Herbal Dry Shampoo Powders

DIY Herbal Dry Shampoo Powders


There’s been a bit of talk lately — even in the mainstream — about how to use less chemical heavy hair care products. We’ve shared some no-poo recipes, hair rinses, and hot oil treatments here over the years and continue our quest to provide organic, good-for-your-hair options for those of us who want to look and feel fabulous without pouring toxic chemicals on our heads and into the water table.

Dry “shampoos” are not at all new. Created to work without water, there has been a long history of people using powdered herbs, grains, and clays to remove excess oil and dirt build-up. These natural ingredients absorb the oils and remove it when brushed out—without causing damage to the hair or scalp. Dry shampoos can also be a good option for folks who want to shampoo once or twice a week, using the powders in between washings to keep hair fresh, soft, and manageable.

Recently, a national television host commented on a story about a woman who had gone totally “no poo” for several years, saying that the woman surely must stink because she didn’t use commercial products.  Perhaps this television personality has never experienced the incredibly clean scent of organic lavender or the warm earthy aroma of organic rosemary and bergamot? Plus, these natural plant ingredients also offer properties beneficial to hair growth and general hair health.

I’ve created two different powders, one for lighter hair colors and one for darker hair colors (made with cocoa or carob powder), but you can make adjustments to suit your needs. No worries – these powders become invisible once applied, so you won’t look as if you fell into a giant sack of flour as you go through your day! They are also a great option for camping trips and outdoor festivals.


DIY Herbal Dry Shampoo Powders


Organic Lavender & Sweet Orange Shampoo Powder

½ cup organic arrowroot powder

½ cup French green cosmetic clay

1 Tablespoon organic oatstraw powder

1 Tablespoon organic lavender flower powder

1 Tablespoon organic chamomile powder

10 drops each organic Sweet Orange and Lavender essential oils


DIY Herbal Dry Shampoo Powders


Rosy Rosemary Cocoa Shampoo Powder

½ cup organic arrowroot powder

¼ cup baking soda

½ cup organic cacao powder or organic carob powder

1 Tablespoon organic pink rose powder

1 Tablespoon organic oatstraw powder

10 drops each organic Rosemary and Bergamot essential oils



Mix all the ingredients together, stirring well to combine.  Our powder containers are perfect for storing the finished powders, but any clean container will do. Shake or sprinkle along the crown of the head, working through the scalp and hair to pick up any excess oils or debris.  Depending on the texture and thickness of your hair, either brush or shake well to remove the excess. This is best done before you get dressed so you don’t end up with any powder residue on your clothes (or drape your shoulders with a towel to keep the powder off your clothes).

Feel free to experiment with flower powders and essential oils to create your own signature dry shampoos—the possibilities are endless!



29 Responses to “Herbal Dry Shampoo Powders”

  1. avatar Clarence S. says:

    This is wonderful! I have never heard of powders to clean hair and scalp. I camp and travel often and this will be a great addition to my homemade healthcare products. I make my own tooth powder and fire cider already. Your blogs and information pages are fantastic! Thank you!

  2. avatar Jennifer says:

    Are the powders just the herbs ground to a fine powder?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Jennifer~Yes! Our powders are just the organic herbs ground to a fine powder. Thanks so much for your question. ~Kori

  3. avatar The Rev. Canon D. Joe Dunlap says:

    These seem really useful / helpful even for a bald elder gent like me! (Commercial shampoos almost ALL generate irritation to my scalp whether bald area or areas with hair.) Is there a similar dry formula I could use on my DOG? And maybe for my feline-loving friends, one for cats? If so and you share them, thanks for going ‘the extra mile’ on this subject. J.

  4. avatar The Rev. Canon D. Joe Dunlap says:

    Thanks! is there a dry shampoo formula for dogs / cats?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi there~Thanks so much for reading and sharing your question. You could certainly adapt these for your pets. My suggestion would be to omit the essential oils since they are so concentrated and animals’ skin can be quite sensitive. Dry pet shampoos can also have other powdered herbs like mints, rosemary, chamomile, sage, etc. You might want to do a little research on what herbs and properties you’d like. I hope this helps! ~Kori

  5. avatar Sarah says:

    Is there an alternative to the oatstraw? My younger sister is highly allergic to oat ,wheat , dairy, egg , potato, peas, and beans to name a few. She has flare ups when she has to use the local water so a powder shampoo would be wonderful.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Sarah~Thank you for your question! Please feel free to substitute. I chose oatstraw because I wanted something absorbent and nutritive and I love oatstraw You could simply leave it out, or add something else whose properties you like: baking soda, cornstarch, or even powdered cornmeal or coconut flour. You’ll be just fine without it, though. Cheers! ~Kori

  6. avatar Tanya says:

    How do you mix in essential oils into powders? Any special tricks? Thank you very much for the recipes, eager to try them out :)

  7. avatar Tanya says:

    How do you mix in essential oils into powders? Thank you very much for the recipes!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Tanya~Great question! I just drop the oils into the powder mix and then stir it well and it works just fine. Good luck! ~Kori

  8. avatar Barbara says:

    Have you ever considered offering your products in pre-set “packages” for these awesome recipes? So a person could just order the Organic Lavender and Sweet Orange Shampoo Powder package. You wouldn’t really have to have the items set aside; but it sure would be a handy way to order.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Barbara~Thank you for your suggestion! We would love to be able to do this and have been having the internal chats about how we might be able to offer recipe “packages” in the future. It surely would make things convenient, wouldn’t it? We appreciate you taking the time to read the blog and share your feedback! ~Kori

  9. avatar norma says:

    Wow, I am so happy to see this recipe for dry shampoo. I just don’t always feel like doing the wet shampoo thing and hate the thought of buying something full of chemicals. I am definitely going to give this a whirl. Thank you for putting this out there.

