Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipe, Perfect For Camping – Only 3 Ingredients!

by Texas Homesteader ~ 

This simple homemade dry shampoo formula uses only 3 standard pantry ingredients. To cleanse hair just apply to the hair’s roots and brush the powder away. Perfect lightweight formula for camping or hiking. 

I made my own dry shampoo in minutes using pantry staples I always have in my kitchen. It works great, check it out! #TexasHomesteader

Dry Shampoo When Camping & Hiking

Hiking and camping season is here. Are you getting ready for the great outdoors and some fun in the sun?

Back in the day when we needed to clean our hair without water we would sprinkle baby powder in our hair & comb it through. But I always hated the metallic sheen it left in my hair afterward.

Dry shampoo products are sold in stores. I even bought it myself when I needed it for a weekend camping trip.

If you’ve always bought dry shampoo for your camping trips I’m here to tell ya – it’s EASY to make your own with just 3 common kitchen ingredients.

Dry Shampoo Recipe Just 3 Simple Ingredients

I use only 3 simple pantry staples (yes indeed, cocoa IS a non-negotiable pantry staple here on the Homestead!)

      • Cornstarch

      • Baking Soda

      • Cocoa (Optional, for darker hair)

This is the magical formula that works just right for me to use right here at the Homestead for times when I need to freshen & clean my hair without using water for several week after a surgery.

But it’s so lightweight that this dry shampoo formula would also be great for camping or hiking too. Or really anywhere you might not have access to water to clean your hair.

It's easy to use this homemade dry shampoo recipe for camping to save money. #TexasHomesteader

This dry shampoo formula contains only inexpensive and lightweight ingredients. 

And using it means there’s no water necessary to clean your hair! So whether you’re camping or just trying to watch water waste at home, dry shampoo fits the bill.

Mixing Up Homemade Dry Shampoo

Here’s how I mixed up my homemade dry shampoo:

¼ cup cornstarch

¼ cup baking soda. 

2½ tablespoons of cocoa (I have medium-brown hair)

Note About Adding Cocoa To Dry Shampoo Recipe

You can adjust the amount of added cocoa for your own hair color. Or leave it out completely if your hair is very light or blonde. 

I feel the cocoa ingredient just adds a nice matte finish to this dry shampoo formula.

And cocoa added in this dry shampoo formula means any tiny amount of residual powder in my brown hair unnoticeable. 

How To Use Dry Shampoo While Camping

Fresh water is heavy, so when hiking it’s most often reserved only for hydration and cooking. Using this dry shampoo means no precious water is necessary to clean your hair.

Packing this lightweight dry shampoo is simple. Just pour some into a small repurposed plastic shaker bottle such as a repurposed spice bottle with the flip-top shaker holes.

Then include it in your pack. It weighs almost nothing. 

Blue cotton embroidered drawstring backpack hiking camping woman with red shirt holding leash to gray dog.

NOTE: I offer these cotton Texas Homesteader drawstring backpacks on my Texas Homesteader eBay page. Show your HOMESTEADER PRIDE

When you’re ready to use it, lightly sprinkle dry shampoo onto the roots of your hair and massage it into your scalp with your fingertips. When it’s soaked up all the excess oil just brush it out. Easy peasy!

Dry Shampoo Less Messy Applied With A Makeup Brush

But if you’re using this dry shampoo at home, there’s a less messy way to apply it.

Since the powder is so lightweight it seems a tiny bit of powder sometimes goes airborne during application. Not a problem on the hiking trail, but a little more of a problem when you’re trying to apply it standing in the bathroom of your home.

It’s much easier to apply dry shampoo using my makeup brush for application than to sprinkle it from a shaker bottle or apply with my fingers.

Using a makeup brush I’m able to more accurately direct the powder to the exact location I want – at the roots.

Tip: Apply the powder directly onto your roots/scalp since that’s where the highest concentration of hair oil will be. Apply only enough  to clean your hair so you won’t have tons of powder to brush out. 

How To Use Dry Shampoo

So here’s how I easily apply Dry Shampoo:

      • Make a front-to-back part in my hair on the side of my scalp.

      • Dip the makeup brush lightly into the mix. Any excess powder is tapped off the brush and back into the jar. 

      • Touch the brush to the roots/scalp at the part, starting at the back & working toward my face with the brush. (Starting at the back it helps assure the bulk of the powder will end up at the back of my head to be brushed down through my hair to remove additional oil.)

      • Make another part in my hair ½” over and repeat until I’ve gone the full distance across my scalp.

      • Work the powder through my hair with my fingertips. 

      • Give it a couple of minutes to soak up the excess oil in my hair and then brush it out. (The oil clings to the powder and is brushed away!)

I like to thoroughly brush my hair again about 5 minutes later. It always seems there’s just a little more powder remaining after the first brushing. 

Can You Smell Cocoa In Homemade Dry Shampoo?

I get asked all the time if you can smell the cocoa after applying this dry shampoo.

I can say that after applying it I could smell a very subtle hint of cocoa remaining. Although it was very faint, I wondered if those around me could smell cocoa too? 

So I asked RancherMan about it. But he said he detected no scent at all unless he was purposely sniffing my hair.

What? ‘Purposely sniffing my hair’?  OOKAYYYYY….  LOL

As I mentioned this solution solved my problem after a surgery. And since you brush it out of your hair I’m assuming precious little residual product remains.

Dry Shampoo Conserves Water When Hiking

I know this would also be a great, inexpensive yet effective solution to use for keeping your hair clean while camping or hiking. But especially when trying to keep the weight of your pack light such as when you’re hiking the trails. 

