional shampoo and water every few days to remove any product buildup. 
  • Read More: My favorite non-toxic shampoo and conditioner brands.  
Holding a glass bottle of dry shampoo.

​Best Natural Store-Bought Dry Shampoo

Want to avoid a DIY project? Here are my favorite natural options. See my full of list: 7 Best Natural Organic Dry Shampoos.

  1. Hair Dance – This is my favorite store-bought option. It has a lovely scent, absorbs oils perfectly, and it’s affordable. I can go 3+ days between washes with this product. This option works best for blonde and light-colored hair. Price: $10 for 1 ounce
  2. Innersense Refresh – A foam dry shampoo that works to absorb oils and leave your hair feeling voluminous and clean. Works for all hair color. Price: $24 for 2.4 ounces
  3. Acure – An affordable option that works for all hair color, as there is one formula made with cocoa powder and one withoutPrice: $12 for 3.4 ounces

FAQs

  • Can I use baking soda instead of arrowroot starch? Many people swear by baking soda, but arrowroot powder works better as it doesn’t leave hair starchy and stiff. 
  • Can I use cornstarch instead of arrowroot starch? Yes, you can! Use the same amount.
  • I want to make a dry shampoo for dark hair. What essential oils can I add to the cocoa powder? Lavender compliments cocoa powder the best! 
  • Can I use baby powder as a natural dry shampoo? Yes, I believe so. My mother-in-law swears by this option. I prefer the recipe I’ve shared here in this post. 
  • Is this recipe for fine hair? Yes! Here’s what Diana said about this formula in the comments below, “I have super fine, oily, flat hair. After I wash and dry my hair, I apply the dry shampoo on my roots. It gives me volume, and my hair stays oily-free for the rest of the day. I reapply as needed every morning and only wash my hair every two or three days. I love it!” 

4 More Recipes For Natural Hair & Skin

  • DIY Face Mask A great way to use bentonite clay beyond this dry shampoo recipe.
  • Activated Charcoal Face Mask If you use activated charcoal for darker hair, try this face mask to exfoliate the skin.
  • Foundation Powder Use bentonite clay to make a simple foundation powder.
  • Lip Balm Make your own lip balm with 3 natural ingredients.
  • Body ButterMake a simple, luxurious lotion for your whole body.
4.60 from 25 votes

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe (All Hair Colors)

A magical and natural dry shampoo powder that absorbs oils and smells delicious? It must be magic, but it isn't. Just a few simple ingredients. Here's how to make your own DIY dry shampoo.
Kristin Marr
Prep Time2 minutes
Total Time2 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Body
Servings 4 ounces
Cost: $3 per bottle

Equipment

  • 1 small bowl for mixing the formula of choice
  • 1 storage container I love to use an old spice bottle as the top has little holes that make application easy and mess-free.

Ingredients

For Light Blonde Hair

For Brunette or Red Hair

For Dark Hair

Instructions

  • Step 1 Combine the dry shampoo ingredients – In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot starch, bentonite clay, cocoa powder, activated charcoal (if using for a darker tint), and essential oil (if using for a scent).
  • Step 2 Add to a Storage Jar – Pour the ingredients into a storage container of choice. Alternatively, you can add the ingredients directly to a spice bottle, salt shaker, or Mason jar, place the lid on the bottle, and give the ingredients a good shake to combine. 
  • Shelf Life – Store for up to 12 months at room temperature.

How to Use

  • Lift sections of your hair. Sprinkle the dry shampoo on your scalp, hair follicles, and the crown of your head with either a large foundation brush (that's been dipped in the powder) or use an old spice container or salt shaker.
  • Wait a couple of minutes for the powder to begin absorbing the oils, then use your hands to massage the powder into your roots and scalp. Finally, brush out your hair (and blow dry for extra volume) and viola, you're ready to face the day!

Notes

  • An old (clean) spice bottle works best for storing this recipe and applying to hair. 
  • This recipe may be doubled or tripled. The current recipe makes about 4 ounces. 
  • See my list of the 7 best natural organic shampoos
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Natural Body-Care Simplified

Learn how to make your own body and beauty products with simple ingredients.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

24 Comments

  1. This is great, I’ve been making my own hair powder from this recipe for a couple of years now and it’s fantastic. Here’s the question I have, though- it seems like the essential oil scent doesn’t go very well with the chocolate powder scent. Any suggestions?

  2. I have super fine, oily, flat hair. After I wash and dry my hair, I apply the dry shampo on my roots. Gives me volume and my hair stays oily free for the rest of the day. I reapply as needed every morning and only wash my hair every two or three days now. I love it!

  3. I was looking for a receipe for dry shampoo and I’m actually surprised you use it this way. I had the idea of dray shampoo being like a bar of soap (packaged free, then, which is what I truly look for in order to reduce trash), one that you can use as shampoo when needed.

    Why do people keep thinking they need to wash their hair every single day??? It is absolutely NOT necessary in any way and you’re doing more wrong to your hair than good. Sebum is here to take care of your hair (contrary to what commercials try to brainwash you with 😉

    From using dry shampoo (that bar of shampoo) I went completely NO SHAMPOO, using only a hair brush to spread the sebum on my hair so that all of it take advantage of its benefits. Brushing in the morning and evening, after each sweaty activity and rinsing with clear water has now become a habit (and I don’t even rinse every day!) and my hair looks absolutely perfect!
    Ok, the first few weeks can be a challenge, what with convincing yourself not to wash your hair when it greases up but the reward afterwards is fantastic!

