DIY Dry Shampoo For Dark Or Light Hair

Update: This post originally ran on September 6th 2012 but we can’t get enough of this awesome homemade remedy so we wanted to share it again!

I don’t know about you but when I discovered dry shampoo it was like a whole new world… just a quick spray and your hair looks clean and fresh. It’s a live saver if you’re short on time or traveling, but as we all know it can be pretty pricey! Fortunately you can get the same results by using household items to make your own dry shampoo – for dark or light hair. It works like a charm and I know I’ll be taking it everywhere I go!

What you need:

For light hair – corn starch, baking soda, essential oil (optional)

For dark hair – cocoa powder, corn starch, essential oil (optional)

For Light Hair: Combine a ½ cup of corn starch with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. You could use just corn starch on its own but if you’re worried about the scent, the baking soda absorbs it and makes this concoction scent-free. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to give it an aroma of your choice – I used peppermint oil and I love how fresh and clean it smells!

diy dry shampoo

diy dry shampoo

For Dark Hair: If you have darker hair, and are concerned about using a white powder in your hair, you can make dry shampoo for dark hair by combining ½ cup of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of corn starch! Again, you can add a few drops of essential oil or you can leave it as is – it has a lovely chocolaty scent :)

diy dry shampoo

diy dry shampoo

Re-use old spice containers as your dry shampoo shakers! To use the dry shampoo, sprinkle a small amount on your hair at the scalp area. Let the powder absorb the dirt and oils from your hair for a couple minutes and then comb it out – your hair will feel as good as new!

Photos by Julia.

More beauty tips from the BLDG 25 Blog.


  1. Cool tip… have you tried cinnamon for redheads rather than cocoa powder? I think the cocoa would probably muddy my (totally not natural) ginger hair, but I’d be curious if cinnamon would work the same way.

  2. Great idea!
    But, with cocoa powder you mean like the cocoa powder we use to make chocolate milk or desserts?

  3. Cassie.. cinnamon can burn the skin and is dangerous if left on for too long! be careful, maybe test it out first or try a different powder??

  4. Natural powedered clay works great – i have black hair and use beige clay but you cant see it. It only cost about $12 for 300g and ive barely used a third of the tub. Ive had it for about 9 months. It barely smells so i guess you could add scent to it.

  5. Baby powder has mineral powder in it and will clog your hair follicle causing instant breakage. It is not really a good alternative.

  6. Can you use a home fragrance oil? Or is it different from an essential oil? I was planning to use the body shop’s strawberry scented home fragrance oil and add it to the mix.

  7. I have blue hair… I figured that the light powder would fade my colour. Really love the blog and the DIY stuff on here, this is my favourite blog! This is great, thank you for posting it!

  8. Muri – yes that kind of cocoa powder… Slightly obvious.

    I’ve been using baby powder for the last few months. It’s pretty good except it gives me white roots haha. Glad I’ve come across this to try the cocoa version. Thanks :)

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  10. Tried it… Worked okay to remove excess oil but I noticed that my scalp was brown from the cocoa powder lol… So I guess be careful to apply it only on the hair and not dump it like I did ahah!!

  11. I do this all the time with just cocoa powder! My boyfriend always asks me if I have any chocolate. I don’t think he realizes it’s in my hair. lol

    But just so you know, the research I’ve done claims that peppermint can actually impede hair growth. I’m not sure how by how much but personally I don’t mess with the stuff on my scalp.

  12. it says “For dark hair – cocoa powder, corn starch, essential oil (optional)”

    is it alright to use the combination from the light hair dry shampoo? instead of corn starch, change it to baking soda?

    i plan to use a few drops of coconut oil as my essesntial oil.

  13. Oh joy! Thrilled about this, as I’ve loved the pricey dry shampoos I’ve tried, but the cheap ones (sadly, what my budget runs to these days) tends to be itchy on my scalp. I really need a dry shampoo option, as I’ve got a pain condition that makes daily hair washing painful… so I try to stick to every few days. Don’t like the yucky dirty scalp feeling, though, so hoping this is the solution!

    Question… wondering if you have any DIY suggestions for a rinse free body bath? Something like the ‘No Rinse’ product? That would truly be a lifesaver. ;)

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  15. I use cocoa powder, but I apply it with an old blush brush for better control of where it goes. It helps keep it off of my scalp to avoid coloring and gives better coverage.

  16. I’ve used the dark hair recipe. The only draw back is that if you run your fingers through your hair or scratch your head, it leaves dark brown under your finger nails. I found it embarrassing.

  17. Just made some for light hair and I’m going to try it out. I’ve never used dry shampoo before and was going to buy some but I didn’t like all the chemicals in it so I’m very excited to try this one out!

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