Oh, dry shampoo. I sorta feel like this post should be a love letter to dry shampoo. Where do I even start? Well firstly, let’s talk about what dry shampoo is, in case you don’t already know. Dry shampoo is a powder that you can spray or sprinkle on your hair to soak up excess oil, in hopes of making your hair look clean without washing. I use dry shampoo a lot because I tend to only wash my red locks about twice a week. This is partially to keep my color as long as possible, and partially because I’m just a busy person who doesn’t always have time to wash, dry, and style. I’ve tried many brands of dry shampoo over the years. Some were good to me and some… well, not so much.
I have a group of friends who aren’t interested in most store-bought dry shampoos because of the harsh chemicals that they sometimes contain. I did a little research on homemade dry shampoos, and here’s what I found works best:
The most popular ingredients for at-home dry shampoos are baking soda, baby powder, and corn starch (or arrowroot powder as an alternative). There are many recipes that mix corn starch with baking soda, or this with that, but I tried each of these on its own over the span of a week. Here are the results:
Baby powder: The baby powder was fine, but I don’t fancy walking around smelling like baby powder. It’s actually a smell I don’t care for, so this one was out for me no matter how well it worked. It soaked up the oil fairly well, though, so if you don’t mind the smell this is a pretty good option.
Baking soda: This made my hair feel pretty clean. As I was researching using baking soda for hair, I came across a lot of people commenting on how it irritated their skin. There is also some talk of long-term damage to your hair caused by baking soda, so this one wouldn’t be something I would use weekly.
Corn starch: I have actually used corn starch before by suggestion of a friend, so I already knew how this one would go. It works really well to soak up the excess oil and doesn’t have a strong scent of its own. This is a good substance to keep in a jar combined with some wonderful smelling essential oils (2-5 drops, depending on how strong you’d like it to smell).
Now let’s talk about application. (I hope we can still be friends after you look at that picture of my greasy hair. On the internet. Sheesh.) If you are making your own at home, there are a few ways you can apply your dry shampoo. I like to keep mine stored in a shaker and just shake it directly onto my roots. A clean makeup brush is another option if you would prefer to brush it on. However you get it on there, the next step is important: rub it in. A lot of people comb it through with a brush, but I like to massage it right into my roots. Plus if I have curls left over from the day before (which I don’t in these photos), I can skip the curling iron and wear them again.
A lot of people shy away from dry shampoo because of the Q-tip head… or snow cap… or white junk in the scalp. If you have darker hair or red hair I have two helps for it! Cocoa powder mixed in with your DIY dry shampoo is great for dark hair. Use about half powder/half cocoa powder (make sure this is not sweetened), and that should help take care of the super powder look. If you have red locks like me, cinnamon is your best friend. The corn starch can be a little powdery looking, so I like to add cinnamon to mine. It matches my color wonderfully AND I love the smell of cinnamon, so I don’t even need essential oils.
I’m still a lover of my old stand-by, Dove Dry Shampoo, but I do like having options. Dry shampoo, you make it possible for a working mama lady like myself to look decent even when I should have washed my hair many (MANY) days ago. Oh, and hats. Also, braids. I think I may need to send out a round of thank you cards to all my beauty helpers. xo. Katie
Credits // Author and Photography: Katie Shelton