A Quick Fix: How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo

We invited DIY beauty expert Shana of Fox & Doll back to share another one of her original recipes. Last time, she showed us how to make an au naturel lip exfoliator, but this time it’s all about hair and achieving a refreshed look in a cinch!

“Simply mix together the ingredients listed in the graphic above, stirring rigorously for about 3-4 minutes. Then, shake directly onto roots, or place in hands and rub into the root area. Brush to blend, distributing it evenly before styling as usual.”

“You’ll have great-smelling hair and fabulous volume! It’s a great foundation for some of those amazing vintage, teased styles you’ve been coveting.

Shana’s Tips:

  • Use organic ingredients if you can.
  • Add in 2 tablespoons cocoa powder for dark hair.
  • Feel free to substitute in any kind of essential oil you’d like for scent.
  • Crush in any lumps the oil may have created with a pestle or back of a spoon.
  • Vintage glass shakers or squeeze bottles work perfect for storing.

Thanks, Shana!

Click here for more ModCloth beauty tutorials!

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  1. Avatar
    Sarah 06/22/2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Such a cool recipe! And I love the addition for dark hair! Any suggestions for red heads? 😉


    • Avatar
      Shana (Fox & Doll) 06/23/2012 at 1:12 am #

      Glad you like Sarah! I would try adding Red French Clay and / or Red Hibiscus Flowers. Actually I am going to try this because I an in the process of going red! Let me know how it works for you. -shana

      • Avatar
        Lexsy 05/14/2015 at 9:14 am #

        How do you make your hair blonder

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      Julia 06/23/2012 at 2:42 pm #


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      Danielle 06/24/2012 at 11:58 am #


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      Melissa 06/25/2012 at 11:08 am #

      Don’t use cinnamon, it will bleach your hair!

    • Avatar
      Death Ann 08/07/2019 at 9:17 pm #

      Cinnamon 😉

  2. Avatar
    Laura @ The Joyful Fox 06/22/2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Ahh, brilliant idea! I’ve used baby powder before in a pinch, but it smells so…baby powder-ish, haha. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    • Avatar
      Shana (Fox & Doll) 06/23/2012 at 1:18 am #

      Laura- Your name has ‘Fox’ in it too! Sadly most baby powders still have talc in them which equals bad. And when you get into adding the essential oils is when the mixing gets fun. Lavender and Lemon and two of my favorites! -shana

  3. Avatar
    Sabina 06/23/2012 at 10:52 am #

    Ooh it sounds like it would smell lovely. I don’t normally use dry shampoo since it tends to be more for people with oily hair (mine is curly and thus bone dry) but now that Shana mentions that it could be a good primer for vintage updo’s… hmmm…

    • Avatar
      Shana (Fox & Doll) 06/23/2012 at 11:55 am #

      Sabina- My hair is very dry, and I only wash it about twice a week (every 3-4 days). Dry shampoo really does help with volume and teasing on dry or oily hair. It is magic! I’ll post a link here of a tutorial on the 60’s Mini Bouffant I love doing with the assistance of my dry shampoo. -shana

  4. Avatar
    Shana (Fox & Doll) 06/23/2012 at 12:00 pm #

    Here is a tutorial using the DIY Dry Shampoo to get that extra volume needed for vintage styles, showing the ’60’s Mini Bouffant with ModCloth model Ashley of Fancy Fine.
    xo -shana

  5. Avatar
    YouLookAwesome 06/26/2012 at 3:56 am #

    How did people survive without dry shampoo?! I think it works really well on dry hair because you then don’t have to wash it so frequently and therefore keep the oil there making it glossier in the long run.

    • Avatar
      Shana Astrachan 06/26/2012 at 1:15 pm #

      I bet there is a long history to this stuff, and they were likely using similar ingredients as I have posted here. We don’t need all the expensive packaging and un-natural fillers. Yay!

  6. Avatar
    Alix 06/26/2012 at 7:38 am #

    I’ve been making a very similar recipe that I created using the ingredients list on the back of a fancier brand of dry shampoo. I have very dark hair, and when I tried it with cocoa powder, I felt like I smelled like chocolate all day (not totally a bad thing). However, I use it without cocoa powder now, and as long as I blowdry the area where I applied it, I’ve never had an issue with visible powder.

    • Avatar
      Shana Astrachan 06/26/2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Love it Alix! My hair is dark too and I use the light just fine, but I love the added coco scent. Be sure the Cocoa Powder doesn’t have any added stuff (sugar). I like to balance out the smell with added lavender or lemon oils, they pair nicely.

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    Elizabeth J. Y. 06/26/2012 at 2:13 pm #

    Thank you. This is great.

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    Lauren 06/27/2012 at 12:23 am #

    So excited to try this. Thank you!

  9. Avatar
    emma 06/29/2012 at 10:33 am #

    Isn’t this going to damage my dry hair, containing flour and powders that are dry themselves? I’d like to try it but I think it might be dangerous.

    • Avatar
      Shana Astrachan 07/04/2012 at 9:11 am #

      Not at all Emma. It just absorbs the natural oils. None of these ingredients penetrate the hair shaft. If we had alcohol in the mix or some of those other ingredients you commonly see that you can’t pronounce then that would be bad. Try it, you’ll see your hair will have more body!

  10. Avatar
    Coyote 07/04/2012 at 7:39 pm #

    Just curious where you would find essential oils and arrowroot powder. I’m psyched to try this. 🙂

    • Avatar
      foxanddoll 07/06/2012 at 8:42 am #

      Coyote- You are best trying to hit a natural grocery store to get both in one place, even Wholefoods should have both. Or if you have any specialty herb stores in your area that would be a great spot. Otherwise online at a place like this, http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/

      Let us know how it comes out!

