Let’s face it, most of my readers are mom’s and they are probably going to be able to relate to my confession. We don’t get to spend as much time on our hair, makeup, outfits, going to the bathroom, (wait, did I really just say that? I can’t be the only one who can’t seem to find a minute to actually run to the bathroom. Right?).

Whether it’s because of a new baby, sleepless nights from sick children, or crazy schedules that don’t seem to end, it can be a struggle to get a shower in every day or every other day.

And I’m here to tell you right now that it’s ok. 🙂 I have the solution for you and hopefully it works for you just as scrumptiously as it has for me.

Did you know that if we wash our hair everyday it can actually be bad for it? Constant washing can dry out your hair. Our hair naturally produces something called Sebum, which is a light yellow, oily liquid. Sebum is a natural moisturizer for our hair, however if we wash our hair daily we are not allowing our hair to take advantage of this natural moisturizer.

Some ladies are used to washing their hair daily because of the oil buildup that occurs. Nobody wants to walk around with oil dripping off their hair (an exaggeration but you get my point).

Enter Dry Shampoo.

I recently started reading about dry shampoo and it intrigued me. For those of you who don’t know what it is, dry shampoo is a powdered substance used to clean the hair of the oils. It does this by soaking up the oil and dirt on the scalp, leaving your hair looking dry again.

You can buy dry shampoo, but I found recipes to make some that were extremely fast and cheap. That works for me!

The following recipe is the one I used since I have brown hair. This would work in black hair as well.

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Darker Hair

2 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder – I used Ghirardelli Brand since I had it for baking. Talk about luxury on your hair!

2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch

5 Drops of Essential Oil (Optional) –  I used Lavender but I would love to try orange!

Directions: Mix the cocoa powder and arrowroot or cornstarch and essential oil (if you are using it) together and store in a small container. Apply it to the roots of your hair using your hands or a makeup brush. I tried both and found I preferred my hands over a powder brush. Use this wherever you feel or see oil on your hair. Remember the back half of your hair that you might not spot in the mirror!

dry shampoo

Dry Shampoo Recipe for Lighter Hair

1/4 Cup Arrowroot Powder or Cornstarch

5 Drops Essential Oil (Optional)

Directions: Mix the arrowroot or cornstarch and essential oil (if you are using it) together and store in a small container. Apply it to the roots of your hair using your hands or a makeup brush.

And now for the confession part of this post. I went *ducks head so I don’t see the shocked expressions* 5 days last week without washing my hair. Yes, I really did! The house we just moved into still has some repairs being done to it and we only have access to the bathtub, not the shower. It was an excellent time to try this dry shampoo out and I was thrilled how well it worked. It is incredibly easier to style my hair when it has not been washed that morning.

Dry Shampoo


I’m excited to have discovered this! Now when it’s been a day or two since I’ve had a shower, I’ll just put on some dry shampoo, style my hair with a flexi clip and call it good for the day! Oh, I will say that it’s winter time, so when summer rolls around that might change things a bit since I won’t want to go 4+ days feeling sweaty and hot without a shower. 😉

Give it a try and let me know what you think! I can’t wait to hear if it works for you! 


75 Comments on Dry Shampoo Recipe (And a Confession)

  1. This looks awesome! I have long, thick hair that takes FOREVER to dry so I try to limit how many times I wash my hair a week. I’ve tried Suave’s Dry Shampoo in the past and it worked well as far as removing the oils, but it left white residue even after brushing through it. Not a problem if you’re blond, but I have dark hair. I love that this offers a better (and more natural!) option for brunettes. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’ll have to try this! Although not natural, baby powder works great on the roots, too. That’s how I squeeze a third day between shampoos when necessary 🙂

  3. Thanks for posting! Might try this. I’ve seen commercial dry shampoos recently and wondered whether they work. Maybe I could stretch my two-day hair to three when needed. Not a busy mom as our kids are grown, but busy–sometimes with grandbabies–and hair is dryer than it used to be.

