Joyous Blog

How to Make Natural Dry Shampoo

Jun 23, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy

When I first got bangs cut several years ago, I immediately went to the drug store to buy some dry shampoo. I asked the sales associate at the beauty counter for her recommendation on the best brand. She gave me a couple of choices and 15 bucks later, I went home with a dry shampoo spray in hand. I'm actually embarrassed to admit I bought this stuff. 

You might be wondering, what is dry shampoo? It's a powder you put in your hair and it soaks up the oil. Sounds kinda gross but if you're like me and don't want to wash your hair every day, it's a major time-saver. 

The first time I tried the drug store dry shampoo I found the smell very strong. And you probably already know that I'm very anti-fragrance because anytime you see "fragrance" listed on the label means it can be full of hundreds of undisclosed chemicals.

For some unknown reason, when I was at the drug store I didn't even look at the ingredients list. So while I was standing in my bathroom after spraying this stuff in my bangs, I looked at the ingredients and was absolutely horrified!!! Propane? Isobutane? Parabens? Fragrance? WTF!?

I knew better. I guess the excitement of getting my new 'do distracted me from using my lady smarts and reading the ingredients list. I was in a bang fog! 

There was no way I was going to be spraying isobutane among other toxic chemicals in my bangs every morning to get rid of the grease.

Since I kept the receipt, I returned it with no issues and got my 15 bucks back thankfully.

The problem with these ingredients:


It is rated a 7 on the Environmental Working Group's website. It is linked with organ toxicity and listed by the Environment Canada Domestic Substance List as "expected to be toxic or harmful."


This class of chemicals are known endocrine disrupters, human immune toxicants and animal studies show reproductive and developmental toxicity. They are rated a 7 on EWG. 


Any time you see this listed, it can mean literally hundreds of chemical toxins. The problem is that we just don't know what chemicals are hiding in the fragrance because Health Canada does not require manufacturers to disclose this information. Fragrance is associated with allergies, immunotoxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs) and organ system toxicity. It is listed as an 8 on EWG. 

Alcohol Denat

This chemical is linked with developmental and reproductive toxicity, organ system toxicity and cancer, even though it's rated a 4 on EWG. 

These are only a few of the problematic ingredients in conventional dry shampoos. As I've talked about on my blog before, manufacturers of these products can basically put anything in their products they want. The government does not have a watchdog keeping these companies from putting toxic and harmful ingredients in products you could be using every single day. It is up to you, the consumer, to decide what toxins you want to expose yourself to. And let's not forget about our environment. These chemicals get into our rivers, lakes, oceans and soil that our food is grown in. 

Now you know what you need to avoid – most conventional products!

Here is my recipe for making your own dry shampoo that works like magic. And yes, you'll smell like chocolate ;)

The ingredients are probably ones you have in your kitchen pantry right now! You can watch the video here and the full recipe is below. As you will notice in my video and recipe, I don't have a solution for redheads. But maybe ginger powder would work. Any suggestions for redheads, please post below!

This recipe is adapted from a the lovely Kathrin, the founder of For Love of Body.

  • 1 part arrowroot powder
  • 1 part raw cacao or cocoa powder (for brunettes)
  • 10 drops of high quality essential oil (your choice)
  1. Combine arrowroot powder and cacao in a bowl and mix with a wire whisk. Add essential oils and mix. I suggest you drop the oil in all throughout the powder to evenly distribute the lovely scent.
  2. If you have blonde hair simply omit the cacao powder.
  3. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into a clean spice bottle. I just washed out my old Simply Organic glass bottles and used them.

Be sure to watch the video because I give you tips on how to use it! This dry shampoo will come in handy if you don't wash your hair every day. And I don't recommend you wash every day. Washing daily dries out your scalp which makes your hair dull and dry. 

Have a joyous day!

Jun 23, 2016 BY Joy McCarthy
Karen   •   June 23, 2016

Hey Joy! I love the video and and cannot wait to try this! I too have bangs, so I understand what they look like when they are a greaseball

Karen   •   June 23, 2016

I'm not sure why that's all my comment showed, because I also had a question. I find that when I don't wash my hair every other day it becomes not just greasy but very itchy. I just wondered if there was any suggestions for that and if that means I should wash my hair more often?