Pack dry shampoo in your backpack sport sack when hiking or camping. #TexasHomesteader

I’m pretty pleased at how well this worked for me using items I already had in my pantry. 


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27 thoughts on “Homemade Dry Shampoo Recipe, Perfect For Camping – Only 3 Ingredients!

  1. Katy SkipTheBag

    I haven’t used cocoa powder yet. I will have to try it as my hair is darker than just cornstarch!

  2. Sarah

    Thanks! I can’t wait to try this!

  3. Kayla

    That’s very interesting. I had no idea one could make their own dry shampoo. I’m definitely going to have to try that! Pinned to save for later!

  4. lynn

    Love the idea of using cocoa powder. Too bad I am blonde 🙁 But I’ll bet it smells really good!

  5. Kelly

    I use dry shampoo when I’m giving my hair a lift before going out and don’t want to wash it right then and there. It’s also great when transitioning to natural shampoo bars and you’re trying not to wash as often. I use arrowrootpowder powder instead of cornstarch.
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop. I hope we see you again today. Pinned and shared!!

  6. CTY

    Just some more food for thought (or is it food for hair?), try mixing in some finely ground rye flour. Rye has great special proteins that help hair thrive. My mix is like yours, I just swap out the baking soda for rye flour. On “wet” shampoo days I mix about 1 TB rye flour, 1-2 squirts of liquid Castile add some water and wash my hair. My hair comes out very clean and DH says its shinier (now that’s something because DH doesn’t notice much).

  7. ColleenB.

    I just may have to try this out.
    I got gray on the roof top, so you think if I had the dark cocoa that it would make me a brunette again? :}

  8. Ashley

    This is a great idea! Super inexpensive too!

  9. Bethany the ngnrdgrl

    I have been wanting to try dry shampoo. I’ve seen this method several times on Pinterest. I have really, really dry skin, so the doctors and stylists always advise to minimize showering, since it reduces your natural oils. I bet this would be a great way to reduce some of the build up without actually stripping the oils from my skin. I’m going to have to try it!

  10. Shecki @ Greatly Blessed

    Interesting! My daughter just had surgery and can’t bathe for 4 weeks, ugh! But she’s 3, so I can wash her hair in the sink, comfortably.

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery to you.

  11. Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

    How simple is that! Way back in the day dry shampoo used to be popular and it is popular again – my daughter is a beautician and she uses dry shampoo. She says it helps your hair stay looking nice and keeps it in better shape than washing it with soap every day. I will have to share this with her. Thanks for sharing on the Four Seasons Blog Hop! Always look forward to your posts.

  12. Linda @ A La Carte

    What a great idea. I could use that when I’m too sick to wash my hair but oh it needs something! Thanks for sharing at TTF!

  13. TheBargainBabe

    I will try this, thanks for the diy! It will be way less expensive than buying that name brand stuff at salons!

  14. Summers Acres

    I had tried a couple of store bought kinds before, but did not like them because I have dark brown hair and all the ones I’d found were white. It showed up in my hair unless I brushed it all out which was of course useless. I like the idea of adding cocoa.


  15. Alison Bayne

    Always love your practical, creative posts!
    Best wishes from England
    A x

  16. Nancy

    Thank you so much for sharing this shampoo recipe. You have the best posts! I have gotten some great ideas from your blog. Hope your health keeps getting better and better so you feel great.
    Thanks again.

  17. Tina at Mommynificent

    Love this idea, especially for post-surgery and other times you can’t shower! Thanks for sharing it.

  18. Sara @ Not Your Mainstream Mama

    My little sister does this now and swears by it! I’m not really big on dry shampoo so I haven’t tried it, but maybe I should give it a go. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Sara, sometimes there are specific needs that require a dry shampoo, such as obviously some kinds of surgery but I’ve also needed dry shampoo while camping. Wish I knew then what I know now & I’d have just made my own!

  19. Kristin

    Never thought to use cocoa powder in my hair. I’d probably be craving a chocolate bar all day 🙂

  20. Jessica

    Can’t wait to try this!! I’m pregnant right now and can go three days or so with my hair still looking clean (but the rest of me needing a shower!!), so I won’t be trying it now, but I’m pinning for later! 🙂 I bet you smell fantastic!

  21. Nikki @ Wonderfully Women

    My daughter uses baby powder regularly as a dry shampoo, but it does leave a white residue. I am going to make this blend with just a hint of cocoa to soften the whiteness, as she is a bottle blonde. Thanks for sharing. xx Nikki

  22. Mel

    I haven’t tried any dried shampoos but I’m really curious about them. My boys have oily hair and being teens they’re concerned with acne

  23. Mindy

    Nice! I use baby powder sometimes but I’ve been wanting to try adding some cocoa so it’s less white. I have dark red hair so the cocoa should help blend it in 🙂

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      Mindy, I also had problems with the white color in things I tried for dry shampoo like baby powder or baking soda. But the problem I experienced that I hated the most was that metallic sheen that baby powder seemed to leave in my hair even after brushing & brushing. This formula didn’t leave that sheen I hated so much – plus it’s got chocolate in it so what’s not to love?? LOL ~TxH~

  24. Feral Turtle

    I haven’t tried any of these dry shampoos yet but my daughter has. She says they are great! Hope you are recovering quickly from your surgery and that you are feeling better! Visiting from Mellywood’s Mansion. Cheers.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I had need for dry shampoo when out camping in previous years and just bought the commercial stuff, but these days I try more & more to make these things for myself. An added bonus that all the ingredients were in my pantry and that the dry shampoo worked so well for me!


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