Dry Shampoo is the BEST! De-Grease Your Hair Without Washing It

So, I’ve discovered something that’s rocked my world. Dry shampoo (natural, homemade, DIY dry shampoo, of course) is awesome!

What’s dry shampoo?

It’s oil-absorbing powdery stuff that you put on your dry hair and it soaks up all the oil in it. Then you just comb it out, and your hair looks bouncy and beautiful like you just got out of the shower.

It’s a super easy way to look gorgeous even if you don’t have time to wash your hair.

Maybe dry shampoo is old news to you, but I had never heard of it before a couple months ago. I have dreadlocks, so I can’t exactly use it on my whole head, but I decided to try it on my bangs and the straight hair around the front of my face and it works AMAZINGLY well.

You see, I do the “no ‘poo” thing, where you cut way back on the amount you wash your hair, and use only natural things instead of commercial shampoos (I use baking soda). The reason is because by washing it every day with harsh chemicals, or even every other day, you are training your head to overproduce oil since you are constantly stripping your scalp of it. That’s WHY you feel like you have to wash it all the time or you turn into a grease ball. 

By shunning commercial shampoo and the every day lather, you un-train your hair from getting greasy right away and you can go a few days, or even a week before starting to look a little limp in the locks. This is where I am at. My head actually never gets really greasy anymore, but 5 or 6 days after I wash it, the straight hair in the front of my head does get a little less bouncy and looks like it could use a pick-me-up.

Also, many people say that once they ditched commercial shampoo, their hair has NEVER looked better. It’s fuller, bouncier, and so much healthier.

Anyway, despite all the benefits, the bad news about “no ‘poo” is that while you are un-training your hair, your scalp is going to keep overcompensating until it figures it out. This means Grease City for a while. Not fun.

Well, dry shampoo may be the answer to help you transition super easily, which may be the answer to some “no ‘pooer’s” prayers. And probably a lot of “‘pooer’s” prayers too. Okay, enough about ‘poo. Let’s get into the tutorial.

How to Use Dry Shampoo

So, as I understand, there are commercial dry shampoos that you can buy at the store. But they are full of nasty ass chemicals and probably cost 10 to 20 smackers per bottle.

Instead you can just use your own homemade dry shampoo that costs a couple of cents and isn’t full of nasty ass chemicals! How great is that?

So all you gotta do is get yer’ hands on some kind of starchy oil absorbing substance like corn starch, or arrowroot powder. I use tapioca starch.

Now, because I am blonde, using these light coloured powders on my hair is okay, and actually brightens up my hair. It still makes my hair look vaguely like an ash blonde wig, but the better I comb it out, the less noticeable this is. And the effect fades quickly.

As I understand, if you have dark hair, you might want to mix some cocoa powder in with it, or you could end up looking a bit like a grey-hair mannequined freak.

Anyway, all you do is take your concoction, spread it over the roots of your hair (you don’t need a lot), and then just comb it out as best you can. It’s easiest to apply with a blush or makeup brush because it’s easy to spread and avoids putting on too much. I just kind of grab a handful and slap it on there quick and dirty though. But I don’t have a lot of beauty standards so, you know.

Also, you want to do this over a sink or bathtub. It can get a little messy.

Anyway. That’s all there is to it. Easy peasy and works like a friggin charm. Watch my video tutorial for a visual instruction:

Have you ever tried dry shampoo? What’s your experience been?

46 Responses to Dry Shampoo is the BEST! De-Grease Your Hair Without Washing It
  1. Michelle
    April 9, 2013 | 11:13 am

    Awesome! I’ve tried in the past with clay and yes, it did make my hair grey and ashy, lol.

    I’m tired of being addicted to washing my hair (I use natural soap but still).

    You’ve inspired me to try it again and I think I’ll mix up some henna or indigo powder with it to make it dark. I actually made up an herbal powder for hair but it is difficult to use as a wet paste. So maybe I’ll mix some of that with clay and/or arrowroot.

  2. Kim
    April 9, 2013 | 11:21 am

    Omg! This is such perfect timing!! I didnt have time to wash my hair and was going to just google it, and the idea of “try cornstarch” popped in my head! Lol.. Then i come check your blog and BAM theres what i was looking for!!:)
    Im definetly going to try it now! I do have brown dark brown hair, so ill prolly mix in some cocoa as you said.. Yummy smelling and cheap at that!! Lol
    Maybe illl even move into, no poo thing next.. Your hair is always really pretty, shiny and healthy looking Tracy! How long have you been no poo?
    Thanks:)

    • Tracy
      April 9, 2013 | 5:19 pm

      I’ve been no ‘poo quite a few years now! Thanks for the hair compliment Kim :)

      Let us know how the cocoa thing works

  3. Megan
    April 9, 2013 | 12:53 pm

    I’ve never tried dry shampoo (just occassional talcum powder for oily bangs), but I use a similar concoction on my face (cornstarch + cocoa) to eliminate mid-day shine – works like a hot damn! Thanks for sharing this!

