Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The cheapest and easiest DIY dry shampoo (PLUS a review of Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo with photos)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

You may have realized I've been on a quest to find the best (cheap) dry shampoo out there. I've found some good ones, but I always feel like they could be a little bit better. The most recent contestant is Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo. It seems to get decent reviews, and sells for around $8, which is not mega-cheap, but affordable enough.

When I was looking at the ingredients list (after I'd already bought it - which is usually the wrong order to do things), I saw that one of its main ingredients is corn starch. That reminded me that before dry shampoo was readily available and affordable, I used to use corn starch regularly, mainly on my bangs. So I figured that a comparison was in order - if the corn starch works just as well, it's a hell of a lot cheaper.
First, the Aveeno:

It works pretty well. When you spray it in your hair, you end up with a combination of clear liquid and powder, and it looks more powdery as it dries. As always with these products, I spray it on my roots, especially near the front and along my part, rub my hands through my hair to spread it around near the scalp, wait a few minutes, and then brush it out. I usually bend down and flip my hair over to get as much out as possible.

It seems like it's going to be greasy, crunchy, and/or powdery when you first apply it. But it brushes out quite nicely. Even now that my hair is a darker red, I don't notice much powderiness at all after I brush it out. If you're hair is a lot darker, you might have a different experience, but I think this is a good bet. It does leave my hair feeling a little rougher than usual, but it doesn't look dull. It also adds some nice volume. It's  floral-scented, but the scent isn't over-powering or obnoxious. Overall, it's a good dry shampoo. Judge for yourself from my photos:
Before, 24 hours after washing
(having darker hair also helps it not look as dirty as it otherwise would).
After using Aveeno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo.
How does plain old corn starch compare?

First of all, it's not quite as easy to use, because it's messier and doesn't spread as easily. I use basically the same technique described above, but instead of spraying it in (obviously), I put a little in the palm of my hand and use my fingers to comb it through my hair concentrating, again, on the front and near the roots. I rub it in, leave it a few minutes, and brush it out. You will find that you get more powder on your clothes (and on your glasses and in your ears), but the nice thing about corn starch is that it brushes off easily, even from darker fabrics. 

I was left with slightly more powdery residue than with the spray, but probably nothing that was noticeable to anyone but me. It definitely absorbs oil, but it doesn't add as much volume, probably because the powder is hard to spread as evenly and fully. It leaves my hair feeling as nice as it does without any product in it. And of course it is completely unscented. Here are the results:
After using plain corn starch on hair that hasn't been washed in 24 hours.

You're going to get a more even application, less residue, and more volume with the Aveeno dry shampoo than with straight corn starch - but it's much pricier per use. I'd recommend giving corn starch a try especially if you have lighter hair or if you just want to use it on a small area, such as your bangs at the end of the day. It's perfect in those cases and just good otherwise (i.e. on darker hair or large areas). But the corn starch has the advantage of being super fucking cheap, natural, and less wasteful - you'll go through a LOT of cans of aerosol dry shampoo in the time it takes you to put a whole thing of corn starch in your hair. Plus, you know, you can use corn starch for other things. 

Note: baby powder will also work similarly to corn starch, but I find the smell horrible. Unscented baby powder is an option.

Have you tried powder in your hair as a dry shampoo? What kind? How did you like it?


  1. I've been using baby powder on my hair for as long as I can think of. I grew up with hair down to my butt and iy was a massive pain to wash so on lazy days I'd just dump some in my hand and rub my hands together then bend forward (so I didn't get itin my eyes etc) and run my hands thru. I just have to be extra careful becaue I am clumsy and a pile of powder on bathroom tiles IS SLIPPERY AS FUCK.
    Every time I get my dry shampoo out I think 'i really need to buy more baby powder'. Sometimes the smell from the can is enough to make my migraines crazy so the unscented powder is a plus there.

  2. I'm a medium blond and do the baby powder thing as well. When my hair was dark brown, cocoa powder also worked well and didn't leave a greyish cast. Instead of my hands, I use a cheap, huge, fluffy powder brush and apply it like I would a loose powder. I find it easier to get it where I want it and it seems to be a little less messy. Also helps to apply more evenly.

    1. A powder brush is such a good idea! That didn't even occur to me.

  3. Have you seen the tutorials for making "wet" dry shampoo using rubbing alcohol or witch hazel? I have seen them floating around Pinterest.


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