Oct 5, 2010

How To Make Your Own Dry Shampoo With One Simple Ingredient!


How To Make Your Own Dry Shampoo!

Have you guys heard of something called “no poo”?  

It’s getting more and more popular these days as more people get frustrated with all of the chemicals that are in their everyday shampoo and conditioner.  And while there are many organic/natural shampoos and conditioners on the market, they are typically VERY expensive.

So, in comes the “no poo” concept.  The theory behind it is that our hair only gets greasy because we strip the natural oils from it everytime we shampoo our hair.  Our scalp then has to overcompensate, so it releases more oils than it should and our hair ends up looking super oily until we wash those excess oils out again.  

The proponents of “no poo” say that if we allow our scalp to readjust to not having shampoo and conditioner (which usually takes around 1-2 months) then our hair will look shiny, clean, and non-greasy all the time without the use of shampoos and conditioners.  They still use things (like baking soda, lemons, vinegar, etc…) to wash their hair, just not anything with chemicals.

I tried the “no poo” concept a few times several years back and could never get past the adjustment stage.  There would always be somewhere that I had to go to during that time where I just couldn’t get away with not having my hair shampooed.  I would cave in and end up back at square one.

So… I’ve decided to compromise.  I use shampoo and conditioner 1-2 times per week, and the rest of the time I just use baking soda as a dry shampoo to keep the oiliness in check.  It has worked out great so far and I am very pleased with the results.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Flip your head upside down over the tub (baking soda is great for your skin, so I like it in the tub much better than on the bathroom floor)

2. Pour about 1/8 of a cup of baking soda in your hand

3. Distribute the baking soda with your hands evenly through your hair starting close to your scalp (but not on your scalp)

4. Flip your head right side up and brush or comb your hair until it gets back to its normal color (and if you haven’t started to go gray yet, be prepared for the shock when you look in the mirror of seeing what you will likely look like in 10-20 years) 🙂

5. Style your hair like you usually do

Be careful not to get the baking soda actually on your scalp.  In my experience it’s next to impossible to get it off your scalp without just washing your hair out.


  • If you have darker hair, some people prefer to add a little bit of cocoa powder in with the baking soda. Just play around with the ratio of cocoa powder to baking soda until you find the right mix for you.
  • If you don’t have any baking soda on hand, cornstarch and baby powder are two other options.

So, what do you think?  Are you brave enough to try the “no poo” thing?  What about dry shampoo?  Is there anything else you use on your hair instead of regular shampoo and conditioner?


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  1. Back in the 80’s…. I always used baking soda in the shower to get the hair products out (especially out of my bangs, lol).
    I will use it occasionally now when someone (my teenage daughter) has taken my shampoo upstairs.
    I’ve never really had oily hair because I have never washed my hair everyday. I have really thick hair and (up until the last few years) really long hair that I could just not spend forever drying. If necessary, in the past I’ve used cornstarch or baby powder for a dry shampoo. I’ve noticed that the products that I’ve seen sold as dry shampoo’s smell horrible – could just be my opinion though!
    Thanks for the information and good luck to everyone.

    • @Katrina, I’ve heard from others that cornstarch works really well too. I tried the cornstarch but for some reason it didn’t work as well for me as the baking soda. I haven’t tried baby powder, but I did read a few “recipes” that recommending blending baby powder and baking soda. I might have to try that!

  2. I have used bentonite clay in my hair before. It was like you said, I got part of the way through the process and had to wash with a normal shampoo. But it was good for my hair, and I am using a natural shampoo from Jason’s now. Thanks for sharing this, I may give it a shot!

    • @Nichola Files, Oh that must’ve been a mess!! I’ve used bentonite clay for skin things before and it’s always a nightmare to get off. Did the shampoo take it right off? I wonder if it just needs something to bond to to come off easily.

  3. Oh, I was wondering. Couldn’t you add some essential oils to the baking soda for smell goodie? Just a thought…. =)

    • @Nichola Files, Yeah, I was thinking about that too. I still don’t know if I can get past the adjustment stage… maybe I’ll try it again the month after I have this baby since I won’t be going anywhere anyway! 🙂

    • Essential Oil User says:

      I just put baking soda in my hair last night to soak up extra oil and I added lavender essential oils and it smelled awesome! I would reccommend it if you are looking to freshen up the smell of the hair as well.

  4. As soon as Shane gets home, I’m going to try this.

    For reals.

    And, I love the word, “poo…” (giggle)

  5. Don’t use Arm & Hammer! Get some baking soda without the added aluminum, or you’ll be using ingredients on your skin/scalp that is just as bad for you as all the stuff they put in regular shampoo.

