There are few personal care products I appreciate more than non toxic dry shampoo. The thing is, I hate washing my hair. I always have. I find the process of brushing/drying/styling my hair to be cumbersome and time consuming. Any tricks that can help me extend the life of my hairstyle are welcome – especially if they don’t involve toxic ingredients!
I should also mention that I do my best to work out every day. Because sweaty, greasy hair is not appropriate for work (or any other social engagements for that matter), non toxic dry shampoo is my time saving, wet hair avoiding godsend.
DIY Non Toxic Dry Shampoo
Cornstarch. That’s the only ingredient you need to extend time between hair washes. With that said, I am going to share a few additional toxin-free ingredients that you can add to adjust the scent and color for darker hair.
Natural Dry Shampoo Tools and Ingredients
- ½ c Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder
- 2-5 drops Essential Oil (optional, but highly recommended if your hair gets stinky between showers!)
- Brown Hair: 2 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Red Hair: 2 tbsp Cinnamon
How to Apply Powdered Dry Shampoo Without White Residue
I have two favorite methods for applying powdered dry shampoo to my hair:
Using a Powdered Sugar Shaker
In the video and photos below, I emptied out a travel size baby powder container I wasn’t using (I can’t stand the smell). I created a funnel from a piece of paper and some tape. Then I poured cornstarch into the baby powder container before re-attaching the lid. You would follow a similar process using a powdered sugar shaker if you don’t have a baby powder bottle.
From there the rest is pretty simple. Separate your hair away from your regular part. Sprinkle on the cornstarch, and use your hands or a hairbrush to blend it all in.
To avoid any chance of white powdery residue in your final look, I find it’s best to avoid sprinkling the powder on your actual scalp. Instead, lift up the hair around your part and sprinkle directly on your hair near the roots.
If my hair is sweaty from a workout, I’ll finish by using a blow dryer on my roots for a few minutes until my hair is fully dry.
Another trick for avoiding white residue is applying cornstarch at night. This trick works regardless of your hair color. After sleeping on your hair with cornstarch you will wake up with more volume and no white residue. One of my best friends, a self proclaimed “Jafrican” (half Japanese, half African American) uses this technique on her dark brown hair with great success.
Application Using a Fluffy Brush
Sometimes I find I get a cleaner application by using a fluffy makeup brush to apply dry shampoo. Start by dipping your brush into the cornstarch. Then, part your hair and brush the powder onto the hair near your roots. Try your best to avoid getting too much cornstarch directly on your scalp.
With this method, I also make sure to clean my application brush regularly.
DIY vs Store Bought Natural Dry Shampoo
There are three main reasons I prefer this DIY dry shampoo recipe to store bought alternatives:
Cornstarch is dirt cheap – FAR less expensive than any branded dry shampoos that I have seen. Plus cornstarch is sold at just about every grocery store I have frequented, so it’s easy to find.
I also love that cornstarch is a sustainable alternative to branded dry shampoos. Most dry shampoos are sold in aerosol cans that are difficult to recycle. Cornstarch can be inexpensively purchased in bulk and then used to refill your dry shampoo container again and again. No single-use packaging required!
Lastly, after experimenting with countless store bought dry shampoo brands, I find cornstarch to be just as effective at making my hair appear completely clean and grease-free.
The biggest difference between cornstarch and store bought dry shampoo is scent. If scent is something you love about your current dry shampoo, then add your favorite essential oils to the cornstarch.
Another more potent option is to finish your hair with a spritz of your favorite perfume after using the cornstarch. Perfume lasts longer on hair and clothes than it does on skin. Plus if you’re concerned about the toxicity of your perfume, this way you get to enjoy the scent without it penetrating your skin.
Interested in another tried and true beauty recipe? Check out this body butter recipe that I have used for years!
Popular Store Bought Powder Dry Shampoo
With all of that said, if DIY isn’t really your thing, below are a handful of great dry shampoo brands that are worth trying. Each brand below fully discloses their ingredients and is aerosol-free.
Rahua Voluminous Dry Shampoo – I have seen this brand highly recommended by a number of beauty bloggers. To use it, you squeeze the body of the bottle and powder puffs out of the opening at the top onto your hair. This application is great because it reduces the chances of super concentrated powder patches showing as white spots in your hair!
- YOUR GOAL: Performance Driven Hair Care
- OUR SOLUTION: Easy to use, fast acting, dry shampoo that absorbs oil and removes grime without...
- Absorbs impurities and extends time between cleansing
Acure Dry Shampoo – This product is formulated using almost the exact same recipe as my DIY dry shampoo. It’s cornstarch, arrowroot powder, kaolin clay, and a few essential oils for scent. If you like a clean formula that’s pre-packaged then this is a good option for you.
- A scalp-nourishing dry shampoo
- Absorbs excess oil
- Travel-friendly bottle that is easy to take anywhere
Briogeo Scalp Revival Dry Shampoo – The dispenser for this dry shampoo is almost exactly like that of the Rahua dry shampoo. You press the body of the bottle to release powder from the top. It sort of puffs into your hair and distributes itself nicely. I first learned about this brand while listening to the founder and CEO interviewed on Second Life Podcast.
- Clean and style your hair without washing with talc-free dry shampoo
- The intoxicating aroma of lavender perfectly partnered with an invigorating clary sage
- Economical 4-ounce bottle with 500 applications / can also be used as a body powder
Lulu Organics – This is a classic powdered dry shampoo that has been recommended for years and years. I like that the formula is clean and the packaging can be easily recycled or composted once the product is used up.