Like any red-blooded American woman, I have spent the last couple of years intrigued by the “dry shampoo” trend. Caught in the fantasy of a world where blowdrying one’s hair each day (OK, every other day, but still) is not a necessity, I cruised beauty blogs and drugstore clearance shelves to find this mythical product. Trying out half a dozen varieties left me with but one that actually worked, but it was prohibitively expensive.
Then, somewhere online, I read a passing remark about how all this stuff was basically baby powder. I’ve used that in my hair before, but hate the smell. Then it occurred to me that baby powder was basically cornstarch. A lightbulb went off: I HAVE CORNSTARCH! I began Googling in earnest.
That was about a year ago, and I’ve eventually cobbled together a dry shampoo formula that works incredibly well for me. It’s a lifesaver after a hot summer bike ride, and it is NOT $12/oz. Intrigued? Read on!
Since I make my hair powder in a tiny sake cup for some reason, I deal with tablespoon measurements. But there’s really no reason not to make a large batch, if you want. Everyone’s scalp/hair is different and you might want to tweak the ratios a little bit. Here’s what the individual ingredients do:
Baking soda: deodorizes
Cornstarch: thickens, absorbs grease
Corn meal: same as above, easier to brush out because the grains are larger—slightly changes the texture of the dry shampoo, which I like
Cocoa powder: optional, alters the color of the powder to make it less noticeable on darker hair
The bulk of my dry shampoo is cornstarch. I use 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornmeal. Then I add a pinch of cocoa powder (my hair isn’t very dark). If you use more than a pinch, there’s a chance your hair might smell like chocolate (learned this when I was more heavy-handed on one batch). This is not necessarily a problem!
Mix the ingredients well, and store in a mini cocktail shaker or an old baby powder bottle. If you want it to be scented, spritz with a bit of your favorite perfume and let dry.
To use, just liberally sprinkle the powder on your hair, rub it into the roots and let it sit for a good 5 minutes. Then brush vigorously! Seriously, you do not want that corn meal freaking out your coworkers later. Do not do this while wearing black.
Your hair should be shiny and look cleaner. It might even have more volume! Some sites say that applying heat (a quick hit with the blowdryer) boosts the benefits, but I haven’t found this to be the case.
Do you dry shampoo?