Homemade dry shampoo is safer for you and the environment. It is easy to make and you only need three ingredients!

You might be surprised at how many beauty products you can make yourself. We enjoy creating homemade natural products, like these DIY beauty recipes and whipped coconut oil body butter.  Homemade sugar scrub is one of our most favorite gifts to give!

homemade dry shampoo

After months of testing out dry shampoos, my girls and I finally found one that we love.  We love the texture, we love the smell, and most of all we love the way that we can extend a hairstyle a few more days.  Fast forward a couple of months, many mornings of a bit of extra sleep (not having to blow dry hair and re-style), and many many cans of aerosol spray–and we have a new dilemma.  My family has called me out on my heart for environmentalism and asked me how my overuse of dry shampoo fits.  Uggh!

According to a research article in Science journal from February of 2018, “A detailed mass balance demonstrates that the use of volatile chemical products (VCPs)…including personal care products…now constitutes half of the fossil fuel VOC emissions in industrialized cities.”  Basically, as we have decreased some of the emissions from transportation because of new regulations, ozone and aerosol burdens have increased and filled the gap.

So once again, we are on a new journey.  A journey to find a homemade dry shampoo that will leave an easier footprint on the Earth, but will allow us to keep up with this newfound hair freedom!

What is Dry Shampoo?

Dry shampoo is generally composed of starch that when applied to the hair roots, absorbs the oils that make the hair look greasy.   Is it actually a shampoo?  No, it doesn’t clean the hair, but rather gives it a clean appearance. 

Is Dry Shampoo Good for the Environment?

Dry shampoo in the form of aerosol also often contains a propellant ingredient and usually consists of butane, isobutane, and propane (LPG’s or liquid petroleum gas) of which makes up 70-90% of the total composition.  Although these chemicals make the dry shampoo seem magical as it quickly hits your scalp and dries it, it is also these chemicals that are harmful to our precious ozone layer.  

Dry Shampoo Ingredients to Avoid

As I started looking into making a homemade version of my beloved dry shampoo, I started to find some common ingredients that I wanted to avoid…and especially wanted my daughters to avoid.

  • Talc:  A powerful absorber, but also linked to respiratory problems and cancer.
  • Alcohol:  Another powerful drying agent, but is harmful because of it’s absorbing natural oils that are needed for a healthy scalp. 
  • LPGs:  Harmful toxins for us AND for the environment.
  • Silicones and Siloxane:  While many in the beauty industry argue that siloxane is safe for use in moderate doses, the fact is that we have very little idea of what the effects of this chemical are on our health over long periods of time, but we do know that it is found to be harming our aquatic life through our wastewater.

dry shampoo ingredients cornstarch arrowroot powder

Homemade Dry Shampoo Ingredients

How to Make Homemade Dry Shampoo

Mix it all up in a container with a lid and it will keep for months.  I use an old makeup brush to apply mine, and it definitely took a couple of times to get it right.  You only need a very small amount and it is important to brush off any excess powder before applying to your scalp–this worked great!  We tried to put the mixture in a salt shaker for convenience, but it was hard to control the amount applied!

I love the peppermint smell (and so do my girls) but we also like to mix it up and use tea tree oil for this natural dry shampoo.   I have light hair color (with a little grey) and as a bonus, the dry shampoo mix helps soften my darker hair roots in between hair color appointments.  Although I am reminded of my teenage years when I was sprinkling a little baking soda or baby powder onto some greasy hair, this recipe is definitely a better alternative.  It can be used on curly hair, and it helps give fine hair a little extra boost.

I must admit that we miss the convenience of the store-bought aerosol, but the more I read about the harm to the environment and the dangerous toxins, the more I knew we had to break our addiction.  My mom always told me…”When you know better, you do better.”

We are striving at our house to remove toxins for our daily life as much as possible.  It isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t convenient, but I do think it is worth it.  We love many products from Young Living and I have found that their Thieves natural cleaning line has made removing household toxins very convenient.  My whole family loves the essential oils and they have become a part of our daily routines.  Essential oils are especially helpful with anxiety and stress! If you are interested in going chemical-free Young Living has an amazing starter kit.


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  1. Seriously this is mind blowing. I have never considered making my own dry shampoo. So much healthier too!

  2. What a great idea! This would save me a lot of money; can’t wait to make this!

  3. I had no idea that dry shampoo was something manufactured by Big Cosmetics or that it came in an aerosol can. It’s a sad day on which you learn nothing new, right? I’ve been using a homemade one with some baking soda in it, but I’ll try your just-starch recipe too.

    I quit using “regular” shampoo a year or so ago, due to unknown chemicals making my scalp itch, but I’m too much a modern American to simply do *nothing* to my hair beyond brushing.

    P.S. If your hair is auburn or red, adding a little cinnamon (from the bulk bin, not the expensive good stuff in the little jars!) is a good sub for the cocoa. Neutral henna would probably be good too.

  4. Love this recipe. I live in an area with extremely hard water and have to use a chelating shampoo (or the minerals literally tear my hair apart) so I try to wash my hair just once a week. This kind of dry shampoo makes that possible. The only thing I have a problem with is this statement: “(Striving to remove toxins from our house) isn’t always easy and it certainly isn’t convenient, but I do think it is worth it.” Take it from someone who learned to manage a home from Depression-era women and men. You just don’t buy things. I use soap, hot water, and baking soda to clean the house. I don’t buy plastic garbage bags (and only throw away a lunchbag amount of trash a week anyway). We have one shampoo and one toothpaste for everyone. Mostly, we just don’t believe one needs a “product” for every little thing. And we can easily find a non-toxic brand of what we are willing to buy. It’s easier than you think! Keep up the good work!

  5. I use dry shampoo daily and never once considered what it may be doing to my scalp…and the environment!! Wow. I’m on board and will be making my own now that I know. Also telling a friend. Thank you (:

  6. this is awesome! I love dry shampoo so much and can’t wait to try this!! thanks for the great tips!

  7. This is great information! I am going to try making my own shampoo after reading this article.
    Thank you!!

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