  4. I have extra oily hair. You can not only see the oil on my hair the next day after washing, but it has an odor to it and feels like my hubby used for a rage while changing the oil in the van. My eldest daughter has the same problem. On top of that, we have naturally curly hair. I am willing to give this a try, since I also color my hair red, and I know that the daily washing fades the color faster. Do you have an alternate to the cocoa since I have red hair?

  5. Another mom of many young kids here…I am with you on the confession. I completely understand! I recently went about that long without washing my hair as well. I have chin-length, coarse hair so I was okay to not use anything, but I will definitely have to remember this dry shampoo. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement! 🙂

  6. LOVE this! And no, you are not the only one who can’t find time to go to the bathroom – I have two kids, 6 and 2 and I have been known to wait hours and hours (bad for me, I know) because there just isn’t time! 🙂 And as for washing my hair…ha! Doesn’t happen much, which is why I love that you posted this! I didn’t want to use white arrowroot because it would show in my dark hair, but this looks great. And…did you know that this is also a great recipe for face powder? Of course, you have to adjust the cocoa if you have very light skin, like me. But I have heard it works really, really well!

  7. I wash my hair every other day, but since it is curly I have to wet it every day. My hair is actually easier to style when it is just washed, so I don’t think this would work too well for me. Different hair type. 😉

    As for skipping a bath or shower, I may be OCD, but I actually can’t sleep without taking a bath every night! ha I feel dirty otherwise.

  8. Been doing this trick since the 70’s, Honey! Only I put mine in an empty baby powder or spice container w/ little holes. Just shake some on my hands, rub them together, fluff it into my hair/scalp, & good to go!

  9. I have not used shampoo in a year. I have curly hair and use to use a ton of conditioner and washed every other day. I wash with baking soda water twice a week now. Just water the other days I shower. NO tangles… NO frizz. Shampoo stripped all the natural oils and caused tangles and frizz! Sometimes I miss the whole lather/rinse/repeat thing… but my hair is so much happier!

    • I’d love to know the ratio of baking soda to water! I have naturally curly hair and I cannot brush it once I dry it or it will be all frizzed. I can go a day without washing my hair well enough, but it has to be pulled up and I will also just rinse with water and style on other days but I still need to shampoo a few times a week.

  10. I’m glad you posted this! I have the exact same problem (ever since my 1 yr. old was born, no time to shower)and dark hair. I’ve tried using cornstarch as a dry shampoo but it shows up almost like gray in my hair. Cocoa powder would fix that.

  11. That’s great! Now if only there were something for blondes. Just arrowroot makes me look grey. And no your not the only one, I wash my hair about once a week, twice if we have something special going on. Honestly I think we as a society over bath. Makes for dry skin, and it’s ok to smell of human….not stank of it, but smell of it. It is how we produce feramones(sp?) So don’t be surprised if hubbies don’t mind or notice that its been 2-3days since your last bath.

    • he he … I have 3 babies in the house (oldest is 2.5) I am lucky if I can wash my waist length hair more than once a week. On days when I just have to have a shower, I will ask my husband to watch the kids after supper ‘so I don’t have to stink anymore’ he honestly has never noticed that I’m getting greasy, must be pheromones.

  12. Thanks! I had heard that baby powder worked but it left my hair staticky and I didn’t like smelling like a diaper. I am excited to try the cornstarch! Perfect timing too, the next few days I dont foresee getting a decent shower.

        • There is some truth to that -baby powder USED to contain talc which can cause lung irritation leading to chronic disease: corn,because its high rate of GMO can cause similar irritation and allergic response- this is rather rare and most powders now to not contain talc. If you keep it on your hair and dont take a dust bath like a hen, you should be just fine 😉

  13. Nice since you have nice strait unstyled hair. Unfortunately I have unruly, thin hair with cowlicks. If I dont totally soak each day and then dry, it sticks up in ridiculous fashions. If I were to let it grow out, it is too thin and will just hang in a “just been through a humidity storm” kind of way. boo.

  14. Ha, I don’t have any kids, and I still love the time I save by washing my hair with baking soda only twice a week. I used to be a wash-my-hair-every-day person, but the baking soda does wonders in keeping your natural oils in balance! I use cornstarch in between too if I need to, and just sponge bathe on the mornings I’m not showering.

