Since puberty I’ve had fine, oil-prone hair that used to require daily washing. However, washing hair on a daily basis can be time-consuming and expensive. It’s also not recommended that we wash hair often (it’s better to cut shampoos down to once or twice a week) to avoid stripping our scalp and hair of their moisturizing, natural oils. If I don’t wash my hair often, however, my head becomes a limp, dull greasy mess that only looks partially presentable when pulled into a pony tail or buried under some kind of hat. Hence, the magic of: dry shampoo!
I remember my university roommates and I applying talcum powder to our oily roots to buy ourselves some more time between shampoos. We liked the extra volume it gave our hair and the fact that you can stretch your efforts from blow-drying, straightening or curling hair. Since we were also stressed out, time and cash-strapped students, applying a dry shampoo allowed us to save time and still look presentable.
Recently, an array of dry shampoos have hit the market as we begin to realize that daily shampooing is not exactly ideal for our hair (but sells a lot of shampoo). The products, however, are expensive, full of chemicals and I’ve found them to be ineffective at giving hair that just-washed look. My hair would still look greasy afterwards and most of them left a powdery residue. Talcum powder is harmful to the environment and to our bodies, and just plain smells bad, so that’s out too. However, there are many natural substances lying around the home that can be used to make an excellent dry shampoo.
DIY Natural Dry Shampoo
2 tbs of either either: arrowroot, cornstarch, rice flour or oat flour (or in my case, corn meal, because I had no corn starch. I found it pretty grainy though). Arrowroot and cornstarch are preferred.
For dark hair, add cocoa powder in a 1:1 ratio (1 tbs cocoa powder: 1 tbs arrowroot flour).
Optional: a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil for fragrance.
It turns out that natural flours, such as arrowroot and cornstarch, are excellent at absorbing excess oil (but not stripping the hair of oil!), even better than talcum powder. However, because they can tend to leave a white film on the hair, those with brown hair or darker can add equal parts cocoa powder to the mixture.
Mix the two powders together and apply a small dusting to the roots of unwashed hair with fingers or a make-up brush. Massage the powder into roots and then, using a natural bristle brush, brush to distribute the powder evenly through hair.
I made my first dry shampoo with cocoa powder and corn meal and then tried it again with arrowroot and cocoa powder. I didn’t feel the need to add any essential oils to the mixture because the cocoa powder already had a delicious chocolatey scent.
The result? Volumous locks that look clean, with no powdery residue, and that smell like chocolate! We all knew that chocolate was an excellent antioxidant-rich remedy for getting over a break-up or pushing through PMS. Who knew it could be used to perk up tired-looking hair?