DIY Dry Shampoo (and why you need to throw out your Batiste spray... NOW!)

January 12, 2014

In the spirit of #NoBuyJanuary (although I have actually failed... more info to follow next week) I wanted to do a post about a simple DIY that you can do with things you already have in your home... Don’t you agree that they are the best type of DIY? Especially in a frugal month!

Of all the toxic and scary things us women put on (and in) to our bodies I think dry shampoo has to be one of the worst. Should anything that is flammable go anywhere near your skin? Or into your lungs?

Whenever I used to spray dry shampoo I would stand by an open window, trying not to breathe in! And I’ve been doing that for years, not just since I twigged QUITE how bad it really was for me.

Now, I get it – you love your dry shampoo, you know it’s not GOOD for you but it works well and you can’t bear to part with it... Well I have the perfect replacement for you that is cheaper, easy to make and use plus much better for you and the environment.

First, let us look a bit closer, Batiste Dry Shampoo Original contains:

Butane, Isobutane, Oryza Sativa, (Rice) Starch, Propane, Alcohol Denat, Parfum (Fragrance), Coumarin, Eugenol, Limonene, Butylphenyl, Methylpropional, Linalool, Distearyldimonuim Chloride.

First and foremost we can see that there is nothing in there that is GOOD for your hair, not one of those ingredients will soften, condition or improve your hair in any real way. Let’s have a closer look:

Butane is the main ingredient as it is listed first, here is a definition: a flammable hydrocarbon gas of the alkane series, present in petroleum and natural gas. It is used in bottled form as a fuel.

Isobutane: Some portable camp stoves use a mixture of isobutane with propane. Isobutane is used as a feedstock in the petrochemical industry, for example in the synthesis of isooctane. Its UN number (for hazardous substances see shipping) is UN 1969. (Yep – HAZARDOUS)

Oryza Sativa: commonly known as rice. They also list (rice) starch as the next ingredient.
Propane: a flammable hydrocarbon gas of the alkane series, present in natural gas and used as bottled fuel.

Alcohol Denat: Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, extremely bad tasting, foul smelling or nauseating, to discourage recreational consumption. Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves.

Coumarin: is a fragrant organic chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, which is a colourless crystalline substance in its standard state. It is a natural substance found in many plants.

Eugenol, Limonene and Linalool are fragrances as well.

Methylpropional: a known skin irritant that can affect sperm levels... maybe bear this in mind for your second hand ‘smoker’ partner!

Distearyldimonuim Chloride: Can combine with other ingredients to act as a surfactant or detergent. In household products, it may be found as an ingredient in fabric softeners, cosmetics, and hair conditioners in which it is added primarily for its antistatic effects.
Okay, I think you get the picture now, I don’t feel I need to go on... Remember that the higher up the list of ingredients something appears the more of it there is in a product. So 4 of the top 6 components that make up your beloved Batiste are highly flammable fuels. And, lets not forget that ‘fragrance’ could mean literally anything. It is likely to be a cocktail of chemicals and preserving agents, probably best not to know and just step away from the dry shampoo.
Now, I was not an avid Dry Shampooer anyway, I avoided it because it would give me headaches (err, wonder why!) and stink my house out for hours BUT I did own a few bottles, I did use it every so often and I did like the idea of stretching out the time between washes to try and save my hair from being stripped of all its oils too regularly.

With this in mind I wanted to find a natural, DIY option... which I did! With great success!

There are LOTS of DIY dry shampoo recipes out there on ‘tinterweb. Every Blog, Dick and Harry sports one so I won’t claim any originality here but I will say I have found a combination that works for me from a number of different sources.

Enough chatter, time to get down to it, you will need:

Cornstarch (or Bicarbonate of Soda, flour, etc... pretty much any white powder you’d find in the kitchen will do although I find Cornstarch the ‘softest’ on my hair.)
That is actually all you will need for blonde or light hair, if your hair is darker you may also want to add in:

Cocoa Powder

Ground Cinnamon

I make mine in small batches, just in case it spoils somehow – but I doubt it would as they are all dry ingredients that last for months and months in the cupboard.

To make my dry shampoo I take:
2 teaspoons of Cornstarch
and mix that with
1 teaspoon of Cocoa Powder
1 teaspoon of Ground Cinnamon.

I store this in a small pot, clearly labelled... it smells so yummy I may accidentally on purpose eat it!

I use my finger tips to rub it into my roots/scalp and it soaks up the grease and oil, don’t get me wrong, it won’t work wonders but it will definitely get you another day’s wear before you need to wash!

*Please Note* if you are sensitive, have sensitive skin or need to use this on more than a weekly basis then please omit the cinnamon, it can irritate skin. I chose to use cinnamon as it is lighter and warmer in colour than cocoa and I will probably use this no more than once a week. I found that cinnamon helped me get exactly the right shade for my hair because of its warm tone.

Other ingredients you may wish to use and why:

Bicarbonate of Soda: to help deodorise your hair if you’ve been around smoke, food smells, etc.

Essential oils: If you want a scent to your dry shampoo then you can add a few drops of your favourite essential oils.
I have a video of this going up on my YouTube channel, it will be live on Weds 15th at this link: Dry Shampoo Video

If, however, DIY is not your style and you prefer to have a shop bought version then have a look at this review on Beautycalypse (I’ve not tried any natural dry shampoos so this is as close to a recommendation I can make). 

But, I think this is such an easy and customisable DIY that you have no excuse! Hee hee!
What do you think? Do you already DIY your dry shampoo? If not, will you be giving this a go? Are you now holding your Batiste at arm’s length with a reproving look on your face?! I hope so! Throw it away and don’t look back!

Rach xx


  1. Totally agree about Batiste and all other mainstream dry shampoos. I never liked the look or feel of it whenever I tried it in the past and I really don't get the hype with it. And now that you have given us a breakdown of the ingredients! !! My God, it really makes u wonder what the creaters of the product were thinking when they came up with the formula! ! I don't use dry shampoo at present but I might give your recipe a go in the summer time when it gets warmer :-) Thanks so much for sharing xx

    1. It's so true, who sat there and though 'this is a great idea!' it really makes you wonder! xx

  2. Great post Rachel! I can't believe the ingredients in Batiste I'm going to give this a go myself! x

    1. It's terrifying isn't it!!! Let me know how you like it, I find it works really well for me, hope it does for you too xx

  3. I've tried the recipe and I love it to the max! Lately, my city is having cold, cold weather I don't dare washing my hair with water. And I've spent two weeks without hairwash, by the way. So, I use this dry shampoo to prevent my hair from greasy look. It works! :D

    1. Whoo Hoo! That is AH-mazing to hear! I find that it works brilliantly and I don't miss buying dry shampoo at all! So glad to hear a personal story of it working well, thank you xx

  4. I used a store-bought dry shampoo (first time ever used) for several days not realizing what the ingredients were and not using it sparingly. I developed itchy scalp and tiny bumps that just "begged" to be scratched. My eyes became red and irritated, watering profusely and mattering as if they were infected. I also developed a pustular irritable rash around my nose and mouth. I didn't connect the dots immediately but when I did I talked to a pharmacist who recommended I use hydrocortisone on my scalp and hydrocortisone-based eye drops. I will never, ever buy dry shampoo again!!!


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