Dear Crissy

Homemade Dry Shampoo

Making your own homemade dry shampoo is a wonderful way to save money on beauty products while also saving your scalp from harsh chemicals.

You may be surprised by the quality and effectiveness of this fantastic homemade dry shampoo—this DIY dry shampoo recipe is great for medium and darker hair, but you can easily reduce the amount of cocoa to better suite your hair color. It’s so easy to make that you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it sooner!

Homemade Dry Shampoo - This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. It's a must-pin!!

Homemade dry shampoo

Shhhh… mom confession: I may not get a chance to shower every morning these days. I do, however, still try my best to make it to all of our story time, playdate and playground meet ups throughout the week. Unfortunately, my off days are easier to spot than they were when I was in my early twenties.

I’ve always had hair and skin that is a bit oily. If this is true for you as well, fear not, some estheticians and dermatologists have told me the long term pay off might be aging more gracefully than those with drier skin. Fingers crossed.

Homemade Dry Shampoo - {great for medium/dark hair} This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. MUST. PIN!

Over the years I’ve tried everything from baby powder to sprays to help my hair look fresh in a pinch. Typical baby powder left my darker hair looking suddenly aged decades and sprays had mixed results. In this past year I did find a new spray that worked quite well, but even when applied outside and walking in a line while spraying, it still left my gagging and I could literally feel tightness in my lungs from having those chemicals in my hair all day. Now, it seems my lungs are bit more sensitive to chemicals than maybe some others, but those handy cans are loaded with stuff no one should be breathing. So I finally swore them off and set out to find a way that was still fast, but better.

DIY Dry Shampoo - This homemade dry shampoo recipe and tutorial really opened my eyes, you'll never pay for store-bought dry shampoo again!

That led me to this homemade dry shampoo option. Natural dry shampoos aren’t a new thing, and you’ll find endless combinations of ingredients online, this custom DIY dry shampoo one works quite well for me. A little tweaking and hopefully you’ll find similar results!

I used a mix of arrowroot powder, which is light and absorbent, and bentonite clay powder, which has endless uses from eczema soothing properties to acne clearing benefits, and unsweetened cocoa powder.

Homemade Dry Shampoo - This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. MUST. PIN!

With our son’s life-threatening food allergies, I was leery of using a cocoa powder, as ingesting any amount or form of dairy is a serious concern (FYI, most chocolates have at least some dairy so we avoid all in our house. His allergies also include egg, cashews and walnuts). It was easier than expected to find a cocoa powder that not only contained zero dairy but was also manufactured in a facility that doesn’t process dairy. Note: the specific one we used does list soy as a shared plant product.

Homemade Dry Shampoo - {great for medium/dark hair} This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. MUST. PIN!

I find the best results when applying the homemade dry shampoo mix at least 30 minutes before running out the door. I typically try to do this first thing in the morning to make sure I won’t forget.

Homemade Dry Shampoo - This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. MUST. PIN!

Simply use a soft powder brush to apply. Lightly dip the end of the brush into the powder and tap off any extra then dab it all the way around the hairline that you know will show that day—think about your part line and hairline all the way around your head-don’t forget the back!

You can then brush it into your hair or just let it be. Try both ways and see which is best for you. I use this brush, anything similar would be great.

Homemade Dry Shampoo - This DIY dry shampoo recipe is super easy! You HAVE to try this fantastic homemade dry shampoo. MUST. PIN!

I hope you find as much usefulness for this great homemade dry shampoo recipe as I have. Be sure to check out more DIY beauty posts on Dear Crissy, below!

More DIY beauty posts

Homemade dry shampoo

Homemade dry shampoo


  • 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
  • 1 teaspoon bentonite clay powder
  • ¼ teaspoon all natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (only ingredient should be natural cocoa powder. Use less for lighter hair) In the end it was probably about 3 tablespoons worth of cocoa to get to the right coloring for my hair. Clearly started a bit timid, but wanted to be safe and not go overboard from the start.


