Homemade Dry Shampoo 

Dry shampoo is a lifesaver on busy days when your hair needs a quick pick me up. I used talcum powder for years but it made my hair look dull. In this dry shampoo recipe, you use arrowroot powder instead and you have color options.

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You Will Need:     

  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder

  • Arrowroot powder is the base of all dry shampoos regardless of your hair color.

  • 2 tbsp color powder 

  • You can color your dry shampoo. Please see the list below to determine which powder or natural clay you need for your hair color. 

  • Shaker bottle (salt and pepper shaker with large holes) or a Mason jar

  • Large makeup brush (optional)

  • 5 – 6 drops of essential oils (optional)

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How To Mix It All Together:

Combine the arrowroot powder and your choice of color powder in a glass bowl and mix well.

Use a funnel to transfer the powder(s) into your shaker bottle or mason jar.

If you are a light blonde, you may not need a color powder. Arrowroot on its own is enough.

(Optional) Add 5 drops of essential oils to the dry ingredients and mix well with a glass rod or metal spoon. I don’t use any oils but lavender is always a good option.

Don’t use wooden utensils because your oils may absorb into the wood and will be wasted.


I hate to do this to you but since we all have different shades of hair color, there is no exact recipe to color your dry shampoo. There is a fair amount of trial and error involved until you achieve the correct color for your hair. The ratio between arrowroot and color powder is a choice. You can even mix your color powders to find your exact shade. Start with a 1:1 ratio of color powder to arrowroot powder.



2 tbsp of arrowroot + 2 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder for brown hair. Add a little cinnamon if you have gold highlights


At the end of this recipe, you’ll find a list of which coloring powders are best suited to achieve different shades.


How To Use It:

You have a few options, either;

  • Shake the dry shampoo onto your hands and apply to your hair in sections. Then comb it through for even distribution or;

  • Use a large makeup brush to brush the dry shampoo onto strands of hair starting about a quarter-inch (1 cm) from the roots. Avoid your scalp or;

  • Shake some dry shampoo directly on your hair. Then brush the powder through your hair with your dry hands.


I personally prefer option two because it’s quick and you get an even distribution of powder. With option three, I tend to make a bit of a mess and a lot of powder lands up on my shoulders and the floor.


Go slow. If you use too much dry shampoo it will clog up your hair and make it near impossible to comb or style.



  • If you’re adding cocoa powder for darker hair, you may want to skip the essential oils because cocoa powder already has a chocolaty smell.

  • For the same reason, if you are adding cinnamon for a reddish tinge, you may want to skip the essential oils since cinnamon has its own smell.

  • Pour the powder into a Mason jar or shaker bottle and store in a cool dry place to avoid clumps forming.

  • Make sure that you use unsweetened cocoa powder. The sweetened one will leave your hair sticky.

  • If you run out of arrowroot powder, you can use cornstarch as a substitute

  • Avoid using baking soda because our scalps are naturally more acidic and baking soda is very alkaline. The baking soda will mess with your hair and skin’s PH which can lead to skin irritation and dry hair. Cornstarch and arrowroot are closer to neutral on the PH scale

  • Dry shampoo is a great travel companion. Especially if you go camping where showers may be optional.

  • I’ve seen a number of recipes that include either rosemary, lavandin, or oatstraw powders but I think these would be more nourishing to your hair if you used them in an herbal rinse.

  • See the Herbal Hair Rinse recipe for more information on herbs for hair care.


Unexpected bonus:

I color my hair. My natural color is dark blonde so I lighten it but after 4 weeks the regrowth shows. The added bonus is that the dry shampoo masks some of the regrowth until I wash it out. I prefer to use arrowroot as my base and then add some rhassoul clay powder instead of cinnamon since rhassoul is odorless. See below for more clay options. 





Gray/ silver                     Arrowroot                      Bentonate clay


Light blonde                   Arrowroot                    


Strawberry blonde        Arrowroot                      Cinnamon


Dark blonde to


Light brown                    Arrowroot                     Unsweetened

                                                                                  Cocoa powder


Medium brown               Arrowroot                     Unsweetened

                                                                                  Cocoa powder


Dark brown                     Arrowroot                     Unsweetened

                                          Activated charcoal       Cocoa powder


Auburn                             Arrowroot                     Unsweetened

                                          Activated charcoal       Cocoa powder



Red                                   Arrowroot                     Cinnamon


Black                                Arrowroot                      Activated charcoal


Fantasy colors                Arrowroot                      Cosmetic color clays


Itchy scalp                       Arrowroot

                                          Colloidal oatmeal



Clay Powders Are Great Alternatives:

I love my dry shampoo but there are days when I wondered if I could substitute the aromatic color powder above (I use cinnamon) for something unscented. You could use cosmetic clays instead. They come in a variety of colors and are readily available on Etsy or Amazon. Try them, but beware that they could dry out your hair and scalp if you use them too often. I have very oily hair and so far I haven't had any issues with Rhassoul clay, white kaolin, or oatmeal colloidal.


Clay Options:

White kaolin clay

Rose kaolin clay - works well on red and strawberry blonde hair

Rhassoul clay - I have dark blonde hair and rhassoul works well for me.

Bentonite clay = this is a good option for gray hair

Moroccan red clay

Activated charcoal coconut - great for darker hair

Fullers earth clay

Sea clay

Oatmeal colloidal


Do not use any essential oils or essential oil blends if you have any underlying health conditions. Some oils are not safe for children, pregnant women, or pets. Always check with your doctor or certified aromatherapist, if you are unsure about the benefits or contra-indicators of a recipe or its ingredients. ‘A Scented Story’ is solely my platform to share my experiences with essential oils and other natural products. I do not prescribe any treatments.

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Arrowroot + Cinnamon

Arrowroot + Cocoa


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