DIY dry shampoo is a great little emergency fix for those days when you need a quick degrease. It’s not a replacement for a good old fashioned wash, but it’s a great hack for a busy life.
I’m cursed with an oily scalp, so can’t go too long without washing. My hairdresser mentioned a few years ago that you can train your hair to be less oily by washing it less frequently. I tried, and the only thing that happened was my scalp got itchy and I looked like a grease ball – not a good look at all. Running six days a week doesn’t help the situation either so I have to wash my hair quite often but I do use dry shampoo on the days that I need to stretch it a little further.
DIY dry shampoo basically, consists of an oil-absorbing substance such as arrowroot, cornstarch or rye flour that you can sprinkle or dab onto the oily parts of your hair to absorb the oil and leave your hair looking clean.
You can mix the oil-absorbing substance with a few drops of essential oil to make it smell great. For darker hair adding a bit of cocoa powder helps to blend with your hair colour a bit better.
Note that this is not a long-term solution to skipping all hair washing as the starch will eventually create build-up on your scalp. Using it once or twice between washes should be ok.
The Problem with Shop Bought Dry Shampoo
As with many shop-bought beauty products, it’s filled with a list of ingredients you can’t pronounce and the aerosol used contributes to air pollution. Shop bought dry shampoo often contains things like Talc, Cetrimonium Chloride, Silica (which can be harsh on hair) and Phenoxyethanol, which is probably fine in isolation, but can accumulate and affect you as it’s found in a range of hair and skincare products.
Talc has come under scrutiny recently with women linking it to ovarian cancer, the science on this has delivered mixed results, but to me, it’s enough reason to rather pass on using it.
Making your own dry shampoo is cheap, hassle-free and will help you reduce your carbon footprint so why not try it at least once?
You can use either of the starches in your recipe, play around with the recipe variations over a few weeks to see which one you prefer. For darker hair add a bit of cocoa powder so that it blends better. Blondes can use the flour as is. There is also the option to add a bit of cinnamon if you have strawberry blonde hair like me, but I prefer not to smell like a pancake all day so I leave that out.
Light and red hair:
Add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon for red hair (optional). Note that cinnamon can be an irratant so test a small amount to guage if it might cause a reaction first
1 x tbsp of organic cocoa powder
Mix all the ingredients in a container and you’re good to go! I recommend rubbing the mixture between your fingers for a bit to break up the essential oils if you are using them, as it can make little lumps in the mixture.
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How to Store and Apply your DIY Dry Shampoo
You can either put the powder into an old spice shaker or glass container. If you are using a spice shaker, just dust your roots where the most oil is concentrated and work into your hair with your fingers or dab with a large make-up brush. If you’re using a glass container and not a shaker, then it’s best to use a large makeup or shaving brush to apply the powder and work into your roots.
Lift your hair to brush the under layers rather straight on top as that will help to reduce the possibility of white blotches hiding at the back of your head where you can’t see them.
Making your own DIY dry shampoo is a good choice if you’re hoping to reduce toxins, waste and your impact on the environment overall as you’re immediately eliminating nasty ingredients and a spray can to dispose of. To me, the DIY version is equally effective, a lot cheaper and carries fewer health risks. I’ll definitely need to add dry shampoo to the list of things I no longer buy.
Even though I’m not the biggest beauty product DYI’er, I find that the shop-bought versions don’t last particularly long so I’m forever buying new cans that will end up in the trash, so for me, making your own is a win-win overall.