  1. Add the arrowroot powder, bentonite clay and first scoop of cooca powder to a medium dish and carefully stir until you have a consistent color. Follow with more cocoa powder as needed. Do make sure to fully stir in all of the dark powder before adding more so you won’t over darken. If you add a little too much, not to worry, you can simply add in more arrowroot powder and or bentonite clay.


This should keep well for a couple of months as these are shelf stable ingredients. Also, washing your application tool or brush with mild soap every now and then will help keep oils off the brush and out of the powdered shampoo, which will help it last longer.

    14 Comments on “Homemade Dry Shampoo”

  1. Thank you for the recipe! I too have asthmatic reaction to aerosols and the worst with dry shampoo, the reaction lasts a few days! Just awful. I had found a store bought kind in a shaker can but just ran out so Pinterest to the rescue, glad your thoughtful recipe with the clay & arrowroot powders showed up. :-)

  2. This is the first dry shampoo that actually works! Up until a few weeks ago I was one of those girls who washed their hair every single day. In the last year I’ve noticed a lot more hair fall and my hair just wasn’t as vibrant and manageable as it used to be. Ironically enough, my mom is a hair stylist and I knew that daily washings were terrible for hair health….but by day two my hair was a greasy, itchy mess. Ever since I’ve been using your recipe my hair is becoming way more manageable and the oil is kept at bay. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! 

    Rating: 5
  3. I’ve tried and tested your recipe and LOVE it. It works so well for my hair.

  4. I have found a simple mix of cornstarch and cinnamon works very well for me in a pinch.I am a natural strawberry blonde,with white hair mixing in now.It doesn’t leave any residue and I also will rub it gently into my scalp with clean dry fingertips.This process allows me to get full head coverage in a short amount of time :)Around the holidays I’ve also snuck in a tiny bit of finely ground/powdered nutmeg to the mix :D

  5. any tips for modifying colour to enhance red hair? I’m scratching my head trying to think of a natural substitute…

  6. Thank you! Will definitely try it. I was using just corn starch. Cocoa is a stroke of genius, as I am dark brunette!
    For your son, if already not done so, switch to all organic, only home cooked food. More and more chemicals including Round Up, which is in every non organic crop pretty much, are finally proven very harmful. ( Like I needed any proof: never trusted chemicals, which can kill anything alive, to be benign for me, and especially my kid.)
    Find local farms, make sure you know where food he eats comes from. Make sure he eats some of the just picked organic fruit or greens. Make sure he does not eat too much meat and no sodas, period(poison in a can). All cleaners in your house should be completely natural,like vinegar and baking soda. I used to have food allergies, not too horrible though, but while switching to all-organic diet/ cleaners my allergy disappeared completely, hard to believe now, that I had trouble taking fingerprints at one time (traveling), because all the skin on my fingertips peeled off, due to food allergy. Try to get read of fire retardant treated furniture. His system can not cope with something, according to holistic views. And Food and Chemical industries made sure we are drowning in dangerous substances, majority of those being completely unnecessary for anything, except their profits, to add insult to the injury.
    Thanks again!

  7. Do you have an alternative to the cocoa for blondes?

    • I would just leave out the cocoa. From previous recipes I’ve looked up, the cocoa is just a dry way of turning the powder brown for brunettes. If you are a dark blonde, just use a little cocoa to get the tint that works for you.

  8. I LOVE this!  It works perfectly!  I’ve got dark hair and it’s impossible to use most store bought dry shampoos without looking like I’ve turned completely gray.  They are awful!  I’ve been using this with the brush and it goes on perfectly and without effecting my color at all!  Thanks for sharing!

  9. I’ve done this with a 2:1 combo of cornstarch & cocoa powder. Much easier to find & most always around the house. Works great, but if you use too much you end up smelling a bit like you od’ed on chocolate.

    • Lol. I can think of worse things than smelling like chocolate but thanks for sharing the cornstarch alternative.  

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