7 Surprising Dry Shampoo Alternatives That Really Work!

We can all agree that washing your hair every day is not ideal for healthy locks. But there’s something magical about freshly-washed hair that fades on day two (especially day three!).

Dry shampoo is great, but it’s often packed with chemicals potent fragrances and can seriously clog pores when used too frequently. Plus, even the affordable hair care brands can get pretty pricey. 

So, how can you capture the magic of clean hair without the need for store-bought dry shampoo?

Below I have gathered some simple, safe, and affordable alternatives to keep your hair fresh!

Bonus: you likely already have most sitting in your kitchen cupboard!

1. Baby Powder

The most straightforward and affordable dry shampoo alternative is likely hanging out in your bathroom. What’s excellent about baby powder is that it is simple.

This solution absorbs moisture and buildup without clogging your pores and is free of harsh and unpronounceable chemicals.

Baby powder is super cheap and easy to come by. Sprinkle it onto your scalp, brush it through, and style as usual. 

2. Corn Starch

Source: almanac.com

As a kitchen staple, you likely have a box of corn starch hanging out in your kitchen cabinets. Unlike baby powder, cornstarch is free of fragrances while still zapping oil on your scalp.

It’s just as gentle as baby powder, and the delicate texture blends easily into your oily hair without leaving much residue. 

3. Baking Soda

It wouldn’t be a home remedy party if baking soda didn’t appear! This classic over-achiever is another excellent way to absorb excess moisture, but it may dry up your scalp a little too well in some cases, causing dandruff.

Baking soda is more abrasive than baby powder or corn starch. I would only recommend breaking out the baking soda if you’re really in a pinch or have a super oily scalp!

4. Cocoa Power

Fear not, brunettes! Sprinkling baby powder is excellent for blondes needing a root touch-up, but it can leave an ashy residue on dark hair color.

The solution? Cocoa powder.

When mixed into baby powder, it can help cut down on ashy hair. Cocoa powder is also packed with hair-loving protein and antioxidants that can help strengthen your hair.

You can use it alone or blend it with baby powder or corn starch for that fresh-out-of-the-shower feel. 

5. Arrowroot

Source: mashed.com

Arrowroot is primarily used in gluten-free baking, but it’s also a great way to absorb excess oil on your scalp. This powder is ideal as a dry shampoo alternative is its super-fine consistency that blends effortlessly into your hair.

Overall, arrowroot is better than other options (looking at you, baking soda). It’s packed with nutrients that your hair will love, and it is manufactured without the use of heat or harmful chemicals.

It’s more complicated to come by and a little bit more expensive than a box of baking soda, but it’s one of your best options!

6. Hand Sanitizer

If you are anything like me, you have hand sanitizer everywhere. It’s in my purse, in my car, and peppered around the house in most drawers.

The main ingredient in most hand sanitizers is alcohol, known for its exceptional moisture-wicking properties. It’s a great way to infuse new life into greasy hair in a pinch, but make sure that you don’t use it very often.

Alcohol can overly dry your hair, leading to breakage over time, and no one wants that. 

Think of hand sanitizer as your ‘in case of emergency break glass’ option.

7. Paper Towels

Paper towels are made to absorb all kitchen messes, including oil, so it only makes sense that you can use them on greasy hair. While it’s not the most effective means to zap grease, it’s the safest and most convenient on your scalp.

If I have a dinner date with a friend immediately after a trip to the gym, you can find me blotting my roots with a paper towel on the drive to the restaurant!

My Favorite Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipe

These ingredients work well on their own but work even better together. I like to mix up my blend at home, add my favorite essential oils, and store my mixture in a repurposed spice shaker.

My recipe for an at-home dry shampoo alternative looks a little something like this: 

  • 1 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp bentonite 
  • 2 tbsp baking soda
  • My favorite essential oil (I love lavender or peppermint)

Mix all ingredients, pour them into an old spice aerosol bottle, and you are ready to use your DIY dry shampoo.

Baking soda can be a little harsh on your hair, so I only recommend it if your hair gets super greasy (like mine!).

If you have darker hair, add a few tablespoons of cocoa powder to prevent your roots from looking ashy. 

Things To Keep In Mind

Skipping shampoo is hard, especially since freshly washed hair feels better. Whether it’s storebought or homemade, dry shampoo is designed for those that are running short on time. I

f you have time to give your hair a little love, simply rinsing it in the shower (sans the suds) is a great way to rinse away dirt and grime left over from the previous day. 

Wet hair means that you’ll have to start the styling process again, but your hair will thank you!