  15. I know this is going to sound funny, but what do you do with the powder once you’ve put it on your scalp? Do you brush it out, leave it on, or shake it out? I’ve never tried dry shampoo before, but I’ve always wanted to, so I definitely will try this out this week (if I find the time!). Thanks! 🙂

  16. I’m a firm believer in not showering/bathing every day anyways (as someone who has eczema) and I much prefer my hair texture on the days I haven’t showered/shampooed. I’ve used just plain commercial dry shampoo before, but, being a brunette, the cocoa powder is an intriguing idea.

    In Christ,

    • April, I haven’t noticed any residue at all on my sheets or blankets. But I put this on in the morning, so by the time I lay down in bed it is well absorbed in my hair.

  17. This is awesome! Just what I needed. I have tried baby powder before but I have dark hair so it always kind of gave me a funny powdered-hair look. I can’t wait to try the cocoa powder! I think anyone with kids has been through this. I sometimes throw my hair up in a ponytail and think “hm, i wonder if anyone can tell it’s been 3 days since i washed my hair..” lol.

    • Thank you! I had fun using my curling iron that day. My husband couldn’t stop complimenting me so it was worth the 10 minute effort. 😉

  18. WOW! I am definitely trying this. I usually shampoo my hair twice a week. I have really long, thick, dark hair and prefer the look and feel of it the days I don’t wash it. Your picture, along with the simple ingredients, seems perfect!

  19. I’ve been using a cornstarch based dry shampoo for a long time. I only use it in emergency because it takes FOREVER to brush the white cast out but it’s still quicker than shampooing and styling. I’ll have to add some coca powder to my mix and see what happens! BTW I add rosemary oil because it’s great for oil control and shiny healthy hair.

  20. I don’t produce much oil on my scalp after thyroid cancer (and the thyroidectomy) so I have no problem not washing my hair for several days (it looks better as the days go on!). But one tip – get a shower cap to wrap up your hair in so you can hop in the shower w/o making your hair frizzy from the humidity. A friend of mine made one out of terry cloth (think Little House on the Prairie nightcap style) and it works great – I’ll even night wash and leave it on overnight to help dry my hair/less frizzies.

  21. I guess I’m lucky w/my hair then. I normally wash it 1 to 2 times a week and do not have issues with oil at all. I’ve gone longer but that was in college. I do shower daily, just wear a shower cap and enjoy an extra 10min in bed (after a long night dealing w/the littles) that 10min so worht it!

  22. I cannot wait to try this recipe for dry shampoo! It’s awesome, and like many other ladies talked about, it’s looking perfect for dark hair, unlike the store bought ones that show up white and never quite go away. Thanks for sharing! And your hair is beautiful after 5 days. If you hadn’t told us, we never could’ve guessed. Now I don’t feel so bad!

  23. Wow amazing. Don’t laugh but I want to find a dry recipe for my dog. Really hard to bathe in winter! But I sure would like to try this myself. Sometimes it is hard to find a good shampoo too. I really don’t like washing my hair everyday! This was very cool. Thanks for sharing.
    It was really nice meeting you today from the linky. I posted about Date Night. Come by and see me.
    Have a beautiful Thursday,

  24. Thank you for posting this! I have really oily hair and I usually have to wash it every other day if I want it to look nice. I don’t like washing it that often, because I don’t always have time, so I’m excited to try this dry shampoo!

  25. Tried this in my daughter’s hair – she is 14 and in the really oily hair stage. She has much straighter hair than I do – I have naturally curly hair, she has hair with great body, but straight, which means I can’t brush my hair after it is dried or disaster strikes, but she can brush it and it shimmers. Anyhow, this worked beautifully. The oiliness has been sucked up and it has body again rather than limp and oily looking.

  26. Awesome! I’ve read the labels on the dry shampoos at the store and couldn’t bring myself to buy it – too many chemicals! But this? This is can do! Thanks for posting!

  27. I tried this out minus the arrow root since I don’t have any, it worked great! My
    hair has much more body and is only very slightly oily. Great! One down side,
    it sort of smells like a brownie. 😉

  28. Do I see there are a ton of comments here, but I thought I’d add my 2cents. I’ve been using a homemade dry shampoo:
    20 grains or rice
    5 drops orange essential oil.