    Megan

  4. Rachel
    April 10, 2013 | 6:13 am

    I’ve been no ‘poo for awhile and I have noticed that my sense of smell has gotten better… I guess cause I don’t have a “smell” I can smell other things better?? Has this happened to anyone else?

    • Tracy
      April 10, 2013 | 7:49 am

      Haha very interesting! I never noticed that myself.

  5. Marlene
    April 10, 2013 | 11:57 am

    Wow, looks amazing, maybe I shall try it out! But I’ve been wondering about something, and thought maybe I should ask you: I’ve switched from commercial shampoo, to all-natural shampoo bar (from Chagrin Valley), and I wash my hair every third or fourth day. For me, this is a huge change, because I had to wash it every other day, or every day at worst, but now I can go up to four days. (It’s not that it gets really really greasy after four days, but I’m self-concious about it, so I just wash my hair when it gets a bit greasy.) Anyway, do you think this is too much? Should I try to cut down even more on my washing? (I don’t really mind washing every third/fourth day, but I guess it might not be good for my hair, even though I’m using a natural product…?)

    • Tracy
      April 10, 2013 | 4:07 pm

      Hi Marlene,
      I think that’s up to you. I wouldn’t say washing it every four or five days is overwashing at all.

      The main reason I recommend no shampoo is a) get away from chemicals in commercial shampoo for your health and so your hair looks better and b) just make your life easier by allowing you to now have to wash your hair as much (not so much that washing your hair more often than 4 days is necessarily harmful )

      So if you want to wash it every four or five days with something natural, I don’t see anything wrong with that, just do whatever you want to! :)

    • Kit
      April 11, 2013 | 7:03 pm

      I love those Chagrin Valley shampoo bars! Really nice and natural. With them I can also get away with washing every four or five days and it doesn’t seem damaging to me. No shampoo is incredible for making your hair better. However, dry shampoo didn’t work out for me because cornstarch + Kit’s skin = angry red spots :(

      • Someone
        September 14, 2013 | 10:37 pm

        Me too. I loved dry shampoo but it really aggravated my scalp.

  6. Amber
    April 10, 2013 | 2:11 pm

    I’ve wanted to try this for awhile, but I really wasn’t sure how to get started. Thanks for the info! I have dark hair so I think I will try some cocoa powder. Do you know if this will work well with longer hair? Or if more oil absorbing powder would be needed? :)

    • Tracy
      April 10, 2013 | 4:10 pm

      Well, I think it should work for long hair just by putting it mostly on your roots since that’s where most of the oil would be. But I don’t know, I can’t say from personal experience!

  7. KD
    April 10, 2013 | 5:12 pm

    Since I have curly hair and often use my fingers to “comb” through it, would this be something that wouldn’t work for me? I still can’t picture this well with my hair.

    • Tracy
      April 11, 2013 | 8:01 am

      Yeah, I guess you don’t want to comb your hair if it’s curly. Well, my friend saw my article and then told me all about how much she loves dry shampoo… she says she doesn’t even comb it out, she just uses her fingers to shake it out. I find that is effective too. So maybe it would work for curly hair.

    • Rena
      May 14, 2013 | 12:12 pm

      I have curly hair and I have used dry shampoo before. It works well, I just rub it into my scalp and use my fingers to shake it out. I usually put it back after dry shampooing, or spritz it with a bit of lavender water to get some of the frizz out.

  8. Heather C.
    April 11, 2013 | 9:11 am

    Hey all! I recently came across a great DIY blog that has a few dry shampoo and homemade shampoo/soap recipes. She’s a firm believer in natural, like Tracy, and had instructions for every recipe. I’m attempting her “end all” soap as soon as I gather the last few ingredients. Her blog can be found at http://www.humblebeeandme.com

  9. Autumn
    April 11, 2013 | 12:19 pm

    I use baby powder and I have dark hair. It looks a little lighter but greasy hair is darker to begin with so it balances out. I wash my hair once a week and use conditioner 3 days a week. It’s like washing oils with oils with your face. Not that I even got into the oil cleansing method. The off days I use baby powder. It works. My hair ultimatley is less greasy than when I used shampoo everyday. I use a natural clay based shampoo when I do wash and natural lavender volumizing conditioner. I used to switch up brands more but this one seems to work for me for the oil rinse.

