dry shampoo alternatives

Dry shampoo has become a popular and convenient solution for those with busy lifestyles who want to freshen up their hair without the hassle of a full wash. While it can work wonders on days when washing your hair isn't an option, frequent use of dry shampoo can lead to build-up, scalp irritation, and other issues. Therefore, it's important to be aware of alternative options that can achieve similar results while promoting healthier hair. 

In this article, we'll explore 10 amazing dry shampoo alternatives that you can try in 2023. Whether you're looking for a natural option or something that's quick and easy, we've got you covered.

10 Substitutes for Dry Shampoo to Try at Home

Here are 10 amazing products to use instead of dry shampoo that will keep your hair healthy and refreshed.


cornstarch dry shampoo alternatives

Cornstarch is an easy and affordable alternative to dry shampoo that absorbs excess oils and leaves your hair looking fresh and clean. For a more seamless blend, you can mix in cocoa or cinnamon powder that best matches your hair color. Simply sprinkle the cornstarch onto your hair and use a brush or powder brush to distribute it evenly. 

Unlike some commercial products, cornstarch is odorless and gentle on your hair, making it a safe option for those with sensitive skin. And the best part? You probably already have a box of cornstarch at home. 

With this kitchen staple, you can have oil-free hair without the hassle or expense of commercial products.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar dry shampoo alternatives

Apple cider vinegar has long been a popular skincare ingredient for its ability to regulate oil production. And unlike other dry shampoos that can be messy to apply, apple cider vinegar comes in liquid form. 

To use it, simply mix one drop of vinegar per ounce of water in a spray bottle and aim at your roots. The only catch? You'll need to wait for the solution to dry before seeing results. But it's worth the wait. 

Not only does apple cider vinegar leave your hair looking less greasy, but it also contains healthy tonic properties for your scalp. Plus, it doesn't just give you one extra day before you need to wash your hair - it can help keep your hair fresh and clean even after an active day. So why not give this clean dry shampoo alternative a try? Your hair will thank you.

Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot Powder dry shampoo alternatives

Arrowroot powder is a popular natural ingredient for making dry shampoo at home. Like cornstarch, it can be mixed with cocoa powder or cinnamon to match hair color, and adding essential oils gives it a personalized scent. 

Arrowroot is highly absorbent and lightweight, making it a great all-natural alternative to chemical dry shampoo. However, it can be messy, so applying it with a brush and massaging it in is recommended. 

A popular recipe for an arrowroot-based dry shampoo involves mixing arrowroot powder with white kaolin clay, tea tree oil, and water, and then transferring the mixture into a spray bottle.

Arrowroot is an ideal clean alternative as it blends easily into hair and doesn't contain harmful chemicals.

Blotting Papers

Blotting Papers dry shampoo alternatives

Blotting papers are not just for your face, they can also be used on your hair as a dry shampoo alternative. With their ability to absorb excess oil, blotting papers are perfect for dealing with oily roots and scalp. You can easily carry them around with you and use them whenever needed. To use, simply part your hair into sections with slips and gently rub the blotting paper over your roots to absorb any excess oil.

Blotting papers are an effortless and convenient solution for oily hair, giving you a quick way to leave your hair looking refreshed and clean. So next time you're looking for a clean dry shampoo substitute, give blotting papers a try!

Paper Towels

Paper Towels dry shampoo alternatives

When it comes to a quick and easy solution for oily hair, paper towels can be a lifesaver. In a pinch, when you don't have blotting papers on hand, paper towels that specialize in ultra-absorbent properties can work wonders. They're designed to absorb all kinds of messes, after all, including oil. 

To use, simply divide your hair into sections and gently whisk away excess oil with the paper towel. While it may not be the most effective option, it's the safest and most convenient for your scalp. So, whether you're running late for work or heading out for a night on the town, don't hesitate to grab a paper towel and keep those roots looking fresh and clean.

Baby Powder

Baby Powder dry shampoo alternatives

Before the introduction of dry shampoos, baby powder was a go-to for many people with oily scalps, and it still works just as well. Applying a teaspoon of baby powder and brushing it through your hair will absorb excess oil, leaving your hair looking fresh. To apply, section your hair and apply the powder lightly between the layers to absorb throughout. 

Be aware that baby powder has a slight scent and a strong white color, making it best suited for blonde hair. Check the ingredients label to make sure it does not contain talc, which can be harmful if ingested.

Baby powder is an affordable and straightforward solution to absorb moisture and buildup without harsh chemicals. So, why not make it your go-to product on a bad hair day?

Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer dry shampoo alternatives

Who knew that hand sanitizer could be used for more than just cleaning your hands? It turns out that hand sanitizer can also act as a quick and easy substitute for dry shampoo. 

The alcohol in hand sanitizer works by soaking up excess oil on your scalp, just like a dry shampoo would. It dries quickly and blends seamlessly into any hair color, making it a great option for those on-the-go moments. 

To use, simply squeeze a small amount onto your hands and massage it into your scalp and roots. However, be cautious as overuse can lead to dry and brittle hair.


Perfume dry shampoo alternatives

You might be surprised that the same product you use for fragrance can also help with your oily hair problem. Perfume, like hand sanitizer, contains alcohol, which can help dry out the roots of your hair and break down excess oil. 

Using perfume on your hair is easy, all you have to do is hold the bottle 2-3 inches away from your roots and spray it on. Alternatively, you can spray perfume on a brush and comb it through your hair, focusing on the areas closest to your scalp. For the best results, it's recommended to use a combination of both methods. 

By using perfume or deodorant on your hair, you can achieve a smoother, less sticky look. Give perfume a try sometimes and keep your hair looking fresh and clean!

Baking Soda

Baking Soda dry shampoo alternatives

Baking soda is a wonder product that has been used for years for various purposes including cooking and beauty. In addition to its stain-removing and teeth-whitening properties, it makes for a perfect dry shampoo substitute. 

Baking soda helps eliminate smells instead of just hiding them, balances the pH levels on your scalp, and even adds volume to your hair. Combine baking soda with cornstarch and a few drops of essential oil, then lightly sprinkle the concoction onto your scalp, allow it to sit for a few minutes to absorb excess oils, then shake out the excess.

However, because baking soda can be more abrasive than other dry shampoos, it may dry out your scalp too much, leading to dandruff. It's best to use baking soda sparingly, only when you're really in a bind or have a super oily scalp.

Dry Clay

Dry Clay dry shampoo alternatives

Have you ever considered using clay as a dry shampoo alternative? It might seem like an unusual choice, but the absorbent properties of dry clay make it a great option for removing excess oil from hair. 

The silica in the clay acts like a magnet for oil, leaving your scalp feeling refreshed and your hair looking salon-worthy. There are a variety of dry clay options to choose from, including agar, green, white, red, and powdered orris root, each with its unique fragrance. However, dry clay can be a bit harsh on your hair and strip away some of its natural oils, so it's best to mix it with milk powder to restore suppleness and softness. 

Simply apply the mixture to your hair as you would with traditional dry shampoo, and enjoy the refreshed and fragrant results!

The Bottom Line

From simple household ingredients like cornstarch and baking soda to unexpected options like hand sanitizer and perfume, These 10 amazing dry shampoo alternatives are sure to help you keep your hair fresh and clean without the use of harsh chemicals or frequent washing.

So go ahead, try one (or all) of these alternatives to dry shampoo, and enjoy the benefits of cleaner, fresher, and healthier hair!