DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes with Essential Oils That Actually Work

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Since working from home (almost 10 years now), I usually wash my hair just 2-3 times per week. I hated using dry shampoos (ugh, the chemicals) until I found a DIY dry shampoo recipe that was easy to make, smelled great and worked even better!

When you wash your hair more frequently than that (I used to be a daily hair washer), the scalp gets dry and produces oil, making your hair oilier. It’s actually better for your hair to wash it less frequently.

With these simple DIY dry shampoo recipes, you can go longer between hair washes.

brunette brushing hair; diy dry shampoo recipes

So, What is Dry Shampoo?

Basically, it’s a powder or spray that works by absorbing excess oils on your scalp and hair, leaving your hair looking freshly washed. It’s good for all hair types – oily, normal, and even dry when used sparingly. I use it as an alternative to traditional shampoo when I’m camping, traveling, busy or just lazy 🙂

Why Make My Own Dry Shampoo Instead of Buying It?

I make my own because it’s easy to make, inexpensive and all-natural. Many dry shampoo products contain ingredients such as talc, parabens, phthalates, isobutane, which have been linked to cancer and hormone disruption. (See more on this below)

What’s the Difference between the DIY Dry Shampoo Powder and the DIY Dry Shampoo Spray?

Well, other than the fact that one is a powder and one is a spray, there’s not much difference. It really comes down to preference.

Both have healthy nutrients for your hair, both smell great and absorb oil, while adding volume.

I’m sharing a few DIY dry shampoo recipes with you. First both DIY dry shampoo powder and DIY dry shampoo spray, so you can use what you most prefer.  For the DIY dry shampoo powders, I’m sharing a few recipes depending on your hair color. 

All are easy to make with ingredients you already have in your pantry or can grab from Amazon or the local Walmart.

woman holding bottle of essential oils; DIY dry shampoo spray recipes

How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo Powder

This is the best DIY dry shampoo powder recipe that I’ve found that actually works and is easy to make.  It’s great to give your hair a boost on days you aren’t washing your hair. The dry ingredients, the arrowroot powder and the bentonite clay, absorb excess oil in your hair and can help give your hair more volume.

beautiful straight blonde hair; DIY dry shampoo

DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe

Easy DIY dry shampoo recipe with essential oils for beautiful, healthy hair using the benefits of essential oils.


  • • 4 tbsp. arrowroot powder (If you have dark brown or black hair, use 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder and 2 tbsp. cocoa powder – smells yummy, too!)
  • • 1 tbsp. bentonite clay
  • • 4 drops lavender essential oil
  • • 2 drops rosemary essential oil
  • • 3 oz. shaker bottle


    Add all ingredients together and pour into a shaker bottle, like this one (yes, it’s a cheese shaker, but
    hey, what works, works!) Cover and shake well to mix.

    Add all ingredients together and pour into a shaker bottle, like this one (yes, it’s a cheese shaker, but hey, what works, works!) Cover and shake well to mix.

    To apply, I like to use a fat round makeup brush. I just load the makeup brush with some of the powder, then tap it back in the container to remove any excess powder. Next, I brush it on my roots, starting around the forehead hairline and through the roots. Be sure to get the area where you part your hair covered well.

    A little bit of the powder goes a long way. You can add more, as needed, but it’s not that easy to brush out of you have added too much powder.

    Once you’ve applied the DIY dry shampoo powder, let it sit for 2-3 minutes. This gives the DIY dry shampoo time to absorb the oil from your roots and scalp and let the nutrients in the essential oils absorb into your scalp.

    Finally, brush your hair as you normally would.  This will distribute the powder evenly throughout your hair.  Once done, you won’t be able to see it!

    How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo Spray

    If you prefer a dry shampoo spray, you’ll love this recipe.

    This is the one that I use more often than the DIY dry shampoo powder as it is easier to just spray and go than to mess with powder, in my opinion. (It is similar to the mermaid spray found in this post on Rosemary essential oil)

    This is a great one to throw in your purse or gym bag. It works great to give your hair a boost and refresh after a workout or run or anytime your hair starts to feel a bit greasy. The witch hazel or vodka helps to deodorize hair and add some more volume to the roots

    beautiful brunette straight hair; DIY dry shampoo spray recipe

    DIY Dry Shampoo Spray Recipe

    For those that prefer the convenience of a DIY dry shampoo spray, this recipe is perfect.