    • @Becca, Baking Soda is purely sodium bicarbonate.

      It’s the baking powder that we have to watch out for the aluminum in.

      • @Surviving The Stores,Baking powder consists of baking soda, one or more acid salts (cream of tartar and sodium aluminum sulfate) plus cornstarch so unless it specifies that it is aluminum free, it will contain aluminum. 🙂

        • @Becca, Yes, we only use aluminum-free baking powder as well (we get the Bob’s Red Mill brand that’s aluminum-free).

          But the baking soda in your hair (or in your body) is perfectly fine since it’s just the sodium bicarbonate.

          (The post is on using baking soda as a dry shampoo, not baking powder — although now I’m curious if baking powder would work too).

  6. Maria Campbell says:

    This is an interesting idea but I don’t think it’s for me. As I was reading your article, I was wondering if this idea took off, what would we do with all the free shampoo we get from couponing?

    • @Maria Campbell, LOL! It’s not for me right now either, but I love doing the dry shampoo to help the regular shampoo and conditioner last longer since I don’t have to use them as often. 🙂

      Free shampoo sure is hard to pass up!!

  7. everyone needs to try giving up sulfates and ‘cones.
    it’s drastic and a hard adjustment, but because of that I only wash my hair once a week.
    yes I said it, once a week.
    in order for it to truly work you have to give up both sulfates and ‘cones, not just one. they work together and it’s complicated.

    you can read all about on the http://www.naturallycurly.com site or you can email me and I’ll do my best to explain.

    • @emily, Emily, I only wash my hair once a week too! People often gasp when I tell them. Haha. My friend is a model, so her super long hair is very important to her career. She told me that she only washes hers 1x a week, b/c it dries out the ends, and makes your scalp oily. I was washing my hair 1x a day, up until that point. I was under the impression that if I didn’t my oily hair would just get worse. It was just the opposite. Now, it doesn’t even get oily until about day 6. There is a training process of course. Every other day, until it’s no longer too oily, then every 2 days, then 3, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I still shower daily, just not wash my hair. 🙂

  8. Oops! I was on autopilot there! But baking soda can also be contaminated with a chemical called benzene. We also use Bob’s Red Mill baking powder, as well as their baking soda, which is free of any questionable chemicals.

  9. Corn starch is a good alternative for dry shampoo. Just brush it through your hair.

  10. No-poo can work for everyone, but your success can be dependent on your hair type. No-poo is ideal for curly hair because it is most prone to getting dried out (sulfates in shampoo being the #1 culprit).

    There isn’t an end-all be-all rule for no-pooing… everyone is different and you have to find out what works best for you. Some people only use conditioner (CO wash), but how many times a week may differ among them. Some shampoo once a week and CO wash the rest of the week. Some people use vinegar as their conditioner. It just depends!

    I have curly hair and it was a dry, frizzy mess my entire life. I came across baking soda and vinegar rinses while looking for a natural dandruff cure one day. I was already going sulfate-free, so I decided to try the baking soda & vinegar. It gave me precious baby ringlet curls for the first time in my life!!

    I never had a greasy transition phase until I went to water only washes (which is just what it sounds like.. washing with nothing but water. I still rinse with vinegar on the ends of my hair, though). There was a good week or two when I was totally disgusted with my hair, but it eventually got better. It had to go back to baking soda recently (after 5 months of water only washes) because I developed seborrheic dermatitis and started losing hair!! Which was my fault for being lazy with my water washes.

    Ever since I quit using shampoo and conditioner, my hair has been so much stronger, shinier, and healthier. Not to mention longer!! I’d recommend using vinegar as a rinse if you’re thinking of doing the no-poo routine. It makes your hair shiny and it helps repair damage.. it’s kind of a miracle item of sorts. Also, jojoba oil on the ends (just a little bit.. be careful if you have thin hair!). It does an AMAZING job of healing and repairing your hair, and I even use it as a heat protectant!

    Happy pooing! Or no-pooing 🙂

    • I agree completely about the hair type. I have very coarse, thick, frizzy hair. It takes my hair a week after shampooing to stop frizzing. I don’t think no poo would work as well on fine or thin hair. I only wash my hair about once every 3 months. I do wash my scalp about once every week or two but I don’t every do just water shampooing ( I think it makes it worse). I think it is important to brush any excess oil down the length of your hair to keep it smooth. I have extremely long hair and I often get asked how I get it so long and this is how (and also not using any blow dryers or other heating devices). But I don’t use any type of hair product on my hair, so I never have to wash that gunk off. It does take a long time to get your hair oil regulated, so come up with a good up style or hats to get you through.