    I fill an old baby powder container one of the little 3 in. ones.
    The rice is to absorb and moisture that might get in the container so it doesn’t clump up. It absorbs the essential oil and I have refilled the cornstarch with out adding more EO… saving a few cents.

    I have very dark brown hair and also fairly oily. I’ve found that if I put the dry shampoo in before I go to bed it rubs out by morning. You will look gray headed when you go to bed but in the morning it will mostly if not all of it be out. If there is any left in the morning you can use a brush or blow-dryer to get it out.

    I’ve seen recipes with baking soda. BS doesn’t work. It sticks to your hair and won’t brush or blow-dry out. You have to wash it out.

  29. Also one key thing I’ve found for light DS on dark hair. You have to use the DS before you hair starts to get oily. Sometimes I’ll shower in the morning and use DS that night so that by the next night I don’t already have oil on my scalp. The powder comes out much better that way.

  30. I have recently switched from using shampoo to using baking soda! I love it and don’t have to wash my hair as often, and I normally have very oily hair with shampoo! I just put some baking soda in a cup then mix very little water with it to make a paste. Use it like shampoo (it doesn’t get sudsy) once in a month or so I will rinse with vinegar (with lavender oil) to condition a little. I can’t wait to use this dry shampoo too!!!

  31. I’ll definitely have to try this! I wonder if one could use carob powder. I have a bit of cocoa, but I buy carob by the 5-lb bag, so it’s always available. In any case, I could totally see doing this to save money. And time. I don’t like to go more than 48 hours without a shower, but if I only have to wash my body, I can be out in under two minutes. It’s a little over 5 if I wash my hair (because I must use conditioner). Since I started using salon-quality shampoo to try to make my hair healthier (and it is helping), I’ve wished I could use it less often. But unless I’m pregnant, whem my oil glands seem to almost dry up, I have to wash my hair every other day. Yeah, I’m definitely going to try this!

  32. Okay, so I tried it. I figured if it didn’t work, I could wash it out. And it is really pennies for that recipe. I used raw carob powder, and decided I’ll use cocoa next time, since the raw carob is lighter, but it’s not bad. It would be a great option for someone with lighter brown hair. My hair still has the manageability and frizzlessness of oily hair, but it doesn’t look greasy. This will definitely be good for my split ends!

    Also, to comment about the lady with curly hair, this is not something you would want to do, for sure. My husband and two of my children have curly hair, and they ADD grease, and it soaks in. Black people use grease. But many Caucasians get plenty of their own grease, so having a way to reduce it while keeping hair healthy is really great!

  33. Just wanted to update; I’ve been using this method for the last two weeks and have gone 5 days between hair washings since then. Not between showers, for sure–I just put my hair up–but I find it really makes my hair easier to deal with, and I find I can brush the oils down to the ends in the evening (remember hearing about how women would give their hair 100 strokes every night?), then powder them out in the morning. It’s really amazing, and yes, my hair just hangs better after it’s been de-greased instead of shampoo’d. Thanks so much for sharing this!

    • I have used bronzer before, so I imagine you could use blush just as well. Try to find a bright one that matches the color of your hair.

  34. I am wondering if this cocoa powder variation can be used on dogs? I know they Cabot ingest chocolate. .. But maybe just on the skin? And such a small amount would be OK?

  35. Thanks for this great idea! I read it when you first published it, then stored it in the back of my mind. My hair is short and easy to wash – so I didn’t need dry shampoo. But, my little girl has very long hair, and her hair does not get washed every day. This morning as we were getting ready for Church, I noticed that her hair looked stringy – but there was no time to wash it. I used your dry shampoo – and her hair has looked freshly washed all day. Thanks for the help! : )

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  37. Hair needed a washing soo badly today but a shower wasn’t practical lol and I really didn’t wanna waste my time taking one. I remembered reading this post a while back, and LOW AND BEHOLD I magically somehow had arrowroot powder (I cannot for the life of me remember why!!!) so I mixed up some of this today and used it! Thanks! 😀

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