I used to be the kind of person who never left the house without shampooing her hair. Every morning I headed straight to the shower; then I used a blow dryer and straightening iron on my hair. Every day throughout high school, and even college, I took a half-hour to do all of that to my hair. I’ve never done the math, but I suspect I’ve spent weeks or even months of my time just drying and styling my hair.
In my defense, I do have very thick hair. Even stylists have remarked about how thick it is, and how much of it I have. (Um… thank you? Sorry? I never know if it’s a compliment or if they’re trying to tell me that I’m creating a lot of extra work for them.)
More than once, stylists have commented on how long it must take me to wash and style my hair. Some said things like, “Surely you don’t shampoo every day, do you?” Over time I started t realize that maybe I didn’t need to start every day with a shower and shampoo.
I started skipping the shower every second day. At first my hair felt a bit greasy, and there were days when I really had to force myself not to cave in and shampoo it some time on the second day. But after less than a month, it seemed that my scalp and hair had made the adjustment, and no longer got oily between shampoos.
At that point, things were going well enough that I began to wonder if I could stretch the time between shampoos even longer. Could I go three or four days? How about a whole week? I was really getting to like having extra time in the mornings, and even though I was spending less time on my hair, I resented the time spent even more than before.
A friend of mine suggested that I try using a dry shampoo, so I went to Target right away and bought a can. I experimented with it the very next day, but was disappointed with the results. It left my hair smelling strange and feeling strange, and it really wasn’t something I felt comfortable using on my hair and scalp. (I didn’t read the ingredient list, but it’s safe to say that it was far from being an all-natural product.)
At the same time, I was still interested in the concept of dry shampoos, and I wondered if it was something I could make from scratch. So, I started the search for an all-natural formula for dry shampoo I could easily make at home.
DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe
The main ingredient of dry shampoo has to be able to absorb oil, and there are plenty of different ingredients that will do this, including arrowroot powder, oat flour, and other fine powdered starches. I decided to go with organic cornstarch, which is readily available and which I usually have at home anyway.
½ cup cornstarch, organic
A few drops of your favorite essential oil, to give a customized fragrance
2 Tbsp organic cinnamon, if you have auburn or red hair
2 Tbsp organic cocoa powder (unsweetened only!) if your hair is dark
Simply combine the ingredients thoroughly and keep them in a container such as a large salt shaker, a shaker for parmesan cheese, or just poke some holes in a jar lid.
How to Use
Always apply dry shampoo to your scalp and roots. Separate your hair into sections with a comb; then shake the dry shampoo on to your scalp. Use your fingers to massage it so that it comes into contact with your entire scalp and roots. Leave it for about two minutes so that it can absorb all of the oil. Use a hair brush to brush the powder down through the hair until you can no longer see it.
The End Result
I ended up being able to reduce the time I spend on my hair to almost nothing. This is largely due to accepting my naturally curly hair and giving up the straightening iron forever. But dry shampoo has also been a big help. It doesn’t replace a real shampoo, but it lets me squeeze in extra days here and there when I really don’t have time to wash my hair.
Considering how easy and economical it is, it’s definitely worth the effort to make and use dry shampoo.