Dry shampoo is having a moment. Instead of washing and styling your hair the usual way, dry shampooing allows you to skip a day or two between washes. It not only saves time but it’s better for your hair and scalp: Overwashing hair with traditional shampooing methods can strip the natural oils it needs for protection, moisture, and strength. And dry shampoo gives you fresher hair in minutes — no water required.
You can make your own dry shampoo using a few simple items, some (or all) of which you may already have on hand. These recipes are suitable for all hair types and can be customized to match your hair color with some pleasantly scented tweaks.
To get started, Ali Yanez, vice president of LifeSpa at Life Time, suggests choosing a formula from one of the recipes below for fresher hair with more volume but without the powdery look.
For Light-Colored Hair
If your hair is light-to-medium blonde, platinum, or light gray, try this recipe:
- 1/4 cup organic arrowroot powder (for thinner hair types) or organic corn starch (for normal-to-thicker hair types)
- 5 drops essential oil of your choice
Add the arrowroot or corn starch powder to a screw-top container or spice shaker. Add the essential oil and stir or shake to combine.
For Dark-Colored Hair
If your hair is dark blonde or gray, brown, red, auburn, or black, try this recipe:
- 2 tbs. organic arrowroot powder (for thinner hair types) or organic corn starch (for normal-to-thicker hair types)
- 2 tbs. colored powder of your choosing
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dark blonde or brown hair)
- Charcoal powder (for dark grey or black hair)
- Cinnamon (for red or auburn hair)
- 5 drops essential oil of your choice
Add the arrowroot or corn starch powder and colored powder based on your hair color to a screw-top container or spice shaker. Add the essential oil and stir or shake to combine.
Professional Application Tips
One of Yanez’s favorite tricks is to apply your dry shampoo powder with a fluffy makeup brush for a more even distribution. “Simply dip your brush in the powder and tap it lightly on the edge of the container or bottle to remove excess product. Sweep the brush wherever your hair gets greasy: along your part, bangs, and at the crown of your head,” she says. “Let the dry shampoo sit for a few minutes while you go about getting ready, then massage it lightly into your scalp, brush through your hair, and style as usual.”
To avoid the powdery, ashy look in your hair, Yanez recommends applying the dry shampoo before bed or your workout. This technique gives the dry shampoo extra time to absorb oil and sweat and disappear into your hair — plus, it saves you time when you’re ready to style.
“Once it’s time to style your hair,” Yanez says, “brush through where you applied the dry shampoo powder and tease the roots a little. You’ll enjoy great volume for the rest of the day — or two!”
Yanez’s final application tip may seem a little counterintuitive: Try your dry shampoo on clean hair. “Dry shampoo makes a great styling aid if you’re trying a braid or updo,” she says. Add a little dry shampoo to help your clean hair hold its shape without slipping. You’ll have more control working with your strands, and it gives bobby pins and other clips a little extra staying power, too.
DIY Sea-Salt Spray
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tsp. avocado or coconut oil
- 2 tsp. sea salt, medium grain
- 4 drops essential oil of your choice
- Combine all ingredients in a clean spray bottle and shake well to mix.
- Be sure to shake well before each use. Your sea-salt spray will keep at room temperature for up to four months.
DIY Hair Pomade
- 2 tbs. beeswax pastilles
- 3 tbs. coconut oil
- 2 tbs. arrowroot powder
- 10 drops sandalwood essential oil (or scent of your choice)
- Melt the beeswax in a double boiler (or in a Pyrex glass mixing bowl set atop a saucepan with water).
- Add the coconut oil and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat and add arrowroot powder; stir well and add essential oil.
- Allow the pomade to cool slightly and pour into a small glass jar to store. Pomade will keep well for four-to-six months.
Tip: If you find yourself needing extra hold, add an extra tablespoon of beeswax pastilles.