How to Make Dry Shampoo with Baking Soda and Corn Starch

There's no reason to buy pricey dry shampoo when you can DIY your own

Dry Shampoo. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Dry shampoo has become a popular time-saver, but it can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you use it frequently as your go-to alternative to regular shampoo. Also, store-bought dry shampoo often contains chemical ingredients that many people prefer not to use on their hair.

Fortunately, it's simple to make your own dry shampoo at home, with very few ingredients. Here's a basic recipe that works well — and which you can tweak to suit your own personal needs.

DIY Dry Shampoo with Baking Soda and Corn Starch

This basic recipe literally takes about five minutes to make, once you have the ingredients on hand.

You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup of baking soda
  • 1/2 cup of corn starch
  • mixing bowl
  • closed container for storage

That's it. Mix the baking soda and the corn starch together in the mixing bowl, and place it in the closed storage container for safekeeping.

To use your dry shampoo, apply a small amount at the roots, using your fingers, and work it through your hair with your fingers and/or your hairbrush. Alternatively, you can use a makeup brush to apply the shampoo.

The baking soda and corn starch will absorb the oils on your scalp, making your hair look like it's just been washed. Use your brush to remove any excess dry shampoo.

If you use dry shampoo on a regular basis, get a salt shaker for it and keep it in the bathroom. This will help you distribute the shampoo through your hair more easily, too.

Tweaking the Basic Dry Shampoo Recipe

If you don't happen to have corn starch in your pantry, you can substitute fine-ground oatmeal in this recipe. Just don't use baking soda straight up on your head, as it's too strong and could irritate your scalp and damage your hair. You also can use bentonite clay to mix with the baking soda, if you have it (health food stores sell it).

What if you prefer a scented dry shampoo? That's simple: stir in a few drops of essential oil to the basic recipe. Add the drops one at a time to avoid over-scenting your shampoo. Lavender oil is a favorite for this, and some people also like rosemary, peppermint, lemon, or your own favorite blend — the scent is up to you. Just be sure to carefully label the container you're using to store your shampoo, so that no one uses it for cooking accidentally.

If you have dark hair, you may notice that dry shampoo leaves an unsightly white "ring" around your roots. Don't despair: this problem is easy to fix by adding natural coloring agents to the shampoo recipe.

Try cocoa for brown hair, and red clay for red hair. Cinnamon can work well if your hair is reddish brown, or if you have lots of red highlights. Experiment to see what looks the best with your hair and skin coloring.