Friday, June 4, 2010

Shampoo: Dry shampoo

So what's the deal with dry shampoo? Dry shampoos (in powder form) are intended to absorb oil from your hair. I use an oil absorber in between washings because I find the ends of my hair get really trashed when I wash it regularly, so this works to remove any weird smells and the oil. (No, I will not tell you about the weird smells! Let your imagination run wild!)

You'll find many different powder based dry shampoo products (or "sham-powders", a word that annoys me for some reason) like Lush's Candy Fluff and every single one of them contains oil absorbers like talc, corn starch, arrowroot powder, and so on. I like to make my own (wow, there's a surprise, eh?) and it doesn't take a lot of effort or ingredients! 

72% baking soda
25% arrowroot powder or corn starch
4% lavender flowers or other fragrant botanical you like. 

Get a cute powder shaker container. Put the ingredients into it. Shake. Label. Enjoy. 

You can use 3% Natrasorb with 1% fragrance or essential oil in place of the flowers. Mix these two things together in a separate container then combine in the powder shaker thingie. If you don't have Natrasorb, then put the dry shampoo powder ingredients into the powder shaker, and shake well. Rejoice!

This works nicely animals as well - a little shake on my Blondie dog and a brush and she looks like she just came home from the spa. Just don't use a ton of fragrance or essential oils on animals - they will lick themselves and sometimes the fragrance can be too intense. Cats especially hate most essential oils - use the flowers with them. 

If you've used a product like this before, you know it can make dark hair look whitish and powdered. Add a little brown iron oxide (I use brown-umber, but you can use any variety to get close to your hair colour) to the mix and it'll look better. I can't make a suggestion for how much to use - try using a small scoop (0.15 cc) and adding scoop by scoop until you're happy with it. 

You can use baby powder as an oil absorber - talc is a fantastic oil absorber! Again, adding a titch of iron oxide in your hair colour will make any white spots disappear!

DRY SHAMPOO POWDER WITH TALC - you can go as high as 100% to 50% talc with corn starch or arrowroot powder thrown in.

You can add some extracts to this - rosemary or grapeseed extract are great for oily hair, chamomile or comfrey for an inflamed scalp - or add some essential oils you like. Peppermint is a nice fragrance, and tea tree oil might act as an anti-bacterial.

And finally, you can use clay to remove oils from your hair (as evidenced by Terrestrials' clay based shampoo), but I'm still not sure how to get the clay out without washing, which kinda defeats the purpose of this kind of product.

Have fun with dry shampoo! 


Tara said...

I KNEW you would have some good ideas on this subject! I never thought of using oxides to cover up the whitish hue left behind on your hair - so smart!

France said...

I think I can manage that recipe in two shakes :) Thanks!!!

France said...

Oops, Natrasorb... it's listed as "tapioca starch" somewhere, can I use some I'd find at a health food store? It's the same thing, isn't it?

France said...

Ha! Me again!!! Susan, this works wonderfully well! I used some tapioca flour (apparently starch and flour for tapioca is the same, a bit like Corn Starch is called Corn Flour here in Australia!), some FO, corn flour and bicarb and it works GREAT! I've stretched DD's (teen) hairwash by a few days and we're both happy! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!! *grin*

ThePoojaJosh . said...

Ive seen some recpies use cocoa powder instead of iron oxides for darker hair. Would you reccomend this?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi ThePoojaJosh! No, I don't recommend using any food stuffs in bath and body products, especially dry shampoo for a number of reasons. In this case, it's not necessarily. If you put in the right amount, it will brush right out. I have dark hair, and I have no problems. I wouldn't put iron oxide in either, to be honest, because if you get caught in the rain, any colour is going to run and look awful!

Birgit said...

Hey Susan,

Have you thought of writing a post about washing your hair with clay? (sorry if you already have and I missed, did a search on clay and did not find anything like that).


Melanie Klar said...

I just read about using dry shampoo on hair at beauty brains. They said "In fact, some alternatives (like using baking soda) may do more harm than good but other than that it’s really just a matter of personal taste." They said, "Baking soda is NOT a good idea. It’s not a good oil absorber so it won’t work like the starch in a dry shampoo. Plus, it has a very high pH which can slow down the restoration of the acid mantle on your scalp. Theoretically the high pH can damage the hair as well by causing additional swelling." Do you disagree? If not, what else could we use?

'chelle said...

i dont use baking soda in my dry shampoo since i already know my skin is not a fan (stupid diy deodorant recipes abound with baking soda). i use arrowroot powder and a tidge of kaolin clay.

i have also added cocoa powder to mixes for when i am in darker haired times, not really sure if it does all that much for me, so for the most part its just arrowroot powder and kaolin clay.

i also add in a few drops of EO so it has a yummy smell (i use a dedicated coffee grinder to mix).

im not so great at waiting long between washings, as i struggle to find a shampoo or diy regimen that doesnt fry my hair and leave me with a bumpy,flaky, greasy, scalp (so my dry 'shampoo' lasts a good long while).

i might have to try one of swifts actual shampoo recipes and see if it works well. id love to be self-sufficient in regards to all my hair/face/body care products.

im a little intimidated to get all involved with real surfactants, as cp/hp soapmaking is the most complicated chemistry ive undertaken.

anyway, my $0.02.
:D chelle

Tanya said...

I'm curious if baking soda used dry does the same damage as using it wet, like a shampoo? In another post you talked about how baking soda as a shampoo damages the hair because of the high ph.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Tanya. Things don't have a pH until they get wet, so baking soda in our hair when it is in a dry shampoo won't have a pH. When we get it wet, then we would have an alkaline pH.

I can only tell you my experiences as I don't have the capability to do lab tests at home, but I haven't noticed any problems using baking soda in my hair. I've been using this recipe for years and years, and I haven't noticed any problems with tangles or extra damage or anything I would worry about when "washing" one's hair with baking soda.

sweettooth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sweettooth said...

Hi Susan,

How much percentage of Iron Oxide can you use?

A Fajardo said...

Hi Susan, my sister just bought me Dove dry shampoo. I was curious and checked the ingredients. Isobutane,Propane, Alcohol Denat., Aluminum starch,Octenylsuccinate, Butane, Parfum, Isoprophyl Myristate, Silica, Cyclopentasiloxane.
I was wondering if I mix IPM, Cyclomethicone and Cetrimonium Chloride will make me a dry shampoo? Of course they are all wet ingredients but you know what I mean? Like "dry" shampoo to kinda offset the oils on my hair especially near my scalp?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi A! I've tried something similar, and boy did I hate it! But that's just me. The key is to get the liquids into a powder, then rub the powder on your hair. I'm wondering if something like Natrasorb Bath, which is designed to absorb large quantities of oil, would work here? Check out the post I've written on it and see if it'll help.

I guess the question is why use those ingredients at all? If the goal is to absorb oils from your hair, then powder is all you need. I don't know if adding IPM, cyclomethicone, or cetac will offer anything to your hair in that format? If you try this, can you please let me know?