Dry Shampoo to the Rescue!

It’s no surprise that Sarah and I like to make our own cosmetic and household potions whenever possible. We’ve tried our hands at deodorant, body scrubs, and laundry detergent. We like to know exactly what’s going into them, but we also really enjoy personalizing the potions to our tastes, and we often find that homemade is cheaper than store bought.

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Today we’re sharing yet another cosmetic potion: dry shampoo. I didn’t start using dry shampoo until after Alex was born (it really is every new mom’s best friend), but truthfully, I probably should have started using it sooner! I’m not a big fan of showering; I think it just strips my body of the good oils, drying out my skin and hair. I usually take a shower every three days or so, and in between you can start to see my hair gets greasy – that’s where dry shampoo saves the day. It soaks up those excess oils and gives my thin, limp hair a bit of body! The potion I’ve settled on is a mash-up of the different recipes I’ve seen out there, simplifying and using measurements that seem to fit my hair.



  • 2 parts corn starch
  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part (or slightly less) combination unsweetened cocoa powder and cinnamon

Mix it all up, put it in your favorite container, and off you go! Some people like to use a salt shaker to apply dry shampoo, but I think you can end up with more powder than you need an in an uneven application. I prefer to keep it in a Weck jar (just like my deodorant), and  apply it with a short-handled cosmetic brush (very similar to this, and often called a Kabuki brush). The short handle is key, because then the brush easily sits on top of my jar between applications without having to do a crazy balancing act.

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I apply the shampoo at night before going to bed. Tapping the brush near my roots produces a relatively even and fine application of the powder. I then use my fingers to give rub the powder into my roots before hitting the pillow. Overnight the shampoo’s powders will have a chance to soak up your hair’s oil, and I also think that it minimizes any of the white residue that people often complain about when discussing dry shampoo.


A few comments about the ingredients. I think of cornstarch and baking soda as the real work horses in this recipe, doing most of the oil absorption. I add the cocoa powder and cinnamon because I want to give the powder a slightly darker color since my hair is dark (again, this isn’t as important if I’m putting it on at night, but it is important if I’m in a rush and using it before walking out the door). It’s common to just use the cocoa, but I like the smell and hint of brownish red provided by the cinnamon.

Some recipes call for a few drops of essential oil to give your shampoo a fun aroma. Since I have the cocoa and cinnamon scents going on, I skip this, but I think cocoa powder with a few drops of mint essential oil would be awesome! What about orange and chocolate in the winter? Lots to play with there.


After reading this post, if you’re intrigued but still want to learn more, there are plenty of places to go. I feel like every blogger and their mom is talking about dry shampoo. Just two days ago, Hither and Thither gave some great dry shampoo tips as well as favorite brands. And a few months ago A Beautiful Mess provided a review of the three core ingredients (using each individually). I feel like I really started to pay attention when I saw this recipe on Angry Chicken; my tastes often align with hers, and as is the case with that recipe, I like that she’ll try something out for a while and let you know about tweaks she makes along the way.

Of course, if you’re interested in dry shampoo but don’t want to make your own, there are plenty of options available. Most of those are sprayed on and include a range of other ingredients and fragrances, but, they pack nicely and are useful while traveling.

But seriously – just make your own and let us know how it goes! You won’t regret it, and if you do, maybe you can turn the leftovers it into the start of a chocolate cake? JK.


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