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4 Easy-to-Make DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes

Dry shampoo has become a trusty staple in many individuals’ hair care routines. It’s no wonder why. These four DIY dry shampoo recipes will show you it’s easy to make and easy to use, but what exactly is in it, and how does it work?

Dry shampoo can work on all hair types

Dry shampoo is something anyone can make themselves! Let’s talk about how to make your own homemade dry shampoo.

What Is Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is a hair product that is typically known to be sold in an aerosol can and is sprayed throughout the hair to absorb excess oils, grease, and dirt in the hair. It is a common staple in hair care routines because it allows you to extend how long you can go without needing to wash your hair.

Dry shampoo is simple to use!

However, commercial dry shampoo can actually be made at home, and originally started as a simple homemade recipe by using baby powder on the scalp. However, the earliest versions of commercial dry shampoo were based using corn starch or rice starch.

Today, dry shampoo spray isn’t only a quick fix to juggling a busy schedule between showers, but you can buy and make dry shampoo to help revive your hair color as well! By using cocoa powder or cinnamon powder, you can create dry shampoo at home that won’t flush your hair color with the white overcast that the sprays are known to have.

How Does Dry Shampoo Work?

When our hair grows, it grows from the hair follicles that cover the scalp. When the hair grows, the scalp also produces sebum, which is the natural oil that secretes to soften the scalp. This natural oil also helps to give your hair its unique texture.

Although this natural oil is initially helpful, it can secrete in excess, making for oily skin deposits on the head. This can make hair feel and look greasy, which is where dry shampoo comes to the rescue.

Dry shampoo partially eliminates the need to wash, condition, blow dry and style your hair because the powders in it can help to absorb the excess dirt and oil. This also helps to save time spent on styling your hair, as well as protect your hair from another round of washing, drying, and styling.

Most dry shampoos you can buy also contain fragrances, so your hair will also smell as if you had just washed it!

When Should You Use Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is typically saved for times when you don’t have the time to wash your hair. However, it can also be incredibly useful for people who shouldn’t or can’t wash their hair frequently!

So, you can use dry shampoo just about any time you need or want to. Too tired to wash your hair after work? Use dry shampoo! If washing your hair takes an extensive amount of time, dry shampoo may be your solution.

Are There Any Drawbacks to Using Dry Shampoo?

Even though dry shampoo isn’t harmful to the scalp or hair, you should also use it in moderation. Using dry shampoo once or twice a week shouldn’t pose a problem for you or your hair.

Dry shampoo is faster than washing hair, but isn't meant to cleaning hair

However, using it every day or relying on it to avoid washing your hair will expose the limitations of dry shampoo. Using dry shampoo every day, even twice in a row, can lead to irritation of the scalp and cause dryness to appear.

The powders in dry shampoo can also clog pores on your scalp, which can lead to acne, ingrown hair follicles, or rashes. There are also some mixed opinions toward if you should style your hair with heat tools when it has dry shampoo on it, possibly because the dry shampoo can increase the risk of you singeing or burning your hair.

This is because dry shampoo can also dry out your hair enough, if not used in moderation, to where your hair becomes more vulnerable to heat damage.

How Do I Use Dry Shampoo?

Using dry shampoo will work differently on different hair textures.

The first step to using dry shampoo correctly is being aware of your hair type, texture, and how oily your hair and scalp become. Your hair length can also impact how you might use dry shampoo.

You will also want to start with completely dry hair with no accessories in the way. Make sure your hair is in as natural a state as possible, loose and free.

Spray Dry Shampoo in Sections Throughout the Hair

Holding the can approximately six inches away from your head, spray a small amount into the roots of your hair. Move the can around in sections, making sure to cover every inch of root space on your head. Don’t forget about the smaller sections where hair grows, around the nape of the neck and above the ears.

Let the Dry Shampoo Set

Once the entirety of your hair and scalp have been sprayed down, let the dry shampoo settle for a few minutes. This will allow the spray to accumulate and absorb the oils and dirt from the affected areas.

Massage the Shampoo Into the Hair

Once the spray has settled after a few minutes, take your hands and gently massage the dry shampoo into the rest of your hair. This will help to distribute the spray fully and make sure it reaches the scalp completely.

Run a Comb or Brush Through Your Hair

A wide tooth comb is best for preserving volume, while distributing dry shampoo.

Finally, brush your hair with either a hairbrush or comb to finish distributing the dry shampoo throughout your hair. You can also use a blow dryer, on a cool setting, to boost the volume of your hair as well.

When using a DIY dry shampoo, you may also consider using a makeup brush, especially if you are using the powder in loose form.

Is Dry Shampoo Effective?

In most cases, dry shampoo can make the hair appear less oily, but it also greatly depends on your hair’s natural texture. However, remember that dry shampoo isn’t actually meant to clean your hair, but rather to mask the dirt and grease. So, you shouldn’t replace washing your hair with using dry shampoo.

