Tuesday, May 28, 2013

DIY Oscar Blandi Inspired Dry Shampoo (all natural)

I have been an avid dry shampoo user for YEARS. Years and years and years. I started with Batiste which comes as a spray and moved through dozens of brands from there. Some were better than others- and some were disgusting (the liquid based sprays? Pass.) As I became more and more rooted in a natural and organic lifestyle, as well as more frugal, the idea of making my own dry shampoo became really appealing. Dry shampoo is a necessity for me, as I like to only wash my hair about twice per week. At first my hair was really oily, which is what made dry shampoo a constant companion (I kept some in my drawer at work!) but as my scalp adjusted, I needed it less and less. I still use it on my third day with dirty hair and LOVE the way it texturizes and adds volume. My hair on day one (super clean) is so flat and blah. Day three hair? Ah. So much better. 

Anyway- there are LOTS of recipes online for super easy dry shampoo that only involve one or two ingredients, but mine is specifically tailored to Oscar Blandi's version which I have used for years and enjoyed. My big problem with his is that it's full of some dangerous chemicals and ingredients. However, the ingredient list can be simplified down to just the necessities and be just as effective- and much more affordable! 
First you'll need to mix up your ingredients. To make it the most like Oscar Blandi's, you'll need to use rice starch. It can be hard to find, but there's some for sale on Amazon.com and you can also locate it in the bulk section of health food stores (I think Whole Foods has it- call first). If you really can't locate rice starch or don't want to pay for it, you can substitute in corn starch. Try to use organic corn starch, though.
1/2 c. rice starch
1/2 tbs. baking soda
1/2 - 1 tsp. kaolin clay powder (depending on how dry your hair is)
3 drops lemon oil
3 drops tea tree oil
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well mixed. The starch + kaolin absorb oil, the soda absorbs odor. The tea tree oil is for bacteria + dandruff and the lemon oil is for scent/cleanliness. Normally I recommend people don't put citrus oils anywhere near their hair since they're so drying. But the point of this IS to dry, and also such a small amount won't be too drying on your hair. If you have a natural perfume you like, you can opt to spray the mixture with a few spritzes of that instead.
*you can upgrade any of these ingredients to organic to make your dry shampoo organic instead of natural.
Once it's all mixed in, transfer it to your container. I just use the same Oscar Blandi container over and over and funnel it in. I like it because the tip on top makes it easy to apply the powder directly to my roots in small portions so that it doesn't get over applied. If you haven't got something like this, you can use the color applicator bottles that come in hair dye kits. Clean it out really, really well before using. Or, you can buy one for $2.29 from Sally's that has never had any chemicals or dye in it!
Always shake the bottle before applying (remember to put your finger over the tip!) Here it is applied to my roots. I have pretty dark roots since I never have my highlights applied there. As long as you take care to rub the powder in (and in some cases, brush it out with a bristle brush), there's nothing to worry about as far as color. Even though I'm sure it's fine- there's a mental block that doesn't allow me to add cocoa powder to dry shampoo as a means of darkening it up. It just seems gross for some reason, even though I'm sure it isn't!
And here I am enjoying a fantastic cup of coffee from my sweet husband immediately afterwards! It's an instagram (aunak) so the quality is horrible- sorry! I didn't think to take a picture of my hair aside from the roots and I washed it later that night. You can see though that it doesn't look greasy and has some nice volume at the roots. My hair is very, very thin so dry shampoo has been a huge help in adding body and volume. I never have to buy anything to make this, since these sorts of ingredients are staples in homemade products and are kept on hand, but if you haven't got some of these ingredients, they're all worth the investment. 
I hope you had a fantastic weekend! We celebrated birthdays in our family (mine and my brother's), visited the zoo with my nieces and ate more food than any human should. My husband did a really sweet birthday week surprise for me that perhaps I'll share as an idea for others to use as well. We'll see :) All the best and as always, thanks for reading! 


  1. yessssssssssss!!!! i NEEDED this post! i am consistently buying dry shampoo, as I only wash my hair twice a week as well... BUT the chemicals have been horrible on my scalp! :( so i am SO excited to try this!!! :)

    1. Ah! I should have done it a long time ago :/ I'll make you a bottle if you haven't got all of the ingredients <3

  2. Thanks! I have a similar mix, but I have added cacao powder (since I thought it would appear on dark hair without it).
    I also apply it with a (salt) shaker...I like your method more!
    I'll try it out :) At the moment I shampoo every other day, and on the off days I wash with baking soda and condition with apple cider.

    1. The no poo method! That's a good one- it really does work well. I like the salt shaker idea- that's really accessible for most people. I'd be curious to know how the cacao powder does- again- I know it can't be gross, but I have a real mental issue about it. I've always used white powders with no problem, even when I used to dye my hair black! The key is really rubbing it in and double checking before leaving! Thanks so much for your feedback!

  3. I really love this and I'm going to try it soon. I always buy expensive dry shampoo so this would be so helpful! Thanks!!

    1. Awesome, Mel! Opt for the rice starch, I think it works better and is really the closest to the Oscar Blandi formula :) I only need a little bit and it works just as well!

  4. I actually use cocoa powder exclusively. I've tried the typical dry shampoo ingredients - cornstarch, arrowroot starch, baking soda, etc, but I've never been able to resolve their inherent whiteness with the very dark color of my hair. I look like I'm wearing a powdered wig. The cocoa powder still shows as a reddish-brown residue, but I can blend it in by wiping down with cheesecloth, and/or applying it before bedtime, and it absorbs overnight. I've considered mixing it with charcoal powder to get it even darker.

    Pro: you smell like chocolate for a time afterward or if your hair gets wet in the rain.
    Con: it doesn't rinse out just with water; I have to shampoo thoroughly to get it all out.

    I keep the whole cocoa powder container in my bathroom, and use one of those makeup puff pads to apply it. It's pretty mess-free, though you do need to wash your hands afterward to avoid any errant cocoa fingerprints.

    Note: Do NOT make the mistake of thinking you can substitute cocoa powder for baking soda if you're trying the no-poo method. Just... don't.

    1. I am DYING over here! Your comments are hilarious in addition to being helpful :)
      I've experienced the powdered wig myself- but only from spray versions of dry shampoo- and they seemed particularly sticky. I haven't tried the DIY's listed above (though my rice starch is mixed with a smaller amount of baking soda), so I'm wondering if they have more staying power than rice starch does. Or perhaps are more opaque? Even brushing wasn't enough for the powder wig I got with spray versions! Mostly that was when my hair was black though.
      I'm really curious about cocoa powder! Another reader above said she cuts her mixture with that as well. I like your pros and cons list- and I agree that cocoa powder is not going to work with no-poo! That is too funny!!
      Lastly- I think cutting your mixture with charcoal powder is a very interesting idea. I have a little bag of it right now and am considering testing it to see what happens! If you get to it first, please let me know! Thanks so much for weighing in!!

  5. As more and more of today's commercial products feature toxic ingredients, it's refreshing to see people who advocate for natural solutions to promote health. I have also embraced a more natural lifestyle by using a Natural Shampoo that leaves my hair healthy, radiant, and beautiful without the excess toxins.


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