Saturday, March 25, 2023

Natural Alternatives to Dry Shampoo

The hair that tops our head like a crown deserves to be treated well so it can be strong and shiny. Like the skin, it is very vulnerable to dust and pollution that can negatively affect it in many ways. What we put on our hair is the deciding factor between actually protecting it, or harming it further.

The market is filled with products that claim to provide many benefits to the hair. Dry shampoo is among these beauty items, with the added benefit of portability and without needing to be in the shower to utilize it. However, if you look at the ingredients, you might find many unpronounceable names of chemicals with questionable health effects that may be the trigger for serious medical conditions. They may also lead to hair problems ranging from dandruff to impaired hair growth.

Luckily there are natural alternatives that can completely replace these products on the shelves of your bathroom (or in your bag, as in the case of dry shampoo). Totally safe, affordable, easy to make, and effective, you’ll never again rely on hair products after you use these:

1. Cornstarch

Considered as one of the famous alternatives to dry shampoo, cornstarch effectively absorbs dirt and oil in the hair. However, it tends to dry the hair, hence it is not recommended for people with hair that is naturally dry. Dab your fingers on a bit of cornstarch then apply it on parts of your hair that are oily. Afterwards use a paddle brush to remove whatever’s left of the powder on your hair. Another way to utilize cornstarch is by pouring half a pound of the powder into a jar then placing dried herbs or flowers at the top. Choose aromatic ones like rose petals or lavender. Tightly close the lid of the jar, store it somewhere dark, and let it sit for up to four weeks. Apply it the same way you would use cornstarch, only this variant leaves behind a fragrant scent. If you’re out of cornstarch, white flour is a good substitute.

2. Cornmeal

Cornmeal is similar to cornstarch, only with larger grains that is a lot easier to remove from hair but with less absorbing power. Aside from direct application, here are some other ways to utilize cornmeal for your hair:

a. Combine a half cup of cornmeal and a tablespoon of salt in a salt and pepper shaker. Sprinkle it on your hair then use a brush to remove excesses of it along with dirt and oil.

b. Mix cornmeal with a few drops of castor oil and lemon oil. The former ensures the moisturization of your hair while the latter provides a fresh scent. Apply on hair, let it sit for a while, then brush off.

c. In a bowl, combine a tablespoon of almond meal, two tablespoons of cornmeal, and one and a half tablespoon orris root. Take only one teaspoon of this mix and massage your hair with it. Brush afterwards, and repeat the process if your hair feels greasy.

3. Oatmeal

The healthy breakfast staple is good not only on the inside, but also on both your skin and hair as well. It is packed with B-vitamins that work as humectants, or substances that prevent moisture loss, and repair your damaged hair. Of course it also leaves you with softer, shinier, and stronger strands afterwards. Prepare oatmeal for your hair as a dry shampoo by grounding it first into powder with a coffee grinder or a spice mill. Combine one cup of the powder with an equal amount of baking soda and put it in a bottle. Simply rub it on your roots, wait for a few minutes so the oils are absorbed, and then use a brush afterwards. As always, essential oils can be added into the mix for fragrance.

4. Egg White

This method may not be “dry” but it does clean and soften your hair without any suds. Eggs are loaded with protein, and a majority of hair’s composition consists of keratin protein, so using this alternative helps fill in deficiencies and make your hair a lot stronger. The number of eggs that you will use depends on the length of your hair, but you can use only one egg and just focus on your scalp. Separate the yolk from the white, and use a beater to whip the latter until stiff peaks are formed. Apply this on your strands and scalp with the use of either your fingers or a pastry brush for five minutes. Afterwards, use a towel that’s damp with hot water to wipe off the egg mixture on your hair, and repeat until there’s no more of the mix left. The egg white method may require experimentation until you can determine how many eggs your hair specifically needs.

5. Dry Clay

Natural clays contain lots of minerals that have detoxifying and cleansing properties. Used on facial masks to remove free radicals and reinvigorate skin, the same holds true when these are applied on hair. They are affordable and are easily used with just direct application using your fingers. However, these clays must never be allowed to make any contact with metal as it will greatly reduce its efficacy. Here are some of dry clay types:


a. Bentonite: Bentonite is the product of volcanic ash that has weathered. It contains a negative charge that purges the positively charged toxic substances coming from the hair products you use. It also removes impurities and chemicals that stick to your hair whenever you expose it to pollution.


b. Kaolin: The clay that is usually used as an ingredient of many cosmetic products. Kaolin is gentle when it does its job of enhancing circulation and cleaning the scalp, although it suffers from poor oil absorption. Silica, a compound that strengthens, cleans, and slows down aging in your hair, is abundant in kaolin.


c. Rhassoul: This Moroccan clay contains more silica than kaolin with an added boost of magnesium, another important mineral. Rhassoul boosts the hair’s elasticity, reduces its dryness, eliminates toxins, and makes it more moisturized and softer. It also remedies common problems on your crown such as dandruff.

6. Baby Powder

When people say baby powder, the first thing that comes to mind is that it’s used for the skin. It is also used for the hair as well, effectively absorbing oils, but only needing to be thoroughly brushed away as it may clump your dandruff and might make your hair look kind of dull. Directly apply it as you would with other alternatives, or you can mix it with some baking soda for better outcome.

7. Cocoa Powder

If you have dark or brown hair that’s oily then this one is for you. Choose the unsweetened variant of cocoa powder and apply it to your hair, brush afterwards. It cleans the hair and leaves behind a sweet chocolate scent.

8. Cheesecloth


A method that does not require any kind of mixing or multiple ingredients. Take a single clean cheesecloth, wrap it on your brush, and use it on your hair. The cloth removes oil and surface dirt from your locks with every stroke that you do. Enjoy healthier and shinier hair with just a simple piece of cloth. You can also use cheesecloth when brushing off any of the previously mentioned alternatives.'
Bridget Rogers
Bridget Rogers is an independent freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. Bridget's work can be found on a variety of sources in both online and print media.


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