    • 1. 2 tbsp. arrowroot powder (for dark hair, use 1 tbsp. arrowroot powder and 1 tbsp. cocoa powder)
    • 2. 2 tbsp. witch hazel or vodka.
    • 3. 1/2 cup water.
    • 4. 4 drops lavender essential oil.
    • 5. 2 drops rosemary essential oil. (I like to add a couple of drops of Cedarwood essential oil, too)
    • 6. 8 oz. glass spray bottle.


    1. Combine all in glass bottle
    2. Gently shake to combine ingredients
    3. Spray on hair
    4. Wait 2-3 minutes then brush or style as you usually would

    I wouldn’t use DIY dry shampoo more than two times before washing your hair as it tends to build up.

    Some Bonus DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes for Different Hair Colors:

    To truly customize your DIY dry shampoo for your hair color, adjust the above powder recipes using the following guide.  You may need to try one, adjust, and then try again to best match your hair color.

    • Grey/silver hair: Mix with bentonite clay
    • Light blonde hair: use only arrowroot  powder
    • Strawberry blonde hair: mix with cinnamon powder
    • Medium brown hair: mix with cocoa powder
    • Dark brown hair: mix with cocoa powder and activated charcoal
    • Auburn hair: mix with cocoa powder, cinnamon and activated charcoal
    • Red hair: mix with cinnamon powder
    • Black hair: mix with activated charcoal

    Bonus DIY Dry Shampoo Recipes

    The below recipes are great if you don’t have the above ingredient on hand, yet or just want to try something different.

    woman adding DIY dry shampoo to hair

    1. Salty & Corny

    • 8 tablespoons Cornmeal
    • 1 tablespoon of salt 
    • Add coloring powder based on list above

    Blend the cornmeal until it reaches a fine, powder-like consistency. Add the 1 tablespoon salt and mix well. Add essential oils as desired.

    2. Oats & Soda

    • 2 tablespoons oatmeal
    • 2 tablespoon of baking soda
    • Add coloring powder based on list above

    Combine the oatmeal and baking soda until it reaches a fine consistency. Add essential oils. Massage this onto your oily roots and brush off any excess from root to tip.

    3. Corny & Nutty

    • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
    • 1 tablespoon orris root
    • 1 tablespoon finely ground almonds

    Mix the cornmeal, orris root and finely ground almonds very well. Add essential oils. Be sure to brush your hair well before applying this DIY dry shampoo recipe to your hair to ensure the mixture doesn’t clump or bunch up on your hair. Apply the all-natural dry shampoo and brush off any excess.

    When to Use DIY Dry Shampoo

    One tip is to use the DIY dry shampoo powder or spray at night before bed.  It settles into the hair while you sleep and as you roll over or get in those crazy sleep positions, the powder and spray will distribute throughout the hair more evenly.

    Hair care. Two wooden combs, a bottle of shampoo and ears of herbs on a green background.; DIY dry shampoo recipes

    Essential Oils to Add to DIY Dry Shampoos for Hair Health

    • To promote hair growth

    4 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 drops Cedarwood essential oil, 2 drops Rosemary essential oil

    • To boost hair strength

    4 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 drops Ylang Ylang essential oil

    • To help with oily hair

    4 drops Lavender essential oil, 2 drops Tea Tree essential oil

    FAQs About DIY Dry Shampoos

    Can I use baking soda as a dry shampoo?

    Some beauty store or store-bought formulas, use baking soda in their formulas. It works well for some people but can cause scalp irritation for others. Because there are so many other ingredients that work just as well, I haven’t experimented with using it in my recipes and therefore can’t offer any guidance on how much to use in a batch.

    Can I use baby powder as a dry shampoo?

    Yes, but I’d use a talc-free one, like this organic baby powder because of the dangers of talc.

    Johnson & Johnson is fighting more than over 15,000 lawsuits which purport that the talc in their products was contaminated with asbestos. Many plaintiffs later developed cancer which may have been linked to the exposure to the talc.

    While Johnson & Johnson claims the product is safe they recently recalled some of their baby powder products due to “trace” asbestos contamination.

    Additionally, the other main ingredient in some popular baby powders is “fragrance,” which can include a variety of endocrine disruptors.

    Did you try this DIY Dry Shampoo? I’d love to know your experience with it!

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