    For people not ready to stop using shampoo, there are also really yummy receipes of natural shampoos – that you don’t have to use daily either! 😉

    Happy day!
    Jul’

  4. Hi Kristin, I just found your blog and am looking forward to trying out your recipes for various DIY beauty products! My question is does the cocoa powder leave your hair brownish? I have black Asian hair (with “silver” roots/highlights, other wise known as gray hair) and I’m curious if you know of something that would blend in a bit more. Thank you!

    1. Hey Ellen, My hair is currently brown/red, so I can only speak from my experience. The goal is to use just a small amount of dry shampoo, and then mix it with the roots of the hair, so I don’t believe so but there’s always a possibility. I’d try a test run with just a bit of cocoa powder and see what happens.

  5. Wondering if you’ve ever experimented with creating a DIY doggy shampoo? We’re new dog owners, and I’ve read about you having dogs, as well. Was just curious if you have any thoughts or recommendations? Thanks!

  6. 5 stars
    Wow! This is soooo amazing. I just did this diy today and I love this recipe! I used the exact same amount as you did and I used rosemary eo. Well this it great, when you apply it it feels like a fresh breeze something like that, because of the rosemary I think 🙂 and it does the job as it should. Thank you ssooo much! ????????

  7. Hi Kristin,

    I have a few questions about your hair products.

    1. Do you still use Every Day Shea for your shampoo and conditioner?
    2. If so, do you find that it’s not as easy to rinse as regular shampoo in the sense that it leaves your hair really “squeaky clean” so your hands don’t glide down your hair as smoothly when rinsing? Just want to make sure that that’s normal!
    3. What hairstyling products do you use? I currently use a moose and frizz tamer/curl enhancer and was wondering if you have “clean” hairstyling products that you recommend.

    Thanks for all the work that you put into your blog! I’m slowly trying to transition to your DIY products and clean eating. It’s a lot of work, but you make it so much easier! Thanks!

    1. Hey Susie,

      Yep, I still use EveryDay Shea for my shampoo and conditioner. For me, it gets my hair sqeauky clean.
      At the moment, I don’t use any styling products, but I’ve seen a few great brands at the health food store. I’ll check out a few next time I’m there.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog!

      1. Hey Kristin,

        So it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been using EveryDay Shea shampoo and conditioner and I’m just not loving it. My hair doesn’t feel as clean and by the end of the day my scalp and roots feel oily so I’ve been having to wash my hair every day, where as before I washed it every other day. Are there any other brands you recommend? If not, no worries. I can check out other brands at Whole Foods, just figured I’d ask for your input first.

        Thanks!!!

      2. Hey Susie, I haven’t experimented with other brands, so I don’t have any others to recommend. Sorry, about that. PS: I’ve used the shea shampoo for body wash many times, so if it’s not working for your hair, you could still use the rest of the bottle as body wash :). I would love to know if you find a shampoo and conditioner combo that work well for you!

  8. I like most things on your blog. However, I was once looking to detox with Bentonite and my husband convinced me not to, because it can be dangerous. I would be wary with powdered forms as well: http://www.livestrong.com/article/241716-what-are-the-dangers-of-bentonite/

    Bentonite is also sometimes tainted with lead.

    The only other thing I would caution against is, for ethical reasons, vegetable glycerin derived from palm. I think everyone who has seen the documentary on the Orangutans and the Palm Oil Crisis doesn’t really want to part-take in that. With a lot of effort I found vegetable glycerin made out of coconut. Whether it works or not, I don’t yet know but, those are the only 2 things that I’d be wary of.

    Thanks,
    Alice

    1. Hey Alice, Thank you! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the blog.

      Yes, bentonite clay oftentimes comes into question due to the lead issue. Personally, I’m okay with using bentonite clay when it comes from a reputable source. Here’s more information on why I believe it’s safe to use this clay:
      http://wellnessmama.com/59694/lead-in-bentonite-clay/
      http://www.growingupherbal.com/lead-in-bentonite-clay/
      http://www.modernalternativehealth.com/2014/07/18/lead-bentonite-clay/

      Just like with the clay, it’s important to source reputable vegetable glycerin. I use a small amount of glycerin in my homemade products, and usually purchase from the same trusted company. Would you mind sharing the brand of the vegetable glycerin made from coconut oil? I’d be interested in checking it out.

      Thank you for sharing! Doing research before making choices about homemade products is always important!

  9. This is wonderful! I was looking for this today and I think you read my mind 🙂 I have been meaning to ask you – would you mind sharing which brand of shampoo and conditioner you use? I have tried a few “cleaner” varieties and I find that either the shampoo doesn’t feel like it cleans very well (aka my hair feels like a grease pot) or the conditioner doesn’t actual do much conditioning. I realize that cleaner products are not going to be the same as chemical-laden products that make our hair feel and smell amazing, but I would rather not experiment with a bunch of different brands if you know of a tried and true brand that you trust. If you don’t mind sharing your recommendations I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!

    1. Awesome, Becky!

      I really like the brand EveryDay Shea. The ingredients aren’t perfect, but they are a whole lot better than most soaps and conditioners on the market. I recently recommended this brand to Live Simply’s Administrative Assistant, Rachel, and she’s been really enjoying their shampoo and conditioner, too. So, this brand may be an option for you :). http://alaffia.com/brands/Everyday-Shea.html They also make great bubble bath and lotion, in my opinion.

  10. I was just thinking last week, it’s time to try and make my own dry shampoo. I sure wish Kristin had a recipe…” Thanks for reading my mind. 🙂 Since it’s so close to the foundation recipe, have you ever used your foundation as dry shampoo in a pinch?

    1. Hey Brandi, Lol, that’s awesome! I have tried using the foundation powder in a pinch, but my foundation powder was a bit too light (at least my winter version) for my hair. It’s definitely worth a shot! As long as an adequate amount of bentonite clay exists in the foundation powder, you should be good. The clay really helps with the oil absorption.