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A cutting board that has a bottle of essential oils, jar of powder, and fluffy makeup brush on top of it.

With fewer social outings on the calendar, dry shampoo is really having a moment. Washing and styling your hair takes a lot of effort, and when you don’t have anywhere to go, there’s freedom in skipping another day or two. With dry shampoo, you can enjoy fresher hair in minutes — no water required.

You can make your own dry shampoo using just a few simple items, some (or all) of which you may already have on hand. These recipes are suitable for those with thinner and thicker hair and can be customized to match your hair color with some delicious-scented tweaks.

Once you’ve chosen the formula that’s best for your hair, read on for professional application advice from Ali Yanez, vice president of the LifeSpa — and get her tried-and-true tips that will help you achieve fresher, volumized hair without the powdery, ashy look.

For Light-Colored Hair

If your hair is light-to-medium blonde, platinum, or light gray, try this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic arrowroot powder (for thinner hair types) or organic corn starch (for normal-to-thicker hair types)
  • 5 drops essential oil of your choice

Instructions

Add the arrowroot or corn starch powder to a screw-top container or spice shaker. Add the essential oil and stir or shake to combine.

For Dark-Colored Hair

If your hair is dark blonde or gray, brown, red, auburn, or black, try this recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs. organic arrowroot powder (for thinner hair types) or organic corn starch (for normal-to-thicker hair types)
  • 2 tbs. colored powder of your choosing
    • Unsweetened cocoa powder (for dark blonde or brown hair)
    • Charcoal powder (for dark grey or black hair)
    • Cinnamon (for red or auburn hair)
  • 5 drops essential oil of your choice

Instructions

Add the arrowroot or corn starch powder and colored powder based on your hair color to a screw-top container or spice shaker. Add the essential oil and stir or shake to combine.

Professional Application Tips

One of Yanez’s favorite tricks is to apply your dry shampoo powder with a fluffy makeup brush for a more even distribution. “Simply dip your brush in the powder and tap it lightly on the edge of the container or bottle to remove excess product. Sweep the brush wherever your hair gets greasy: along your part, bangs, and at the crown of your head,” she says. “Let the dry shampoo sit for a few minutes while you go about getting ready, then massage it lightly into your scalp, brush through your hair, and style as usual.”

To avoid the powdery, ashy look in your hair, Yanez recommends applying the dry shampoo before bed or your workout. This technique gives the dry shampoo extra time to absorb oil and sweat and disappear into your hair — plus, it saves you time when you’re ready to style.

“Once it’s time to style your hair,” Yanez says, “brush through where you applied the dry shampoo powder and tease the roots a little. You’ll enjoy great volume for the rest of the day — or two!”

Yanez’s final application tip may seem a little counterintuitive: Try your dry shampoo on clean hair. “Dry shampoo makes a great styling aid if you’re trying a braid or updo,” she says. Add a little dry shampoo to help your clean hair hold its shape without slipping. You’ll have more control working with your strands, and it gives bobby pins and other clips a little extra staying power, too.

Lindsey
Lindsey Frey Palmquist

Lindsey Frey Palmquist is a senior copywriter at Life Time.

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