    When is MRH going to open a store? :-) I would love to come and visit, have a spot of tea and smell all of your wonderful herbs!

    Thank you for being a natural company. Love you.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Norma~We so appreciate you reading the blog and sharing your warm feedback! Alas, no store on the horizon for us, but we do have the pick-up parlor here in Eugene, Oregon. If you live in the area, you can stop in and pick up orders you place in advance and check out some of our herbs and products. Thanks so much for your kind words! ~Kori

  10. avatar Kathy says:

    How much of the shampoo powder do you use for a “shampoo”? How do you know if you’ve applied enough, or too much?


    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Kathy~Thank so much for reading the blog! It will really depend on how much hair you have as to how much of the shampoo powder to use. I would start with a moderate amount, massage it into your scalp and hair, and then if it doesn’t seem like enough, you can try a little more. I imagine if you apply to much, it will be more than your head and your hair can absorb and it could get a bit messy. I hope this helps a bit. Good luck! ~Kori

  11. avatar Amarra says:

    No Rosemary in the Rosy Rosemary Cocoa Shampoo Powder?

  12. avatar Mimi says:

    Hi, Can’t wait to make these recipes! Thank you for sharing! I am however having a hard time finding the pink rose powder as you guys are out of stock :(. Any substitutes you can think of?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Mimi! Thanks so much for checking in with us. You could substitute other flower powders like lavender, chamomile, calendula, etc. Grapefruit peel, lemon peel and lime peel powder would also be nice additions, depending on what you like and your hair type. I do hope this helps and good luck! ~Kori

  13. avatar rocio says:

    Hello, will you ever sell these herbal dry shampoos or only the ingredients? I would love to buy a sampler or all the recipies above. Thank you

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi there~Thank you so much for your interest! As far as I know, there are no plans to sell these dry shampoos as completed products. When I came up with the recipes, I was trying to create ones that would be customizable so folks could create the formulas to suit their own needs. I do apologize for the inconvenience, but hope you’ll give creating your own a try! Cheers ~Kori

  14. avatar Sher says:

    Hi Kori, I have used plain arrowroot as hair powder in the past, and recently made your Rosy Rosemary powder (substituting MRH rhassoul clay for baking soda, and MRH hawthorn berry powder for rose powder, plus different EOs). Unfortunately, hair powder always makes my hair unmanageable and straw-like, with a significant increase in split ends and breakage. Any troubleshooting advice? I really wish I could get this great idea to work for me!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Sher~Thank you for reading the blog and giving our recipes a try! As you may imagine, everyone’s hair and scalp are different and some folks need a drying shampoo treatment, while others may need more oils or other properties. My best suggestion would be to avoid those that do not work with your hair type. If powders do not work with your hair, there are many different rinses, shampoos, and other ways to clean your hair. You might find more information in some of our books on herbal hair care: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/home-goods/books/body Wishing you the best! ~Kori

  15. As I was searching through different websites – going no shampoo, etc. going organic is such a great idea. I have never thought of this but the problem with dry hair has always been for years. Thanks for sharing this.

  16. avatar Dawn says:

    Are there other additions aside from horsetail powder or orris root powder you would suggest?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Dawn~Thank you so much for checking in with us. Hmmm…I’ve never used horsetail or orris root powder, but you could surely give it a try. There are so many other ingredients used, but If you do not want to use the ingredients listed, feel free to make substitutions or leave things out! Good luck :) ~Kori

Leave a Reply

Facebook Follow Me on Pinterest Twitter YouTube

Meet Us

  • ErinErin (362)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (137)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
    KoriKori (69)
    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
    IreneIrene (53)
    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
    AlietaAlieta (42)
    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
    FriendsFriends (37)
    An array of voices from around Mountain Rose Herbs and beyond share their wisdoms, inspirations, and exciting stories from the herbal world.
    AlyssaAlyssa (27)
    Alyssa is the Director of Sustainability at Mountain Rose Herbs and an expert social butterfly. When not fluttering between community and non-profit events, she enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her chickens, and organizing potlucks.
    On the FarmOn the Farm (17)
    Our team of farm representatives travel around the US and the world to visit our organic crops. They bring back stories and photos from their meetings with our farmers and important news about our herbal harvests.
    ShawnShawn (14)
    Shawn is the Vice President at Mountain Rose Herbs, which means he has his hands in just about everything here, but he is most passionate about advancing the company's ecological platforms for sustainable business practices. In his spare time, he can be found deep in Oregon’s designated wilderness areas or fly fishing (strictly catch and release) with his furry friends Abigail and Maggie.
  • Subscribe to the Mountain Rose Blog and never miss a recipe!