    • Autumn
      April 12, 2013 | 5:37 am

      I tried baking soda and ACV for awhile and it made my hair really dry and the ACV irriated my scalp. I have thin hair so I try to be kind to my scalp, prevent any unintentional hair loss.

  10. Ann
    April 11, 2013 | 5:10 pm

    Great site, I’m new to thelove vitamin. I tried the corn starch and it made my forehead (where it fell to) red and blotchy. So, maybe I’m allergic? Also, unrelated to the post the manuka honey that you recommended has been great. It has helped me calm my skin down and I don’t cringe like I used to in the mirror. Is there anything else you would recommend to reduce the scarring and redness? I believe I’m allergic to cows milk and nutmeg as well, if that helps.

    • Tracy
      April 11, 2013 | 7:57 pm

      Hi Ann, hmm sounds like an allergic reaction. Kit up above mentioned that corn starch made her skin kinda angry. Maybe try tapioca or arrowroot powder instead?

  11. Ariana
    April 12, 2013 | 9:21 pm

    Hey Tracy! I tried this out with cornstarch right after I read this, and oh my goodness, it works like crazy! My hair looked like it had been freshly washed! What on earth! I just can’t even get over how well it worked…cornstarch! I’m tempted never to go the beauty/hair section in stores ever again, since household alternatives usually work amazingly.

    • Tracy
      April 13, 2013 | 7:26 am

      I know!! It’s amazing, hey?

  12. TheSun
    April 13, 2013 | 6:31 am

    I didn’t try dry shampoo yet, but I will try :)
    I made ma own shampoo like egg yolk is great :)

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/221689-egg-yolk-hair-treatment/

  13. Kim
    April 13, 2013 | 7:52 pm

    Hi tracy,
    I think om motivated to try the no poo thing for a month.. Since reading the blog, ive only been washing my hair with baking soda and lemon juice.. My hair feels soft and clean, so far!:) hope i can keep it up
    I remember you doing a blog a while back about cod liver oil.. I was wondering if you were still taking it everyday? Ive been trying it for 3 days, but it made my breath really stink like fish:(
    I got the natures way from walmart.. I may have to invest in a mor expensive one that doesnt give me fishy breath!!

    • Tracy
      April 14, 2013 | 12:46 pm

      I take it whenever I remember, so it’s usually every other or every three days. The fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend doesn’t give me fish breath… I don’t think. But everyone’s different

  14. Michele
    April 16, 2013 | 11:44 am

    Hi Tracy,

    I’ve been doing the no shampoo for just a week now and so far I love it! I was wondering though, do you get your hair wet sometimes still?

    • Tracy
      April 16, 2013 | 12:41 pm

      Oh yes, I do wash my hair with water every week or so. I’d do it more but it’s a pain with dreadlocks because they are a soppy soaked mess when they are wet that takes forever to dry.

  15. Tree
    April 19, 2013 | 6:52 am

    Rice starch is also a good option. It makes my hair smooth and no tangling (unlike baby powder). It’s very difficult to find the other starches not mixed with wheat flour and I don’t want gluten even in my hair. Cinnamon powder is also great and smells divine. You can mix it with other powders because it does tangle a bit.

  16. f.
    April 26, 2013 | 11:24 am

    i recommend using Rhassoul – wash your hair ‘the African way…’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhassoul). However, just the powder made my hair a little strange after a few weeks, which is why I am now using a shampoo that has Rhassoul in it (brand: Urtekram).

  17. James
    April 26, 2013 | 1:34 pm

    Hi,
    Great article, I am currently trying to de-chemical myself and let my body, skin, hair sort itself out. I want to stop using shampoo but I am apprehensive as I’ve got freakin’ dandruff/seborrhoeic dermatitis. Anyways, I’m just wondering if you have any ideas on how i should tackle this problem cause I’m scared that if I quit with shampoo I will go into an itchy flake-overload. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated, thanks!

    • Tracy
      April 26, 2013 | 1:55 pm

      Hi James!
      Unfortunately I can’t say… some people do end up with more dandruff after, but other people’s dandruff is caused by their shampoo. So the only thing you can do is try and see what happens. Maybe it’ll fix the problem!

