Degrease in a Pinch with Dry Shampoo

by Laura Pilati

Do I even need to explain why dry shampooing seems like a fantastic idea? Greasy hair + lazy Saturday + hot date later on = amiright???

Well, regardless of whether you share my standards of cleanliness, dry shampooing really can be a great alternative for those tricky situations in which water–or at least, clean water–isn’t readily available and your scalp is like a can of crisco. Whether you’re hiking, traveling the world, stuck overnight in an airport, on the 4th day of a mid-summer music festival, or just a train kid…chances are we’ve all been in a situation at some point where getting a shower was priority numero uno but the present circumstances just weren’t having it. There are also plenty of times when dry shampooing is a good option even if you do have a good source of water around: if you’re “no ‘poo”, if you exercise between washes, or if you’re just trying to reduce the number of times you wash your hair every week… Well, my friends, let me introduce you to arrowroot powder.


Arrowroot powder comes from the root system of a few particular tropical plants. It’s light, doesn’t have an odor, and is very absorbent. In other words, it makes a great dry shampoo–a powder that you can rub into the scalp and use to remove dirt and grease without the help of H2O. Arrowroot powder is very similar to corn starch, which can also be used as a dry shampoo (and is probably much more likely to already be in your pantry!). Cocoa powder and cinnamon are two other commonly used dry shampoos. And there are also commercially manufactured dry shampoos out there–but let’s be real, this is far simpler.


I’ve always wanted to try dry shampooing and finally got around to it after spotting some bulk arrowroot powder during one of my routine scans of the personal care section at Ellwood’s. I chose arrowroot powder because I have lighter colored hair (cocoa powder would be a good choice for those with darker hair). Something I noticed about other “tutorials” on dry shampooing is that they explain what to use for dry shampooing…but most of the time they never tell you how to actually do it. So…I just decided to dive right in and figure it out as I went! Well, always the supportive fiance and good sport, Rob helped me document this adventure in photos.



Like I said, I just decided to dive right in…took a palmful and tossed it right on the center of my scalp! At this point, the only thing that Rob could say was: “Well, at least we know you’ll still be attractive when you have gray hair.” Thanks honey?


I took a few minutes to massage it through the most oily section of my scalp. Now what?

I started with my regular comb, but quickly discovered that it just wasn’t cutting it. I opted for one of my finer toothed combs and found that it worked much better. I also later read in the comments section of this post that you can just take a dry towel and rub it over–doh! Definitely trying that next time. The fine toothed comb worked just fine, though. Before long, most of the arrowroot powder was out. And the results were pretty sweet!



I will tell you that I decided to take a shower after this, but mainly because I made a pretty big mess of myself with the arrowroot powder and had waited especially long since my last hair washing (so as to truly test the effectiveness of the dry shampoo). The next time I try this…I think I’ll be much better prepped to not have to do that!

So, have you ever experimented with dry shampooing? Tried something other than the powders I named as a dry shampoo? When has it come most in handy for you?  Please share!


6 responses to “Degrease in a Pinch with Dry Shampoo

    • Ah yes, baby powder! I have heard of friends using that before but I totally forgot about it. I’m interested to know how it compares. I imagine the scent could be a detractor for some.

      • The static that happens after I apply the baby powder (via brush or just my hands) is insane, that’s the only downfall I’ve found..

  1. I count on Rob for all the best one-liners: “Well, at least we know you’ll still be attractive when you have gray hair.” Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    I feel like my hair starts to smell more as it gets greasy, so for that reason, I gravitate more towards baby powder (cornstarch – not talc) with some light fragrance or mixing in some baking soda, which doesn’t smell but neutralizes odor. For baby powder, I recommend Burts Bees. Be careful with baking soda though – a mix is preferable because scalp skin is so sensitive and the baking soda may irritate or get itchy.


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