We found the perfect, nearly free alternative to dry shampoo

A good dry shampoo is hard to find. No, seriously. I’ve experimented with dozens of brands –everything from Dove to Lush, and I still haven’t found the *perfect* product that tricks people into thinking I washed my hair.

I also read about how a lot of dry shampoos dull your hair. The aluminum, isobutane, and propane (ingredients used by many brands) apparently aren’t great for your scalp, or your hair follicles.

Plus? Dry shampoo, if you use it on a daily basis, can be pricey.

So, I decided to try out a more natural, cost-effective way to keep my dirty hair at bay: cocoa powder and corn starch DIY dry shampoo.


Using Wellness Mama’s recipe, I mixed 1/4 cup corn starch ($1.22) and 2 tablespoons Hershey’s cocoa powder ($3.28). The blog recommends using old makeup brushes to blend the powder in (I didn’t have any, so I asked one of my co-workers if I could borrow one).


Making the dry shampoo is super straight-forward and takes like, one minute. Best of all, making a month’s worth costs you almost nothing. Happy wallet AND happy hair? YES PLEASE.

Here’s how it went.

One day after not washing my hair:


At first, it was hard to mix the powder in, since I didn’t have a brush and had to use my fingers. And the powder was still pretty light for my hair (especially since my roots are dark brown). Still, my hair looked freshly washed. Usually by one day without shampooing, my hair already feels oily, but it seriously felt like I had just blow-dried my hair post-shampoo.

Pro-tip: If your pillowcases are white or light colored, swap ’em for darker pillowcases to avoid cocoa powder stains.

Second day:


It was a muggy day, so my hair was extra frizzy and the cocoa powder + corn starch dry shampoo didn’t exactly help with that (hence my did-I-just-get-electrecuted look) —but it did curb my hair’s greasiness.

I was afraid to apply too much powder into the back of my head in case I wouldn’t be able to tell if I rubbed it in all the way, but my hair was feeling pretty greasy at this point, so I HAD to. But my co-workers said my hair looked totally blended in (yay) and that it had more volume (also, yay).

After applying the DIY dry shampoo, my hair definitely felt dry, not greasy. But it also felt a little brittle, too —especially my split ends.

Third day:


So, my hair started to get pretty oily by this point (I usually wash my hair every other day and it’s just naturally greasy) and it got a little more difficult to blend the powder in (especially the back of my head).

Also, this took me by surprise: When I scratched my head, I got chocolate dust under my nails and my hands smelled like chocolate.

Everyone at work said my hair looked “totally clean,” and “silky.”

Fourth day:


I worked from home this day, so I had no one to assess the hair sitch. Before my husband left for work, he said it looked “fine,” which is what he always says, so that wasn’t super helpful. Judging by my reflection though, my hair looked clean-ish, and I most likely could have gotten away with not shampooing it for another day or two.

But the more powder I kept rubbing in, the more chocolate-y my hands were getting, and I just really, really wanted to shampoo my hair.



-The DIY dry shampoo was super easy to make, and takes almost no time. -It’s basically free. -It smells like subtle chocolate milkshake -It will make your hair look clean for 4+ days -It’s totally natural and has no sneaky ingredients, you know what’s going into your hair -Your hair will look fuller and healthy and shiny


-Without a makeup brush, it’s a little tricky to blend it in -You shouldn’t wear anything you don’t want stained when you’re applying the powder (it’s messy —your bathroom counters will be covered in chocolate powder) -The texture of your hair might feel little dry (this could just be my hair, though) -The whole chocolate-y hands thing, although this isn’t a *problem* per se, just a little different from my daily beauty routine. -It’s a bit inconvenient to travel with.

And overall, I really loved this alternative to dry-shampoo, and the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I think this powder would work well with all types of hair, especially since the cocoa powder is subtle and you can alter the ratio a bit if you need. I’ll definitely be adding this to my hair regimen.