      • Marie
        February 10, 2014 | 2:05 pm

        Hi :)

        I’ve been using dry shampoo for a while now about twice a week which led me to only wash my hair twice or 3 times a week and it’s so comfortable! Don’t neet to wait for it to dry, or to worry about it. It just looks great afterwards! I use the batiste dry shampoo just because I’m too lazy to make a natural one haha. As far as it comes to dandruff, it really depends on the person. But I’ve noticed, that if you drink a lot of water, you’ll get rid of them. Also if you use shampoo, use conditioner. And maybe a mask just on the roots? Water water water and don’t touch your hair :)

  18. Adel-Alexander
    May 2, 2013 | 2:49 am

    How do I mix the arrowroot with cocoa powder? Do I just mix them both dry or should I pour some water over it?

    • Tracy
      May 2, 2013 | 6:33 am

      I would imagine dry, otherwise it would turn into a paste, and I can’t picture that working well! Maybe use a whisk or something?

  19. Jasmin
    May 5, 2013 | 9:57 am

    Al a Natural! Love these types of shampoos! This is how nature intended it! No harsh chemicals! I am going to mix this up tonight as I have all the right ingredients and try it out! Thanks for sharing <3

  20. Kayla
    May 6, 2013 | 7:59 pm

    Tracy, I’m curious to know, what do you use as soap/body wash when you take a shower?

    • Tracy
      May 6, 2013 | 8:11 pm

      Mostly just water to clean, but if I do use something it’s Dr Bronners

  21. Marilyn
    June 18, 2013 | 11:05 pm

    Hey!

    I am going to try this but I have a question how long should I wait to wash my hair. Should I wash it once a week?

    • Tracy
      June 19, 2013 | 8:05 am

      I usually wash my hair once a week, with a bit of dry shampoo thrown in halfway through the week to perk things up

  22. Melissa
    July 25, 2013 | 5:50 am

    Hey Tracy! Congrats on getting married! The picture you posted was beautiful!

    So I have a question about the whole no ‘poo thing: I’m marathon training and go for longer runs out in the humid summer heat of SE USA. Of course, I get super sweaty and gross on my runs, and always shower immediately following my run. How should I approach the no ‘poo thing, while still feeling properly cleaned?

    Thanks!

    • Tracy
      July 25, 2013 | 8:44 am

      Thank you Melissa :D

      I would say that when you shower, just don’t wash your hair… (you can decide on the frequency to wash it.. whether you want to stop completely to regulate the oil quickly, or whether you want to start with cutting back to once a week or something)… anyway, in the meantime, to get through the greaseball-ness, employ the dry shampoo technique which is something I just discovered: http://thelovevitamin.com/8987/diy-dry-shampoo/

      • Melissa
        July 25, 2013 | 9:06 am

        I guess my question was really about the sweat and grime left in my roots and on my scalp after my workout. Would you suggest running water through my hair during the shower, to sort of rinse everything out? Or would that be too drying? I think I’m mostly worried about the sweat and oils left in my roots and scalp to sort of sweat down (for lack of a better term) my face and cause nasty breakouts along my hairline and jaw (which has happened before).

        I’m definitely planning on getting some type of powder for the dry shampoo thing!

        • Tracy
          July 25, 2013 | 9:08 am

          Yes, you can rinse your hair when you shower, just don’t use the shampoo. As for the stuff left in your roots sweating down and causing breakouts… well, I’m not sure what to suggest on that one if it’s a problem for you! Sorry! Maybe just giving it a rinse will be enough to prevent that becoming an issue

  23. Cathy
    August 17, 2013 | 7:29 am

    Hey Tracy,

    Can you do a post sometime on hair products causing acne? I have curly hair and my hair looks best with gel but it always causes my hairline to break out. I’ve been trying to go gel free but my hair doesn’t look as good, so its a predicament! Also, bangs for me were a huge issue, my forehead broke out like crazy when i had them (my derm said bangs couldn’t be the reason, crazy…)

    • Tracy
      August 17, 2013 | 8:26 am

      Hi Cathy,
      I don’t use hair gel so I don’t have any personal experience with what the best natural alternatives would be, but here are some suggestions to try: http://www.livestrong.com/article/158594-safe-alternatives-for-hair-gel/ – I have heard of the aloe vera one before, that’s probably what I was going to suggest trying first! Let us know how it goes!

    • Marie
      February 10, 2014 | 2:08 pm

      Bangs definitely cause acne. I bet the reason your dermatologist doesn’t agree is because that simple reason doesn’t bring money in. Put you bangs on the side, or get it out of your face, and things should improve :)

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