I remember swearing by dry shampoo when I was a teen, I thought it was the cleverest thing out there for my lazy days. But now I’m a little older, and hopefully wiser, I’ve realised that dry shampoo isn’t always the wonder product my fourteen year old self thought it was, and for pretty convincing reasons.

Firstly, commercial dry shampoos are often full of chemicals you may want to avoid such as parabens, talc, synthetic fragrances and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG):

‘Dry shampoos commonly come in a spray-on, aerosol container. These cans have a propellant to force chemicals out of the can and into the air. We’ve known for decades about the harmful effects of aerosol on the ozone layer and LPG is its replacement. What’s in LPG? Butane, propane, and isobutane. These are colorless, odorless gasses. Propane takes the place of oxygen in the lungs, which makes breathing difficult or impossible. These gasses can give you headaches, mood swings, nausea and not only harm you, but the people and the environment around you.’

Lovely. Your scalp also has a higher absorption rate than other areas of the skin, so repeatedly exposing ourselves to these chemicals by putting them all over our scalp puts us in a pretty gross, toxic situation. On top of this dry shampoos also come in non-recyclable packaging, adding more to your waste pile, AND they cost quite a lot for something you could easily make at home.


Finally, it’s super important to not get sucked into dry shampoo marketing as the wonder product to save your hair, something most commercial companies definitely had me convinced of in my younger days. It’s important to know that dry shampoo is most definitely not shampoo, and can’t be used as a replacement for it. Dry shampoo doesn’t clean the scalp, instead it soaks up excess oil. Although this is a handy fall back when you’re desperate, frequent regular use can irritate the scalp and eventually lead to hair loss if overused. It’s best to keep dry shampoo use to a minimum or for emergencies, but if you’re headed somewhere over summer where hygiene is a lil sketchy, camping or a festival perhaps, then here’s an easy on-the-go recipe for a more natural, non-toxic alternative that takes about 30 seconds to whip up.


  • ½ cup arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch
  • 3-4 drops essential oil (a lil more nourishing – lavender, rosemary, chamomile, cedarwood and lemongrass are good options for scalp and hair health)
  • For blonde hair – add a small pinch of turmeric
  • For dark hair – add 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (sweetened will make your hair gross, unsweetened only!) If not dark enough, add some activated charcoal powder
  • For red hair – add 2 tbsp cinnamon


  • Mix all ingredients together and decant into container of your choice
  • To apply, pour a small amount into your hand and apply to roots with a powder brush
  • Alternatively, you can decant into a container such as an old salt or spice shaker (cleaned and sterilised of course), sprinkle over roots and massage into scalp with clean fingers.

Other options (if desperate, don’t use frequently)

You can add a little cornstarch on its own to your roots, just make sure to brush it out of your hair.

Dry clay
Clays such as white or green clay can also be added to roots and then brushed out.

And if you are still determined to buy dry shampoo rather than make, try and switch out for an organic, non-toxic option instead. And remember to not overuse it! Happy festival going.

Until next time, stay magic y’all.