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Hahaha! Yup, it's not the best look :/ Let us know how it works for you! Heather- Joyous Health Team

Becky   •   June 23, 2016

You can also use a blush brush to work the dry shampoo into your hair. It can be somewhat awkward I find for bangs but it works well every where else! :]

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Great tip, Becky! Thanks for sharing :) Heather- Joyous Health Team

Scott   •   June 23, 2016

I will try this less the cocoa powder. I will let you know how it works for.

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Awesome, Scott! I can't wait to hear how it works for you :) Heather- Joyous Health Team

Joanna   •   June 23, 2016

Do you have a preferred branch of essential oils that you use?

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Hey Joanna! Living Libations makes some great products. When buying essential oils, be sure to ask these 4 questions: Heather- Joyous Health Team

Emily   •   June 23, 2016

I make dry shampoo too! I add cinnamon and cacao for my reddish hair :)

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Nice! Thanks for sharing, Emily! Great suggestion :) Heather- Joyous Health Team

gabriela flores   •   June 23, 2016

Maybe turmeric for blonds, ginger hair?

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Hey Gabriela! Great suggestion, although turmeric does stain so I'd be careful with adding too much as it could leave colour on your hair! :O Heather- Joyous Health Team

Steph   •   June 23, 2016

Cinnamon for redheads!

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Ooooh great suggestion, Steph! Heather- Joyous Health team

Susan   •   February 17, 2017

Great idea

Kim Maurice   •   June 23, 2016

Why do you prefer arrowroot powder over cornstarch, may I ask?

Heather Allen   •   June 23, 2016

Hey Kim! Mostly out of convenience because we generally don't have cornstarch on hand, as corn is typically a GMO crop :) We use arrowroot starch in it's place in our kitchen creations! Heather- Joyous Health Team

Erika   •   June 23, 2016

What is the link to the shampoo/hair detox?

Kristi   •   June 24, 2016

I went looking and I think it's this one?

Melissa   •   June 23, 2016

A dash of paprika could work for red hair!

Heather Allen   •   June 24, 2016

Great tip, Melissa! Heather- Joyous Health Team

Laura   •   June 28, 2016

Hi joy! Thanks for the dry shampoo video - I'm keen to try it!! Just wondering, do you have to add essential oils? Thanks.

Heather Allen   •   June 29, 2016

Hey Laura! Absolutely not. You can leave them out and it will still work wonders. They are just added for scent :) Heather- Joyous Health team

Louise Gagne   •   June 30, 2016

Turmeric should work for redheads too I think! Thanks Joy for your suggestion and recipe. I will be making my own soon. Do you mind if I share this on my blog?


Dawn   •   June 30, 2016


Vee   •   June 30, 2016

Baking soda with cocoa powder / cinnamon works well too.

Heather Allen   •   June 30, 2016

Thanks for sharing, Vee! Heather- Joyous Health Team

Marjolaine   •   July 3, 2016

Thanks for the video Joy! I have strawberry blonde hair now. Used to be red, like a brand new penny when I was younger. Just wondering though, as you brush the shampoo off anyway, why do you have to use anything other than the arrowroot and essential oil, regardless of what hair color you have? warmly, Marjolaine

Heather Allen   •   July 4, 2016

Hey Marjolaine! Some of the powder can get left behind and leave colour on the hair (more of a problem for dark-haired people using a white powder as it can leave a grey residue!). Have a great day! Heather- Joyous Health Team

Rosario   •   August 7, 2016

I love this video and your hair looks healthy.


Abby   •   October 19, 2016

I absolutely love this! It totally works!! I use sweet orange with mine. Thanks again for coming to Vancouver Joy! Was lovely meeting you and Walker :)


Susan   •   February 17, 2017

I am a redhead, and heard tumeric is good for us gingers.. I hope to try soon, just don't know the ratios to use.

Rachel   •   February 21, 2017

Hey Susan! Turmeric is awesome for all, despite their hair colour :) I would recommend starting with 1 tsp in your smoothie or incorporating it into like things stir fry or stews. You might also be interested in trying Joy's Super Easy Turmeric Ginger Tea: Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Sherry   •   November 18, 2017

Hi where did you buy the raw coacao powder?

Rachel Molenda   •   November 21, 2017

Hey Sherry, Your local health food store will have this. Joy usually picks up the Navita's Naturals Cacao Powder :) Rachel - Joyous Health Team

Liz   •   January 11, 2018

Is arrowroot powder the same as arrowroot flour? Do you use the Bob’s Red Mill brand? Thankyou!

Joy McCarthy   •   January 11, 2018

Yes it is. And yes sometimes I buy BRM :) It's a really great brand!

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