    • Avatar
      Kathy page 11/17/2012 at 5:17 pm #

      You can get essential oils in many place. Not all are created equal. I use doterra essential oils only. http://Www.mydoterra.com/5bears. You can use most of these oils for your health also and take them internally.

  11. Avatar
    Urda Iulia Violeta 07/13/2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Hi ! I would like to make this shampoo, it’s a very good idea , but I live in Itali and I can’t find arrowroot powder .What can I use instead ?

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    Rachel 07/30/2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Would to recommend something other than cocoa powder for dark hair?

  13. Avatar
    LOng Hair LUver 08/20/2012 at 7:50 am #

    Very interesting idea. I had no idea you could do this. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Avatar
    Pam Weinstein 09/08/2012 at 9:07 am #

    This sounds great…however it’s a bit pricey for me. I use unscented talc-free baby powder. My hair is light, though.

  15. Avatar
    Amy 09/17/2012 at 10:36 am #

    This was easy and cheap to make (you can get the dry ingredients in bulk at a health food store for pennies, and the lemon oil was only a few bucks). However, I find that it makes my head itch if I use it more than once in a while, and it leaves my scalp looking gray at the part (I have light brown hair)… no matter how much I brush or blow-dry, I can’t get all the particles out.

    • Avatar
      Laura (ModCloth) 09/17/2012 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi, Amy!

      Shana mentioned that if you mix in some coca powder, the dry shampoo is less visible on darker hair. Did you try that? That’s good to know about frequent use, too.

      We’re glad you gave it a try!


    • Avatar
      Fernanda Viscardi 11/04/2012 at 10:13 am #

      I did it today and used a very dark roasted grinded coffee. then I sifted all the mixture through a fine mesh. smells heavenly with lemon oil!

  16. Avatar
    Linda H 09/23/2012 at 8:58 am #

    Allergic to corn. will try with just the arrowroot.

  17. Avatar
    Nikki 10/27/2012 at 9:33 pm #

    Thx so much for sharing this recipe. I was wondering if there is an alternative to rice flour…I want to try this soon, and don’t want to wait until my next trip to an organic market. Thx again!

  18. Avatar
    Andie 11/01/2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Awesome!! I am going on a mission trip to Kenya next summer, and this will be great!! Not sure of our housing arrangements, and my hair gets very yucky if not washed daily! Keeping this recipe for sure!!!

  19. Avatar
    Michelle W. 11/17/2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I’ve always liked the thought of dry shampoo, but my hair already have tons of volume, I don’t need anymore! lol

  20. Avatar
    Emilia 11/23/2012 at 11:04 am #

    HI! My hair is very oily and needs to be washed everyday to look clean…but I’d rather wash it every other day…does this mix work for oily hair? Is there something else I can do to keep my hair clean without more showers?

  21. Avatar
    Sophie 12/04/2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Can you use vanilla extract? I just LOVE the smell

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      Aimee 12/19/2012 at 6:19 pm #

      I think it would work to bury a whole vanilla bean in the powder and just let it seep in. Might be spendy though. I’m not sure how much vanilla beans are.. I’m sure it would smell heavenly though. 🙂

  22. Avatar
    tali 01/26/2013 at 6:06 am #

    Why does this recipe call for three different types of starch (which all are of the same texture and grain and do the same thing) instead of just one?

    [vanilla beans aren’t pricey at all; just 1/3 of a bean goes a long way. Also, just the scraped-out bean (the inside used in the kitchen) gives off arome for a long, long time!]

    [tonka beans are great, too. they give off a vanilla-almondish arome.]

  23. Avatar
    My Vintage 04/14/2013 at 12:19 pm #

    First read this post a few days ago and decided to give it a go and it works really, really well!

  24. Avatar
    Steph 05/26/2013 at 8:59 am #

    I have red hair and use dry shampoo often so that I don’t wash out my color. Problem is my hair looks powdery after I use it. Any suggestions for pigments to add to get rid of the white powdered look?

  25. Avatar
    Nada 06/11/2013 at 9:55 am #


    Does anyone know about what it is, that makes the arrowroot, rice flour worthwhile for this recipe?

    Have seen some DIY Dry Shampoos that worked just with the corn starch and essential oil and I just wonder what makes those additions interesting?

  26. Avatar
    Loretta 07/11/2013 at 2:01 pm #

    I have been using OSIS’ Dust It for several years in order to replace hairspray. I don’t mind the somewhat “dust” feel it leaves on my hair as I no longer breathe in the poisons of hairspray. I now have all the ingredients in the DIY Dry Shampoo recipe. Will make my first batch in just a few minutes. Can’t wait to try it out. By the way, for those using essential oils, CAUTION…BUYER BEWARE … not all oils are created equal!!! Don’t be afraid to research. You may want to check out Young Living (No, I’m not a distributor for YL, but I love their products). If you pay cheap, you are guaranteed to get cheap (e.g., essential oils mixed with other ingredients, even synthetics!).

  27. Avatar
    Jennifer Lynn 05/12/2014 at 9:10 pm #

    I love your recipe for the dry shampoo. It is the best I have seen so far, however, I am allergic to rice and cannot use any beauty product with rice powder or rice flour in them. What can I substitute the rice flour with? Thank you!

  28. Avatar
    Jocelyn 09/09/2014 at 6:01 pm #

    I have blue hair… I wonder if i could find a blue dry shampoo.

  29. Avatar
    hominychi 02/23/2015 at 11:49 am #

    Is the essential oil necessary

  30. Avatar
    xyz 07/02/2015 at 7:49 pm #


  31. Avatar
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