For Natural Hair

Hair that is more naturally dry and textured will require a more personalized dry shampoo. While there are commercial dry shampoos out there for your hair type, you will achieve a better result if you use a homemade dry shampoo.

For Greasy Hair

If you have always struggled with frequently greasy hair, dry shampoo is the most effective in these cases. Whether you work out a lot or live in a consistently humid environment, dry shampoo is a great quick fix!

However, making your own dry shampoo will help save money in the long run if you notice that you use dry shampoo that frequently.

For Curly Hair

When using dry shampoo on curly or heavily textured hair, the main difference when using it is the brushing step. Curly hair should not be brushed when dry, or else it will look frizzy. However, dry shampoo is just as effective without the brushing step as it is with it, so you can still use dry shampoo to revive and freshen your curls!

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes

Whether you want to extend the amount of time between washes or want to save the money you normally spend on commercial dry shampoos, everyone can benefit from a DIY dry shampoo recipe.

A natural dry shampoo recipe is a great option for hair in general, because homemade dry shampoo often removes the extensive list of chemicals and parabens often found in store-bought dry shampoo.

When making a homemade dry shampoo powder, hair professionals often recommend natural ingredients, including arrowroot powder, clays, and baking soda, as all of these ingredients help to absorb the excess oil and dirt in the hair.

However, when using any new product, including homemade dry shampoo, you will want to test the finished product in a patch test. This way, you can avoid any potential allergic reactions from impacting your entire scalp.

DIY Dry Shampoo for Dark Hair

You can avoid a white overcast by using a colored dry shampoo.

This recipe includes both black and brown hair or any hair color that is in the darker range of colors. Darker hair benefits most from a DIY dry shampoo recipe that includes activated charcoal in it. Other natural ingredients you can use include cocoa powder.

For dark hair, try using this DIY dry shampoo recipe:

  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder for color
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or rice starch
  • 2 tablespoons clay, either kaolin or bentonite
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

If you want to add a bit of fragrance to this DIY dry shampoo, you add an essential oil (about 30 drops), including lavender or lemongrass. However, avoid citrus oils, such as lemon, and these can lighten your dark hair color.

DIY Dry Shampoo for Red Hair

Keep your red hair vibrate with cinnamon powder!

Cocoa powder and charcoal powder are too dark for red hair, so instead, this recipe will rely on cinnamon powder.

In this DIY dry shampoo, you will need:

  • 1/4 cup cinnamon powder, for color
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or rice starch
  • 2 tablespoons clay, either kaolin or bentonite
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Essential oil, for fragrance, around 30 drops

If you have a darker shade of red hair, however, you can try adding a teaspoon of cocoa powder to darken the recipe a little. Adjust the cinnamon and cocoa powder mixture accordingly to your exact hair color.

DIY Dry Shampoo for Blonde, Light Hair, or Gray Hair

Light hair and gray hair aren't as susceptible to the white cast that these shampoos can leave.

For those with lighter shades of hair, including blondes, and those with white or silver hair, making dry shampoo is slightly easier for you!

To make a DIY dry shampoo for your hair, you need:

  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or rice starch
  • 2 tablespoons clay, either kaolin or bentonite
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • Essential oil, for fragrance, around 30 drops

If you want to keep your blonde hair light, try using lemon essential oil. The citric acid in the oil will help to lighten your hair slightly with each use.

DIY Dry Shampoo for Brown Hair

Adjust the amount of cocoa powder to match your shade of brown hair.

As mentioned earlier, activated charcoal is one of many ingredients you can use in your natural dry shampoo. Although you can use the aforementioned homemade dry shampoo recipe for dark hair, you will want to remove the activated charcoal from the recipe first.

So, for this DIY dry shampoo, you will want to use:

  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder for color
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder, cornstarch, or rice starch
  • 2 tablespoons clay, either kaolin or bentonite
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Again, if you would like to add some fragrance, you can use essential oils, around 30 drops or so.

How to Use DIY Dry Shampoo

Since these versions of dry shampoo don’t often come in an aerosol can, you may be wondering how it’s supposed to work as well.

Once you’ve combined all the ingredients of your chosen dry shampoo recipe, you will need a funnel to pour the mixture into a container. An old spice container or any shaker container is a great choice because, when used, it can distribute the powder similarly to that of an aerosol can.

A repurposed baby powder container is the best option because that way, you can make and store a larger batch of dry shampoo.

By using this container, you just need to sprinkle some powder onto the roots of your hair and massage the powder into the scalp. You can also use a brush, comb, or hair dryer to help distribute the powder more evenly.

You can also ignore the colorant ingredients in any of these recipes, if you don’t want the additional boost in color, but these ingredients do tend to help remove the white cast that dry shampoo tends to have.

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