The 21st Century Herbalist

Dry Shampoo: Yea? Or Nay?

Did you know that you probably shouldn’t be shampooing your hair everyday?  It’s true.  Just like you shouldn’t wash your skin too often, you shouldn’t wash your hair too often because it can damage it.  This is especially true for those with thick or curly hair.  The oils that naturally moisturize your hair take longer to travel to the ends of curly hair, so you can end up with dry ends and oily roots.  What’s a gal to do?  This is where dry shampoo comes in.

Keep in mind that if you have a dry scalp and can go 2-3 days without your hair getting greasy, then you’re lucky enough not to need this stuff!  Lucky, lucky!  For the rest of us, we need to use dry shampoo.  For those of you who don’t what dry shampoo is, it is a fine powder sold loose or in a spray (usually mixed with alcohol).  It comes in scented and unscented varieties.  On days when you want to skip the shampooing, you just apply the dry shampoo to your roots and it will take away the shine from the excess oil so you don’t look, or feel, like a grease ball all day.  This allows the oil to stay on the hair and do its job.

Dry shampoo is also great for maintaining your hairstyle for more than one day.  If you’ve gone to all the trouble to blowout and flat iron your hair, then you’re going to want it to last for more than one day…that’s a lot of damage!

You can buy dry shampoo at most stores or you can use the quick and easy version below.  There are varieties of dry shampoo that are specially colored for darker or lighter hair.  I’ve often found that with my dark hair, I can use any dry shampoo and even though it clashes with my hair color when first applied, once I brush and style my hair, it blends right in.

To use dry shampoo, apply it directly to the your roots and pat it in a bit.  You can wait until you start to see shiny roots, or you can apply it before you start to see the sheen.  Right after you blowout and straighten your hair, apply the dry shampoo.  As the oil starts to emerge from your scalp, the powder will absorb it before you ever notice that greasy feel!

Cheap and Easy Dry Shampoo RecipeMix as much, or as little, as you’d like!

  • 1 part baking soda
  • 1 part cornstarch
  • 1 part corn meal

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and then put it into a large saltshaker, the kind that you find in restaurants.  Store any extra in a mason jar or other airtight container.

Have you used dry shampoo before?  What do you think, is it a yea or a nay?  Be sure to check back next week for more from DIY Hair Care Month!

image via: kalliemarie

  • Mariamor Pazos

    I love dry shampoo! Sometimes I need to double up though cause my hair is really oily the day after I wash my hair.

    Another trick is to use powdered makeup!

    Or when I’m really lazy I just use foot/baby powder.

  • Meghan McCombs

    I’ve only used Lush’s no drought dry shampoo, but it’s been a success with my dark hair and drk skin.,en_US,pd.html

    • Aimée Faloppa

      Yes! No Drought is the best one I’ve found too! Most leave my very dark hair powdery looking, plus it smells like 7Up!

  • Kristen Haynie

    I REALLY need to check this stuff out! I recently had my blond hair dyed dark red/brown, and my stylist told me that I can’t wash my hair every day anymore or the color will fade too quickly. However, my hair gets terribly oily if I go more than 24 hours without washing it, and I end up looking like I haven’t showered in a week. It’s gross. It sounds like this stuff would help with that!

    With the baking soda/cornmeal/cornstarch formula, does it just blend right in (disappear into your hair)? I’m just picturing a scenario where I run my fingers through my hair and come out with a handful of an oily/grainy substance that resembles cornbread batter!

  • Lisa Knox

    the absolute best hair product I have ever bought is The All Nighter Styling Powder (It’s dry shampoo). It comes in several colors to “blend” with your hair, and doesn’t look chalky like some do. a little goes a very long way, – it seems a but expensive at first, but the tiniest bit makes a HUGE difference. Here’s a link, if anyone’s interested.

  • Mariealaena Margret

    Suave makes an affordable dry shampoo that smells like citrus. I enjoy it but I find that I need to wear my hair up when I use dry shampoo. I have very fine, very dark, very oily hair (when not washed of course). When I apply the dry shampoo to my roots it creates a texture that does not match the rest of my very fine hair. I’m afraid it would silly if I kept it down. Of course wearing it up in this heatwave is not much of an issue!

  • Jaime Tollefson

    Cornmeal? Really? Isn’t that a bit gritty?

  • Christine Ordway

    i know washing my hair everyday is bad for it, but i too have really oily hair so i have to. I’ve tried dry shampoo before and its just not for me. it worked a little for my oily hair but all day my hair felt weighed down and i just felt nasty and dirty. i don’t know if it was the brand i used or not??? but i’m just not a fan of it.

  • Elizabeth Coronado

    I’ve tried a ton of brands, both cheap and expensive, and the best two that I have found so far for my dark brown hair have been Dove (only 5 dollars!) and Oscar Blandi (about 23 dollars). I totally hated the TreSemme foam dry shampoo and do not recommend it at all, the TreSemme Aerosol dry shampoo isn’t very good either. I tried the Bumble & Bumble brown dry shampoo and it is so messy, and it stains your hands, avoid the rain for sure. The next ones I want to try are the Big Sexy Hair Dry Shampoo, Umberto Umberto Dry Shampoo, and the TIGI Rockaholic Dirty Secret Dry Shampoo to see how they work out.
    Thank heavens for Dry Shampoo, it is a Godsend! My hair is so much healthier and I can sleep in a little more on the days I’m dry shampooing. :)

  • Allison Osburn

    So I tried this shampoo recipe and I’m totally into it, but I have two questions. First, the cornmeal did turn out to be a bit grainy and when I put my hands in my hair it got under my nails. Second, I go to the gym every day and get pretty sweaty and I’m wondering how to deal with sweat and oil, while still keeping my hair healthy because I swim a few days a week and I imagine that’s causing some damage to my hair.

    • Amber Cohn

      BABY POWDER :) Dry shampoo is areosolized baby powder.

  • Laura Jamieson

    I love the batiste dry shampoo for brunettes, it works really well on my fringe which gets greasy before the rest of my hair, and doesn’t show up like the normal white varieties :)

  • Charlotte Amelia

    I find it really difficult to work with with my dry skin, manages to give me dry skin on my scalp and the top of my head. nevermind!

  • Ali Garcia

    I have a dark, thick lioness mane and I often straighten my hair and especially during the summer months when the tempurature rises I like to spend less time with hot tools and more time outside..Dry shampoo is great for all these reasons. I say Yay Yay Yay! My favorite dry shampoo is …Rene Furterer Naturia and it is scented with essential oils for “true sensory pleasure..” ;]

    • Katy Wheeler

      Where do you buy it? I’ve been interested in trying it, but most of what I’m seeing online is overpriced for the size they’re selling.

      • Amber Cohn

        Hun, dry shampoo is just areosolized baby powder. Save your money and buy a bottle of that. :)

  • Reagan Wages

    Every dry shampoo I have used just makes my hair more oily, so I become a ponytail freak every other day… Thanks for this recipe! Hopefully it will work for me! :)

  • Amber Cohn

    I use baby powder instead of dry shampoo. I would never put baking soda in my hair.

  • Kelly Nicola Loewen Colwell

    Batiste dry shampoo is great! It comes in several scents in case you get sick of one, it’s in the affordable range ($8-12) and works really well! It’s a bit white when you first spray it on but it doesn’t last, and you hardly notice on lighter coloured hair.

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