    • Long, thick, frizzy hair here too, and mostly water wash too. I don’t think I use anything else on it more than 3-4x/month.

  11. This doesn’t seem ideal for curly hair. I can’t imagine trying to brush anything through or out of my curls dry with out ending up with a poofy, frizzy mess! Curly hair should only be brushed/combed when wet.

  12. One thing you can try if you dont want to use those expensive shampoos , the natural Defne Plant (Laurus nobilis) Oil Soap (in a uggly Bar form but..) ; in the Mediterranean Countries , it is so populer and healty. It is hand made.Give a try , google it..

  13. No poo may absolutely work on your hair no questions about that, but what about those dirts that accumulate on our scalp deeply down? What are the possible remedy we can have in order to get rid of those dirt?

  14. I’m a no-poo-er, and I love it. I use baking soda dissolved in water to wash my hair and diluted apple cider vinegar to condition. I only have to wash twice a week now. It’s great!

  15. McKelle says:

    I have used baby powder in my hair, and I love it! I just pour a little near my roots and blend it in with my hands and it works wonders! I do have blonde hair though, so Im not sure for those with darker hair if it will blend in as easily.. but it does work for me!

  16. I just wash my hair onve every 4 to 6 weeks…if it gets greasy then i put it in an updo…when it gets unbearable i spritz in some dry shampoo…and when it starts getting greasy again i add more dry shampoo…when i wash it after 4 to 6 weeks my hair feels super soft because my hair is moisturised with its natural oils

  17. Hannah Abbot says:

    So you don’t wash it out afterwards? You leave it in?

  18. Baking soda is NOT good for your skin..it’s high ph makes battery acid closer to the ph of your skin than baking soda..it can cause dryness, redness, flakiness, even rosacea and broken capillaries…this is exacerbated by the sensitivity of the scalp. Skin ph is between 4.5 and 5.5..baking soda is not even close to that..and if you have sensitive skin, you will feel this right away! #research

  19. I have used dry shampoo for twenty plus years. I make my own with a mixture of cornstarch and baby powder. I sprinkle it in, brush it through and then blow any excess out with the hair dryer quickly. I have extremely oil skin and hair and this help me make it a couple of days on a washing. I have tried the no poo but couldn’t come any where close to making it through transition. The greasy look is just not good on me. 😉

  20. I did the no poo method for about 4 months then went to my hairdresser and she was amazed at how clean my hair was and told me she would use the vinegar anytime but that baking soda strips and fades color so i would need to color more often. So know i just use sulfate free shampoo and vinegar as my rinse, no conditioner.

  21. I am a cosmetology student. Hair and the science behind it is my life. I can tell you that this is horrible for your hair. One reason is that it says not to put it on your scalp. Dry shampoo IS for your scalp. When you wash your hair you are focusing on your scalp.

    Also, pH is a HUGE deal with hair. Hair thrives at a pH between 4.5-5.5. Yes. That is acidic. Baking soda is alkaline. You are wrecking your hair. For more on pH and baking soda in hair, please read this article.

    It won’t let me post from my phone so Google “eat local grown why baking soda destroyed my hair”.

  22. I dyed my hair from my natural brownish color to a platinum blonde. Without shampooing and conditioning as much as I used too my hair is still in the greasy phase (thank god for dry shampoo)

  23. Juliana P. says:

    I love this technique, but just an extra tip: whatever you do, don’t use cornstarch! Use arrowroot powder instead. Cornstarch is too nutritious/caloric, and if residues stick to your head it can give you fungus or dandruff…

  24. I am making my own shampooh (I love how it works). I use aloe vera juice, honey, coconut milk, gelatine, oat flour, and some dish soap (no sulfate). My hair has never been so healthy. It has taken me a bit to nail down the exact proportions for my hair though.

  25. I’ve been no-pooing for a couple years. It’s not a big deal at all. I realised that my lips and eyelids felt numb and swollen after each shampoo + conditioner session, whatever the brand, so I gave it a try: pure black soap once in a while, and a small amount of homemade ‘hair mayo’ (half coconut oil, half shea butter) as a leave-in conditioner. My (long, frizzy) hair is so soft and shiny I catch myself touching my head just for the pleasure of this silky texture.

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  1. […] To Avoid: Choose shampoos that don’t have sulfates in their ingredients! You can even make your own! I like the Whole Foods brand shampoo and conditioner but there are lots of others to choose from. You may also try “No Poo”! […]