The Easiest DIY Dry Shampoo Recipe


The most foolproof dry shampoo recipe you’ll ever use

Okay, here’s the thing - a bit of my hippie, earth-loving side comes out in my shower schedule. I will shower whenever I feel grody, but I won’t waste the time, energy, utilities, or bath products on a daily basis just because that’s the norm.

That being said, I hate looking/smelling shnasty. There’s a fine line between being an earth mother and smelling like an overripe Bonnaroo attendee. The most you’ll get out of a me is a good rinse on sweaty days, but when it comes to hair washing? Forget it.

Hair care is a particularly vicious cycle. The more you wash your hair, the greasier it becomes on its own. Instead of stripping away those perfectly healthy, balancing oils, counteract them with a little bit of DIY dry shampoo.


I’ve been using this dry shampoo recipe for years, and it has yet to fail me. One batch of this dry shampoo has lasted me over three years, which is totally fine considering the shelf life of the ingredients (and the fact that I’m not actually consuming them). Plus, it's perfect for camping and traveling. I get serious trail-hair while hiking, but if I don't feel like going through a wash cycle with my hair, I'll use some of this 

Why DIY is Better

High quality dry shampoos can cost upwards of $20 a bottle. Factor in how often you use dry shampoo, and that’s a lotta tacos, my friends. Apart from the cost, aerosol dry shampoos can be loaded with chemicals and the packaging creates unwanted environmental waste. Save money, save the planet, save your damn scalp.

DIY DRy Shampoo Recipe | MOuntain Things

What You’ll Need:

  • Cornstarch or Arrowroot Powder

    • Note: This recipe was founded on my “use-what’s-available” policy. While arrowroot might have an environmentally healthier production process, only use what you already have in your cabinet to create less waste

  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

  • Spice container - or any container that’s resealable. Recycled is better!

  • Essential Oils (optional) - My favorite is tea tree to counteract any odor

  • Old makeup brush


Spoon about three tablespoons of cornstarch or arrowroot powder into a small bowl. For light-haired ladies and gents, it’s at this point that you should incorporate about 2-3 drops of essential oil into your mix. Dark-haired folk can skip this part and move onto the next step.


Add a small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder to the bowl and mix. Keep adding cocoa powder until you achieve the desired shade. I have very dark brown hair, so my mix can end up being 50/50.


At this point, you can decide if you want to add the essential oil to your darker mix. I tend to skip this part since my cornstarch/cocoa powder ratio makes my mix smell more like chocolate (yum), and there’s no essential oil to complement that scent, at least not that I have found.

Funnel that baby into your spice container and that’s it. Your dry shampoo is done, just like your days of a frequent hair washing schedule.


How to Apply

Yes, at one point I was that girl walking around with blotches of powder in my hair. It’s not a good look. The hardest part about this DIY dry shampoo recipe is the actual application (and it’s really not that hard at all).


Lightly dip the makeup brush into the container so that the fibers are just barely covered in the dry shampoo. Tap the brush on the rim of the container to remove any excess and “paint” the first inch or so of your roots. When you’ve covered all the greasy sections of your hair, brush it out to incorporate and further blend the dry shampoo. Repeat if necessary.

And that’s it! Now go out and save the world with all of your newfound free time, you unshowered hippie.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. I do not recommend products I wouldn't use or haven't used.