Cocoa Powder Dry Shampoo

I’ve mentioned to several friends over the past month that I use cocoa powder as dry shampoo and it was the first time they’d ever heard of that. So I decided it was worth a quick post to share this super simple trick for brunettes.

I tried it three years ago, somewhat out of desperation one morning while getting ready. Having light brown hair, I hated how white powders made my hair look gray. I’m also not a huge hair products person, so using something in my pantry seemed fitting: super inexpensive and no unnecessary ingredients.

When my hair looks flat and greasy and I either don’t have time to shower or don’t feel like blow drying, here’s how I (very non-technically) use cocoa powder as dry shampoo.


Most often, I literally just dip my (clean!) fingers into a can of cocoa powder that I keep in my bathroom cabinet and then massage my fingertips into my hair near the scalp. (I personally had a can of old cocoa powder that I didn’t want to use for baking, so I stuck it in my cabinet. If you’re buying a new, fresh and full container, then you can put some in a small jar or even a used loose mineral powder makeup jar, which is easy to travel with.)

If my hair is down, I usually flip my head upside down and fluff it with my fingers, sometimes with more powder on my fingertips and sometimes not. It depends on how dirty and greasy my hair is! When my hair is pulled back and up in a bun, I just dust my fingers with the powder and lightly comb them through the top of my head.

You can use a comb or a makeup brush to apply as well. If I use a comb, I dip it into the powder and then loosely tease my roots from underneath. Whichever method you choose, the main thing to avoid is putting too much powder in your hair. You can always add more, so start with a small amount and give it a minute to absorb the oil. Also, avoid putting it directly on your scalp. Focus instead on the top inch or two of hair.

Truth be told, the way I use dry shampoo is quick and dirty. Literally. My bathroom sink and counter usually look like I’m baking brownies because I’m always in a hurry and not the neatest in the bunch. But, again, not putting too much powder on your fingers helps as well as using a makeup brush to dust your roots.


Arrowroot powder is the best choice for blondes. Cornstarch is a common option too, but it has close to ten times the carbohydrates than arrowroot powder, which could potentially increase yeast or bacteria on your scalp. I also used baking soda before I started using cocoa powder and it works great.

As for gingers, you can try mixing one part cinnamon to two parts arrowroot powder. Or you can always try the cocoa powder because it would probably blend pretty well with red hair.

Do you have any tips on dry shampoo or other DIY hair tricks? Please share them with us!

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Branch Basics
We believe choices like the food we put in our bodies, the paint we put on our walls, and the cleaners we use around our homes have power; the power to rob us of good health or to cultivate it. We experienced this first-hand. Whether it was avoiding a looming kidney transplant, recovering a severely ill son that was medically deemed unrecoverable, being freed of debilitating mystery pain, overcoming long-term hormonal complications, or simply getting rid of cramps and dry eyes, our lives were transformed because of the power of real food and a non-toxic environment. Branch Basics is our passion project to help others do the same. So why cleaning products? Well, because 1) cleaners and laundry detergents have a major impact on our air quality and overall health, 2) switching to healthy cleaning is much easier than kicking a sugar addiction, 3) the world is in need of truly safe cleaners that work and 4) everyone cleans! 🙂 If we can help change even one person’s life for the better with our products and education, then we consider it a success. But of course, it is our utmost desire to enable and inspire as many people as we possibly can to live life clean and experience the power of pure as we have. We’d love for you to join us and help us spread the word!