Homemade DIY Dry Shampoo

Two different recipes for different hair types

Small jar of DIY dry shampoo with makeup brush for applying.
Christian Prepper Gal's DIY Dry Shampoo with makeup brush for applying.

Why do people use a dry shampoo? The biggest, most popular reason is the reason I use one. Oily hair. My hair is so rich in oils that I can wash it in the morning and by evening it is oily and sticking to my head. One thing I do love about my oily hair is that when it's clean it has a beautiful shine to it. Of course, it does when oily also, but it's a totally different shine, lol. Anyway, with the use of my homemade dry shampoo, my hair remains shiny and clean looking in between shampoos!

I've actually only used dry shampoo off and on for a few years. I'd tried a few different kinds and brands over the course of those years, but never found any I liked for my hair until a couple of years ago. The kind I've been using is an aerosol spray type. It works pretty good, but I haven't been completely satisfied with it. And just recently, it jumped in price by a dollar a can! It was already a little too expensive for my budget.

I've also been thinking about what I would do if there was a grid down situation. Within two days of no bath or shower my hair would be dripping with oil. Almost literally. I had thought about buying up a bunch of cans of dry shampoo and having several for my bug out bag as well as a whole bunch for my emergency stockpile. But, for me that wasn't really affordable. Then, I started thinking about making my own dry shampoo. Surely, it would be less expensive than buying it, right? But, I had no idea what it would take to make it. So, I Googled it. And, I'm about to tell you what I found and how easy it is to make!

In a true SHTF situation there's a pretty good chance most people will not be able to shower/bathe as often as we are used to. Even without being able to shower as often as we would like we would most likely be able to at least wash our bodies off a bit in between. But, what about our hair? Especially women. We may not always have enough water available to wash our hair. I know this may seem a bit too finicky to some of you, but it's not just about appearances, it's also about hygiene. It's also about feeling good about ourselves and not becoming depressed during a SHTF scenario.

I found a few different “recipes” for DIY dry shampoo online and came up with my own concoction (formula, recipe, whatever you want to call it, lol). You can add ingredients to your own liking. Some even add essential oils to give theirs a fragrance. I didn't think mine needed any added fragrance though, and you'll understand that when you see my recipe. (Think chocolate.)

First, I tried using baking soda as the main ingredient. I really, really liked the way it worked! It looked clean instantly!! My hair had a healthy, clean shine to it and looked really nice. But, I had a couple of issues with this recipe. First, I scratch my head a lot (no, I don't have lice, but I do have an itchy scalp, no dandruff either, lol). Anyway, when I would scratch my head I would end up with residue from the dry shampoo under my nails. I also read that the baking soda can offset the pH balance of your scalp and eventually cause problems with an itchy, dry scalp. So it would not be something that you would want to use every day. However, I found that one application was good for at least two or three days! It may have lasted even longer, but that was all I could go before having to wash it.

Just a quick side note here. The baking soda recipe reminded me of a dry shampoo I tried a couple of years back. It was almost the exact same texture. That dry shampoo had cost $10 for about a fourth of a cup. The ingredients for my DIY only costs a few cents. For pretty much the same amount.

Then, I moved on to try the next main ingredient I had found for a DIY dry shampoo: cornstarch. I thought this would be perfect. After all, cornstarch does soak up the grease when using it for cooking and making gravies, right? And, it is way softer than baking soda and not gritty at all. Well, first of all I found that it is much messier to apply than the baking soda recipe. I had dry shampoo all over the bathroom counter, sink, and on the shoulders of my t-shirt by the time I was done applying it. Secondly, my hair was not as shiny and clean looking using it. And, thirdly, my head felt like it had some kind of a thin non-breathable mask on it. And, my hair didn't feel clean. At all. And, for me, that kind of defeated the whole purpose of using a dry shampoo. One positive thing though was that when I scratched my head there wasn't very much residue build up underneath my fingernails.

I considered making my dry shampoo with a mixture of the baking soda and cornstarch, but decided that probably wouldn't work for me since the cornstarch would probably still react the same on my hair with the baking soda as it did alone. Okay, so I finally gave in and had to give it a try. I went ahead and mixed the two (baking soda and cornstarch) formulas together (since they were in two individual jars). The result I achieved was just what I thought it would be. My hair didn't look or feel as clean as when using just the baking soda formula.

Something that had really been a game changer for me when I first started researching how to make my own dry shampoo was when I discovered that you could use unsweetened cocoa powder to add a little color to the baking soda. That was an awesome discovery for me because some dry shampoos I had tried in the past that were white or light colored left my hair with a film of white on it; making it look like I had gray hair! Plus, my formula leaves my hair smelling like dark chocolate.

In Conclusion

Unsweetened cocoa powder and baking soda

If you don't have oily hair, using the cornstarch recipe may work for you. But, since I do have oily hair, I am going to be using the baking soda recipe for myself. I will not be using it on a daily basis, but perhaps a couple of times a week in-between regular shampoos. So, I don't think it will have the negative affects some have said it can (see above).

I would suggest trying both to see which one works best for you. After all, it would still cost less than buying a commercially made dry shampoo to make a couple of the DIY ones for trying out. I'm thinking that the baking soda formula would work best for oily hair and the constarch formula would work best for dry hair. But, since I don't have dry hair and can't test it on dry hair, it is only a guess for now. If you have dry hair and try the cornstartch formula please let me know how it worked for you in the comments below. Thank you!

Now, without further ado, here's the recipe.


Baking soda formula

(Note: for cornstarch formula, simply use cornstarch in place of baking soda in recipe.)

4 Tablespoons baking soda or cornstarch

1-1/2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. (Use more or less, depending on shade of your hair. I used this amount for my medium brown hair. If you add too much cocoa, simply add more baking soda or cornstarch to lighten the powder up. It's basically, a no fail formula!)


1. Put ingredients into container with a lid (small half-pint canning/jelly jars work well).

2. Shake well.

To use:

Use a makeup brush (try different types and sizes to determine which works best for you) to dab powder onto hair closest to your scalp. Using your fingers, gently massage the powder into your scalp and then use hair brush to distribute the powder throughout your hair.

That's it! It's really quite simple and should be a nice addition to your preps. I know I will make up a few batches to put away in my storage area.

If you try my DIY Dry Shampoo recipe, please leave me a comment below and let me know how it worked for you. Good or bad, I would like to know how it worked for you.

Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!